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!928 Navy-north Dakota State Pen


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#1 Uncle Dudley

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 06:28 PM

1928 Navy Colt North Dakota State Pennitentiary Here are some pictures of an extremely nice Colt Thompson that I recieved permission to inspect and photograph. This gun has been at the ND State Pen for about 30 years. I was told that it came from the Jamestown, ND Police Dept. It has been extremely well kept by the armorers and is a beautiful piece of history. My son and I were invited to see the gun by a fellow who is a volunteer fireman on the same department as we are and is employed as a corrections officer. The wood is in excellent condition with only a couple small nicks. The finish is not oil stained. The bluing is only lightly scratched in some areas. I'm astounded at the workmanship of these Colt made guns. Everything is amazingly smooth to operate and fit and finish are fantastic. This is only the second Colt I have handled and both are in very fine condition. If any one has any history on this serial number Colt I would like to pass this on to the Assistant Warden. Uncle Dudley
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#2 Norm

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 06:34 PM

Great Pics!

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#3 Sig

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 06:36 PM

s/n 14394
Barnes County Sheriff's department - Valley City, ND is what shows in Gordon's book.
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#4 Uncle Dudley

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 06:51 PM

Thanks, Sig. Is that the list of original purchasers? Jamestown is only 30 miles west of there. Uncle Dudley
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#5 Sig

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 06:59 PM

That is the only listing. You should send Gordon an email with an update for his book.
Pictures were awesome.
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#6 Uncle Dudley

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 07:23 PM

Thanks, Sig I'll do that. Taking the pictures and handling the Thompson was AWESOME. I was so pleased that it had been so well taken care of. This was a "tower gun" for a short while. It was then retired in favor of M-14's and now M-16's. They still have some nice M-14's. ( All very well secured.) We spent about an hour with the Thompson. I'm pretty sure we both giggled like schoolgirls on the way home. The gun was never registered (transferable) and I think plans are to display it at some time as a historical artifact. It really looks like it is 2 years old not 83. I brought a clean white towel to lay it on, a gun cloth to wipe it down with, and some talcum powder to highlight the numbers. When the duty captain saw this he smiled and handed us the gun and said take as much time as you want. They have 1 "L" drun and 2- 30 round Seymour stick mags. The drum slides in like "butter". I really couldn't get over how beautiful the wood is. Uncle Dudley
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#7 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 08:16 PM

Uncle D,
Excellent job recording this info. Did you happen to notice, (can't tell from pics), if there was a "JHB" mark near the ejection port? Also, would they have allowed you to remove the frame from the receiver? It is real cool to see those higher serial numbers!!!

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#8 Uncle Dudley

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 08:51 PM

AF- I didn't see any marks by the ejection port. I will probably look at the gun again in the future and I will look again for those marks. They only let me remove the buttstock and cock the bolt as well as install the magazines. They preferred not to let me dissasemble any further. Are rumors of possibly letting these guns be registered in the future a real possibility? This would really be a wonderful collector's piece. What is the type of finish used on the "New York" L drum that I photographed with this gun? It was a rough feeling black matt. Uncle Dudley
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#9 JimFromFL

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 08:59 PM

Thanks!!! Always great to see new Thompson pictures. If we saturate the Internet with more pictures maybe everyone will think the market is flooded with Thompsons and the price will come down. biggrin.gif
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#10 TD.

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 08:59 PM

Uncle Dudley,
This is a great story...and a great Thompson. Nice Pictures. The Thompson books by Roger Cox and Tracie Hill also record the original purchaser of SN 14394 as the Barnes County Sheriff's Department, Valley City, North Dakota. It is shown in Roger Cox's book as a 1928 Navy model.

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#11 brian

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 09:34 PM

great pics.
i saved about half of them to my harddrive
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#12 deerslayer

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 09:39 PM

Very nice pictures, but do you have a good close up of the butt stock showing the color finish condition?
Dan
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#13 Walter63a

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 09:50 PM

I enjoyed the close-ups!! biggrin.gif Thanks! tongue.gif cool.gif
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#14 colt21a

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 12:42 AM

w/o having it in my hands to inspect.thats a nice over 90% colt..........and the wood looks nice......... at least they are in good hands and being taken care of..for future generation's...........good job dudley, good job.....ron
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#15 Uncle Dudley

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 05:33 PM

Yes, PhilOhio, the talcum was wiped of with a light oilcloth. It's all nestled back in the rack in the armory vault. It will probably be displayed as you suggest. I'm also interested in information about the drum that is with this gun. I'm going to check on one or two more Colt Thompsons that were sold in the state of North Dakota. I'm going to contact the Police Depts that originally bought them and see if any photos or records exist. Two officers on the Grand Forks, ND PD I went to high school with. One early serial number gun was purchased by that department in the 20's. I'll follow up at a later date if I'm successful. Uncle Dudley
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#16 TD.

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 10:21 PM

Uncle Dudley,
If you happen to check with the Barnes County Sheriff's Department, Valley City, North Dakota, I would ask them about Serial NO 14394. The Thompson reference books of Cox, Hill and Herigstad all list Barnes County as the original purchaser. Obviously, the books could be wrong, but it may be worth the effort to see if a Colt Thompson was purchased by Barnes County. It is not hard to imagine how a Thompson from a sheriff's department could have made its way to the state penitentiary. Or you may find Barnes County in possession of a different Colt Thompson. It has been documented that BATF records dealing with the registration of machine guns purchased in the twenties and thirties are not the best. It has happened more than once that BATF has stated a particular weapon is not registered and then copies of the original paper work are located and sent in and the weapon suddenly becomes transferable. I know it would be a long shot for Barnes County to have any record of purchase on something back in the 1920's but stranger things have happened. I assume from your post that the North Dakota State Penitentiary has checked on the registration status of NO 14394 with BATF. Wouldn't it be amazing to find the registration papers? The staff at the penitentiary would probably let you take NO 14394 out and shoot it biggrin.gif I know, I am the eternal optimist. However, you never know unless you ask. Again, great research and great pictures. Let us know what your future searches produce. Thanks,
Tom

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