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Can A 22 Wh Conversion Be Converted To 45?

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#1 Matt in Pdx

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 02:50 AM

How hard would it be to convert a WH 22 Model 28 into 45?

Thanks Matt
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#2 DC Chris

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 05:27 AM

Just from what I have read and understand:

Yes, it is technically possible.

Is it legal? Maybe/Possibly. AO West Hurley did legally convert some .22 1928's into .45 cal 1928's. However, the gun is papered in .22 cal, so I don't know the ATF/legal specifics of changing it to .45 ACP even though AO WH (as the manufacturer of an unsold gun) did it in 1987.... after the ban.

West Hurley .22 Production Info Page

So - you would need (providing the receiver is dimensionally correct and it is legal to do so): new barrel, new compensator, complete bolt assembly with extractor, actuator, ejector, bolt oiler, buffer, blish lock (don't know if the .22 reciever has the channels), mainspring, fiber disk, removal of the mag insert, headspacing, feedramp tuning and a refinish. I almost purchased a 1928 .22 cal for my collection 10 or so years ago (what the hell, they were cheap then) but the deal fell through, so I cannot tell you what also needs to happen on the lower receiver assembly with respect to the safety, sear, mag catch, etc... (Deerslayer or PK might be able to add some info). After all of that, I believe it is questionable to change the markings on the receiver , but it should probably stay as is being roll stamped as .22 LR. Anyone out there have a "TF" converted .22 to .45 factory WH who can comment on the receiver markings?

Adding up that cost would probably add on quite a few dollars to a 11K or so going rate for a 1928 chambered in .22. Plus, it would lose its C&R status.

Considering that there are only about 300 of the full auto 1928's in .22, why bother? I say let those guns stay .22. After all of the time and money you put into a conversion, you might have spent around the current market rate of a stock .45 model.

That is, of course, if you go to shows, know people and don't pay the "Thompson Greed" price on the internet offered by some of these dealers. Just ask Ron for his opinion ... smile.gif

Just my 0.02-

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#3 philasteen


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Posted 07 January 2006 - 08:23 AM

Buy Thedford's WH 28 for 11K

Add a 28 parts kit from OOW for $750

How much would PK charge for the job?

You could end up with a WH 28 at a decent price.

btw, ATF will not have any issue with the conversion. Send them a letter that the caliber has been permanently changed to .45 and they will amend the record for the gun in the NFRTR (may take 3 tries but they will do it).
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#4 TD.


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Posted 07 January 2006 - 09:57 AM

Does a caliber .22 Long Rifle West Hurley Thompson have an aluminum or alloy type receiver? If so, would you want a full-auto Thompson on this type receiver? It certainly would not be like the regular production West Hurley Model of 1928 Thompson.

For some reason I was under the impression that Auto-Ordnance, West Hurley, manufactured steel receivers for the Thompsons that have caliber .22 Long Rifle serial numbers but are chambered for caliber .45 ACP. And all of this was all done with BATF permission.

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#5 PK.


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Posted 07 January 2006 - 10:22 AM

cop.gif You can not convert a WH ’28 22lr to 45.

The receivers are entirely different internally as well as in material; steel for 45, aluminum for 22.

It would be like converting a Ruger 10/22 to 44 mag carbine; they look similar, but the insides are a world apart.

The guns that WH “converted” were not conversions at all. They scrapped the 22 cal guns (that weren’t selling) and moved the serial numbers over onto new steel 45 caliber receivers. They could do this legally at the time as they were the manufacturer. You can not do this now as the owner.

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#6 Matt in Pdx

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 12:12 PM

Thanks everyone for the info.

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#7 Mohawk



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Posted 11 January 2006 - 06:48 PM

QUOTE (colt21a @ Jan 7 2006, 06:33 PM)
why anybody would want a 22lr.thompson is beyond me...

Well I'm sure it is beyond you, assuming you live in the good old USA. Unfortunately over here in the bad old UK, we are only allowed .22 Rimfire semi's now, due to our drakonian government. So your truely has a nice 1979 all alloy .22 version with 10.5" barrel & it weighs in at all of 6lb fully loaded wink.gif

Interestingly, its all alloy. The frame, the receiver, the trigger group parts, the barrel (with steel liner) & the compensator. Even stranger was the steel choke in the compensator, which I've removed & recrowned the barrel. it's a work in progress at the moment hampered by a broken extractor which I hope to have replaced in a couple of weeks that's to a friendly US citizen. get this they won't ship one out of the USA, because it falls under your assault weapons banned list !!!

I've reworked the damaged breach face from the over long firing pin, like 1.5mm to long ! Reworked said firing pin & now I'm working on the trigger group & designing my own drum for it. Might even be a reasonably reliable shooter once its finished.

Enjoy the .45 cals, mean while I'll take what I can get sad.gif

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#8 TSMGguy


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Posted 12 January 2006 - 11:27 AM

PK is right. Besides the obvious technical impossibility of using the aluminum receiver in a .45 conversion, the gun is legally registered as a .22, and a .22 it will stay. Going in the other direction, A .22 conversion kit in a .45 TSMG is not considered to be a permanant modification to the firearm as the original barrel is not changed out and the caliber remains unaltered.

I wonder if those making conversion kits that change out the barrel on an NFA firearm for other calibers are skating on legal thin ice, as their gun now no longer matches the legal description on the form 4?

My Vector Arms Uzi has a receiver marked 9mm/.45acp/.22, and the same verbiage is on the form 4. I own all three kits and they work well.

Maybe someone with some legal knowledge will weigh in on the question.

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 10:32 AM

Just for the record, yes you CAN convert a WH .22 into a .45. That doesn't make it a good idea, but it can be done. I was looking at one from an estate and was considering buying it, but a friend actually test-fired it. He said it cycled as fast as a MAC 10 and jammed a lot, so I passed on it. God only knows where it is now, but even as much as I enjoy a project, that was too much. Putting that much strain on an aluminum receiver just didn't seem like a good idea.

I don't recall what the internals of the thing looked like, as this was a while ago, but it must have been quite the job. The estate had about 18 Thompsons in it, so the old gent must have been quite a fan. I picked up the dregs of the collection, a rather battered 1928 with a really ugly Savage lower and no forend. Thanks to a trip out to see PK it looks and shoots much better now! biggrin.gif
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