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M1a1 Blank Gun


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#1 treborsnikwad

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 11:01 AM

Fellers…
Still lurking and learning here…last weekend we had a local town festival here, and because we are a WW2-era boomtown and have an associated historical past, someone asked a local group of re-enactors to attend and give living-history demonstrations to the crowd. Among that group was a young man dressed as a marine, and he was using an M1A1 for the blank firing demonstration. After it was over, I tried to find him to ask about his weapon, but he had drifted into the crowd. I really wanted to get a closer look at the gun, but the guy minding the display table wouldn’t let me hold it; crowd safety reasons rolleyes.gif . Anyhow, I did get to look at the receiver, and I saw that it had no numbers or names or identifying marks on it…it had a small logo stamped in front of the rear blade sight, kind of a bulls-eye thing with a slanted name of some type (@#!!& my bad eyes mad.gif )…the receiver didn’t look to be “vintage” steel, either…more of a new-manufacture type deal.
Here’s my question: Do any of you guys know what model Thompson this might be? Could it be some sort of "specific-make blank-firing" weapon? I don’t know enough about the M1A1 to be expert, but it just didn’t have the “government” look to it…I’d be interested in finding one, or at least to know what it was that I saw. Thanks in advance.
Robert

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#2 treborsnikwad

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 09:11 PM

I can see what you mean, Phil (I was a bit vague in my description)...I'm going to try to get in touch with the demonstration coordinator and see if I can get the name of the guy who owns the gun, then talk to him about it...I'll post the findings later to see if you guys recognize it for what it is...the receiver seemed to be made of a hardened steel, not zinc or pot-metal like a modelgun, and it sure spit those thirty .45 cal blank cartridges out like brass rain (impressive!)...Thanks
Robert
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#3 Bob Lamoreaux

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Posted 24 March 2004 - 09:57 AM

I have noticed some "cap" firing automatic weapon replicas. Note that the original "model guns" imported by Tom Nelson came with a cartridge into which one fitted a special cap(paper-type) in the nose of the "bullet". A pin in the barrel fired the cap when the bolt went forward. Don't know if these then ejected the "cartridge" or not. Also, someone (Shotgun News advertiser) is offering full-auto TSMGs in some small caliber blank. Don't know much about them. Was the cartridge "full-size" .45? Did the shooter "police" his spent rounds? That might be a clue. One of the headaches is that the Consumer Protection Agency (I believe) regulates the importation of these cap-firing or blank firing guns and pretty well has restricted importation. They cause hearing damage, don't you know!
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#4 treborsnikwad

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Posted 24 March 2004 - 12:42 PM

Guys,
This just in...I talked to the gentleman (a super-nice guy) in charge of the aforementioned weapons demonstration this morning, and he generously offered about 45 minutes of his time to telling me anything and everything I wanted to know about the weapon in question.
It seems the gun in question is a post-war manufactured M1A1 built by "GROUP INDUSTRIES" of Louisville, Kentucky. It has a serial number along the lines of "T00019"...the man said I could come on out to the museum and he would let me paw and drool all over it while he pulls the data cards to verify said info. It IS a full-auto weapon with a drilled set-screw type blank adapter set-up that they can just back out for FA use...he also said they have another Thompson in-house on display that he thinks is either a Colt or Savage model...I'm going out there in a couple of weeks to meet the guy in person and lay hands on said treasures...I'll let you know what's what...
Anyhow, has anyone on board ever heard of "GROUP INDUSTRIES" of Louisville, Kentucky? Just curious as always...
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#5 treborsnikwad

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 08:17 AM

Phil...when you say 'highly desirable category", do you mean that if I find one available, would it not be a wise investment? Granted it's not a Colt or a better-known derivative, but would it be a functional and/or reliable weapon? I’m looking into joining a local WW2 re-enactor group, and finding and having a ‘firing’ M1 or M1A1 model would really be a boon to my ‘persona’...if you will…even if it’s not truly ‘desirable’…
In addition, can you tell me how Group Industries came to manufacture these guns? I mean, did they have original blueprints, or dies, etc,…are they of a similar, yet modified design? Are there still some of these floating around out there? I’m just curious…
Thanks!
Robert

(PS: What part of the Buckeye state are you from? My old man and his folks are from Niles, Ohio…a little town outside of Warren in eastern Ohio…) biggrin.gif

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#6 Carbine1

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 11:07 AM

Robert,
I've seen a Group Industries gun, it was a newly machined reciever on a surplus M1A1 parts kit, not a welded original reciever. Looked great and ran well. It would not be as expensive as an M1A1 with and original reciever but would not be cheap due to the fact that it is still a registered Class III weapon. I've seen a few Group Industries M1A1'a for sale on subguns.com over the past few months, there seems to be more BAR 1918a2's made by Group for sale. For re-inacting, you may want to consider a new Kahr version semi-auto M1 and get it registered as an SBR so you can put the shorter version barrel on for WWII accuracy. Or you may want to pick up a WWII surplus parts kit from a supplier such as IMA and get an order in to Doug Richardson for a display reciever. You won't be able to make it fire, but it will look great as part of your re-inacting gear, less trouble than a class III for reinacting.
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#7 ODS9091

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 11:35 AM

Robert,
Then again it all depends on what your state will allow. Here in Alabama full auto, destructive devices, and silencers/suppressors are perfectly legal, while SBR's & SBS's are not allowed. Just a thought.
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