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Holy Grail Of Thompsons? A Dillinger '21ac


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#21 45wheelgun

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 10:30 AM

It is threads like this that make me LOVE this forum. Very interesting guys.
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#22 LIONHART

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 10:47 AM

Received word yet again this morning from the Seller

Hello,

I spoke with the owner of the collection and he told me that he has owned everything since the early 80's. The gun itself was acquired in 1982 from the Muncie Indiana Police Department. I also noticed a typo in my ad, the S/N is 9115 not 9155. Hope you received my pictures yesterday. If not, please let me know.

Thanks,
Dan Distler
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#23 John Jr

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 11:42 AM

Whats the general concensus about this, legit or bullshit?


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#24 Ron Mills

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 03:47 PM

I'll lean to the legit side of the room. The guy seems to have many ducks in a row.
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#25 LIONHART

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 04:31 PM

The Seller stated stated:

QUOTE
"It is documented by Thompson and several Police Forces from when it was stolen to when it is believed "Baby Face" Nelson brought it to Indiana."


Who at Thompson, IE, "Auto-Ordnance" documented this Gun? Was it the original AO, or some other entity?

In AF's responce,


QUOTE
GH has #9115 as being last owned by Bob Harkey back in 2001.


And now the latest from the Seller:

QUOTE
The gun itself was acquired in 1982 from the Muncie Indiana Police Department.


So, I'm assuming the Owner is still Bob Harkey, and Dan is acting as the Broker..

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#26 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 04:40 PM

QUOTE
It is documented by Thompson and several Police Forces from when it was stolen to when it is believed "Baby Face" Nelson brought it to Indiana.
Dister

His ducks may be in a row, but they appear to be more like clay pigeons. The only documentation about the history of this Colt TSMG is that it was owned by two police departments. "Thompson" documented what part of the story? What does he mean? General John T. personally vouched for the Dillinger gang's connection to this serial number? Or Auto-Ordnance Corporation records show anything other than the initial sale to the Muncie, PD? Aside from the hoods, the documentation doesn't make that TSMG any more unique than 90% of the other 14.999 TSMG's.

No doubt the cops ran a few drums and mags through the weapon during the time the TSMG was in their possession, not to mention the requisite playing on this "Chicago Typewriter" by the supposed hoods whose hands it fell into. Pile that on top of the "fact" the gun had been squirreled away for purposes of hiding, and not protecting, in this relatively unknown hood's home for 12 years or so, it seems unlikely this would contribute to the preservation of the TSMG's condition

I love the it is "believed" Nelson transported the TSMG to Indiana. All the Dillinger props that go along with this TSMG seem to be working overtime to legitimize the TSMG's connection to Public Enemy #1. So if you strip out the Dillinger story, which is superficial at best, you have a dual owned PD $30K-$40K Colt TSMG with drums, if it is as described 95% or better condition, that possibly spent time in a hood's attic or basement, then adorned a an obscure USAC driver's trophy room with a story that rivaled his own accomplishments on the track back in 1970.

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#27 Walter63a

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 05:35 PM

Classic Thompson Greed, without a doubt, and I think this guy is trying to play it like a master!!! blink.gif ohmy.gif cool.gif
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#28 LIONHART

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 06:42 PM

Just received the following message from the Seller:

Hello,

Sorry it took so long to get back with you but the owner thinks the set is sold. To answer your questions the gun is documented by both Thompson and by the capturing police force here in Indiana as being one of several guns seized during a raid at the one of Dillinger's underground gangster hideout in Muncie, Indiana. The guy buying the collection has also retrieved a Thompson thrown into a river during a prison breakout by Dillinger.

If the deal falls through I'll let you know.

Thanks for inquiring!
Dan

I had specifically asked what type of supporting documents existed linking the Thompson to either Dillinger or Nelson. Again, all he has stated was; "the gun is documented by both Thompson and by the capturing police force here." That certainly doesn't help, does it?
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#29 LIONHART

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 07:01 PM

QUOTE
The guy buying the collection has also retrieved a Thompson thrown into a river during a prison breakout by Dillinger


If true, I hope for his sake it's Registered...Is the buyer the one who uncovered that Thompson? Was it recent or back in '34? Strange...The only Prison that Dillinger escaped from was Clown Point.
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#30 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 07:03 PM

Now I'm really confused? If this TSMG was retrieved in a police raid of a Dillinger Muncie hangout, how did it wind up in the hood Copeland's house to be discovered by some anthropologist in 1946?

The buyer is already in possession of a Colt TSMG that Dillinger threw into a river after breaking from the Big House? Well, that story sounds infinitely better than the one the former stock car driver seems to be floating. Does Dan mean to imply that this interested "buyer" plunged into the river himself and "retrieved" the TSMG decades later? Or, did he know Dillinger was going to make his big break and grab a TSMG on the way out and then followed him to the river and fished the TSMG out before all of Dillinger's fingerprints could be washed off? Is this guy Robin Masters?

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#31 LIONHART

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 07:05 PM

I sent another email asking for further information. Here is what I got..



Bob Harkey is the current owner who acquired it from the Muncie Indiana Police Department. The Police Chief at that time is the one who documented the history of how the Muncie Indiana Police Force acquired the gun. In that document it states that the gun was believe to have been brought from Oklahoma by Baby Face Nelson and delivered to the Copeland residence in Muncie Indiana. The odd part of the story is that the gun was originally purchased by the Muncy, Oklahoma Police Force when it was new and was stolen by Nelson or Pretty Boy Floyd. According to Bob, the town of Muncy, Oklahoma no longer exists and is called something else.

That is the story behind this gun as Bob and the paperwork documents. Hope it makes sense.

Thanks again,
Dan

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#32 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 07:24 PM

So Harkey buys this in 2001 from the then current Muncie, Indiana police chief and it is this very chief who "documented" the story about the Baby Face Nelson, or Pretty Boy Floyd" connection and that Nelson is "believed" to be the one who deposited it at Copeland's home?

Three scenarios immediately spring to mind: Either good Ole boy Harkey was given a padded story of the TSMG by the enterprising CLEO, or Dan has screwed up this story so badly that it strains credulity, or the "document" says exactly what it says and it is up to the perspective buyer to extrapolate the phrase "believed to be" as sufficient proof to validate the $150k price. This still doesn't answer the police raid part of the story.

You got to hand it to Caroline Kennedy. She is the only Kennedy to actually increase the family wealth with that recent auction. But at least the buyer of a JFK initialed bookcase, that experts figured couldn't possibly fetch more than $7K from the most awe struck "Camelot" fanatic, but did in fact sell for $400,000., they were assured of its authenticity beyond the catch all phrase,"it was believed to be owned" by JFK."

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#33 LIONHART

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 07:29 PM

It's all BullShit if you ask me...
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#34 colt21a

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 07:39 PM

i just lost 2.5 million,i could have had a long tale on the 100 plus colt's i had over the year's..not counting wes-hurlee's and militaries..man i could had a tale on every one of them...and i like that "clown point'

well i guess it was when john escaped so easlily...wink!! take care and have a pleasant tommorrow..ron
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#35 LIONHART

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 07:41 PM

Clown Point Prison, Wooden Gun Indiana... laugh.gif
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#36 TD.

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 07:45 PM

I don't care if you have a picture of it in Dillinger's hands with the serial number plainly visible while he is robbing a bank - it ain't worth 150K!!!
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#37 LIONHART

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 08:02 PM

One more...

Just to clarify...the "believed" part is my words. The actual letter reads by Mr. Heath:

It is also a fact than another Dillinger associate Mr. Harry Copeland lived in Muncie, Indiana at 306 North 9th Street and this is the same house that this Thompson S/N 9115 was recovered. Shortly before the recovery Baby Face Nelson was spotted at the Copeland residence. It should also be noted that the Dillinger Gang would travel to Copeland's residence after pulling bank robberies in Oklahoma, Kansas City and other cities in the west.

Documents prove that the Thompson, S/N 9115 was once owned by the Muncy, Oklahoma police department and was reported missing after a robbery by Pretty Boy Floyd. The next reported location of this gun is by the Muncie, Indiana Police Department after a raid of the Copeland residence. During the investigation the probability that this weapon had been in the possession of Baby Face Nelson and other Dillinger Gang members is very creditable.

Richard M. Heath
Muncie Indiana Police Chief



I think that is as close as one can get without being there to prove this is the real thing. I don't know how much more proof one can get.

Thanks,
Dan


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#38 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 08:11 PM

I believe it was Hardrede who said the Porter County Sheriff's department, that has in their possession #7387 TSMG that Dillinger used to rob the East Chicago, Indiana Bank, refused a million dollar offer. Maybe that is how Harkey figured his story was worth at least 15% of that amount.
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#39 dalbert

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 08:53 PM

Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson....Maybe Al Capone was also involved somehow...The whole thing sounds like a "Who's Who" of depression era gangsters...

The letter from the Police Chief even sounds like it's "reaching" a bit. There is probably no way to ever verify the facts behind the gun, but there is always a "probability." It's an intriguing (yet sketchy) story, and the gun can be whatever we want to believe it to be...

David Albert
dalbert@sturmgewehr.com
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#40 giantpanda4

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Posted 24 February 2005 - 07:48 AM

This is a great post, for sure.

I was wondering when someone would bring up Capone. I was just been on a trip with 200 high school band kids to Orlando, where we went to a place called "Capone's". Nice show - just sorta like the movie "Chicago". The Tommy didn't even show up until the very end - and I think it was a resin prop. My son quickly pointed out that the bolt was closed when they were "shooting" it.

Of course Capone never shows up in the show... but it is his name that seems so revered that they could build a whole story and eatery out of it. Why not open "Dillinger's" dinner theatre too?!!

I love the guns. But the price of these gangster guns makes them for someone else, not me!

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