Posted 03 July 2004 - 07:17 PM
I promised to pull NAC-45 out of the safe and snap a few pictures with a better camera. Everytime I post on this gun I learn something new about it. Like the keyhole cocking slot and Caliber spelt Calibre. Upper reciever is marked Bridgeport, lower is Savage and the gun is registered with NAC as the manufacture. It was sold by NAC like this to the original owner with no explaination to it's purpose but some people said a few guns were done like this for NAC sales samples. My only addition is the Savage hand jeweled bolt bought from Doug Richardson a few years back to show off the cocking slot (the original is a blued Savage bolt which I still have).
Posted 03 July 2004 - 07:32 PM
1. THE ANTI-BANDIT GUN!
2. THE PUMPKIN BLASTER!
3. THE WATERMELLON SMASHER!
4. TERRORIST SLASHER!!!
Well, you get the picture!!:-) Regards, Walter
Posted 04 July 2004 - 12:16 PM
Posted 04 July 2004 - 12:46 PM
Posted 05 July 2004 - 04:13 PM
Big thumbs up.
Have you ever shot it?
Posted 06 July 2004 - 02:48 PM
Oh, and also, was it common for WH M1's to hve 28-style barrels with Cutts installed, too???
(Rich.....hmmm, I didn't realize you owned this gun?? ;-) Being that we're about neighbors here, we should really get together and go shooting. That's be a good time for a Gemtech can demo, too....!)
Posted 06 July 2004 - 03:16 PM
Rich's TSMG has no connection to the West Hurley produced gun so the unusual addition of the finned barrel, Cutts comp, and Lyman sight on these M1's is only indicative of Numrich's own interpretation of what a presentation Thompson should look like.
Posted 06 July 2004 - 04:51 PM
Can't say for all/most WH M1's but I once bought a blued "ear-type" WH TSMG rear sight from a guy who had swapped the ladder-type WH sight on to the WH M1 cause that's what the owner wanted and the gun owner didn't even want the ear-type sight back.
Posted 06 July 2004 - 10:31 PM
Many times an engraver will sign their work in an inconspicuous place. Have you been over the gun with a magnifying glass looking for a name and/or date? The engraving community is fairly small. Perhaps, an engraver may be able to provide you a clue or two on who engraved this Thompson.
This is one nice Thompson. Please let us know if you find another like it. It is the highest serial numbered NAC suffix Thompson I have seen.
Thanks again for the post.
Posted 07 July 2004 - 12:05 AM
|NAC 45 appears to also be a Savage prototype receiver|
It is marked Bridgeport on the receiver rear, could it still be a Savage with these markings?
The sales samples story was that a handful of guns were prettied up for NAC salesmen to add a bit of "BLING" to the thompson brand not for any particular model.
Good idea on the engraving I will look over it better.
Hi Tom, I shoot NAC 45 whenever I get the chance (which is not often anymore) but come on up and I will get us in to the Boulder Rifle Club to shoot.
Posted 07 July 2004 - 01:33 AM
Even though the Savage plant was in Utica, New York, the AO & Savage guns had the Bridgeport, Connecticut address on the receiver. But here is where it gets fascinating.
|This may have been one of the receivers Numrich Arms Corporation found when it unpacked the crates or possibly a complete prototype M1 that Savage built when developing the M1 Thompson that never was serial numbered. The prototype theory could explain the Bridgeport and Calibre markings that Arthur picked up on. TD 7/1/04|
I doubt enough of these M1 receivers were found to warrant sales samples. It is certainly not an M1A1 prototype. TD 7/6/04
It seems you are struggling with you own conclusions. Perhaps this change of heart may eventually extend to your belief Numrich bought anything but parts boxes from Willlis? In fact the shrewd Willis stuck Numrich, who then stuck Kilgore, for the ATF taxes on the unregistered smg's.
As I stated in an earlier post, it was Numrich who probably marked Rich's TSMG with the "Calibre" instead of Caliber." Of course this is the murkiest aspect of the NAC guns, especially when one refers to the most ambiguous paragraph in Helmer's book:
|Numrich's "new" (Helmer's quotes) Thompson’s are identical to earlier models and are made up largely from surplus parts, with the exception of the frames and receivers. These are machined as needed in the company's shop and bear most of the original Auto-Ordnance Markings. The initials "N.A.C." have been added to the serial number.|
If the receivers and frames were machined as needed then good ole Numrich is apparently stamping the "Auto-Ordnance Corporation Bridgeport, Connecticut U.S.A." address on his newly manufactured receivers even though the gun was made at the West Hurley, New York location, pre Trast 1975 semi-auto 1927A1 guns. So Rich's gun really has nothing to do with Savage Arms, nor the original "AO" corporation, at all. This gun, going by Helmer's research, must be one of those "Thompson's" that was machined (with the help of surplus parts i.e. barrels, Cutts, Lyman, bolts, actuators, frame assemblies, etc) from scratch by Numrich. But I wonder if those who purchased them knew that they were not of WWII vintage?
Posted 07 July 2004 - 06:59 AM
My convictions are sound - based on all research performed to date. Actually, it was the shrewd Numrich who stuck Willis, "who then stuck Kilgore for the taxes on the unregistered smg's."
Given the location of the slot for the cocking handle, I still believe this is a prototype M1 receiver. I have never seen a M1 Thompson manufactured this way except for the one prototype listed in Frank's book. It would be interesting to know how many complete prototype M1 guns are in existence and, more importantly, how these guns are marked. Frank may know where one or more is located given his research into the WWII Thompsons. I would guess a military or government museum would be where you would find one, but a few may be in private hands since these guns were probably never US property. I don't think any of the production M1's have the slot in this location but please correct me if I am wrong on this.
I also believe this is an early NAC prefix Thompson because of the low serial number. Question: Aside from the early NAC Thompsons, which are pretty much an assembly of parts, did Numrich Arms Corporation ever manufacture any M1 or M1A1 Thompsons prior to the introduction of the West Hurley M1 Thompson in 1985? I don't recall ever seeing anything but 1928 type Thompsons.
This is one nice gun. Thanks for the offer to shoot NAC 45. If I am ever in the area, you will certainly have a visitor. Please keep us posted on any thing else you learn on this Thompson. There is still much to learn on the NAC Thompsons.
Posted 09 July 2004 - 12:49 AM
|Given the location of the slot for the cocking handle, I still believe this is a prototype M1 receiver.|
Given the low serial number, this is what I believe also. Another interesting this is that this gun was never advertised by NAC. The original owner, not wanting to shoot his Colt Thompson went to NAC looking for a 1928 shooter. They were out 1928s but as he was about to leave one of the guys said that they had an interesting M1A1 in the back and out came NAC45.
Again the people at NAC had no information on the gun at all just a price.
Posted 09 July 2004 - 08:16 AM
A couple of more questions on NAC 45. You mentioned in another Thread on this board that NAC 45 is currently on a Form 3 with Numrich Arms Corporation listed as the manufacturer. You also stated you have the original Form 4.
1. Who is listed as the Transferee on the original Form 4? (I assume the person you purchased NAC 45 from is listed as the Transferor)
2. What is the date of purchase?
3. Did the person you purchased NAC 45 from have it engraved? Or was this done by or for Numrich Arms Corporation?
Do you have any information on NAC 45 prior to the original Form 4? A recent Thompson Collectors News article on another NAC Thompson, NAC 5, mentioned an "inventory index card" at Numrich Arms Corporation showing whom Numrich Arms Corporation purchased NAC 5 from. For your information, NAC 5 was acquired by Numrich Arms Corporation on December 1, 1951 - from Fred A. Willis.
Thanks again for all that you have provided on this Thompson.
Posted 09 July 2004 - 10:00 AM
The original Form four is dated July 19, 1963 (approved for transfer in July 25, 1963!!!)
"Numrich Arms Company
West Hurley New York"
is in both the Manufacture and Transferor boxes.
The form four is transfering to the original owner that bought the guns from in 1998.
The original owner said he did nothing to the gun but shoot it. It came from NAC as you see it, sans the bright bolt.
Reading through a summary of the guns history he wrote out, he actually was in the process of ordering a 1928 from NAC but because of the delay in production they offered him NAC45. Being impatient he shelled out the extra amount and got NAC45 instead. He said a Basic Thompson back then was $200 or $225 with a compensator and he had to shell out a whopping $300 for NAC45 because of the finish and engraving.
Posted 09 July 2004 - 11:42 AM
Remember that Numrich's method of using prefixes, suffixes, obliterations of original initials, serial numbers that go to 15, then jump to 45, then jump to seemingly random numbers, and his ability, apparently, to manufacture brand new receivers with the addition of WWII markings, only makes any NAC stamped gun somewhat suspect as to what the real story is.
But the use of the word "Calibre" instead of "Caliber" is a dead give away. Even the ambidextrous experimental M1 TSMG had the spelling "Caliber."
A true prototype gun (such as the October 1941 Savage 9mm TSMG stamped “S-1“and with the "Caliber" spelling that was made five months before the first of any M1 was completed) would have been stamped with their own special number by the originator, i.e. Savage/AO at the time. Would Numrich be so dumb as to obliterate this mark (not totally unbelievable considering his past history) when he decided to add his own markings and engravings? Without this original marking, you don't have any verifiable claim to a prototype by Savage/AO. The fact that Numrich Arms Company is listed as the "Manufacturer" back in 1963, by Numrich himself, seems a deliberate acknowledgment that his own company was the originator of the gun, and not Savage/AO.
As Rich stated, the original owner opted out for the ready-to-go NAC 45, that was manufactured by Numrich at some point between 1955(?) and 1963(?), instead of waiting for a newly manufactured NAC 1928 model.
Posted 09 July 2004 - 12:45 PM
I don't know for sure so if anyone can fill me in then that would tell us a lot.
One of the reasons I would lean towards a completed or semi completed receiver being found and put into service is the timelime when these sales samples supposed to be made and were put into service by NAC salesmen. This was at the very start of the company as NAC tried to build up the thompson brand. This also fits in with the timeline of when the gun was disposed of.
Another thing is that I am unaware of other thompsons with this type of cocking slot outside of the prototype. Dealing with milling machines and the set ups that are required I would imagine that they would have produced at least 100 receivers like this to to make the production worthwhile.
That said your guys know way more about this stuff than I do and if any RKIs want to inspect the gun for marks and such just let me know if you are in the Boulder Colorado area.
I might even bring it to the SAR show in Dec if someone wants me to.
Edited by RichFitz, 09 July 2004 - 12:47 PM.
Posted 09 July 2004 - 02:08 PM
As far as Numrich being noted on NFA forms as the manufacturer of uncompleted Colt TSMG’s, it isn’t ATF who fills in the blanks on the form, but merely the transferor who decides what to put down. But Numrich didn’t then go ahead and attempt to roll stamp any missing left and right side receiver Colt and AO address markings on the uncompleted Colt receivers he found in the boxes (whether this was because his Maguire handed down parts boxes didn’t contain the original Colt dies/stampings may have something to do with this). Regardless, he only added his usual NAC prefix/suffix and a number where there wasn’t any Colt serial number.
If this was one of “several” M1 receiver prototypes that Numrich found in the parts boxes, then these receivers were either completely finished, but never stamped with any markings by Savage/AO (unlikely for a prototype since they are not over run samples) back in 1942, or they were completely finished with all markings, including some prototype identifying mark (but then Numrich would have been the one who obliterated all of it), or they were mostly unfinished (but that could mean the bolt slot was also unfinished) receivers and Numrich then finished machining them and then added the 1928 TSMG right side markings, (using the dies and stampings he found in the boxes) along with the bullet logo, and left side Auto-Ord Corp Bridgeport Address, and then he added his comparatively sloppy stamped “ M1A1 N.A.C - 45,” or Numrich made these receivers from scratch and just machined the prototype bolt slot and then added the Maguire 1928 and Auto-Ord stampings, along with his NAC signature and number. One thing for sure is that Savage/AO did not themselves roll stamp the 1928 TSMG type markings on this receiver since they no longer used that designation on prototype TSMG’s even proceeding the M1, not to mention not using that designation for other prototype M1’s/M1A1’s..
To believe that these “salesman samples” were all made from an unspecified number of original prototype M1’s, one would also have to believe that Numrich knew these were “original” prototypes, and yet went ahead and removed any easily seen identifying marks, and then added the engraving and the confusing M1A1 nomenclature. Surely he was too knowledgeable about firearms to negate a truly rare sample by removing the original rear sights, the identifying marks, and then turning it into an M1A1. I think the more plausible story is that he did make these guns from scratch using the prototype slot (a very simple operation since we are only talking about making a different cut in the receiver slot , not making a whole new design mold/casting) as a “quirky” addition to a “demo” gun that he knew would be engraved, have fancy wood, finned barrel, Cutts, etc.
Posted 09 July 2004 - 04:19 PM
The manufacture in the eyes of the NFA registry is the licensed manufacture (or individual back then) who adds the firearm to the registry (thereby manufacturing it in the governments eyes). An exception is during an amnesty the manufactures written on the receiver are those logged. This is why I suspect that the NAC Colt guns have NAC as the manufacture.
Does anyone know?
So the answer could range from being a complete prototype M1 receiver all the way to the other end of the scale of being a completely new NAC manufacture. Or maybe somewhere in between like a 100% machined receiver in the white with no markings. Everything else is speculating on Numrich's motives and actions.
Does anyone know if NAC had a history of making the key hole slot charging handle? Were any commercial guns built this way by any manufacture?
Did the prototype M1 receiver have any other internal differences?
Anything else I should look for?
Come on RKIs show your stuff.
Edited by RichFitz, 10 July 2004 - 11:55 PM.
Posted 09 July 2004 - 09:17 PM
Sure, all the receivers that Numrich got from Willis in 1951 were never registered so a $200 tax was going to be forth coming from one of the three current, or former, owners i.e., Kilgore, Willis, Numrich. Since Kilgore paid the taxes on these heretofore unregistered receivers, he could very well have been the one who added these Colt/Savage/AO "firearms" to the registry. Just look at all the ATF forms that have various different names for the manufacture of a Thompson since the WWII Maguire period, i.e., Savage, AO, NAC. Since Savage's name doesn't even appear on a receiver, how would their name even be accepted by ATF as the gun's manufacturer? Well, because ATF could care less what name goes into the box, they care about the serial number.
As far as your M1 having different internal features than a production M1, it would seem that since your Dough Richardson M1 production designed bolt works fine in the receiver, there can't be any significant alterations.