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Anyone Ever Hear Of A Blank Fire Tommy


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#1 dallasdave

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Posted 18 September 2004 - 11:38 PM

not the blowback guns, but real blank fire, where you dont have to pick up the expensive re-usable cartridges!
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#2 Murray

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 12:15 AM

Yep! Dallasdave, we sure have.
One of my 1928A1's was used in the movie "The thin red line" and it fires plain ordinary .45 blanks and works just fine and looks and sound great.
It has a blank firing device that fits inside the Cutts compensator and raises the barrel pressure enough to work the action nicely.
The best thing about this device is that you do not damage the gun in any way. The Cutts pin is removed, the Cutts compensator screws off, the devise is inserted into the end of the barrel and the Cutts is screwed back on and the pin replaced, ohmy.gif
In addition, it has an adjusting screw (a grub screw with a tapered hole in it) with which you can adjust the breach preasure by adjusting it with a screwdriver through the end of the barrel (Cutts end)
I do have an e-drawing of the device if you or anyone would like it.
Happy days smile.gif

Murray the Mag man.
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#3 Sgt

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 09:14 AM

Dallas Dave--
The one Murray is talking about is a machinegun with a blank modification. It also has the machinegun price tag. Are you asking about a Thompson blank gun that was made to shoot blanks only and cannot be converted to shoot real bullets? If so, the closest you can come is the Japanese blowbacks. As far as I know, there is no manufacturer with an approved design for a "blank only" Thompson. Over the years, many have inquired for such a gun. Unfortunately, this has become a kind of Holy Grail, that is yet to be realized.
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#4 Ron Mills

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 09:19 AM

Thanks to Murray for a very thorough explanation of the Cutts-style blank adaptor! There was another, rather ugly one, that protruded from the end of the barrel; it sort of looks like a round, knurled bolt head. You'll see them occasionally on the History Channel on "Tales of the Gun" showing Thompsons being fired from gangsters' cars. Vic Morrow's MGM Thompson used on Combat, Colt Model of 1921 #8245, had a Hollywood-made blank adaptor that had the look of a Cutts compensator, but completely wide open at the end. The plug was about an inch and a half inside. Clever, these prop makers.
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#5 full auto 45

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 10:14 AM

A few years back at the TCA show in Ohio, a father and son had 2 that they used in re-enactments that fired a crimped .45 case. Lots of fire and noise. I don't recall their names, but they did a lot of shows around the Midwest if I recall. I have a video somewhere of the 2 firing directly at us from about 30 feet away. One gun was a 1921 Colt and the other I believe was a 1928 West Hurley gun. One with a Cutt's and one without.
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#6 Ron Mills

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 11:27 AM

Mike:
Was there an actual plug in the end of those barrels? There has to be, right? Otherwise there's no back pressure, from what I've been told.

Ron
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#7 full auto 45

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 11:37 AM

Yes there was a plug in both barrels. The 21 had a internal threaded barrel and a plug threaded into it. The 28 had a internal threaded compensator on it and a plug done up the same way. both plugs had a about 1/8 hole drilled in it to let out some pressure and fire. Looking at the guns, you could not see anything other then the barrels. They looked normal. Man I wish I could find that video.
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#8 2dogsfightin

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 01:48 PM

In the photos portion of this site there is a really cool picture posted by James. It shows a Thompson M1A1 fireing blanks. Says are made from 308 cases. The picture reveals NO VISIBLE modification and is awesome. Does anyone know what was modified to make this work?? Any info would be great. I reload alot and like to tinker with stuff like this.

2Dogs out
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#9 PATHFINDER

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 03:14 PM

First off "BLANK ADAPTING ANY FIREARM IS DANGEROUS!!!!!"
Disclaimer aside, I have been re-enacting for years and almost all Thompsons used are internaly threaded and use a 1/2-13 (usually) hardened set screws as a gas check(BFA).
You make a set of these starting with drilling the biggest hole possible down through the hex hole without damaging the hex. Working down in 1/64th steps to about 1/32. this should give about 6 different size orafices in a graduated set.
Same idea for 'Cutts' equiped guns but you will have to enlarge the hole in the front of the 'CUTTS' to accomodate passing the 1/2-13 BFA through to reach the muzzel threads. Thats why we modify a modern Kahr one to use on vintage weapons. This way you do not have to keep taping out the comp pin the remove the BFA.
The 'Bolt looking' one you see in film sticking out of the 'Cutts' is this same idea but they have just tapped the opening of the 'Cutts' instead if the barrel.
Making one the right length to fit in between the front of the 'Cutts' and the face of the muzzel and still have the front sight screw on perfectly to 12 o'clock would be a trick and if it was loose enough to slide back and forth at all with each shot, it would soon beat it's way out through the front of the 'Cutts'and fly down range!! Thats why German re-enactors should carry catchers mits.

Or try Pk's QD barrel mod and eliminte having to tap your live fire barrel!!

When buying your blanks be sure to tell them they are for a Thompson. They may even ask if you will be using a drum mag. Blanks intended for drum use has tighter quality control as to lenghth for obvious reasons. They should also recomend a BFA orafice size to use with thier blanks.

Start with the LARGEST size hole BFA installed and try a single shot. Keep working down until you can fire consecutive shots in SEMI. Now try a burst. You may have to use the next size down to make it fire FULL AUTO. wire rap all the rest of you gas check together for future use. If you change suppliers for blanks repeat this process!!

The largest possible size that makes it fire in 'FULL AUTO' is the size you leave in

Since the tap drill for 1/2-13 is larger than the .45 bore of the gun you have esentialy recessed your muzzle and it will need to be recrowned after you have taped the 1/2-13 hole. UPON REMOVAL OF THE BFA you should then be free to fire live ammo if the muzzle has been recrowned.

PS: Remove the BFA the second you can after firing blanks. Most blanks use reclaimed components and powder!! This is not always the best stuff to fire in your weapon and can weld the BFA in place so even gandpa's secret penatrating mixture can't break it loose!!
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#10 Wayne W

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 08:22 PM

What he just said.

Plus here is a slightly different way of putting in the BFA.

Thread the front part of the Cutts for 1/2" x 20

1 3/4" set screw (not easy to find) will snug up to the muzzle and not stick out the front

2" set screw will stick out the front of the Cutts about 1/8"

With the front of the Cutts threaded you don't have mess with the barrel or taking the Cutts off.

If I can find some more 1 3/4" screws I'm going to try drilling some holes along the sides so some of the flash can come out through the Cutts.


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#11 Reenactor

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 09:14 AM

Full Auto 45: I am the father of the father and son who did the blank shooting at the TCA show. I'm pleased that someone had as good a time as we did about it. Pathfinder has given the clearest, shortest explanation of what we did that I have seen. We adapted both my 21a and the 21ac, using new barrels on each. I did some lengthy articles in the TCN back in 91-94, but Pathfinder got it right. I use screws with 13/64 hole in one gun and 12/64 in the other, with the same Swanson loads in each. The flame and roar are much more than when shooting live.
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#12 PATHFINDER

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 09:53 AM

QUOTE (Reenactor @ Sep 22 2004, 09:14 AM)
Swanson loads in each.  The flame and roar are much more than when shooting live.

Re-enactor: Gee, you make me sound so smart!
The only thing I would add is how to make the jig for drilling the set screws: get a 1x4x 6 inch block and lay it on it's side in your vice and clamp it and clamp the vice down so you can repeate the holes easily. Tap drill it all the way through for 1/2-13 but only tap about 1/3 of an inch down into the hole. This way your 3/4 inch long set screws will bottom out so they can then be drilled and will not screw in any farther.
REMEMBER: these screws are super hard so used the apropriate drill. 'Ace Hardware' prbably will not sell you a decent highspeed steel drill bit! After each hole just back em' out with an allen key. The jig hole should still be lined up with the chuck for the next hole!!

Joe Swansons blanks are great and yes, @*&%'n LOUD!
His .30 carbine blanks are by far the best and I have never had a problem with his 8mmK in my StG-44 (bad blanks are a common complaint with this weapon) .

Anyone looking for the 1 3/4 set screws Wayne W used in his Cutts: A compnany called Suburban Nut and Bolt here in Dertoit has them by the 1000's. As well as set screws big enough to blank adapt an 88mm flak gun!!
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