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Need Fast Short Course In Buying Tsmg


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#1 JTinIN

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 02:07 AM

Have a chance to possible work multiple 3 way trades/sells to end up with with my first Thomson, however, could use lots of help in what to be looking for.

Firearm in question is a WWII M1 Thomson (Savage?) that I was told has a ding on the sight wing (how bad unknown untill look at it in a day or so). The s/n numbers do not match.

Besides checking on re-weld and re-finish (neither of which should be the case), what else to check / watch for?

Cost is $14K, which is at or above (?) the high end, however, might be a few days grace time on payment which allow moving existing items.

Other opitons if the M1 is too flawed, in the same collection include a very nice arsenal rebuilt/renM3 Grease gun or nice (90%) MP40 (both also C&R). Still leaning for the M1 but between mismatch, the ding and can't take drums, always appreicated comments.

Edited by JTinIN, 20 August 2004 - 02:24 AM.

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#2 full auto 45

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 07:05 AM

As long as it is working and not rusted up, try to knock him down a couple grand if you can. Go for it. The grease gun would be the next big $$ item if it can be had for under $12k, you should try to get it too. The Thompson as long as it has papers can be cleaned and repaired to good working condition. Go for it. Let us know. Any pictures of the tommy?
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#3 JTinIN

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 07:33 AM

Might at most get several hundred off, however, since is on consignment from someone who is in no rush for money the price is set at the upper level of market (in another two dozen years my NFA the items the son does not wish will probably be sold in a similar way ... ).

The MP40 for mid twelves is currently an alternative and of course would like the M3 Grease gun, which is a Rock Island rebuild in near 100% for the same 14K as the Thomson ... but with a son in college and just having gotten another MP5 (poor timing on my part ... but working on that with friends ... LOL!) have to limit the choice to one. While one is looking, there is also a nice MP44 with mags, ammo for similar price plus three water cooled belt guns ... 08, Vickers and a Westinghouse 1917 which would be neat ... but at $25K will have to live with rebuilding my sideplate 1919A4 with a 1928 wC kit).

No photos until see the SOT this weekend (got called back into work when tried to take a day off to check sad.gif

Edited by JTinIN, 20 August 2004 - 07:35 AM.

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#4 TSMGguy

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 09:28 AM

Hello JTinIN,

I think what is complicating your life right now is too many really neat choices. It's an enviable position!

NOS parts are still plentiful for TSMGs, although they aren't as inexpensive as they once were. The M1 is unlikely to have any flaws that cannot be readily corrected. Most arsenal rebuilt TSMGs will not have matching frame and receiver serials, and this is not generally considered a drawback. You can always find a frame that is not serialed at all, as most for the M1A1 were not.

The M3 is certainly rarer than TSMGs, but IMHO, any TSMG is the better gun. During my Army days, our tank crews were still issued the M3 if the TO&E did not call for the M1911A1. I'm certain that it had to do with our training or maybe the maintenance that the guns had had (or not had) over the years, but we considered them to be junk. They were very slow firing and jams were a constant problem. The M3A1 was better than the M3. We had both.

I have an MP40 and enjoy it a lot, but we're talking apples and oranges here. In WWII, US Army paratroopers considered a man with a MP40 to be unarmed. The TSMG was devastating in comparison.

Yes, the price is high, but in three years, it might appear to be a bargain. The Thompson (any Colt or USGI model) is truly a piece of American history.

There are few good options for the MP44 concerning ammo if you wish to shoot the thing extensively.

Good luck with your rather difficult choice!

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#5 JTinIN

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 10:31 AM

Only been consistant recommendation from friends, over on Subguns (and of course here ... LOL!) ... get the TSMG, then fill in the blank for 2nd choice.. think this might be a trend?

The Vickers or 1917 were also interesting options (but the 1917 would require selling the 1919A4 side plate gun and other items .....).

Will take a look at the M1 and if the ding on the sight is not too major will consider as an option #1. At which point will be back to ask what is a barrel and set up replacement parts goning for.

Thanks
John

P.S. Guess one could always take the dremel out and cut the slot in the M1 to take a drum ..... NOT!

Edited by JTinIN, 20 August 2004 - 10:34 AM.

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#6 Sgt

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 11:41 AM

John--
You last statement almost made be feel pain. I believe one of those re-slotted guns recently appeared. I'm glad it found a good home among one of our members here.

I just purchased an M1a1 Savage for about 13K and haven't regretted the decision. Even though I'm in love with the Vickers, I decided that the Thompson was rarer and more desirable. I am sure it has a faster rising price now, so the Vickers will have to wait. Incidentally, the Thompson just arrived in my state and I am going to get my first viewing in about two hours.
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#7 LIONHART

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 01:45 PM

I would say $13,000.00 for the M1. Minor parts (Such as the Sight) that may or may not be damaged, is really no big deal. Recon Ordnance is currently offering Grease Guns for $15,000.00 FWIW, Fort Lewis Military Base here destroyed 800 Grease Guns a few years back. Each and everyone got chopped. mad.gif
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#8 JTinIN

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 12:22 AM

QUOTE (LIONHART @ Aug 20 2004, 01:45 PM)
[b][font=Geneva][color=blue] I would say $13,000.00 for the M1. ...... Recon Ordnance is currently offering Grease Guns for $15,000.00 FWIW .... 

Thanks for the data point, do you know if the Recon Ordance Greasers are tube guns or USGI (from Michigan so C&R is a requirment).

Edited by JTinIN, 21 August 2004 - 12:24 AM.

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#9 Hurridale

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 01:01 AM

JTinIN,

I crewed tanks in the mid -70s and agree with TSMGuy that the M3 was considered junk. We had both M3's and M3A1's. A Sten has more class (though not more clout). Having carried one in the military, I have no idea why they command such high prices in the collector market.

Sure, they're semi-rare, but so are my old toothbrushes, and nobody's offering $15k for those.

We used to adjust the rate of fire by how much LSA we put in them. I used to carry two bottles in my ammo pouch (we were issued M16 ammo pouches for our M3's and 1911's. Go figure...).

We fired them only for familiarity. I think the requirement was annually. We'd pour in the LSA, and let 'er rip. Normal rate of fire was around 400 rpm, and the oily guns seemed to go more like 600 (I wanted to say 700, but decided to be conservative).

Smoke would just be rolling off them (the oily ones), and we made no friends out of the next shooter on our right, whose back would get sprayed with LSA.

Messy, but fun. And we didn't even have to buy ammo!

Yes, they're reliable and cheap, and made good sense at the time (WWII). But collecting isn't about making sense (I guess that answers why they're so expensive!). Compared to a Thompson, including an M1, the M3 is almost Soviet in design: crude, cheap, not much to look at, but did an OK job for what we were willing to spend on them.

Those aren't the qualities I look for in a collectible firearm. Those are more like the qualities I'd look for in a date. wink.gif

My $.02 would be Thompson first choice, MP40, then do some bargaining to see how much he'll pay YOU to take that M3 off his hands.

One of my tank commanders used a grease gun in Vietnam and really liked it. He used it to shoot at something other than paper (which is all we did -- kind of like the Texas Air National Guard at the same time). He'd know better than I how good a weapon they were in combat.

Sorry if I've offended anyone who owns grease guns; it ain't about owners, but about the official replacement for the Thompson. Yeah, it replaced the Tommy in the TO&E, but not the heart. (Put both on a table at a gun show and see where the crowd goes first...)
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#10 JTinIN

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 08:16 AM

Hurridale thanks for the comments, will have to try the "LSA rate adjuster" on friends M3 next time we are at the range.

Besides being just plain uggly, the grease guns do work well for subgun matches due to the slow rate of fire, which actually for the most part many of the matches would be best fired on semi, except the rules require you to be on full. Indiana Subgun Match Web Page

Liked you comment on the Sten, the fall back option if the TSMG sells and/or can not swing the deal by selling enough of the other toys to local friends, is a C&R Sten in the bunch.

Appreicate everyone comments and help, now have to try and get one of the friends with a Thomson to go shooting this weekend .... after this much discussion on TSMG's need to go shooting smile.gif


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