Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Thompson Serial Numbers


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 rpbcps

rpbcps

    RKI Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 185 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 25 March 2011 - 09:21 AM

Gentlemen,
Can any one help me with the answers to a few questions?

Can anyone confirm that the M1 and M1A1 series of Thompsons began their serial numbers from zero, or whatever they began from, and did not follow on from the M1928 and M1928A1 serial numbers?

I presume this was the case, as I have seen a deactivated M1 for sale in the UK recently, with a four digit serial number, 1529 and another with the serial number 79839. In my collection I have a pre lend lease British Model of 1928 with the serial number S- 85140, later number than the previous mentioned M1 – 79839. I guess this would make my M1928 part of the 1940 order of Thompsons, when the M1’s where not even in production.

In my collection, I also have a Savage manufactured 'lend lease' M1, although it has a M1A1 bolt and the rear sight ‘protection’. It has the serial number 222556, so I am guessing it would have been manufactured in 1942.

Another question I have is concerning the Savage and AO prefix on the M1928A1’s, as they were manufacturing the A1’s at the same time, are there two weapons with the same serial number with only the letter being different i.e. S-110000 and AO 110000?

Thank you in advance to anyone who takes the time to answer these questions and I apologize if I am going over the same subject, which has been covered in another posting that I have missed.

Stay safe
Richard


  • 0

#2 TD.

TD.

    Respected Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 2203 posts

Posted 25 March 2011 - 10:08 AM

Hi rpbcps,

I have never really studied the M1 Thompson series. A good book on the subject is American Thunder II, by Frank Iannamico.

I feel certain the serial numbering of the M1 series of Thompson's did not start where the 1928 series stopped. On Page 225 of Frank's book is a picture of NO. 980, a Savage M1 described as being manufactured during the first day of production. I have also seen Savage M1 Thompson serial number 478.

I am sure other Board members will have information to help you with your questions.

Question: Does your 1928 Thompson, S-85140 have a New York, NY or Bridgeport, Connecticut address on the right side of the receiver?


  • 0

#3 rpbcps

rpbcps

    RKI Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 185 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 25 March 2011 - 01:22 PM

QUOTE (TD. @ Mar 25 2011, 03:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi rpbcps,

I have never really studied the M1 Thompson series. A good book on the subject is American Thunder II, by Frank Iannamico.

I feel certain the serial numbering of the M1 series of Thompson's did not start where the 1928 series stopped. On Page 225 of Frank's book is a picture of NO. 980, a Savage M1 described as being manufactured during the first day of production. I have also seen Savage M1 Thompson serial number 478.

I am sure other Board members will have information to help you with your questions.

Question: Does your 1928 Thompson, S-85140 have a New York, NY or Bridgeport, Connecticut address on the right side of the receiver?


TD, thanks for that information. Unfortunately my M1928 is a Bridgeport, would have loved it to have been NY NY! Still I am happy with her all the same.



  • 0

#4 jim c 351

jim c 351

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 1754 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ohio

Posted 25 March 2011 - 03:27 PM

rpbcps.
The M1 TSMG ser # started at 1
The Bridgeport 28A1 started at 1. The highest Bridgeport 28 ser # is a little over 150,---.
When Bridgeport started making the 28, Savage was over 200,000 guns.
I'm not sure if Savage and Bridgeport had separate numbers for the M1 & M1A1 guns.
Jim C
  • 0

#5 rpbcps

rpbcps

    RKI Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 185 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 25 March 2011 - 03:30 PM

Since my initial post, I have found a few more images of Thompsons. One is a US Model 1928A1 with the serial # AO 9090.

Another I found is a US model 1928A1 with the serial # S- 318596, but it is not the serial #, that caught my attention but the fact the patent numbers is directly below the sight and the Bridgeport address forward of that on the receiver. The opposite to my M1928 and other US Model 1928A1's I have seen, which have the patent numbers forward of the address. Is this common?

I also found a picture of a M1, serial # 227100 which has a finned barrel and a Cutts compensator, another configuration I did not know existed.

  • 0

#6 rpbcps

rpbcps

    RKI Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 185 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 25 March 2011 - 03:33 PM

QUOTE (jim c 351 @ Mar 25 2011, 08:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
rpbcps.
The M1 TSMG ser # started at 1
The Bridgeport 28A1 started at 1. The highest Bridgeport 28 ser # is a little over 150,---.
When Bridgeport started making the 28, Savage was over 200,000 guns.
I'm not sure if Savage and Bridgeport had separate numbers for the M1 & M1A1 guns.
Jim C


Jim,
Thank you for that information, I need to buy the book and read more into this.
  • 0

#7 TD.

TD.

    Respected Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 2203 posts

Posted 25 March 2011 - 08:13 PM

jim c 351,
Can you point me to the documentation that shows the M1 and 1928A1 Auto-Ordnance Bridgeport Thompson serial numbers started at NO. 1.

I know there is a picture of M1 serial number 153 in Roger Cox's book. I always assumed the numbering started at 100 or 1, but I have never seen this documented.

The lowest serial number I have seen for an Auto-Ordnance Bridgeport Thompson is in the very low 12,000 range. Do you know of lower numbers?

Thanks!




  • 0

#8 jim c 351

jim c 351

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 1754 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ohio

Posted 26 March 2011 - 08:45 AM

TD,
No I can not. I have never seen a picture of any Colt, Savage, Bridgeport, or for that matter West Hurley ser. # 1.
They may have started at 1 or 8 or 312. I don't know.
The point I was making for rpbcps was that the M1 serial numbers did not have any connection to 28 ser numbers.
According to Frank I, ATII, by the time the first Bridgeport 28 was made, Savage had passed 200,000 guns. Therefore a Bridgeport could not posibly be numbered 134,XXX unless they started a new AO serial number block.
Same applies to the M1/M1A1.
Jim C
  • 0

#9 Bridgeport28A1

Bridgeport28A1

    Respected Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 566 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Minnesota
  • Interests:WW2 U.S. Military Firearms

Posted 26 March 2011 - 01:55 PM

QUOTE (jim c 351 @ Mar 26 2011, 08:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
TD,
No I can not. I have never seen a picture of any Colt, Savage, Bridgeport, or for that matter West Hurley ser. # 1.
They may have started at 1 or 8 or 312. I don't know.
The point I was making for rpbcps was that the M1 serial numbers did not have any connection to 28 ser numbers.
According to Frank I, ATII, by the time the first Bridgeport 28 was made, Savage had passed 200,000 guns. Therefore a Bridgeport could not posibly be numbered 134,XXX unless they started a new AO serial number block.
Same applies to the M1/M1A1.
Jim C


1928A1 Savage and Auto Ordnance serial numbers each duplicated the number portion of the "serial number" with each other with the difference being in the S or AO prefix in front of the "serial" number.

ie: AO 53638, S 53638

Ross
  • 0

#10 bug

bug

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 1049 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SE PA
  • Interests:Hunting, fishing, shooting, reloading, metalworking, woodworking, photography.

Posted 26 March 2011 - 02:51 PM

QUOTE (Bridgeport28A1 @ Mar 26 2011, 02:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (jim c 351 @ Mar 26 2011, 08:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
TD,
No I can not. I have never seen a picture of any Colt, Savage, Bridgeport, or for that matter West Hurley ser. # 1.
They may have started at 1 or 8 or 312. I don't know.
The point I was making for rpbcps was that the M1 serial numbers did not have any connection to 28 ser numbers.
According to Frank I, ATII, by the time the first Bridgeport 28 was made, Savage had passed 200,000 guns. Therefore a Bridgeport could not posibly be numbered 134,XXX unless they started a new AO serial number block.
Same applies to the M1/M1A1.
Jim C


1928A1 Savage and Auto Ordnance serial numbers each duplicated the number portion of the "serial number" with each other with the difference being in the S or AO prefix in front of the "serial" number.

ie: AO 53638, S 53638

Ross


Exactly. That said, I've always wondered why Savage began their 28 production with S-15041 (we're sure, right?) rather than S-1 or S-100 etc.

  • 0

#11 TD.

TD.

    Respected Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 2203 posts

Posted 26 March 2011 - 04:06 PM

I would assume Savage began production at S-15041 because Colt ended production at NO 15040. There is no documentation that states Savage production began at S-15041. However, there is a frame with the serial number S-15043 and a few known 15,000 serial numbered Savage Thompson's.

The documented history of frame S-15043, Small Arms Review (SAR), September 2009, presents a lot of proof serial numbering for the Savage 1928 Thompson production most likely started at S-15041. Of course, new information is alway welcome!

  • 0

#12 dalbert

dalbert

    Website Owner

  • Admin
  • 3187 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ohio

Posted 26 March 2011 - 04:52 PM

A key point also is there are no known examples of Savage 1928's in the Colt Thompson serial number range. (Colts are serial numbered 41 through 15040) The general concensus in the Thompson community is that Savage started where Colt left off, at serial number 15041, although, as TD states, no documentation is known to exist regarding the Savage starting serial number.

David Albert
dalbert@sturmgewehr.com
  • 0

#13 OldFalGuy

OldFalGuy

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 699 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Texas
  • Interests:Sporting Clays, Skeet, Reloading and just plain Living

Posted 27 March 2011 - 10:43 AM

Could Savage have been trying to continue their serial numbers FROM the last S/N of the Colts 21/Navy's? Coincidence ?
  • 0

#14 dalbert

dalbert

    Website Owner

  • Admin
  • 3187 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ohio

Posted 27 March 2011 - 11:31 AM

QUOTE (OldFalGuy @ Mar 27 2011, 11:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Could Savage have been trying to continue their serial numbers FROM the last S/N of the Colts 21/Navy's? Coincidence ?


OldFalGuy,

Yes. Savage was contracted by Auto-Ordnance to make the next batch of TSMG's, after an 18-year hiatus of manufacturing of the first 15,000 by Colt. All indications are that they picked up the serial numbers where Colt left off. There would have been no reason to start over with the serial numbers at that point in time, and to Auto-Ordnance, it was just the next sequence of serial numbers that made sense for their product. No coincidence, but an intentional business decision, in my opinion.

David Albert
dalbert@sturmgewehr.com
  • 0

#15 rpbcps

rpbcps

    RKI Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 185 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 27 March 2011 - 11:56 AM

QUOTE (dalbert @ Mar 27 2011, 05:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (OldFalGuy @ Mar 27 2011, 11:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Could Savage have been trying to continue their serial numbers FROM the last S/N of the Colts 21/Navy's? Coincidence ?


OldFalGuy,

Yes. Savage was contracted by Auto-Ordnance to make the next batch of TSMG's, after an 18-year hiatus of manufacturing of the first 15,000 by Colt. All indications are that they picked up the serial numbers where Colt left off. There would have been no reason to start over with the serial numbers at that point in time, and to Auto-Ordnance, it was just the next sequence of serial numbers that made sense for their product. No coincidence, but an intentional business decision, in my opinion.

David Albert
dalbert@sturmgewehr.com


Any idea at which number the AO prefix production began then?

I have ordered myself a copy of the book "American Thunder II" anyway, as I am working away, in Algeria, at the moment, may be a few months before I get a chance to read it though.

  • 0

#16 bug

bug

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 1049 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SE PA
  • Interests:Hunting, fishing, shooting, reloading, metalworking, woodworking, photography.

Posted 27 March 2011 - 12:49 PM

QUOTE (rpbcps @ Mar 27 2011, 12:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (dalbert @ Mar 27 2011, 05:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (OldFalGuy @ Mar 27 2011, 11:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Could Savage have been trying to continue their serial numbers FROM the last S/N of the Colts 21/Navy's? Coincidence ?


OldFalGuy,

Yes. Savage was contracted by Auto-Ordnance to make the next batch of TSMG's, after an 18-year hiatus of manufacturing of the first 15,000 by Colt. All indications are that they picked up the serial numbers where Colt left off. There would have been no reason to start over with the serial numbers at that point in time, and to Auto-Ordnance, it was just the next sequence of serial numbers that made sense for their product. No coincidence, but an intentional business decision, in my opinion.

David Albert
dalbert@sturmgewehr.com


Any idea at which number the AO prefix production began then?

I have ordered myself a copy of the book "American Thunder II" anyway, as I am working away, in Algeria, at the moment, may be a few months before I get a chance to read it though.



Without checking (never a good idea) I believe when AOC began production of the 28A1 at the Bridgeport plant they went back to the beginning. Not sure what their first gun # was. AO 1? How cool would that be.
  • 0