Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Matching Serial Numbers On Colt Thompson's


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Roger in AZ

Roger in AZ

    Member

  • Regular Group
  • 24 posts
  • Location:Phoenix, Arizona

Posted 23 January 2004 - 11:52 PM

I was just looking at the serial number on the buttstock and buttstock plate for my Colt 28 and noticed that the serial numbers did not match the receiver serial numbers. I was told these number were added by the Remington who was the manufacture of the Colt Thompson buttstocks. My question did the buttstock serial numbers ever match the receiver serial numbers?

Thanks

Roger

  • 0

#2 Arthur Fliegenheimer

Arthur Fliegenheimer

    Respected Member

  • Regular Group
  • 3471 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 24 January 2004 - 12:04 AM

Roger,
The buttstock numbers had nothing to do with the reveiver number just as the Colt drum numbers had nothing to do with the receiver number.

  • 0

#3 John Jr

John Jr

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 1956 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mena, Arkansas, USA
  • Interests:Plenty

Posted 24 January 2004 - 01:10 AM

As Arthur said, the answer is no. I must add the following facts: Colt did not make the barrels, butt stocks, and various other parts in the colt Thompson. All colt did was as they usually do; they put a gun together. You have to hand it to R. MacGuire. He made everything in house at the outset. You should also note that Savage turned the original 1921 contract down and let colt have it. In later years colt turned down the contract and let Savage have it. Funny how Colt made 15000 guns at the cost of less than $45 each in 1921-22 and when R. MacGuire took over the company in 1939 he got Savage to build them for $68 and could actually sell them to a buyer with the money.

Arthur's signature says that J. Thompson had little in common with R. MacGuire. He is right. J. Thompson sold less than 10,000 guns and MacGuire sold over a million of the same design. MacGuire produced all parts in house. Auto Ordnance working with colt could not achieve this. Colts were mass produced and Savages were mass produced. Same gun, same machines, same design. Go figure.

Jr

  • 0

#4 Murray

Murray

    New Zealand Respected Member

  • Regular Group
  • 404 posts
  • Location:New Zealand
  • Interests:1921 and 1928 Thompsons, Luger pistols.

Posted 24 January 2004 - 01:34 AM

Well, I am going to throw the spanner in the works and tell you that 2 of my Colt 1921's #389 and #708 have matching numbers on the receiver, trigger frame, barrel, forgrip cavity and........ the butt stock plate.
I only discovered this recently when I was cleaning up #389 which prompted me to have a look at all of them.
All three also have the little anchor on the very front on the stock wood.
I admit that the numbers on the stock plate are not stamped but allmost look like they have been scribed on.
Now seeing all of the Colts I have ever owned,eight of them,have all been of the first 1000, then maybe something is significant about them . Also as all are Irish Swords and mostly untouched apart from some having the serial numbers struck off, and not too well I might add, maybe many of the first 1000 did have matching stock plates.
Kind wishes,
  • 0

#5 Sig

Sig

    Respected Member and Board Benefactor

  • Moderator
  • 1634 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 24 January 2004 - 05:29 AM

Murrary
How about a snapshot of the #'s you mention from the buttstock plate and wood?
michael
  • 0

#6 SecondAmend

SecondAmend

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 610 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 24 January 2004 - 09:49 AM

I believe Hill's book mentions some additional parts (in addition to the receiver and frame) may be like-numbered. In particular, he has a picture of a numbered compensator.
  • 0

#7 gijive

gijive

    Respected Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 2444 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Illinois
  • Interests:Thompson SMG, WWII, Firearms in general.

Posted 24 January 2004 - 10:50 AM

Murray,

Yes, the early guns did have the serial number on the barrel mouth, but this was discontinued early on. As you point out, the is was done on the the first 1000 or so guns. I would be particularly interested in seeing pictures of the matching butt stock numbers in script, not stamped. Is the number in the wood also scribed on? I wonder if this could have been done at some point after production? The only numbers I have seen on butt stocks have been stamped, although admittedly I have not seen dozens of examples.

SecondAmend,

Yes, some compensators were apparently stamped with the serial number, however, this was done after the compensators were fitted to the guns The guns didn't some from Colt's that way, the compensator wasn't introduced until 1926. Maybe the agency that ordered the gun requested it or maybe it was done in-house after the gun was received. In any case it is a randon practice and not a standard numbered part.


  • 0

#8 colt21a

colt21a

    Respected Member

  • Regular Group
  • 3637 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:arizona desert.
  • Interests:Whatever we can do in Life

Posted 24 January 2004 - 12:51 PM

i have had the numbered marked comp's>on one gun< and also the french marked "made in france"serial #274

also serial #8780 has matched numbered plate and wood,my cousin's husband stamped it...along with some wood marked "cook county police"

and the ones i had a chance to take off of guns and looked,had no numbers to the rec.or frame,and all did not have a matching numbers on wood or metal buttplate,even #96 and 98#the numbers stamped are around 300 plus or so,

however they had the serial stamped in the chamber area,along with number gun #106 and #103

i wish i had gotten along to own more early number gun's.but that was all they had around when i was buying........

i missed a few early number gun's in those days but not many,hope this help's.....and i did know a few guys who stamped numbers on wood,so everything you see is not gospel..........

alot of swicheroo's in the past ...............fifty years.........refinish,restore,restamp,change of wood,bolts spring's...........
serial #98 even had a crowned british proof stamp on the bolt,and #103 had a defined {c} stamp.on the bolt .with slot?notch cut> early actuator..........go figure....have fun..take care,ron
  • 0

#9 Arthur Fliegenheimer

Arthur Fliegenheimer

    Respected Member

  • Regular Group
  • 3471 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 24 January 2004 - 01:01 PM

John Jr,
A. 15,000 Colt TSMGs' produced in 18 months is not considered a "mass production" especially compared to the WWII Thompson run of 1,785,187 produced over four years, and many not from the original design. Maguire had Savage in Uttica, New York, and AO in Bridgeport, Connecticut making the Thompson. Hardley an "in house effort". Also, Lyman Corporation of Middlefield, Connecticut produced the sights, and the Cutts compensators during WWII, just as they did when Colt was making the Thompson.


B. But let us look at the character of Russell Maguire:
Maguire's business dealings revealed him to be a war profitier, rather than a defense production hero. The Army investigated Auto-Ord contracts and found that the government was being chiseled out of an extra $6,500,000. by Maguire. The contract was renegotiated in 1942, and Maguire reimbursed the $6.5 mil along with an additional $750,000. penalty.

C. The fact that Savage did not have a design of their own to produce 18-years after the Colt TSMG rolled off the production lines, said something about Savage's cutting edge place in the gun industry. The reason the Thompson became a cheaply made slam-fire weapon in Maguire's hands is not because the original design needed any improvements, but only to increase profits for himself, which meant the need to decrease production time.

D. Maguire ran afoul of the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) before WWII and again in 1945. Maguire's foray into publishing also resulted in embarrassment and ridicule. He also bought the magazine "American Mercury", formely edited by the redoubtable H.L. Menkin, as a propaganda rag to circulate his antisemetic views, and accusations that Presdient Eisenhower was a Communist.

  • 0

#10 John Jr

John Jr

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 1956 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mena, Arkansas, USA
  • Interests:Plenty

Posted 25 January 2004 - 12:41 AM

1.
QUOTE
A. 15,000 Colt TSMGs' produced in 18 months is not considered a "mass production"


Wrong. It was mass produced.


The manufacture of goods in large quantities, often using standardized designs and assembly-line techniques.

This applies to colt in 21 and 22.

1A.
QUOTE
Also, Lyman Corporation of Middlefield, Connecticut produced the sights, and the Cutts compensators during WWII, just as they did when Colt was making the Thompson.


Thank you for helping prove that colt did the same thing as Savage. Savage did MORE to produce in house than colt did. Savage=better.


2.
QUOTE
Maguire's business dealings revealed him to be a war profitier


Your opinion. Worthless as it may be, its still your opinion. EVERYONE who knew how to make money was a war profitier.

3.
QUOTE
The fact that Savage did not have a design of their own to produce 18-years after the Colt TSMG rolled off the production lines, said something about Savage's cutting edge place in the gun industry.


OPPS! colt did NOT design the Thompson. Savage produced copies of the original, just as colt did.

3A.
QUOTE
The reason the Thompson became a cheaply made slam-fire weapon
How dare you insult M1 and M1A1 Thompson owners here. They were NOT cheaply made, sold for less money does not mean they were cheap and garbage. Bite your tounge old man.


I think its time you stop insulting the NON cOLT owners on this board and admit that the "other" Thompson owners are just as important (if not more so) than a colt owner. Colt firearms company manufactured guns. So did Savage and West Hurley. They made just as good a gun (or better) than any colt that came off of the assembly line. Colts were mass produced, they fired too fast for the military, the were blued, and there were a number of other problems with them. Not the least of which was they were used by hit men, killers, booze runners, etc...

I am tired of colt snobs. Colt did nothing more than manufacture a firearm. So did everyone else. Arthur and other colt snobs are a dying breed. People who study the firearm already see that colt did not contribute that much to the firearm community, as they just produce guns on someone elses designs. The OLDER generation thinks that colt is king. Colt is not king, colt is a company that makes guns, just like Ruger, Savage, Remington, FN, etc... The credit belongs to the designer, not the company. The best firearms designers in the world were named John.

John Browning
John Thomspon

In that order too.

John Jr (no I don't design firearms, I just want to keep it real here)



  • 0

#11 Arthur Fliegenheimer

Arthur Fliegenheimer

    Respected Member

  • Regular Group
  • 3471 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 25 January 2004 - 03:17 PM

For some reason those Johns' had Colt manufacture their designs. Since the Colt TSMG serial numbers began with 41, it was obviously no more a copy than any of the previous 39 protoypes. You are alone in your contention that the Colt TSMG is a copy of a prototype. The prototype was the 1919 Model; the production model was the 1921.

I didn't say the Savage models were made cheaply, I said they were cheaply made. There is a difference. The first implies a lack of quality; the latter means at a low cost. Savage did not produce copies of the 1919, which by your definition was the original TSMG. You seem to be caught up in your own doublespeak.

The sad fact is that when Thomas Fortune Ryan died, the future fortunes of the Thompson were eventually left to the mercy of an unscrupulous, antisemetic con man in the guise of Maguire. The fact that Thompson distinguished itself in WWII, Korea, and other hotspots, is incidental to the character of Maguire, but rather it is a testimonial to the genious of John T. whose creation eventually became synonymous with being on the side of law and order in the ultimate struggle against tyranny.

  • 0

#12 SecondAmend

SecondAmend

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 610 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 25 January 2004 - 05:56 PM

To add to what Arthur said, I believe it speaks wonders for genius of Thompson's orginal design that it could be readily adapted to the '28, M1, and M1A1 incarnations.
  • 0

#13 mp40

mp40

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 591 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington state
  • Interests:Collecting guns(what else?) cars (fords) and collecting modelguns (a primarily Japanese hobby, plastic/zinc hi-tech cap guns)

Posted 25 January 2004 - 06:57 PM

Yes, the Thompson truly is an Awesome firearm, revered by many as the great firearms inventions of the 20's However, with all due respects, General Thompson did not invent this firearm. Under his envisionment the design was brought about, and the design was named in his Honor. Why you might ask am I stating this point? to give the proper credit to the true engineers of this invention, not to dismiss the General's contributions. As for the Colt version of the Thompson, Again as everyone knows, Colt did not invent the Thompson either. They where simply choosen to produce it no more, no less..If one wants to throw stones, General Thompson, if he was still alive (at least until after the 2 world war) he would have been thrilled that his namesake had contributed to the war effort as it did so well.The version of the Thompson that Maguire was in charge of was under war time duress, production was not changed due to "being cheap" or for the purposes of being a "war profiteer."Allot of company's during the war where charged with the same (if not similar charges).. As for the Colt version, General Thompson undoubtedly was less than enthused of that production record....Sales or the use of...Infact, I think in the 1930's if one where to approach Colt and ask them to produce the Thompson again, they might call security and have you escorted out to the street and possibly roughed up a little..Now, I have many Colt firearms. I like Colt as I like other firearms manufacturers..They all have their down sides. Some of my series 70 Combat Commander .45's have some serious finish flaws and tooling marks on them brand new from the factory. Does that make them defective? No, they are excellent shooters...
  • 0

#14 Waffen Und Bier

Waffen Und Bier

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 645 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Like the name says "Guns and beer" (and really hot chicks who like guns and beer).

Posted 25 January 2004 - 11:01 PM

Hey John! You didn't mention John Garand. You also didn't mention John Kalashnikov and John Maxim wink.gif

I'd take a Savage 1928 anyday if I could only have one Thompson, but there is something to be said for the beautiful bluing on an original Colt Thompson. Mine came from SFPD (so not all were used by criminals) tongue.gif
  • 0

#15 John Jr

John Jr

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 1956 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mena, Arkansas, USA
  • Interests:Plenty

Posted 25 January 2004 - 11:27 PM

QUOTE
but there is something to be said for the beautiful bluing on an original Colt Thompson


How true of the bluing. original is SUCH an overused, misused word in the firarms community. But thats life. A colt PD gun would be a great addition to any collection. If they didn't cost so much, I would consider one.

I have heard there is such a thing as a Colt Collectors Assn. Wonder if AF is a member.

Jr

  • 0

#16 Arthur Fliegenheimer

Arthur Fliegenheimer

    Respected Member

  • Regular Group
  • 3471 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 27 January 2004 - 01:09 PM

In the Maguire family, the apple does not fall far from the tree. The following is from TCN:

QUOTE
Millionaire Thompson machine-gun heir Russell Maguire Jr has been sentenced to nine years in prison for violating his probation for the fourth time.

Maguire, 71, has been in and out of the Florida courts, jail and prison since 1984, when he was charged with molesting an 8-year-old girl in Clearwater. Since 1995 he has heen on house arrest in Redington Shores. The house arrest stemmed from the 1984 molestation case.

Circuit Judge Lauren Laughlin last week found he had violated his house arrest. Maquire had not been receiving his court-mandated psychological counseling, Assistant State Attorney Doug Ellis said. And in May 1996, Ellis said, Maguire violated his house arrest by spending two hours in a grocery store, trying to talk to one underage girl who walked away from him, then blocking a checkout line for 15 minutes to chat with the 16-year-old cashier
.[

  • 0