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Help For A Stupid Question.


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#1 ausrotten

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Posted 31 August 2003 - 05:20 PM

hi, im from the u.k and am starting to collect ww2 militaria. i am only 17, so i cant afford the most expensive in weapons. but ive found a small militaria store which has a deac thompson for 250 pounds sterling. i presume its an m1a1. ive been interested in this weapon for a while now and would love to own it. is there anything i should be wary of before i buy and does it sound legit to you? i know that the barrel is filled in. im not sure about the other parts. i dont care if it fires or not though, as its for display purposes.
also, what is the difference between the old and new spec m1a1?
your help is much appreciated.
many thanks
simon
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#2 Whiskey Brother

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Posted 31 August 2003 - 07:02 PM

QUOTE (ausrotten @ Aug 31 2003, 05:20 PM)
what is the difference between the old and new spec m1a1?
your help is much appreciated.
many thanks
simon

Simon,
The main difference is the firing pin arrangment. The old one had a moving firing pin in the bolt, the newer one had it machined into the face of the bolt. This speeded up production during the war years, but made for a "SLAM BANG" fire weapon. This means it fired from an open bolt. You pulled the trigger, the bolt flew forward, stripped the first cartridge off the magazine, chambered it and fired it, all in one action.
Whiskey
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#3 full auto 45

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Posted 31 August 2003 - 08:19 PM

The M1 has the "floating" firing pin. The M1A1 has the fixed or machined firing pin.
If you are buying for a display. I would think color matching is the biggest thing to look for right away. Sounds silly but hey, it's only to look at. In the UK I don't believe you can own a firing weapon like this without special permits. Does the wood look right, old or new looking? Does the bolt handle move or is it fixed? Just a couple of things I can think of.
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#4 TSMGguy

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Posted 31 August 2003 - 09:54 PM

Many of your questions can be answered by clicking on "FAQs" above. If you're like me, just about the time I get the answer to one question about Thompsons, two more spring to mind! Good luck with your acquisition, and greetings to all in the Mother Country.
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#5 ausrotten

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Posted 01 September 2003 - 04:15 AM

the bolt is also fixed as far as i remember and the wood looks genuinely old. ive noticed online that the old spec deacs tend to be a lot more expensive also, so im guessing this probably is a new spec model for its price.
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#6 full auto 45

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Posted 01 September 2003 - 09:33 AM

Prices on the Thompson's in the US are sky high. Even the deactivated models like what you have found are $600-$1000US thanks to that evil invention, eBay! That and the fact that because of a evil President we had, we cannot import any parts or anything related to a machinegun into the US, legally. The UK just acquired several Thompson that had been originally shipped to Russia during WWII. Those were deactivated per British law. Post a picture of it when you get it. It sounds interesting with the re-arsenal marks on the buttstock.
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#7 ausrotten

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Posted 01 September 2003 - 09:36 AM

the GSAA marks mean re-arsenal? what does that mean then? is there any more i can find out from the serial number? like when it was made?
btw, thanks for all your help guys, i will post pics up when i pay the rest for it.
simon
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#8 Whiskey Brother

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Posted 01 September 2003 - 12:05 PM

Rearsenal means that the gun was stripped down and rebuilt by another Countrys arsenal.
For example-Many Mauser k98k's were captured and reworked by the Russians during World War II. Examples of this can be immediatly recognized by an "X" stamped on it, that is supposed to represent crossed rifles. Many other guns were reworked by various Country's and restamped with identifying marks from that Country. Yours is most likely an ex-Russion gun that has been deactivated.
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#9 ausrotten

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Posted 01 September 2003 - 12:45 PM

so is that a bad thing? does it still have ww2 parts etc?is there anything you can gather from the serial No. 7759**?
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#10 Whiskey Brother

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Posted 01 September 2003 - 12:50 PM

No, that is not a bad thing at all! biggrin.gif Just more of the guns history that you can brag about to your friends. From the rather high serial number, I would guess that it is a World War II production gun for sure, but I am positive that someone else around here can be much more specific than me. Including the original factory it was manufactured at. You may be interested to know that during World War II Thompsons were produced at several facilitys, including the Singer Sewing machine company.
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#11 ausrotten

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Posted 01 September 2003 - 12:54 PM

wow. you guys know your stuff! well, its not in my hands yet. ive only paid 60 of 260 total price, but i noted down that "auto-ordanance"/ "bridgeport connecticut" were the main printings on the reciever, along with the "No. 7759**" and the "GSAA" was stamped on the buttstock. if anyone here can help me gather as much info as possible, that would be fantastic.
i cant friggin wait to pay it off and hold her in my arms like i did for 20 mins in the shop today!!! im so excited... biggrin.gif laugh.gif
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#12 Guest_phill1012k_*

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Posted 01 September 2003 - 03:30 PM

new spec and old spec was possibley a reference to its deactivation...new spec refers to the post 1996 deactivations which are a lot more strict, having all the moving parts welded so they move no more etc. I have a Savage 1928A1 old spec which has all its moving parts, but with a cut in the barrel and its had the end of the bolt ground down. An "old spec" deactivated gun is always more money than a "new spec" and there are less and less of them around. £250 is what you'd expect to pay for an M1A1, i've seen them go for as high as £350 so you've not got a bad deal there. Enjoy, excellent start to any collection! Next on the list for my collection is a MK1 Bren!

I got my 28A1 from Belgium and have been slowly restoring it as its obivously had a hard life, i'll post some pictures of the progress sometime if anyones interested. Sadly as UK law is a tad on the strict side it will never fire again, unless the law changes of course, in which case i'll be ordering a new barrel and bolt...but i dont see it ever happening sadly. I'm moving to New Zealand ASAP!

~Phill.
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#13 ausrotten

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Posted 01 September 2003 - 03:40 PM

thanks for the info phill! where in uk are you from? theres a bren...im not sure which in a store called american patrol in portsmouth. its a fantastic store just a few shops down the road from where i got the tommy. the tommy shop was called sabre sales. another excellent shop which had a few other de-acs inc a sterling, a k98 and a ppsh? (its the russian drum mag one, ive only seen it in the medal of honor games)
i can find out the bren details if you like? have you got msn?
simon
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#14 Guest_phill1012k_*

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Posted 01 September 2003 - 03:50 PM

Hi Simon,

I'm from Gloucestershire...i've heard of American Patrol, i think they might have a website, i have a long list of websites i traoul through when i'm after something in particular. I've actually found a MK1 Bren already, i'm waiting for some more details and better pictures of it at the moment. A good place to look for these things is Europe, most countries will ship here and an awful lot of kit wound up over there. I do have MSN though i'm seldom on it, my ID is "philliphomer" anyone else wanting to say hello is welcome.

~Phill
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#15 PK.

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Posted 01 September 2003 - 04:39 PM

I have to jump in on the following quotes form WhiskeyBrother:

“Simon,
The main difference is the firing pin arrangment. The old one had a moving firing pin in the bolt, the newer one had it machined into the face of the bolt. This speeded up production during the war years, but made for a "SLAM BANG" fire weapon. This means it fired from an open bolt. You pulled the trigger, the bolt flew forward, stripped the first cartridge off the magazine, chambered it and fired it, all in one action.
Whiskey “

The above seems to indicate that the change in firing pin also changed the way the M1A1 functioned. If fact it pretty well describes the cyclic action of all TSMG’s, not just M1A1’s.

“You may be interested to know that during World War II Thompsons were produced at several facilitys, including the Singer Sewing machine company. “

The above is not true. TSMGS were manufactured only by Savage and A/O at Bridgeport. Many parts were subcontracted for the Thompson, but none that I am aware of to Singer. Singer was a major contractor of parts for other US martial weapons, however.
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#16 Whiskey Brother

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Posted 01 September 2003 - 05:26 PM

Really? I'm absolutley positive that I read somewhere that Singer produced Thompsons. Maybe it was 1911's I was thinking of though...
(Sorry for the confusion! sad.gif )
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#17 The1930sRust

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Posted 01 September 2003 - 05:41 PM

I think Singer was a subcontractor for some M1 carbine receivers...
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#18 Whiskey Brother

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Posted 01 September 2003 - 05:47 PM

I just did a quick check, and it was the 1911 that I was thinking of. They produced 500 of them according to the source I checked. (Amazing how the mind will play tricks on you sometimes, I was sure it was the Thompson. )
Well, at least I got the caliber right! biggrin.gif
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#19 ausrotten

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Posted 01 September 2003 - 06:03 PM

well, cheers for the info and help guys! laugh.gif much appreciated. il be sure to post a picture of my new baby as soon as i can.
simon
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#20 Ben

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 11:14 AM

Simon, a Thompson is a good first choice to start your collection... in the UK the meaning of old spec or new spec is whether the weapon was deactivated before 1995(old spec) or after 1995(old spec). There was a tightening of the law after 95 and all automatic or semi-automatics had to be deactivated in way that leaves very few or no moving parts left on the gun. The firing bolt doesn't normally move on new spec deacs for example. You'll find that you won't be able to strip it right down to it's individual parts maybe just take the mag out and take the wood off. Prices for a new spec deac Thompson M1A1 would be around £250 -£350.

The old specification was less strict meaning most of the parts move and some will be able to chamber dummy bullets. Pre 95 M1A1's are therefore more desirable and would go for around £600 -£800.

It all comes down to how much you can afford to pay. Don't buy the first one you see, have a look at a few and get the one in the best condition you can afford. ..make sure it comes with the proof house certificate as well.

Good luck
Ben
(Drop me an email if you need any advice)
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