M1a1 Blank Gun
Posted 23 March 2004 - 11:01 AM
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 . 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 )…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.
Posted 23 March 2004 - 09:11 PM
Posted 24 March 2004 - 09:57 AM
Posted 24 March 2004 - 12:42 PM
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...
Posted 26 March 2004 - 08:17 AM
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…
(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…)
Posted 26 March 2004 - 11:07 AM
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.
Posted 26 March 2004 - 11:35 AM
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.