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M1a1 Help


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#1 younghistorians

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Posted 24 July 2004 - 08:59 PM

Hi all,
I'm a World War II Airborne reenactor-508PIR, 82nd Airborne. I've seriously been considering buying a Thompson for reenactments. This gun would have to either be non firing or blank firing, but it is preferable to fire blanks. This Thompson would need to be an M1A1.

I'm completely new to the whole firearms field sad.gif. I really need some guidance with this purchase. Where should I start to look for one? How would I get it blank adapted?

Someone I was talking with referred me to this:
http://www.philaord....roducts/m1.html

How much work would this take in order to fire blanks?

I have some more questions, but ill ask them after I get a reply smile.gif

Thanks,
Vaughn
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#2 Bill in VA

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 09:37 AM

I hate to be the one to pop your bubble, but it isn't doable, at least, not legally. Using an 80% receiver and a parts kit to try and manufacture a blank-only subgun falls well beyond the "grey area" of the law and such efforts have, a number of times in the past, been shot down (no pun intended) by the BATF. Basically, unless severe design modifcations are made that preclude the use of virtually any full-auto parts, the BATF considers blank-firing MGs to be no different from live MGs. More importantly, unlicensed individuals are prohibited from manufacturing machineguns and have been since May 19, 1986, and those who have tried and been caught,face extremely severe penalties of up to 10 years in prison and/or $100,000 fine...not worth it IMHO. (See 18USC CH44 section 922(o).)

Your best bet would be to either find one of TSMG model guns (like those made by Hudson or MGC) or to purchase a semi-auto Thompson rifle and convert it to a short-barrelled rifle via a Form 1. (Going this route, you would still have a semi-auto, but it would look more like the real thing since it wouldn't have that goofy looking 16" bbl.) Your only other viable option would be to either purchase a full-auto TSMG or convert a semi-auto using one of the registered drop-in auto connectors and blank-adapt it for reenacting use.
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#3 Sgt

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 10:05 AM

Younghist--
Bill is correct. Unfortunately, those are about the only options for the Thompson re-enactors. I just wanted to mention that the registered drop-in auto connectors are difficult to find and might cost 6 or 7K. Thought you might need this information before you invested in a semi Thompson for this intention.
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#4 Hawkeye_Joe

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 10:16 AM

You can make a non-firing M1A1 out of the Phil Ord 80% receiver but you would be actually better off buying one of the Hudson or MGC guns for the money spent. And getting a Phil Ord. receiver isn't easy either.. I still haven't gotten one that I ordered over a year ago. At $250.00+ for the receiver and another $400.00+ for a parts kit, you will have $650.00 + in a non-firing hunk of metal.

Here is an Airsoft Marui M1A1 in good shape for $250.00 on ebay.

user posted image

Here is a CMC blowback M1A1..for under $600.00 so far

user posted image

These at least function and aren't just hunks of expensive scrap metal.....

They also have every once in a while some solid resin M1A1's on ebay to use as a dummy in re-enactments...keep your eyes open for them....Good luck.. cool.gif
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#5 younghistorians

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 02:44 PM

Thanks everyone-so the receiver is out.

Unfortuantly, I think the Airsoft model that Joe mentioned is also out.

That blowback model picture you posted looked promising. I feel like an idiot asking, but what's the difference between blowback and blank firing? (I'm referring to the CMC one). I've also looked at the Hudson/MGC guns as well).

I guess im still just alittle confused about all my options. I'm going to be doing alot of both tactical events and airshow type events, so accuracy is a must. Blank firing is HIGHLY preferred, so is that completely out?

Also, are there any owners I could talk to that have M1A1's on the boards?

Thanks guys...I know im being a pain but im really new to this. unsure.gif

Vaughn

Edited by younghistorians, 25 July 2004 - 02:48 PM.

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#6 Hawkeye_Joe

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 03:39 PM

The blowback CMC model is like the MGC model .. they use a reloadable cartridge ( they show some in the pics I posted.) Those have a hollow nose and as they are loaded into the chamber by the bolt a fixed firing pin goes in the nose and hits a cap that pops making the bolt go back and eject the spent round... no bullet goes down the barrel and they can not be made to fire live ammo. They don't make a very loud report so they don't sound like a real Tommy.. unlike a blankfiring tommy that operates just like a live one but shoots blank ammo with a restricted barrel so the action will function. And don't worry about asking questions.. it's the way to learn.. I think the Airsoft ones are mostly plastic while the MGC and CMC ones are metal and wood and very closely resemble the real thing in looks and in weight.
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#7 younghistorians

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 03:46 PM

QUOTE (Hawkeye_Joe @ Jul 25 2004, 04:39 PM)
The blowback CMC model is like the MGC model .. they use a reloadable cartridge ( they show some in the pics I posted.) Those have a hollow nose and as they are loaded into the chamber by the bolt a fixed firing pin goes in the nose and hits a cap that pops making the bolt go back and eject the spent round... no bullet goes down the barrel and they can not be made to fire live ammo. They don't make a very loud report so they don't sound like a real Tommy.. unlike a blankfiring tommy that operates just like a live one but shoots blank ammo with a restricted barrel so the action will function. And don't worry about asking questions.. it's the way to learn.. I think the Airsoft ones are mostly plastic while the MGC and CMC ones are metal and wood and very closely resemble the real thing in looks and in weight.

Ahh, I see.
I'm going to purchase related books from this site regarding the Thompson, but if I say M1A1, do you guys assume either the M1 or the M1A1, or are they pretty much interchangeable?

I still think that blank firing is the way to go-but what is the basic process of getting one? In terms of modifications, registration, etc....also where would I even start to look for one?


Vaughn
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#8 Hawkeye_Joe

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 03:48 PM

From Bill's first post:

QUOTE
the BATF considers blank-firing MGs to be no different from live MGs.


you might as well just buy a live one ....you can't find a "blank-firing" one that you won't have to register.

Only difference in an M1 and an M1A1 is the bolt.. the M1 has a working firing pin and the M1A1 has a tit on the bolt face.
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#9 younghistorians

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 04:55 PM

QUOTE (Hawkeye_Joe @ Jul 25 2004, 04:48 PM)
From Bill's first post:

QUOTE
the BATF considers blank-firing MGs to be no different from live MGs.


you might as well just buy a live one ....you can't find a "blank-firing" one that you won't have to register.

Only difference in an M1 and an M1A1 is the bolt.. the M1 has a working firing pin and the M1A1 has a tit on the bolt face.

QUOTE

you might as well just buy a live one ....you can't find a "blank-firing" one that you won't have to register.


You make it sound like im trying to get around the law tongue.gif

Anyway, this is where is gets tough...do I:

A) Find a live one, purchase it, and use it for show only (not in tactical events, because they arnt allowed).
cool.gif Find a live one, purchase it, and get it modified to only fire blanks.

Which leads me to my last question, which makes me feel really small and dumb, but:
Do guns have to be adapted to fire blanks, or can I just use blank shells? If this is the case, couldn't I just buy a live one and use blank shells?
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#10 The1930sRust

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 05:09 PM

Vaughn:

Welcome to the board! You are not being a pain at all. I was curious to see answers to your initial question, too.

The only thing I can offer is that there is certain to be at least a $10,000 difference in the price of a full-auto Thompson M1A1 (blank adapted or whatever) and a CMC or MGC model. For what that is worth. Check the FAQ too!
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#11 Hawkeye_Joe

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 05:33 PM

QUOTE
You make it sound like im trying to get around the law


No.. not at all .. thats not what I meant.. I was just pointing out that fact of life, that the BATF considers a blank-firing Machine gun to be a Machine gun..and if you try to buy one as you said you thought was "the way to go" you would be buying a live Thompson...

Your two questions can be answered in how much you want to spend really .. as Rust said.. a live Tommy-gun, blank firing adapted or not, will set you back at least $10,000.00. If you can't shoot it in events without permanently making it blank-firing then you have wasted your money and messed up a good transferable MG.

On your other question: You will have to modify the barrel so the blanks with make the action function...just firing blanks in a live gun won't make the weapon cycle.

PK does make a quick change barrel modification that can be changed from live to blank-firing with little effort . You can always go that route.
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#12 Sgt

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 05:45 PM

YoungHist--
To fire blanks from a real full-auto Thompson, you will have to make a barrel modification. I'm not an expert on this, but from reading many posts about it, you install a restrictor in the barrel. This allows the necessary gas pressure to cycle the blank. If you want to change back to the real thing, you would have to change barrels. That is a major job for a pro. However, someone on this board has created a easily detachable barrel. If my memory is correct, I think the member who does this is PK.

A point to consider with the MGC or Hudson blowbacks. The cartridges are expensive and sometimes hard to find. You wouldn't want to discard them as you would regular casings. If you intend to do re-enactment with them, you may spend most of your time looking for your spent rounds. You could build a brass catcher, but that might take away from the effect.

I believe that the majority of people who re-enact on this board, have gone the full auto or semi SBR route, converted to shoot blanks. (woops! just posted after Hawkeye. Sorry if I duplicated some of his answers)
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#13 younghistorians

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 06:55 PM

Thanks everyone-I appreciate all your patience!

I'm considering going the SBR route...although full auto would be great, I could stand having an SBR. Would this be cheaper?
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#14 Hawkeye_Joe

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 10:06 AM



check this one out before paying Thousands of dollars......

user posted image

user posted image
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#15 younghistorians

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 11:26 AM

Thanks!

I've talked with some members of my group...and they say this would be acceptable. I found this:
http://www.modelguns...thomp1928a1.htm It isn't an M1A1, which I would need.

Where can I get a CMC blowback? I can't really find any sites selling a CMC M1A1 like you've posted.

What's the difference between a CMC one and a Hudson one? From the videos ive seen of both firing, they Hudson looks slightly more "fake". Is this true?

Whats your opinion?

Thanks a ton,
Vaughn


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#16 Hawkeye_Joe

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 11:54 AM

I'm no expert on either of them so I don't really know what the differences are.. I beilieve that the CMC is no longer in production so it is more expensive. I found those pics of it on Ebay. It's at 560.00+ dollars right now.. or was ....

At that same site you posted there was an M3A1 Grease Gun shown.. you could use that too....

user posted image
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#17 younghistorians

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 05:44 PM

Yeah, I saw that....thats another option.

Found this today:
http://www.tommygun.com/ao_m1sb.html

Remaking these...would it be ANY easier to convert the above linked gun into a blank firing? Unfortuantly, its only semi auto.
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#18 Hawkeye_Joe

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 06:12 PM

Yup.. she's nice.. but will you be able to use it in "live" mode? Or will you have to make it a blank shooter.. for $1,352.00 and a $200.00 transfer tax that's a lot ......
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#19 younghistorians

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 07:00 PM

QUOTE (Hawkeye_Joe @ Jul 26 2004, 07:12 PM)
Yup.. she's nice.. but will you be able to use it in "live" mode? Or will you have to make it a blank shooter.. for $1,352.00 and a $200.00 transfer tax that's a lot ......

I would have to adapt it to fire blanks...they're kinda grumpy when it gets to live firing "show guns".

Any idea of how much it would cost to get that gun converted?
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#20 gijive

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 07:20 PM

It's the same process as taking a full-auto gun and making it into a blank firing gun. A restrictor has to be placed in the front of the barrel, usually by threading the inside half inch or so and screwing in a restrictor with a hex wrench. With the restrictor removed, live ammo can be fired. I'm sure a gunsmith would charge a few hundred dollars to remove the barrel, tap it and make the proper restrictor with the correct size opening for the blanks you are firing. Most blank firing guns need to be "tuned" by choosing the proper size opening for escaping gas to cycle the bolt properly.

The process for obtaining the short barreled rifle is the same as purchasing a full auto gun. The state in which you reside has to allow it and you have to pay a transfer tax.
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