I bought my Thompson, West Hurley era, simply because it was half as much as a Savage. At the time, I don't really know if I knew or cared that it wasn't a War gun or a Colt. Those two Era guns were simply out of my price range. It was simply a Thompson. But I was OK with the Westie--even though at the time I had no idea what kind of work I was going to want to put into it (not necessarily need to put into it). Considering in the end I have dumped literally several thousand into it, it was still the only Thompson I could have ever afforded at the time.
Now I have a Thompson that is one-of-a-kind. There is not another Thompson like it. It has been tweaked and polished and this and that. And it is a beautiful example of a Thompson. It looks as nice as a Colt did off the shelf in the Twenties. Which brings me to my point. I don't disagree that West Hurley has little if any lineage to John T. Thompson. But the Thompson is so much more than a gun. It is an American icon.Think Q-Tip or Band Aid. Or Jell-O. Slush Puppy or Icee. Bunch of manufacturers under various names, but it is what it is. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, etcetera. It is an enigma. When you say "Thompson", almost everyone knows what you mean or gets an immediate mental picture of the outline. Whether it was from a gangster flick from the Thirties, or from a Bugs Bunny cartoon, you know the outline. So, whether it was made by Colt, or Savage, or is an M1 that doesn't really even look like a Tommy Gun, or hobbled together from parts in the 50's, or built half-assed in the mid eighties, it's still a Thompson. Because a Thompson isn't defined by its maker but by what it is.
It doesn't matter who made it, but that it is a Thompson.