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Discerning West Hurley And Ww2 Drums


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#1 kyle

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 08:08 AM

What are the keys to distinguishing a modern West Hurley L drum from a WW2-vintage Auto-Ordnance drum? I am also under the impression that a modern L drum will not properly fit or function in a WW2-vintage M1928A1 gun. Is that correct? Thanks!

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#2 deerslayer

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 08:33 AM

The last production of drums used a different axel that is readily apparent. It is solid. The WW2 drums were cylinders. Thus where the winding key fits on, the latest production has a little nipple of metal sticking up and the winding key has a hole to engage it. The WW2 drum keys had a projection on the key to stick down into the hollow axel. Some of the new drums seem to work OK, some don't. Some are very difficult to slide into the gun as the cover plate wasn't stamped to the right shape.
Hope this brief paragraph helps, others RKI's might add more.
Dan

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#3 gijive

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 10:58 AM

One easy way to tell from a photo is to look at the stamping on the front cover that has the winding instructions, located below the Thompson bullet logo. West Hurley made drums have a more pronounced arc, almost like a semi-circle. Original WWII productions have the stamping in a less pronounced arc.

The WWII drums also have a U stamped on the front and back covers below the riveted plates. This was the manufacturing mark of the company that made them for Auto-Ordnance.

Dan is correct about the other differences in the winding key and rotor shaft.
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#4 fred

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 05:55 PM

I thought that the "New York" address meant West Hurley and one that said "New York, NY" was an earlier drum.
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#5 gijive

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 06:24 PM

Fred,

WWII Auto-Ordnance drums with the Thompson bullet logo have a Bridgeport, CT address with no patent dates. A West Hurley Drum with a bullet logo has a a New York address.

A true "New York, N.Y." address drum has the 1920 patent dates and was made from 1921 until the late 1930s when the Colt Thompson inventory was exhausted. These are the drums that were made exclusively for the Colt Thompsons until Russell Maguire purchased Auto-Ordnance and contracted with Savage to begin new production of the Thompson. There are a couple of late 1930s variations of the drum with different winding instruction markings from this period, but they still retain the New York, N.Y. address with 1920 patent dates. None of these drums had the Thompson bullet logo on the front cover.

WWII Auto-Ordnance production drums have a Bridgeport, CT address on the back cover plate.
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#6 AZDoug

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 08:11 PM

The rotor and key are one dead giveaway on WH (Valentine Products) drums. Solid rotor, and *tit* on the front of the rotor are WH. The winder is key is different for this reason also. The front and back faces of WWII and earlier drums are flatter, too, the WH drum faces are more bowed at the outside edges. Once you can look at the two side by side, the difference is apparent across the room.

Not all WWII drum had the U for Universal Stamping on them, as some were made by Seymore, and Crosby, and I think one or two others, but they all have hollow rotor shafts.

The WH L drum typically works fine in any TSMG with drum slots, though I do recall have to squeese the rails a bit skinnier with some vise grips to make them fit into the drum slots easier.

Doug
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#7 kyle

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 09:01 PM

Thanks for all the help fellas!
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#8 gijive

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 07:09 AM

QUOTE (AZDoug @ Mar 21 2004, 08:11 PM)

Not all WWII drum had the U for Universal Stamping on them, as some were made by Seymore, and Crosby, and I think one or two others, but they all have hollow rotor shafts.

Doug,

Yes, good point. I was, however, referring to the Auto-Ordnance marked drums with the Thompson bullet logo and winding instructions stamped below it. These are the ones most often confused with later production West Hurley drums.
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