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1921 Thompson - Non Original Barrel


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#1 motorgun

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 11:23 AM

I am looking at purchasing a 1921 Colt Thompson that is in 95% overall condition, however, I suspect the barrel may have been changed due to some marks on the receiver that appear to be made by a vice. How can one tell if a barrel has been replaced? Also, how much would a replaced barrel affect the value? Would it still be worth $26K?

Any advice appreciated.
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#2 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 11:52 AM

A lot depends on if it is an original Colt (Remington) barrel and if it is supposed to be a non-converted 1921A, or if it was customer ordered to be converted to an AC by Auto-Ord

As far as replacement barrels, all Colt TSMG's that have the second pattern Cutts compensator had their original barrel changed by Auto-Ord when owners sent their TSMG back to them after 1931, or when they were originally ordered by a customer with a Cutts and then sold after 1931.

Are their any other marks on the barrel than the alignment mark? Does it line up evenly, or with an acceptable fraction off with the witness mark on the receiver, or is it way off? What is the thickness of the cooling fins?


But if their are marks on the receiver that are pronounced enough to suggest being in a "vice," since it is the barrel that would sit in the vice, how would the condition be determined to be 95%?

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#3 John Jr

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 07:59 PM

Did Richardson mark his barrels?

Can't remember, but I hear they are really good knock offs.


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#4 PK.

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 09:26 PM

Richardson barrels are made from GI M1's and you will find parts of the GI markings intact.
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#5 John Jr

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 10:03 PM

QUOTE (PK. @ May 6 2005, 08:26 PM)
Richardson barrels are made from GI M1's and you will find parts of the GI markings intact.

Ahhh,,,

Ok, didn't know he left original markings on the GI barrels.


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#6 motorgun

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 12:20 PM

The barrel and the alignment mark are spot on and there are no military markings on the barrel. There are no indentation in the receiver from a vice, it is smooth and it is uncertain wheter the blemishes are from a vice. There are several rows of white spots where the finish is worn thru. One side has these blemishes, the other does not. The vice was a theory put forth by a friend of mine. I thought maybe it had been dropped on concrete. I do not have the pictures on a URL, is there any other way I can post them?

For better or worse I have bought it. I hope it is worth $26K!
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#7 gijive

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 01:37 PM

motorgun,

If you care to email me the pictures I can post them for you.
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#8 motorgun

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 05:29 PM

GI - Jive - I sent some pics and I hppe you can post them. In any event, I have bought it.

Thanks for your help.


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#9 gijive

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 06:16 PM

motorgun,

Haven't received the pictures yet, I'll keep an eye out for them, though. If you need my complete email address it is: gijive@aol.com. I'm not sure you can send them through the Thompson Board email service.
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#10 Merry Ploughboy

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 06:28 PM

motorgun,
Congratulations on your Thompson purchase. Enjoy many happy times!
MP
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#11 gijive

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 10:53 AM

Here are the pictures motorgun asked me to post on his behalf. I advised him that this gun has been previously discussed on this Board and the consensus is that the barrel is not original to the gun.

user posted image
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#12 motorgun

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 10:58 AM

GIJIVE - what does a non-original barrel do to the value?

Thanks
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#13 gijive

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 11:07 AM

Well, in my opinion, it should have reduced the price considerably. Original Colt barrels sell in the $1,200.00 to $1,500.00 range if you can locate them. I believe Jerry at Recon Ordnance in Wisconsin, has or had a couple for sale recently.

The concern for a Colt collector would be that if the barrel was replaced, are any of the other parts replaced? Maybe the original barrel was replaced years ago and the rest of the other original parts are intact. Good luck with your purchase, maybe you can locate an original barrel at some point down the line to replace the one that is presently on the gun.
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#14 John Jr

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 11:14 AM

Original Link to the pictures and thread

Pictures of the Gun

Link to the thread that discussed the gun

Congrats on your purchase. Its a fine example IMHO.


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#15 gijive

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 11:21 AM

motorgun,

Just for you information, Gordon Herigstad's Colt serial number book has the original owner of # 14326 listed as the Piermont, New York Police Department. Just thought I'd let you know in case you weren't aware. Maybe you can contact them for some history on the gun.
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#16 john

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 11:31 AM

There is a huge variety of marks that can be suffered on the surface of a firearm. I can't say about the apparent marring of the finish on the outside of the front of the receiver, but the markings on the rear of the receiver (and also on the rear portion of the grip frame) indicate rust at one time while the gun was still assembled. The portion that rusted in that pattern was in contact with cloth or fabric of some type that had some degree of moisture content.

Does the pattern "wrap around" the entire rear portion of the gun? huh.gif

I suspect that if you looked carefully at the weave pattern of the material of an original canvas case you may find an identical pattern. Moisture that is held in the fabric will rust in a pattern similar to the weave of that fabric.
MAYBE the gun was carried in a canvas case and the top flap was rained on lightly, then the gun was put away with a slightly damp case.....If the gun could only talk!!!

I had a few 20 round magazines that were stored in a 5 cell mag pouch I bought a few years ago that had received a similar pattern of rust on their corners.

Anyone have an original canvas case that they can check this pattern out against??

I also have a gun that I once left in a case in my truck for a month or so and it was pretty humid out....(August in Minnesota)
A while later I pulled it to store it in my safe, only to discover the downward side of the gun had a pattern of fine rust exactly the same as the cloth liner inside the case!

Something to think about.... dry.gif

john
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#17 gijive

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 11:35 AM

QUOTE (john @ May 8 2005, 11:31 AM)
Anyone have an original canvas case that they can check this pattern out against??


John,

I think you hit it right on the head! The pattern is very similar to the pattern on the original canvas cases. That is probably exactly what occurred with that gun.
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#18 Sig

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 04:51 PM

motorgun
Congrats on your acquisition. I hope it brings much to your collection.
michael
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#19 john

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 05:05 PM

Even with "marks", it's still a NICE GUN!!! biggrin.gif

and I'm jealous!!! dry.gif



Enjoy it!!

john
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#20 motorgun

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 04:43 PM

Based on infromation I received from some members of this board that the barrel is definitely not original I have cancelled the purchase of this Thompson. I would prefer to have one in 80% condition that is "correct".

Thanks for your help. I will not entertain onother Thompsaon purchase without consulting with this board!
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