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Ascertaining the date of manufacture of an M1928A1 Thompson


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#1 Jevai

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 06:53 PM

I recently acquired a deactivated (I live in the United Kingdom, best we can do) Auto Ordnance manufactured M1928A1 Thompson submachine gun, I was wondering if anyone could help give me an idea of the date it was made, the serial number is as follows: No. A.O. 47067. It has the marking W.B to the top left of the left side of the magazine well, and a small circular symbol below that. Any help would be appreciated.

Jack


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#2 TSMGguy

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 09:20 AM

You have an early Waldemar Broberg inspected M1928A1. Original production records have not been found, so there's no way to pin down the exact date of manufacture.  


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#3 Jevai

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 06:39 PM

Thanks a lot, do you have the time frame that these were in production at least? say, 1940 till 1942?

Jack


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#4 TD.

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 08:33 PM

Hi Jevai,

Welcome to the Board.

 

I have never studied the Auto-Ordnance (AOC) Bridgeport Thompson but do know the Bridgeport plant did not open until August 1941. The earliest serial number of an AOC Bridgeport Model 1928 Thompson I have seen is in the 12,000 serial number range. I have no idea where the numbering began. Perhaps other Board members can help with this or have seen earlier serial numbers. I would guess your Thompson was manufactured in late 1941 or early 1942. I would consider it a fairly early AOC Bridgeport Thompson. Please post some pictures. You may learn more about it if we can see it. 

 

Question: Does the serial number of the frame match the receiver? If not, what is the frame serial number?


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#5 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 09:07 PM

You can probably pin down the date of manufacture more reliably by the inspector than by  the serial number. The "WB" in a rectangle is Col. Waldemar S. Broberg, Army Inspector of Ordnance for the Connecticut/Massachusetts district from 7/1941 to 6//1942. This more or less matches Dave's time frame, but you can probably narrow it to later than July, 1941. 
 


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#6 Jevai

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 09:17 PM

The frame is somewhat odd, 47067 is again clearly visible in large characters, to the left of that in slightly smaller characters which are upside down, is written what looks like 'A. O. 6 (maybe B) 2 5 2 7', this is harder to read because someone has made an attempt at scratching it out, underneath that, it again says 47067 written on un-neatly with an electric pencil. I will try and take some good quality photos of it tomorrow.

Jack


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#7 Jevai

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 09:19 PM

* A. 0. 6 however might be the letter B 


Edited by Jevai, 07 July 2013 - 09:19 PM.

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#8 765 21D

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 08:59 AM

Hi All,

 

Here are some photos of my deactivated 1928 A1 A.O No. 10414 ............................

 

Attached File  2.JPG   54.17K   59 downloads

 

 

Attached File  IMG_0068.JPG   114.34K   74 downloads

 

 

Attached File  IMG_0065.JPG   127.52K   58 downloads

 

 

I have not seen an earlier Bridgeport WW2 A.O made 1928A1 than this in the UK and it was from a batch of about 20 Thompson guns found in the Far East in the 90's :)

 

D


Edited by 765 21D, 09 July 2013 - 06:15 AM.

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#9 Jevai

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:38 AM

Great looking Thompson mate!
Here's some photos of mine, with the serial numbers as TD asked for.

http://s1335.photobu...480247.jpg.html

http://s1335.photobu...d50c73.jpg.html

http://s1335.photobu...cc48a8.jpg.html

http://s1335.photobu...50dd2d.jpg.html

http://s1335.photobu...156ace.jpg.html

http://s1335.photobu...de16ba.jpg.html



 


Edited by Jevai, 08 July 2013 - 09:39 AM.

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#10 TD.

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:49 AM

Jevai,

A very nice Auto-Ordnance Bridgeport Thompson. Congratulations on a nice gun. This gun has a mis-matched receiver and frame, something not uncommon with WWII guns. The receiver is serial number A.O. 47067; the frame is serial number A.O. 62527. It appears at some point in time this Thompson went through some type of arsenal or depot update or overhaul and the original serial number of the frame was lined out and the number of the receiver was both hand-marked and hand-stamped on the frame. Note how the position of the hand-stamped "new" frame number is high enough on the frame that it is visible or mostly visible when the butt stock is attached. We have seen this a lot on the recent imports (part sets only) into the USA. Thank you for sharing. 

 

765 21D,

A.O. 10414 is now the lowest Auto-Ordnance Bridgeport Thompson I have seen. A great very early gun. Thank you for sharing! 


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#11 765 21D

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:03 AM

Hi Jack,

 

I recommend the Ultimate Thompson by Tracie L Hill and both American Thunder books by Frank Iannamico. The American Thunder books are now out of print but you should be able to find them for sale. These books all deal with military Thompsons but the American Thunder books are all about them only!

 

It looks like your trigger frame was from another Thompson, but it is fairly common to find them like that as they had a long life. Can you find any British WD markings on the gun? If you can find one it should look like a broad arrow with a letter.

 

Be careful as you could get hooked on Thompson guns. Having said that you have joined a fantastic site on all Thompsons :)

 

Best,

 

D


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#12 canuck

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 02:25 PM

I have been reviewing American Thunder II which says Colonel Waldemar Broberg served as AIO from 22 July 1941 until 15 June 1942. His WB inspectors stamp would be the most common one encountered on an A.O. Bridgeport made 1928A1.

 

Full production at the plant started in August 1941. I think Savage had been producing approximately twenty, maybe twenty two thousand guns a month just prior to the Bridgeport factory coming online. Thompson shipping records show an increase to nearly thirty thousand in August so one might deduct Bridgeport put out around eight thousand guns the first month. It would be nice to know where they started their serial numbers but I think it may have been 10000 as no one seems to have found a gun with a number below that level. If that theory is correct your gun would likely have been made between November '41 to January '42. That's "my best guess" based on a little interpolation of this and that plus an assumption or two!


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#13 bug

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 04:07 PM

Just wondering, is there any documentation that would support a 10 K starting number for the AO guns ?

I have been reviewing American Thunder II which says Colonel Waldemar Broberg served as AIO from 22 July 1941 until 15 June 1942. His WB inspectors stamp would be the most common one encountered on an A.O. Bridgeport made 1928A1.

 

Full production at the plant started in August 1941. I think Savage had been producing approximately twenty, maybe twenty two thousand guns a month just prior to the Bridgeport factory coming online. Thompson shipping records show an increase to nearly thirty thousand in August so one might deduct Bridgeport put out around eight thousand guns the first month. It would be nice to know where they started their serial numbers but I think it may have been 10000 as no one seems to have found a gun with a number below that level. If that theory is correct your gun would likely have been made between November '41 to January '42. That's "my best guess" based on a little interpolation of this and that plus an assumption or two!


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