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Drum Magazine Marking


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#1 hatu

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 02:52 PM

This is quite novice question, but can someone explain 50rd drum magazine marking to me. I bought from local gun dealer WW2 50rd Thompson drum magazine (made by Saymour) and there is little "U" mark below to the text. What is this little "U" mark ? I paid my magazine about 470 USD, but magazine is unused and very good conditions. How expensives are 100rd Thompson drum magazines in US ? I think that, 100rd magazines are quite rare in US too.
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#2 Ron Mills

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 07:27 PM

Not a novice question at all. We're all still learning about Thompsons! The "U" indicates that a company by the name of United Specialties Company actually manufactured the drum for Seymour. Seymour was located in Seymour, Connecticut. United Specialities had factories both in Chicago, Illinois, and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The 100-round (or "C" drum) is much rarer, yes. And very, very expensive. I'm sure some of the other fellows here can give you current collector prices.
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#3 TSMG28

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 12:45 PM

Hatu,

Congratulations on your new acquisition.

Actually, what you probably have is what is called a mismatched drum. Mismatched means that the drum body is one configuration (or from one manufactuer) and the cover is a different configuation or manufacturer. In your case, I am guessing that the cover faceplate is where the U is located, under the MAGAZINE TYPE "L" information. As Ron indicated, this was made by the United Specialties Company. There are several different versions of the United Specialties cover, each with different placement and/or fonts for the WIND TO 9 [OR 11] CLICKS in an arc on the lower part of the cover. A couple versions also have the Auto-Ordnance bullet logo. The body of your drum was made by The Seymour Products Company as noted by their name on the body faceplate.

Unless the drum has been refinished, I am guessing that the finish on the cover and body do not match. The United Specialites drums had a sandblasted surface and a Dulite finish, while the Seymours were smooth with a dull blue finish (like the Seymour box magazines). The fact that it is mismatched should not create any problems. It should work well.

There are many reasons that mismatched drums exist. Sometimes either the cover or body was damaged and replaced by a spare. Sometimes, it was simply a result of someone handling many drums at once and not realizing the differences. Also, nobody during WWII even cared about which manufacturer's parts were which. The only issue was whether the drum worked or not.

Ron is right about the "C" drums. Recent reproduction ones typically cost USD 1,000-1,200, but typically need additional repair to make them work properly (add USD 250-350). Original Colt-era C drums can run between USD 3500 and 6000. Of course, these are U.S. prices. I have no idea what they would go for in Europe. I suspect very few C drums made it across the pond.

Roger
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#4 Ron Mills

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 02:29 PM

Like I said, we're all here to learn more about Thompsons. Thanks, TSMG28, for clarifying and updating the answer. Always appreciated. Regarding the C drums, I did see a pic of one on a deactivated Thompson on a British website. They sell deactivated and model guns. If I can dig up the website again I'll post it. I think I did several months ago...I think.
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#5 hatu

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 04:42 PM

TSMG28,

I just look my magazine and i have to say that both parts (body and cover) are sandblasted. I can take few photos from that drum magazine. If you want to see photos, maybe i need your email address ?
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#6 hatu

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Posted 03 November 2005 - 01:00 AM

Yes, TSMG28 was absolutely right. Magazine is mismatched version. Faceplete is sandblasted (where is little U mark) and body is smooth blued (mady by Saymour). I have to say, that now i am little bit wiser in Thompson magazine area. When i bought it, most important thing was for me that magazine is in good conditions. In Finland L-type drum magizines are quite rare too. My opinion is that Thompson 1928A1 model is perfect with drum magazine only.
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#7 hatu

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 03:30 PM

Yeah ! I found Saymour faceplate. Now i have matched WW2 Saymour 50rd magazine.
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#8 TSMG28

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 02:09 PM

hatu,

Congratulations on your matched drum! woot.gif Did you trade your cover with another person or did you buy another cover? You said earlier in the thread that Thompson L-drums are rare in Finland. How many do you know of? Do you know how most have come to your country?

Roger
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#9 hatu

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 03:56 PM

Dealer who sell to faceplate to me had three 50rd Thompson drum magazine. One of these mags had Bridgeport backplane and Saymour faceplate. I gave my Bridgeport faceplate to him and i get Saymour. Now dealer have matched Bridgeport mag and i have matched Saymour. Nice deal to both of us.

I thing that all 50rd magazines own gun collectors. If you want to get one, you have to know right contact person how can import mags to Finland. I don't know why, but most of free WW2 50rd mags coming from Russian or Ukrainian area. And the best thing is that mags are quite good conditions. My Saymour mag is almost unused (nice smooth blue). I don't know how much WW2 Saymour 50rd mags cost in US, but i paid it about 460 USD.

My ultimate dream is to find somewhere Thompson 1921 and then connect smooth blued Saymour 50rd mag to it (...or C-model drum). I believe that Thompson 1921 is very rare in Finland and if i find it price could be astronomical. Do you know, how rare Thompson 1921 is in US and how much it cost (about) ? (Sorry if my English language is bad)
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#10 gtodan

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 11:39 PM

hatu, where are you located? Poland?

DanJ
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#11 hatu

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 02:47 AM

No no..I live in Finland.
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#12 Sgt

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 10:04 AM

hatu--
Good to see your posts. I'm not an expert like some of the others, but I watch price pretty closely. The Colt Thompson 1921 range around $30,000 for the very lowest to the upper end of $40,000 and even higher, depending on the condition and history. My life's dream is also to own one, so welcome to the club.
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