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Replicas, Fakes, Frauds


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#1 wjwatson

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 01:53 AM

My dear friends in Thompson World: I, as many others, have recently watched and read with great interest the threads of this board containing views and strong comments on innocent, long desired and awaited replicas becoming fakes, and later leading to fraud. Sometime ago I was searching for an original long slotted type, Thompson cleaning rod, to fit in the rod pocket of my original Thompson canvas case. I shared my quest by phone with Tracie Hill. He said he would sell me what I sought. When it arrived I was somewhat disappointed with the slot on the tip end, but considering the source from whence it came, I was happy to fill an empty void. I consider Mr. Gordon Herigstad to be one of my most highly valued friends, though I now only infrequently have the opportunity to see him. I have consistently admired his tireless persistence to locate, develop, and subsequently share with others interesting and valuable historical information. His efforts clearly demonstrate that honesty and attention to detail are not outmoded virtues. I was pleased when he, as a man of modest means was able to locate and finally acquire an unquestionably original FBI case which was complete with cleaning rod and spare parts container. Because of the scarcity of these items, his goal then became to accurately replicate the cleaning rod and spare parts box and offer them as replicas. I recently had the opportunity to acquire one of Gordon's replica rods, and knowing his demanding attention to detail compared it to my first rod (Tracie's).

Rod left - Tracie's. Rod in middle - original. Rod on right - Gordon's.
user posted image


Even the most casual comparison revealed significant differences. The slotted area which I initally questioned was entirely different on the rod I received from Tracie. I refer to the picture which I hope I was able to include. On Gordon's the ends of the slot are perfectly square and the slot is perfectly rectangular in shape measuring 5/8" X 3/32". The slot on my other rod (Tracie's) has rounded ends, and is not rectangular in shape. It also appears to me that, as the slot on my first rod was being milled, that the rod could have rotated in the milling vice, and the slot then appears to have twisted. The other clear difference from Gordon's replica is that, the "tip" on rod number one is noticeably bulbous, compared to the diameter of Gordon's replica of an original. I am concerned with these differences. Again, please refer to the picture. (I hope it makes it!) I am certain Gordon's demanding successful attention to detail is well recognized and accepted. As the subject of replicas, fakes and frauds is a popular subject now, I welcome any comments from the Thompson collectors world. I simply ask, from where did this first cleaning rod come, and which rod should I be happier with? I look forward to reading your comments. wjwatson
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#2 hawksnest

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 11:41 AM

Phil's post says it all. What is the harm in marking the reproduction? Takes all the speculation out of the equation. My .02.
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#3 gijive

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 12:38 PM

wjwatson,

Although your post is well written, I'm not quite sure I understand your comparison. Are you suggesting that the first rod is not what it is purported to be or are you suggesting that Gordon's reproduction is not faithful to the original?

It is quite possible that since Auto-Ordnance never manufactured the original hard cases, different contractors were used to manufacture the long style cleaning rod that fit in the canvas and hardcases sold during the 1920s and 1930s.

This would seem to be the only explanantion for the differences if, as you stated, the original Gordon copied from was known to be a genuine original. I never really looked that closely at the WWII variations (brass vs steel rods) but I wonder if there are some subtle differences between these also? It would be likely that different contractors were used to make the rods for late 1930s and WWII production.

I have one of Gordon's replica cleaning rods and not having an original to compare it with, I can't shed any additional light on your post.
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#4 Sgt. Fox

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 01:12 PM

Oh God, not this same old argument again... rolleyes.gif
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#5 TD.

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 04:34 PM

wjwatson,
I think gijive sums things up pretty good. When I read your post I too thought that perhaps different manufacturers might have made the long cleaning rod for Auto-Ordnance in the twenties and thirties. There are still many things to learn about the accessories. Please try to post the pictures so many of the advanced collectors on this board with known original long cleaning rods can do a comparison. We all may learn something from this.
Thanks and welcome to the board.

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#6 1921A

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 08:04 PM

wjwatson

If it helps any - I have the exact same long rod you got from Hill. Mine came from the Michigan State Police years ago before there was any interest in reproducing them. The rod and other Colt thompson accessories were being disposed of during a house cleaning. Fortunately, someone who had been around awhile knew what the items were and took pity on a long time friend/Thompson collector otherwise the stuff would have gone in the incinerator. There were three long model rods in the pile of parts and two are different from the one you have. I'll post pictures of the three if it will help you. Email me if you prefer.

Greg Fox
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#7 colt21a

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 08:23 PM

i wish i could help however i am now a "HAS-BEEN "THOMPSON COLLECTOR"

this monicker was awarded to me from a member here!!

no more respect................the soprano's............wink!!

ask him i think he might have a few rod's............up his......



sleeve.......

ron
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#8 TD.

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 09:13 PM

1921A,
This is interesting. It appears that there may be more than two types of "original" Thompson long cleaning rods. If possible, please post your pictures for all to see. I believe a picture of the rod wjwatson purchased from Tracie is shown on Page 40 of Roger Cox's book. It is not a great picture but under light and a magnifying glass the features (to me) look exactly like the rod shown as purchased from Tracie. However, my eyes are not what they used to be so everyone with Roger's book take a look. I don't think anyone was reproducing these long cleaning rods when Roger published his book. The Bannan and Hill book, Second Edition, on page 129 shows an original long Thompson cleaning rod that appears different from all the pictures posted by wjwatson. However, this too is not the best picture for detail, so I will let someone else take a look. Perhaps it is like one of the rods Greg has from Michigan State Police.

wjwatson,
I have no doubt the long cleaning rod Tracie's sold you is original. How about I buy it from you at the price you paid Tracie plus shipping. Send me an e-mail and we can discuss further. Thanks for posting the pictures. This is a thread everyone can learn from.


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#9 1921A

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 09:30 PM

colt21a

Ron:

I guess I'm a "has been collector too. We should start a "has been" site for all those misguided old men who actually own and like Colt thompson stuff. Like you, I enjoy sharing the hobby with newcomers. I've even managed to learn some new stuff - pretty tuff for an old geezzer like me. blink.gif

Greg Fox
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#10 colt21a

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 12:26 AM

QUOTE (1921A @ Jul 18 2004, 09:30 PM)
colt21a

Ron:

I guess I'm a "has been collector too. We should start a "has been" site for all those misguided old men who actually own and like Colt thompson stuff. Like you, I enjoy sharing the hobby with newcomers. I've even managed to learn some new stuff - pretty tuff for an old geezzer like me. blink.gif

Greg Fox

i like to read now and learn.......the youngbloods have so much to teach...........it hada be that southside chicago upbringing.38th and damen.and 47th.ashland....

yep good ole days.........only those that have lived it..would know.

maybe one day a few members would like to take a trip with me to the old neighborhood..they could learn alot.wink!!

ron
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#11 SecondAmend

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 06:21 AM

Ron and Greg,

If you guys are "has beens" then I guess I'm a never was and probably never will be.

But back to the subject: Pardon my ignorance as a shooter, not collector, but how long is a "long" (brass) cleaning rod?
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#12 msfhotrod

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 07:20 AM

SecondAmend 20.25"
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#13 John Jr

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 08:56 AM

TD is right. The one in Roger's book on page 40 does appear to be the one on the left in the picture above.

Interesting to read what ole roge has to say in the last sentence on page 39, right above the word "HARD CASES"
laugh.gif

(you has beens are entertaining to say the least tongue.gif tongue.gif )

Jr
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#14 Sig

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 08:17 PM

I find this thread very interesting.
I can not wait to get my hands on my "original" to compare!

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#15 Z3BigDaddy

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 08:28 PM

I have to open my safe now and take a look at mine.....

But I would like to congratulate wjwatson on being the most devoted lurker I have ever known.... Second post since 9 of 03??? That is a lot of lurking.... And then to come out with a monster post...

Can't leave the edit button alone... But aren't this things plentiful and cheap? They are like an under ten dollar item all day long.... So why buy a replica or even make one?
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#16 gijive

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 11:30 AM

PhilOhio,

The shorter cleaning rod you show is the standard WWII variety early brass rod. Subsequent versions were made of steel as wartime ecomomy dictated. The second variation is a steel rod with a brass tip and the third variation is all steel. None of the WWII rods have the patch slot.
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