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Most Embarrassing Thompson Moments


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#1 The1930sRust

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Posted 18 October 2003 - 05:08 PM

Well, sh*t!

I went to a clay shoot today, and brought the Thompson for between rounds. There was a .50 cal rifle there, and lots of hand guns, so I felt at ease. It is so funny to walk into a group of poeple like that carrying a violin case. "What ya got in there, a Tommy Gun?". Hehe...yup.

Anyway, I had it all loaded up, L drum and the 1928 actuator (figured I'd slow it down for anyone wanting to fire it--fun lasts longer). Anyway, 50 people are bearing down on me with anticipation of the cocophany of sound to follow, and...crack..crack..crack.....JAM! Crushed casing and a loose round. Dumped it all out, and the same thing happened. Switched to a XXX stick, and the bolt jams half way and stops. Some smart ass yells, "That's why gangsters don't use 'em anymore!". Sigh.

I go off line and cannot even get the trigger frame off because the bolt won't go forward. I hear something clanging around inside the gun and I figure a broken firing pin or something. Well, it is a spent case under the bolt! Sucker is trapped in there good, in the spring cavity. . About ten minuts later I manage to get the thing out, and switch back to the 1921 actuator...

Redemption....

Ratatatatatatat! Works perfectly. Oohs and ahhs. One man, who let me fire his .50 Desert Eagle, is so amazed after firing the Thompson, he just can't stop talking about it. Left the line just giddy. That is what it is all about. I really enjoy others when they get to experience the Thompson. I always talk up the history of such a fine weapon--a piece of America. Anyway....

Not sure what the problem was. I think the loose case happened after the first series of jams. Haven't shot the 1928 actuator in a while, but it looks fine and all. Oh well. Sure never have heard of a case under the bolt though!

Anyone else with a Thompson hard luck story?
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#2 Walter63a

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Posted 18 October 2003 - 06:13 PM

No story Rust. I guess I need more experience. ohmy.gif blink.gif Well, at least you redeemed yourself, your Tommy, and the whole Thompson-loving community! tongue.gif cool.gif biggrin.gif Regards, Walter
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#3 brian

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Posted 18 October 2003 - 07:38 PM

last time i had the '27 out, it ran two rds and broke an extractor, replaced it with another and promtly broke it after an amazing one(1) round. and all this with two buddies dying to play with it, having been blasting away with pistols all morning waiting for the thompson.
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#4 Bill in VA

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Posted 18 October 2003 - 08:22 PM

Ever tried to headspcae your finger? or "Garand thumb" is NOTHING compared to "Thompson finger."
by Bill in VA

Probably the most shameful (stupid?) thing that ever happened was the day I brought it home with me. After playing with it for a few minutes I put an empty magazine in the gun, retracted the bolt and pulled the trigger. As expected, the bolt wouldn't go forward on an empty magazine. (Here's where my superiour intellect took over...) Being the smart fellow that I am, I decided to put my index finger in the ejection port to depress the magazine follower while simultaneously pulling the trigger. Again, as expected, the bolt flew home, this time almost chambering my finger. Blood flew and I said a lot of bad words. Thankfully, no one witnessed this episode.
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#5 The1930sRust

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Posted 18 October 2003 - 09:15 PM

Bill...(ROTFL)...that story makes me feel better laugh.gif
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#6 Bill in VA

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Posted 18 October 2003 - 09:24 PM

lol. Yup, a true "don't try this at home, kids" story. My finger tip had a perfect semi-circle missing from it. To this day I don't know what I was thinking when I did it. Even at the time, I knew the magazine follower held the bolt open and depressing it would release the bolt. It's a lot easier to laugh about now than it was the day it happened. It's along the same lines of the old joke about "what's a redneck's famous last words?"





Answer: "Hey Y'all! Watch this!"
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#7 Bisley45

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Posted 18 October 2003 - 09:33 PM

That's funny, and too true in some cases....

smile.gif I had my first M1 try and chamber my finger, was 18 and didn't get bolt locked back only resting on folower. I had the gun upside down and was holding it trying to pry up the back of the trigger guard to field strip. It had been beded and was a tight SOB and trying to choke up my fingers of the left hand went into the gun, brand new recoil spring blink.gif ; took me a couple hours the next day to clean out the blood. Never had a Tommy try and chamber a finger, most likely as my now fat hands don't fit but I wouldn't put bets on which one is worse.

BB
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#8 Norm

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 11:44 AM

ohmy.gif OUCH! ohmy.gif
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#9 Waffen Und Bier

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 07:35 PM

My Savage M1A1 Thompson obtained in 1990. Go to a private range. Brand spankin' new 30 round mag in. Selector on "Go Fast." Pull trigger. Bolt lurches forward. What seemed like an externity later, a round stipped from the mag. It stops partway in the chamber and the whole mess screeches to a halt with no obligatory bang. Empty, the thing worked perfectly. Put ammo in it and it wouldn't run. Was really pissed that I spent $1599 on it, waited several months to find and get it and it wouldn't run.

At any rate, I bought an M1 bolt from Bob Landies, put it in and it ran like a champ. Threw the M1A1 bolt in the spares box to deal with later. Figure it had crud under the extractor (that or it was sprung).

Fast forward 9 years. At a private shoot with a few long time machine gunners. They have a Bren, an M60, and a bunch of other neat stuff. I trot out my newly acquired 1921AC. Greg Fox told me to get a 1928 bolt and actuator to eliminate the risk of breaking an ear on a pretty much unreplacable 21 actuator. The old timers were mortified I was going to shoot the thing at all, but as I had not yet shot it, I just had to risk it. I must have messed around with that 28 bolt for 15 minutes trying to install it. Again, the bolt would not go home. Figured crud under the extractor or it was sprung. Suffered more than a few friendly barbs from that crew. I figured screw it. Put the 21 bolt assembly back in, loaded the fifty round drum, wound it up and let it rip. Sounded like a freakin' MAC 10. Yee ha! Ran my Colt 01 that day with an original buffer (again the other guys were mortified) and it ran like a scalded MAC also.
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#10 John Jr

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 10:07 PM

I have one thats on the wrong kind of video for the web, but its the first time I ever fired (or tried) to fire the Thompson. The guy I bought it from had sent me one of those darm demilled semi auto 20 rounders with the oval hole in it and I tried it (didn't know better at the time). The bolt flew past the round and the gun "snapped." The look on my face was priceless. Everyone laughed as I hollered out ,"I paid ten thousand dollars for THAT!" The drum worked and most of you have seen that video.

Jr
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#11 michael

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 11:07 PM

i've read a few things about the magazines having feeding problems and the shape of the hole in the rear of the magazine. what's the problem and how do you know if the magazine is good... do you have to try them or can you tell by inspection.
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#12 John Jr

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 11:18 PM

The mags that are for the semis have an oval shaped hole and the normal ones are just round.

Jr
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#13 Ron Mills

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 11:28 PM

I have a somewhat related story about an airborne recoil spring on my MGC '21 copy. Hey, it said "field-strips just like the original". Okey dokey, let's give 'er a try. I had by big hard cover book, "Small Arms of the World"; thought I was looking at it carefully enough (I was 19). To make a long story short, that recoil spring shot right past my head and put one hell of a hole in the wall of the apartment! My new wife was not amused. She had that "Too much time on your hands, huh" look. I repaired the hole the best I could and put a picture over it. The spring was bent beyond re-insertion, so I ordered another from Tracy Nelson at Replica Models. I think I ruined the buffer pilot too. Yes, they even carried spare parts in those days!
Funny (and unfunny) stuff about the bolts. I also nearly caught my finger on my hometown PD's Navy '28 on an empty chamber once when I pulled the trigger instead of easing the bolt forward. My friend the Sarge walked by, laughed, and said "Damn kids". Some sharpie dealer talked them out of that gun; traded them for 6 Model 97 riot guns; he had the Navy '28 in Shotgun News the next month for $8K (mid 1970's).
Sorry for the rambling...
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#14 tranham

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 02:05 PM

I was 20 when a friend lent me his 28 Thompson. I went up to the range and pulled back the bolt. He had given me a nice L drum to play with. Remembering what he said I tried to insert the drum. The latch was being a pain so I pushed harder and then the drum went in, and right back out the other side. It landed on the ground and rolled away. Oh great! Lesson learned.

Robert Nitsche
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#15 Tman

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 09:30 AM

During a search warrant about 5 years ago, a fellow agent was removing guns from a safe at the subjects place of business. He was carefully unloading each weapon before setting them down to be looked at further. He came across a M1A1 in the back of the safe. Being the careful individual that he is, he immediately pulled the bolt back to inspect the chamber. He didn't pull it back far enough, though. He let it go and BOOM!!! The round hits the floor and ricochets up into a flouroesent light and the bulbs come crashing down.

He forgot the most important part of unloading a weapon. Drop the mag first. By the way, the place of business was a doctor's office. The doc is a cardiac surgeon and patients were in the waiting room! Luckily no heart attacks, except for the agent. blink.gif

Greg
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#16 PK.

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 09:59 AM

Greg, can you share with (in essence) what prompted the warrant?
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#17 Tman

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 09:57 AM

Sure, we were working a guy who had defrauded some other folks out of thousands of dollars for an investment in a restaurant. The guy went out and purchased high quality, expensive firearms instead. The guy was a multi-convicted felon. He was using the doctor to hide some of the firearms from the other investors. The doc was not arrested or charged with anything. He ultimately was one of our better witnesses. The M1A1 was not seized.

The bad guy is currently serving time, lots of time.

Greg
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#18 M1Brian

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 01:10 PM

How about taking apart your newly acquired M1 west hurley like new in box test fired only gun after your first trip to the range with flawless operation. No you figure out the guy sold it because he probably could not get it apart after he test fired it to clean it. Being a certified liscened mechanic and fully reading the manual and having pictures to look at this gun was coming apart. I blew by holding down the frame lacth button problem in minutes making a press that would neither mar the gun or keep the upper from sliding back. Back to the manual it says some new guns may be tight and require more force. After a few trips to the tool box and sevel attempts at seperation without marking up the gun it was down to the block of wood and hammer. To be safe I cut a special piece for the job. Needless to say when the hammer was past the point of no return the block of wood fell of and the mag well suffered the damage. Several hours later the mag well was reshaped and blued and the mags fit some what like before. I'm still in the process of restoring the dimensions to factory specs.
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#19 Bruce L

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 05:41 PM

How about this one...

After months of anticipation and a 200 mile round trip to pick up my WH 1928, I arrive home with it in my new case along with the two new L drums ($135.00 each!!) I bought so I could have something to play with while waiting for the transfer. Neighbor comes running over to check it out. I put in a drum (unloaded) so he could get the full effect. Next thing I know he asks "what does this do," pushes the mag release and the drum bounces off the tile floor!


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