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Pd Selling 1921--your Chance


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#1 TNKen

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 08:19 AM

Here you go guys. They apparently know what it's worth. Someone keep it out of the museum.

Click the link for a pic of the gun. Interesting looking piece, early I assume.

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/

Ken

July 13, 2004

Anyone need a Thompson?
By ALAN RAPPEPORT Staff Writer, (609) 272-7219

LONGPORT - Submachine guns are rarely needed in this quiet beach town, where crosswalk controversies and ice cream issues make tempers boil.

In fact, officials say police have never actually fired a submachine gun in the borough.

That is why commissioners gave the Police Department permission last week to sell an heirloom of borough law enforcement to help pay for more practical artillery.

In 1930, the borough acquired the 1921 Thompson submachine gun after an owner of the famed gun-making company came to the area, met Police Chief Richard DePamphilis - who is now 102 years old - and decided to send him a gun as a gesture of good will, according to Richard DePamphilis Jr., 77, who followed him as chief.

Only 15,000 Thompson 1921s were made, according to the book "Thompson: The American Legend, The First Submachine Gun," by Tracie Hill. In 1978, DePamphilis Jr. had the gun appraised and found it was worth $10,000. Some Web sites sell the same model for as much as $34,000 now.

"That one was kept in the closet at all times," said DePamphilis Jr., chief from 1975 to 1980. "The only time it would be used was if something big happened."

While hurricanes have attacked the borough many times over the years, there has yet to be a coup worthy of unleashing the "Tommy Gun."

The Police Department has only as many side arms as it has officers, according to Commissioner John Stroebele, and it needs some backup weapons.

"We don't even have a spare," Stroebele said. "We're trying to conserve taxpayer dollars. We're going to attempt to sell that in exchange for some other things that our police force needs."

Police Chief Scott Porter said that the department would see what kind of offers people would make for the gun.

"It's something of value, and we're going to see what kind of value we can get for it," Porter said.

The two-handled metal gun with a 50-round drum was designed during World War I by U.S. Army General John T. Thompson. He teamed up with retired U.S. Naval Commander John N. Blish to develop an ultra-light automatic rifle. The 1921 Thompson became a popular fixed wing gun on attack planes, according to Hill's book.

But DePamphilis never fired his machine gun.

The borough will consider trying to sell the gun back to the manufacturer, to be placed in a museum. Officials will also consider options such as gun auctions, eBay, and gun-enthusiast Web sites.

The police department is also planning to sell three Springfield M1 rifles that are stored in the armory, Porter said. Each has an estimated value of $1,000.

Edited by TNKen, 13 July 2004 - 08:27 AM.

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#2 John Jr

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 08:24 AM

Could somebody post the story here?


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#3 TNKen

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 08:47 AM

Added Text.
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#4 Norm

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 09:25 AM

Nice gun, but I saw another post that said it was going for $40,000! ohmy.gif OUCH!!

Did anyone else notice that the officer holding the gun looks like "Egon" from Ghostbusters?

Norm
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#5 John Jr

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 09:52 AM

I might give 10K laugh.gif
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#6 Sgt

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 10:20 AM

I remember a time when you could buy an antique from a junk shop. Now everyone knows what they have and how much to charge. I wish there were still bargains on Thompsons
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#7 ftc3906

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 10:20 AM

How about the registration paperwork? Unless it is transferable all it is worth is parts. I suppose that someone would pay $5K for everything except the receiver assuming that all of the internals were correct Colt 21A.
Just the thing to go with your repro spare parts kit.
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#8 gijive

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 11:19 AM

Apparently Thompson greed has infected the small town police department. Although the gun looks to be in very nice condition, I don't believe there is any way it was appraised in 1978 for $10,000.00. Maybe in 1988 it could have been appraised for that much if it is in excellent to mint condition. Excellent examples weren't selling for that much in 1978.

I think the police department is being a little optimistic in their evaluation of the current worth of the gun. I'm sure the gun is registered and transferable, otherwise they wouldn't be advertising it for sale to the highest bidder.
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#9 ftc3906

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 01:38 PM

Longport, NJ is a seashore resort town south of Atlantic City. The next town south of Longport is Ocean City, NJ. Ocean City is the home of former U.S. Congressman William J. Hughes (D, NJ) the author and House floor manager of the 1986 machine gun ban amendment to the Firearms Owners Protection Act. Hughes represented southeastern NJ in congress for many years. His vehement anti-gun banner in the House was passed to Charles Schumer (D, NY) after Hughes retired. Hughes' legislative district may have included Longport depending on how the district boundaries were drawn. Most of the police chiefs in the South Jersey resort towns are very anti-gun. I am surprised that Longport is selling their Thompson rather than torch cutting it in the public square.
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#10 Hawkeye_Joe

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 02:17 PM

Am I wrong or is that gun cocked? How long has it been cocked? Bet that would play hell first time it gets fired by anyone with a weak overcompresssed recoil spring.
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#11 gijive

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 02:43 PM

Hawkeye Joe,

The gun needs to be cocked to put the drum in, so it would be my guess that they cocked it for the picture.
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#12 snipershot1944

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 08:12 PM

I spoke with someone at the police dept today and they said that they have been buried with phone calls, all ending up on the Chief's desk.

It really was kind of funny.

Sniper
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#13 JimFromFL

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 09:20 PM

QUOTE (Sgt @ Jul 13 2004, 10:20 AM)
I remember a time when you could buy an antique from a junk shop. Now everyone knows what they have and how much to charge. I wish there were still bargains on Thompsons

Yeah, damn internet!! dry.gif
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#14 1921A

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 10:29 PM

Good looking 21A! In the mid to late 1970's you could buy "average" model 21's for under $1000 - somebody's full of BS then or now. The secret to the gun is a trade. If they sell it - the money will most likely end up in the city's "general fund" and the PD will find they got screwed.
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