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Finally Got A 1927 Thompson


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#1 philasteen

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 07:26 AM

I finally took possession of my 1927 Thompson two nights ago.

I had previously acquired an amnesty registered Bridgeport M1A1. While the Bridgeport had sated my Thompson appetite for a while, I kept getting an urge to shoot to the beating of a different drum - well, actually an L drum that is.

My search ended when a friend of mine agreed to sell me this beauty. It's an original 1927, unrefinished. It's in about 87% condition, it shows the kind of wear you would expect from a former PD gun. It currently has the full auto internals installed and I'm not sure whether or not I'm going to reinstall the semi parts it came with. The stock still includes the original oiler and the wood and internals are in great shape.

As a Thompson non-expert, I welcome any observations on the gun from the crew here.

user posted image

Edited by philasteen, 19 September 2004 - 07:30 AM.

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#2 hawksnest

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 09:11 AM

Congratulations on a great acquisition!
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#3 Sgt

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 09:20 AM

Philasteen--
You are one lucky gentleman! From what I understand, the original 27s are a very rare breed. Your's looks like a beautiful specimen. You have reached the Thompson quota; no more Thompsons for you! biggrin.gif LOL
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#4 Ron Mills

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 09:22 AM

Wow, good for you! It's neat that the semi-auto internals are still with the gun too. She looks mighty fine to me from the pic. Way to go. They are "rare as hen's teeth", is what J. Curtis Earl used to say in his catalogs.
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#5 Merry Ploughboy

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 11:09 AM

A REAL 1927 Thompson!

Incredible!

Hearty congratulations!
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#6 TommyGunner

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 11:22 AM

Very nice indeed! You are a very lucky man.

Damon

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#7 Norm

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 11:35 AM

BEAUTIFUL! biggrin.gif

Enjoy it!

Norm blink.gif
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#8 full auto 45

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 11:41 AM

Very nice friend indeed. How about some more photos? If you could send me some, I'd post them on my web site. That is a true treasure of a firearm.
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#9 Grey Crow

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 03:38 PM

Congratulations on the find!

A real investment for sure.

More photos would be great.
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#10 philasteen

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 04:22 PM

I will post a detailed photo shoot in the future - unfortunately my 1927 lives 1200 miles away in Florida together with the rest of my NFA, so I can't get back to it for another month.

As far as the gun, I couldn't be happier. I looked at a few 21A, AC and 21/28's before I ended up buying this one - I finally bit the bullet on the 27 for a couple of reasons. First, the price was right. Second, the way I approached it, the 1927 was at least the equivalent of any other 1921 gun and maybe had some uniqueness due to the 1927 markings. I wish I had some closeups of them, the only picture I snapped didn't turn out too well. But essentially the semi-auto markings were machined into the side of a 21 receiver, and they were not refinished - so the letter are basically on top of base metal color.

The original owner was the Athol, Mass police dept. I don't know for sure how many owners since then but it's at least 2. I intend to do a FOIA request to try to figure this out.
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#11 Grumpy

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 05:07 PM

Phil, you're one lucky guy! Good luck with her.

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#12 21 smoker

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 05:21 PM

WOW!!!


What a find,Congratulations!!!


Range report to follow?... wink.gif
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#13 Bob B

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 06:34 PM

Just beautiful - what a lucky find! If '21s are rare, this is a heck of a lot rarer. Can't wait to see closeups.

Just a question, when you say the semi-auto lettering is "on top of base metal color", does this mean the roll-stamping was done after the receiver was blued? I haven't been in a position to examine any Colts close up enough to tell, but the lettering in most of the photos I've seen appears to have the same coloration as the rest of the gun. A clear exception seems to be the '21/'28 US Navy "overstamp" models where the added lettering has a distinctly "unblued" color and is slightly raised around the periphery of each letter.

I've always assumed that Colt roll-stamped, smoothed and polished the '21 frames and receivers prior to bluing, since the photos I've seen show no raised or displaced metal surrounding the lettering as would be the case immediately following a stamping operation. Anyone know the answer?
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#14 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 07:19 PM

Bob,
The 1927 Colt TSMG was a 1921 model that had the the "Full Auto," "Model of 1921," and "Thompson Submachine Gun" milled off and replaced with the "1927" and "Semi" stampings as done by Auto-Ordnance. The gun was not then re-blued after the cosmetic changes were applied. Colt had nothing to do with the Navy, AC, or 1927 versions of the original 15,000 TSMG's.

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#15 Bob B

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 07:57 PM

Thanks for that Arthur, explains everything. Just found an old J. Curtiss Earl closeup of a '27 that clearly shows the end-milled recesses and post-manufacture lettering. I must have seen that photo dozens of times - it just never registered. Dohh! blink.gif

BTW, JCE says in his description of the piece that only 42 '27s were documented on the company books through 1934, and that in twelve years of trading (as of 1974) he had seen only one other. Rare indeed!
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#16 Zamm

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 11:07 PM

Wow!
That is truley something not seen daily!
Fantastic. Best of luck.
More photo's please!!! smile.gif
Zamm
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#17 Sgt

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 11:54 PM

Philasteen--
I can't help but to think of a tacky question on everyone's tacky mind. Without giving actual figures, would you feel comfortable telling us if you got it for a steal, or did the seller know its rarity and value? Shame on the rest of you for thinking about this also. cool.gif
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#18 AZDoug

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 01:29 AM

Only '27 C saw was at Champlin Museum during their sell off in about 1996. they had the original 9MM TSMG there also. Both seemed expensive at the time, like maybe $7K for the '27 and $9-12K for the 9MM gun, IIRC. Hell, I thought their '21's were expensive at $5500.

It was kind of cool to take all the guns down, look at them, check them out, lay them out on teh floor, decide which one to buy, etc.

The best moment was when I asked to look at a '21 with an original pristine C-drum in it, and turned the gun sideways to remove the drum, and not expecting the drum to fall out and hit the floor so fast after toggling the drum release....

Fortunatly for the drum, the drum hit the toe of my tennis shoe first, and the rest of the floor had a deep carpet and pad on it. No damage (other than to my toe), but I do recall a high pucker factor. smile.gif

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#19 96lt1ss

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 09:09 AM

Would you be willing to share with us in ball park numbers what you were able to aquire it for and did the seller realize what it was?

It has been my quest just to see and hold one let alone be the owner of one.
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#20 philasteen

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 10:10 AM

The seller was a friend of mine, and also a very sophisticated NFA collector with a full idea of what machineguns are worth, so we agreed on a price that was in the middle of what we thought the range of values was. In round numbers, it was in the $20K neighborhood, so it was a pretty fair price.
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