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New Member Looking For Wh Thompson Value


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#1 NRAninja

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 10:32 PM

Hello,

I am new to this site and machine guns. I found out I might end up inheriting a Thompson SMG. It is a .22 caliber automatic west hurley that was purchased up in the early 80s from what I know. I was wondering what one of these would go for on the market assuming it is new and unfired with no rust eating the finish away in the original packaging with all the paperwork and that sort of stuff. Are they 'common' as far as automatic thompsons go or are they really rare? Would they be worth around the same as the equivalent .45 caliber model or does it only being a .22 bring down the value?

Also, I was wondering if the .22 is the 'same gun' as the .45 but except with a different barrel and magazine. Are the other parts like the receiver the same? Could I convert the .22 to a .45? If so, would it be relatively easy or would it cost a lot of money and have to be done by a gunsmith? I'm not sure what I want to do with the gun.

Thank you
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#2 full auto 45

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 11:23 PM

Welcome to the boards.
To help answer your questions, I'll try from what little I know.
The value on your 1928A3 is in the range of $4000-$5500. Last one I saw sale sold( say the three times fast), for $4500. There have been a couple asking $5000 for them when they post on the net. I passed on a NIB couple years back for $4000 w/ 2 drums and 2 mags.
Can yours be made for shoot .45 ACP? No. Because you would have to have a new receiver & barrel. ATF would frown on that. Before the 1986 ban on new machine guns made for the general public , you could have, but not now. And the receiver is "space age" materials. Some were converted to .45 acp but not to many. I would just keep it as it is and shoot it cheap. They are fun guns, I kinda wish I didn't pass on it now. You can find the year your was made by looking up the serial numbers on the link posted on here.
West Hurley serial numbers & years made
You may have to go back a few pages to find it but it's still there.
I may be wrong, if so please help. I think 1930srust has a converted WH. Right Chris?

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#3 NRAninja

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 10:20 PM

Hello,

I appreciate your help. I looked up WH Thompson's to try to figure out how much a auto .22 is worth and saw a variety for sale, but only one full auto .22 which is being sold as part of a $25,000 collection: http://www.arms-ordn...Thompson~5.html I figure that the auto .45 from this collection would go for $10,000 or so, and the three semis would be worth $4,000 or so based on the prices I saw at GunsAmerica and those kinds of sites. That means the accessories and auto .22 would have to cover the remaining $11,000 and I really didn't think they were worth that much.

I was wondering about a few other things too. From an investment point of view, what's the deal with guns that are really old and have all original parts and matching serial numbers and all that stuff? What I mean is let's say I get the auto .22 and decide to have a gunsmith tune it up, shoot the hell out of it, and so on. Will that be like buying a new car and having it lose a lot of value the second you drive off the dealer's lot, or do machine guns hold their value even if you can no longer claim new and unfired with original parts etc? I'm guessing that Thompsons and M16s and those types of guns wouldn't lose as much value from shooting because they are relatively common (at least as far the military is concerned), but really rare and exotic MGs would.

I would like to get some MGs for investments, but I can't imagine having an MG and not shooting it because it would lose value. I guess the best thing to do would be to get two guns, one to shoot and one to keep in mint condition, but that would take some serious $$$.
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#4 PK.

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 09:04 AM

The 28a3’s did not work well with out some TLC for a knowledgeable smith. A/O had so much trouble with them that the existing stock were scrapped in the ’89 time period and the serial numbers reused to make 45 caliber models (this is what Chris has). An existing 22 caliber gun can not be converted to 45.

Because of the functional problems these have not commanded high prices, even though technically “rare”. If it is truly NIB with all the accessories, it would be best to not shoot it; find a collector who would want it for his display. If it has been fired and doesn’t work, have it tuned up and enjoy it, they are a lot of fun to shoot.

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#5 Norm

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 10:10 AM

NRAninja,

Aside from it's monetary value, how much sentimental value does it have?

I only ask this because you stated that you were going to inherit the gun.

Personally; I would keep it, tune is up (if needed), shoot it and enjoy it. biggrin.gif

Besides, .22s are cheap to shoot and quiet compared to a .45. huh.gif

Magazines are a bit high for this gun, but they are out there.

Enjoy the fact that it is free! ohmy.gif A free SMG is something we all wish we had! biggrin.gif

Just my $.02

Norm

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#6 hawksnest

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 11:15 AM

I once owned a West Hurley .22 full auto. It was a dangerous piece of crap. Blown cases, blown extractors, (numrich is out of replacements), constant jams and malfunctions. Aluminum or alloy receiver. I sold it for $3,500.00 (1/2 of what the going price was at that time) and had the buyer sign a disclaimer which listed all the problems and recited the gun was unsafe to shoot. If you want a shooter, save your money and buy the real deal. My .02
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#7 NRAninja

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Posted 06 March 2004 - 01:46 AM

Hello all,

Thanks for all the responses and help. I think I'm going to keep the .22 in new condition and not shoot it. I just have to wait for the paperwork to go through. It will be tough having a MG and not shooting it so I'm going to try to get a .45 for shooting. Hopefully I can get one of those soon before they get even more expensive.
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#8 craig101

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Posted 06 March 2004 - 11:26 AM

the original .22 WH thompsons that are still in the .22 caliber are C&R now. the ones that began their life as .22 WHs and were converted to .45 are not C&R.

I just had to add that little tidbit as I was the one who got the .22 WH machine guns onto the C&R list. I have the letter from the ATF on the determination in the basement.

sorry, i had to toot my horn on this one.

once i got that letter, i was like, "this is easy", i'm gonna try to get more MGs on the C&R list. the next try did not work out. I tried to get the Colt AR15 model 01 on the C&R list. ATF didn't care for that one. I still think the Colt 01s are more rare than the Armalite 01s.
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