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Magazine Without Marking


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#1 hatu

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 08:35 AM

I just bought five 20rd magazines and one of these mag's is without any markings. Is it fake or what ?

I have seen, that many Thompson 1928A1 guns could cost $15k to $20k ?? I live in Europe (Finland) and i just bought quite nice 1928A1 (smooth barrel and L-type rear sight) smg (made by Savage) and it cost about 1300 USD. Can someone explain to me, why tommy's cost so much in USA ? In Finland full auto license cost about 200 USD.
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#2 Jay Baker

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 08:45 AM

Hatu,prices of Thompsons have risen in the US due to restrictive laws which eliminate registration of machineguns thus fixing the supply. Demand has continued to increase and simple economics dictate rising prices in this environment.

In other words, there aren't anymore being made, so the seller sets his price as high as the market allows. You are fortunate to have freer access to firearms in Finland. Welcome to the boards.
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#3 Murray

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 10:23 AM

Hatu,
To the best of my knowledge, there are three types of 20 round magazines that have no markings.
They are as follows,
The original first produced "blank" 20 round mag which were sold by Auto Ordance in 1921 with the first production Colt Thompsons, the model of 1921.

They had no markings on them. They are quite rare but do turn up from time to time. I have about five of them and found another just last week end in a gun auction here in New Zealand.

The second type is the World War Two type "blank" magazine which also has no markings but can be indentified from the 1921 "Colt" magazines in the following way.

On the WW2 20rd mag, the four cartridge observation on the left hand side of the body, their centerline is 0.200" (inches) from the back of the body, while on the earlier Colt mags the distance is greater at 0.350 inches.

The third "Blank" mag I have seen is the Japanese "toy" 20 rd mag which looks and feels exactly the same as a real 20 round mag, however the cartridge follower is much different and has no "hold open" lever.

Hope this information is of some help
Murray.

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#4 Merry Ploughboy

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 10:51 AM

Hatu,

Welcome to the Board and enjoy your '28 Thompson. Your gun sounds like an very nice WWII vintage weapon. The Thompson is, in my opinion, the finest submachine gun ever made. You have chosen wisely.

MP
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#5 hatu

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 12:57 PM

Murray,
Thank you very much from detailed magazine information. I planned that i have to order Collector Grade book "Thompson: the American Legend - The First Submachine Gun" where i can learn more.

Couple of years ago i bought brand new L-type (50 round) drum magazine from local gun dealer. If i remember right, drum cost less than 200 USD. I am still very angry to myself, because dealer offered C-type (100rd) magazine too, but i planned to save money...dam. Nowadays all Thompson drum magazines are totally gone from Finland. Maybe drum magazine importing from USA is still very hard.
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#6 TSMG28

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 01:34 PM

hatu,

Murray covered it well, but there is one more blank mag that I would think would be unlikely to appear in Finland. Auto-Ordnance made what they called "shot" mags, which used special shot cartridges that were longer than the standard 45 ACP. Because the cartridges were longer, a deeper version of the XX mag was required. The first ones like the first "Colt" mags Murray mentioned were blank. Later, they added two different versions of stamping to the shot mags. Very few blank shot mags have been documented, so I doubt many exist outside of the U.S. Of course, Murray probably has some in New Zealand.

There are supposedly two different versions of the WWII blank mag. One was made by Sparks-Whittington and the other by United Specialties. They differ only in the tool marks but are otherwise identical. The S-W one has a small circle stamped on the inside backstrap at the bottom.

Focus on the keys Murray included and you will know which of the versions you have.

There is an excellent set of articles that appeared in the Thompson Collectors News in 2001 concerning the box magazines. You can view them at TCN Archive. Just click on the 2001 Index. The TCN is the periodical for the Thompson Collectors Association. It is currently published quarterly. If you wish to join this group, go to TCA Website.

Welcome to the world of Thompsons!!

Roger
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#7 Z3BigDaddy

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 02:00 PM

Hatu,

Welcome to the board! My wifes mother is a first generation Finn, her grandmother came here from Finland when she was a little girl.
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#8 Murray

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 02:41 PM

Hey Roger,
I completely forgot about the blank shot mag!
No, I don't have a shot mag. I was offered two at the first SAR show I went to four years ago for $100 each which I thought was too dear. Boy! I regret that now. At the time I had not realised how rare they are.
May be I will find one at the SAR show this comming December.
See you all there again.
Also, Jan and I are going to the 15th TCA show next year all going well.
Kindest regards.
Murray.
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#9 dalbert

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 06:35 PM

I might have one more unmarked XX magazine to add to the mix.

I received an unmarked magazine with my West Hurley M1 Thompson, new in the box when purchased in 1988. It does not appear to be an old Colt magazine, and it has no markings whatsoever. I have shot many rounds through it over the years. Its cartridge observation holes are .35" from the back of the body.

This one does not have a hold open lever on the cartridge follower, but the follower appears the same as my other mags, except for the absence of the hold open lever. The magazine feed lips are a bit different shape than my other mags, with less contact area along the body of the top cartridge.

From the description that Murray provided of the Japanese MGC 20-round toy mag, it sounds similar, but the follower on mine looks the same as a regular mag, except for the absence of the hold open lever, as previously mentioned. I suppose it could be possible that the mag was provided with the gun when I bought it from the dealer, and didn't originate from A-O West Hurley.

Any thoughts?

David Albert
dalbert@sturmgewehr.com


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#10 gijive

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 10:09 PM

Dave,

You have got one of the MGC magazines made for the replica guns. Dimensionally they are the same as regular twenty round magazines. The feed lip contour is different as well. Apparently Numrich actually used the MGC replica "L" drum bodies for one of the variations of their 39 or 10 round drums. Maybe they actually sold some of the replica twenty round magazines with the West Hurley guns?

I did a photo comparison of the MGC box magazines and original twenty round magazines and posted it to this list a couple of years ago. I have since deleted the photos from my internet space with AOL, but the text may still be available in the Board archives. Try a search on MGC magazines.
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#11 hatu

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Posted 22 October 2005 - 01:28 AM

Z3BigDaddy,

This comment goes out of the topic, but i assume that many MachineGunBooks forum guys live in USA. Famous Finnish gun manufacturer SAKO is very near for me (about 500 meters), but it don't sell anything directly. Maybe most of the SAKO guns goes to the USA. It's sad that SAKO stopped assault rifle manufacturing couple of years ago. I just think that Thompson smg is very famous in USA like we have SUOMI M-31 smg.
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