Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Where Did You Find Your Thompson?


  • Please log in to reply
38 replies to this topic

#21 6086

6086

    Member

  • Regular Group
  • 20 posts
  • Location:PHX AZ
  • Interests:Current holder of Colt Thompson 1921AC #6086.

Posted 17 April 2004 - 08:13 PM

Bought my Colt 21AC in July 1999 from a local dealer who bought it with another client in mind. It was being transfered from out of state and all he had was a blurry polaroid photo. He explained that the other client passed on it because condition couldn't be determined by the photo. He said if I didn't like it when it came in he'd sell it for me, but he needed a decision and the money quickly. So I bought it. Heck, it was a Colt Thompson and I wanted one. Not sure what the going rate for a Colt was five years ago, but this turned out to be a smart buy at $8,500 and change. It's not a pretty museum piece, but it's a nice clean shooter, and it's mine.

Since then I've seen loads of Colts, Bridgeports, Savages, and Westies at shows, shoots, and in private collections. Never have I been offered one at less than "market" price or something that I would consider a "must buy now" price. Seems to me that most owners of NFA items tend to have some idea of what their toys may be worth.

However, there is the occasional screaming deal that requires one to sell a kidney or hock the kids to raise funds for a particular item. This happened to me a couple years back when a broker/buddy called with an opportunity to buy a cherry Maremont M60 from a private collection for just over half of what they were going for at the time. The owner knew exactly what he was doing and wanted to sell the M60 for what he paid for it a couple years earlier. I sold a bunch of preban semiautos and bent a couple credit cards in a hurry to take advantage of what turned out to be a terrific offer. No deception or selective representation of fact was involved.

IMO, the best deals are those in which all parties benefit and no one gets screwed.

- t
  • 0

#22 nobra81

nobra81

    Long Time Member

  • Board Donor
  • 87 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mississippi
  • Interests:Thompson's-------- all class 3

Posted 17 April 2004 - 10:09 PM

Got all my thompsons and other machineguns in the mid 90's when the prices were high, but not like now. I paid on average of 5,000 for two colts and one savage. Wish i had gotten more now but i'm still happy.


Steve---go tigers
  • 0

#23 SgtMartin

SgtMartin

    Member

  • Regular Group
  • 88 posts

Posted 18 April 2004 - 05:22 AM

found my m1a1 in a quaint little ww2 militaria shop. saw it and could not stopholding it. i told the guy not to sell it and he let me pay him a few weeks later. shes deactivated, but hell, i love it to pieces biggrin.gif laugh.gif
  • 0

#24 giantpanda4

giantpanda4

    Respected Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 2086 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Howell, MI 48855
  • Interests:Mechanical toys - cars, instruments, and of course - guns. The 1921-28 thompsons are the epitomy of perfection for a mechanical device that fills all my interests!

Posted 18 April 2004 - 09:46 AM

I gut mine through a Subguns add. Dickered a bit, and was happy with the price.

I never go to a gun show anymore without wearing a Thompson shirt. I am intendeing to get one made up that says Thompsons wanted! Sound dumb? A guy at the last show I was at had a paper note with "machineguns wanted" scribbled on it at his table. He had a guy offer him a M1A1, registered, for $800! And he bought it!

There IS some value in advertising - at least for Thompsons!
  • 0

#25 Tman

Tman

    Respected Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 493 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Houston, TX
  • Interests:Firearms, in general

Posted 18 April 2004 - 03:21 PM

Found mine thru a friend who is an auctioneer. He was selling off an estate that had a couple of MG's, a WH 28 and a MAC 10 with silencer. I gave him some info on how to advertise the sale in trade for letting me send in an absentee bid. $4000.00 with a L drum. Not too bad.
  • 0

#26 timkel

timkel

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Board Donor
  • 997 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:NRA Patron member
    Atlas Shrugged

Posted 18 April 2004 - 03:24 PM

Its not about the money to me.
I would gladly give up the inflated value of my MG's if the 86 ban ended.


  • 0

#27 Gunner

Gunner

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Board Donor
  • 282 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 April 2004 - 05:44 PM

I bought my WH M1 off of GunsAmerica last year. It was owned by an older gentleman in another state who had mistakenly listed it on the "Any Other Weapons" portion of the Class III section. It was mint, for $7,200. I contacted a Class III dealer nearby (Dallas- Ft. Worth), who shall be known as "Dealer #1." No. 1 couldn't communicate with the seller very well, and they both got very frustrated with each other, and went round & round. I finally told no. 1 that this just wasn't working. It wasn't his fault, the seller was hard to deal with...

I went to a second Class III dealer in the area (Dealer #2), a husband and wife team, and I asked them to see if they could communicate with the seller. The wife was able to work with him, and hold him by the hand so we could initiate the transfers. In meantime Dealer #2 told me that they were among several local Class III's bidding on a mint WH 28, with an FBI case, three sticks, and a 39 rnd. drum. It was part of an estate in Wichita Falls Texas. They bid about $6,800, and they lost. No. 1 outbid them.

I called no. 1, and he said he had bid $7k, but felt like he owed me a favor after lettng me down with the M1 transfer. He sold the whole kit & kaboodle to me for $7,400. And of course, the 28 transfered months before the M1.

  • 0

#28 john

john

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 551 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Saint Paul, Minnesota

Posted 18 April 2004 - 05:46 PM

Bought mine from a friend, who is also a Postal Worker (BWaaaaahahahahaha!!!)......
Early US1928A1 Bridgeport, S/N 519XX
4 grand in 1999 seemed really outrageous to my wife, but not now!!

john wink.gif
  • 0

#29 TactAdv

TactAdv

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 61 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:N. Colorado

Posted 19 April 2004 - 11:24 AM

My all-Savage M1A1 came from a local Farmer. As to how *I* got it, well, lets say that God wanted me to have it.
  • 0

#30 Barry

Barry

    Member

  • Regular Group
  • 43 posts

Posted 19 April 2004 - 07:21 PM

Got my m1 from a friend of my dad. Saw the gun when I was 15 ended up with it at 50. He also had a STEN got it also.
  • 0

#31 craig101

craig101

    Regular Member

  • Regular Group
  • 127 posts

Posted 19 April 2004 - 09:35 PM

I found my Savage 28 by coincidence. I was searching the web for various dealers checking out the prices and I happened on a dealer who had a rewat. turns out he is a local dealer. I called him up and stopped by to look at it. I test-fired it and shook on it. i am going over tomorrow to take pics and drop money off.

dunno yet though, if i am keeping it or trading for a M1/M1A1.
  • 0

#32 Walter63a

Walter63a

    RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 1430 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Guns (Thompsons, Lugers, and Walthers mostly), History, Politics, Education, Nature, etc.

Posted 19 April 2004 - 10:02 PM

Savage baby, Savage all the way!!! biggrin.gif tongue.gif cool.gif Regards, Walter
  • 0

#33 ODS9091

ODS9091

    Long Time Member

  • Regular Group
  • 248 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:ALABAMA

Posted 20 April 2004 - 07:47 AM

GOT MINE FROM THE ESTATE OF A FRIEND OF A FIREND.
AND AS YOU WILL APPRECIATE WALTER, IT IS A SAVAGE M1 AND IT RUNS LIKE A CHAMP. biggrin.gif
  • 0

#34 Bruce V 21/28

Bruce V 21/28

    Regular Member

  • Regular Group
  • 114 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pike Road, AL. (Near Montgomery)
  • Interests:TSMGs; Hunting; Motorcyles (HDs) Metal Detecting; History.

Posted 20 April 2004 - 09:02 AM

I was in the right place at the right time for once in my life, me and a friend bought two Colt Navy Overstamps and two M-3's from a S.O. BTW the Colts were, according to Tracie's book originally shipped to this department.
  • 0

#35 TSMGguy

TSMGguy

    Respected Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 2164 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:West of the Pecos, Texas
  • Interests:Motorcycles, old airplanes, and guns.

Posted 20 April 2004 - 11:15 AM

I have to consider my M1928A1 as a pretty good deal.

When a good friend decided to retire from his business as a gun dealer, he decided to sell his Thompson as well. He thought of me first. I had never even held a Thompson but was interested in buying, as it is a very nice gun.

I offered him $2,500, just to get an offer in. He said he would get back to me. He finally fixed the price by going to the Gun List and the Shotgun News and looking for prices on nice West Hurley M1928 guns. He asked for $5,500 and I agreed to pay it, after he explained his thinking. This was eight years ago. As it was a intra-state transfer, no dealer was involved.

It was only after taking possession of the gun that I realized that it is a USGI WWII M1928A1, inspector and ordnance bomb marked, in original, unissued condition, and with matching serials. It has the NAC serial suffix that confused both of us and saved me some money.

It is the center piece of my WWII collection!

  • 0

#36 Z3BigDaddy

Z3BigDaddy

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 3697 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:State of Jefferson
  • Interests:Shooting, Hunting, Metal Detecting, Gun Trad'n

Posted 20 April 2004 - 11:53 AM

WOW!!! Some really great stories...... biggrin.gif I'm still working on mine.. sad.gif
Someday I'll be rockin and rollin Thompson style...
  • 0

#37 Waffen Und Bier

Waffen Und Bier

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 641 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Like the name says "Guns and beer" (and really hot chicks who like guns and beer).

Posted 20 April 2004 - 03:18 PM

1990 Sent a high volume out of state dealer $100 to grab the next Thompson (didn't care what kind) that came through his doors and hold it for me. I'm sure he let a lot go to regular customers before I got one. Several months later when I called him for a status, he said had one for me, a Savage M1A1.

1999 Saw an ad in SGN or on Subguns or StG for a couple of Thompsons for sale or trade for transferable AK's. Didn't have an AK to trade, but I did have a spare ratty ol' MP5 that I didn't need. Called the guy and he said no thanks. He called me back a few days later and said his partner wanted one. Sent the gun and a few bucks and received a beauty Colt Thompson.

I don't actively advertise, but the word is out there that I have an interest. Gotten a few really good "off the internet" word of mouth sales. People know what they are worth, but don't have to squeak every last penny out of them. They are happy they are going somewhere they are appreciated and don't have to deal with selling to a stranger or out of state, etc. When I've gone to sell, I don't try to squeak out every penny either.

I've gotten a few good on the internet deals too. Right place, right time, money in hand, and the ability to trust the seller and say "I'll take it, money is on way" when there is a line of people wanting that same item.


  • 0

#38 Jay Thompson

Jay Thompson

    New Member

  • Regular Group
  • 14 posts

Posted 20 April 2004 - 06:08 PM

I hope to receive my '28 Navy by the first part of June unless there's a paperwork screwup.

Originally, I was considering acquiring a '28 Navy from a dealer in Alabama. He was asking 20K and said the gun was 95%. I received email photos of the gun and they looked good, except for some discoloration on the right side of the receiver. I asked if the right side of the receiver was pitted and was told no.

I have a friend in McAllen, Texas, who is a Class III dealer. He was aware of my interest in buying a '28 Navy (and he also had one that he did not want to part with). I forwarded the photos to my McAllen dealer/friend and he called the dealer as well as the owner of the gun and asked a lot of questions on my behalf (at no cost to me). My friend told me that he believed that the gun may be a good buy, BUT for 20K I needed to go look at it before making a formal offer (I also got some similar advise from some of the people on this board -- Arthur, colt21A, gigive, thanks guys).

Before I went to Alabama, the McAllen dealer drove 4 1/2 hours from McAllen to a place east of San Antonio where I met him. He brought his '28 Navy that was not on the market at the time, and he disassembled it and showed me what to look for and we shot a few hundred rounds through it. Anyway, I bought an airline ticket and went to see the Alabama gun in late January. The gun did not have any pitting, but the right side of the receiver's finish was pretty worn due to what looked like contact wear. I passed on the gun -- the best $500 I ever spent was for the air fare!

I returned to Texas and shared the info with my McAllen dealer, and he said that one of my liking would turn up eventually. In February my McAllen dealer and I were trading emails and, on impluse, I made him an offer for his '28 Navy. About three days later he accepted my offer! I just about fell out of my chair! He sent me the Form 4 and talked me through the transferee's portion of the paperwork. I mailed the Form 4 and $200 to Chicago on February 12 -- now I'm just waiting.

My initial inclination was to purchase a gun from out-of-state to avoid the Texas sales taxes, which can be significant. In the end I have found that, for me, it's far better to deal with someone I know and have confidence in. Someone who will go out of their way to help you, someone who will let you shoot the gun, someone who will tear it down for an inspection, etc., etc.

Since then, my dealer has been up in this area several times and has brouht with him: an M16A1 w/.22 conversion, MP40, Ruger .223, Korean PPSH, and a couple of suppressed guns. I fired them all and we've had a lot of fun enjoying a shared sport. Bottom line for me is: support your friends and don't worry about the taxes!
  • 0

#39 gijive

gijive

    Respected Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 2415 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Illinois
  • Interests:Thompson SMG, WWII, Firearms in general.

Posted 20 April 2004 - 06:49 PM

Nice story, Jay! Glad you found something you like. Let us know when you get it and post some pictures if you can.
  • 0