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Chinese Thompsons


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#1 SubmarinerFan

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 05:04 PM

All Interested,

Here are a few pics from the China People's Revolution Military Museum. There were several Thompsons inside. See below.


There are three Chinese Thompsons here. According to the sign the top Thompson is a Chinese copy produced in Sichuan and is a 7.62mm. Not sure if this is a mistake or not, but that is what the sign says. The center Thompson was produced in Shanxi and is 11.43mm (.45 caliber correct?). The bottom is a 7.63mm and simply says "Made in China".





Another look at a Chinese Thompson




Unique buttstock and holes for sling.




I saw this and wanted to break the glass and take them back to the US. These are mostly AO and Savage guns.




Finally, saw this guy, and was curious. It looks like it has the actuator on top and a finned barrel, but the sights look like an early/mid AO or Savage style, correct? Not sure what model he could be.


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#2 TD.

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 07:56 PM

SubmarinerFan,

Great pictures. Did you visit this museum?

There is a Thompson displayed at this museum with a long barrel and bipod. Do you happen to have any pictures of it and possibly a translation of any plaque describing it?

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#3 SubmarinerFan

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 10:23 PM

QUOTE (TD. @ Jul 3 2010, 08:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
SubmarinerFan,

Great pictures. Did you visit this museum?

There is a Thompson displayed at this museum with a long barrel and bipod. Do you happen to have any pictures of it and possibly a translation of any plaque describing it?


TD,

Unfortunately I didn't get a pic of that particular gun. I don't recall seeing it there, but there were so many guns in the museum it is easy to miss one.
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#4 TD.

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 11:11 AM

If I am not mistaken, philasteen visited this same museum and posted some pictures of Chinese Thompsons several years ago. I will let him join in the discussion and repost his pictures if he is so inclined. I found the possible Model of 1923 Thompson on display very interesting and was hoping you had some additional pictures of this one Thompson.
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#5 SubmarinerFan

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 11:44 AM

QUOTE (TD. @ Jul 4 2010, 12:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If I am not mistaken, philasteen visited this same museum and posted some pictures of Chinese Thompsons several years ago. I will let him join in the discussion and repost his pictures if he is so inclined. I found the possible Model of 1923 Thompson on display very interesting and was hoping you had some additional pictures of this one Thompson.


That would be great. I'd love to see this gun as well. The museum I visited was in Beijing.
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#6 philasteen

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 04:37 PM

I have (sadly) lost those photos -- if anyone has them please repost.

TD, thanks for the heads up on the thread.
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#7 TD.

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 10:48 PM

Here are a few pictures philasteen posted from the same museum of the possible Model of 1923 Thompson. I assume the buttstock is from this Thompson but I am not certain. All translations welcome. Perhaps philasteen will remember a few details.







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#8 philasteen

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 07:35 AM

I don't have further info. However, I will be returning to Asia later this year and will get a Chinese speaker to go with me to the museum. I will also try to arrange with a curator a chance to examine and/or discuss the weapons.
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#9 SubmarinerFan

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 08:38 AM

QUOTE (TD. @ Jul 4 2010, 11:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here are a few pictures philasteen posted from the same museum of the possible Model of 1923 Thompson. I assume the buttstock is from this Thompson but I am not certain. All translations welcome. Perhaps philasteen will remember a few details.







Tough to translate that buttstock. On the top it says Sichuan reading right to left (otherwise it says "Chuansi" and I've never heard of a "Chuansi"). I can't make out the other two characters that precede it.

On the bottom it says "renmin wuzhuang" or the Armed Forces of the People. My guess is this is a pre-1945 gun, as the military was referred to as a variety of names then, most commonly the Red Army. But it was not referred to as the People's Liberation Army (Renmin Jiefang Jun) until post-1945 during the civil war between the Nationalist and Communist Parties.
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#10 Hawkeye_Joe

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 01:06 PM

What about the top gun in the first pic? Was it made with no rear grip or was it just missing and they didn't replace it?? Weird thing to do ..
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#11 SubmarinerFan

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 02:40 PM

QUOTE (Hawkeye_Joe @ Jul 5 2010, 02:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What about the top gun in the first pic? Was it made with no rear grip or was it just missing and they didn't replace it?? Weird thing to do ..


I agree Hawkeye Joe. I also find it equally weird that it is a 7.62mm. I didn't know that copies of Thompsons were produced in calibers that were not .45.
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#12 couchcommando

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 12:18 PM

I carried a chinese made thompson for 3-4 months in vietnam, had chinese writing all over it, but, being young and dumb, I figured it was a lend-lease thompson. Otherwise, I would have done everything I could to bring it home, including mailing it 1 piece at a time.
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#13 james m

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 03:22 PM

I remembered I had some pictures* of Chinese Thompsons in use in an old gun magazine so here you go. These pictures are from Guns Magazine - April,1960. This article outlines the control still exerted by the Chinese warlords in the 50s which is something you rarely heard about and I expect the Chinese government didn't want publicised
*My wife maintains I never throw anything out and I guess she has a point! huh.gif
Jim



Edited by james m, 07 July 2010 - 03:26 PM.

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#14 SubmarinerFan

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 04:45 PM

QUOTE (james m @ Jul 7 2010, 04:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I remembered I had some pictures* of Chinese Thompsons in use in an old gun magazine so here you go. These pictures are from Guns Magazine - April,1960. This article outlines the control still exerted by the Chinese warlords in the 50s which is something you rarely heard about and I expect the Chinese government didn't want publicised
*My wife maintains I never throw anything out and I guess she has a point! huh.gif
Jim




Jim,

Sounds like a very interesting article. Many of the major warlords were removed by Chiang Kai-shek and during his Northern Expedition in the 1920s. I guess many of the landlords and remnants of them were policed by men with Thompsons, possibly during some of the large scale criticisms that took place during the socialist land reform in the 1950s.

Very cool that you saved it after all these years and a sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for posting.
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#15 james m

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 05:49 PM

SubmarinerFan:
Wong Hon,the warlord pictured above, had a whole arsenal of weapons and his own armorer. I only posted the pictures showing Thompsons. There are a few other pictures provided with the article that I can post if some of you are interested. This warlord served in two positions. Officialy he was the mayor overseeing several small villages. Unofficially he was in charge of smuggling for the area and had his own small army.
Jim
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#16 SubmarinerFan

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 03:48 PM

QUOTE (james m @ Jul 8 2010, 06:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
SubmarinerFan:
Wong Hon,the warlord pictured above, had a whole arsenal of weapons and his own armorer. I only posted the pictures showing Thompsons. There are a few other pictures provided with the article that I can post if some of you are interested. This warlord served in two positions. Officialy he was the mayor overseeing several small villages. Unofficially he was in charge of smuggling for the area and had his own small army.
Jim


Jim,

If time permits I would love to see the other pictures in the article. Coincidentally my MA is in History with a contemporary China focus, so this is of great interest to me. Thanks again for sharing.

Adrian
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#17 TD.

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 09:33 AM

Here is a picture of Chinese soldiers in 1941 with what are said to be American made Thompson Submachine Guns that appeared on eBay earlier this year. What attracted me to the picture was the lack of markings on the right side of the this Thompson. Also note the buttstock sling swivel of the Thompson in the back ground. I was one of the bidders but lost out because the picture sold for 37 bucks including shipping. Obviously, someone was very serious about obtaining this picture! It appears the Chinese manufactured a lot of Thompson guns over the years. This must have been a very popular gun in China for quite some time.

Attached File  Chinese_Troops_Jan_1941_ebay_May_2010.jpg   89.53K   43 downloads

Attached File  Chinese_Troops_Jan_1941_reverse_33_dollars.jpg   87.6K   38 downloads
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#18 SubmarinerFan

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 10:39 AM

QUOTE (TD. @ Jul 10 2010, 10:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here is a picture of Chinese soldiers in 1941 with what are said to be American made Thompson Submachine Guns that appeared on eBay earlier this year. What attracted me to the picture was the lack of markings on the right side of the this Thompson. Also note the buttstock sling swivel of the Thompson in the back ground. I was one of the bidders but lost out because the picture sold for 37 bucks including shipping. Obviously, someone was very serious about obtaining this picture! It appears the Chinese manufactured a lot of Thompson guns over the years. This must have been a very popular gun in China for quite some time.

Attached File  Chinese_Troops_Jan_1941_ebay_May_2010.jpg   89.53K   43 downloads

Attached File  Chinese_Troops_Jan_1941_reverse_33_dollars.jpg   87.6K   38 downloads


I find the bottom picture interesting. What is that TD? Dated 1941, so it was during the Sino-Japanese War and it also cites the Eighth Route Army (Ba Lu Jun) which was the larger of the two major Communist Armies (the other being the New Fourth Army). The Eighth Route Army was commanded by the infamous Lin Biao, a fairly taboo subject/name in China today but a fascinating and brilliant military commander nonetheless.

It looks like one man per company carried a Thompson according to that photo? That would be, 1 man for every 10, correct?

TD, I also have a photo of the unique sling swivels that you see in the one photo you posted. Take a look at the photos I posted earlier. That seems to be a unique feature to Chinese Thompsons. Also, if I recall correctly, some of the Thompsons in the museum didn't have any patent date information on them as you observed in the picture you posted. When I was at the museum at the time I dismissed them as simple display pieces, looks like I was wrong.

Thanks for posting.
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#19 james m

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:15 PM

Here's some more pics. from that Guns magazine article I posted from earlier. Unfortunately some pages of the article are missing from the magazine.
Jim





Edited by james m, 19 July 2010 - 05:21 PM.

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#20 SubmarinerFan

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 12:39 PM

QUOTE (james m @ Jul 19 2010, 06:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here's some more pics. from that Guns magazine article I posted from earlier. Unfortunately some pages of the article are missing from the magazine.
Jim






James,

Thanks for taking the time to post these photos. Very cool.
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