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Thompson Field Trip


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#1 Bruce L

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 06:06 PM

The one drum in the Alabama DOC's possession was an L drum, no dates on the front. It did have the winding instructions for a 1921 and a 1928 up top. The stamping was very faint and the armorer rubbed it with a pencil, in case you're wondering about the photo. The back is easier to read and contains the Universal "U", however no "U" on the front.

Bruce V and I surmised mismatched front and back.

Discuss!

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#2 Bruce L

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 07:18 PM

When I got home I pulled out my Tracie Hill book. The only Universal drums shown had the "U" on both front and back. That's what threw me off.
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#3 Murray

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 10:09 AM

It looks like a very interesting mismatched drum to me.
The rear drum is obviously a Bridgeport but the drum cover,(front) I believe is a "Fischer" drum cover made by the Chas Fischer Spring Company of Brooklyn New York.
The clues are.
Drain slots, winding intructions but no "U" stamp.
Hope this helps,
Regards
Murray smile.gif
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#4 gijive

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 10:57 AM

Bruce L.

Interesting drum. It appears to be a standard WWII Auto-Ordnance made drum of which there were several variations. The fact that it has the Thompson bullet logo and "Wind to 9 or 11 clicks" stamped on the cover below the winding key indicates it is a later model AO Bridgeport, CT marked drum.

It is hard to tell from the picture, but it would be interesting to know if the riveted faceplate on the front cover says:

For 1921 Model Wind to 11 Clicks
For 1928 Model Wind to 9 Clicks

Is this in separate lines or does it say:

For 1928 Model Wind to
9 or 11 Clicks

The later AO drums with the bullet logo should have the second (lower) instructions on the faceplate. If it has the first type instructions, with 1921 and 1928 Models mentioned, and the bullet logo, it would be an interesting variation. If it has the earlier winding instructions and the later bullet logo (which it appear to have) on the cover it probably just means the faceplate was a leftover from the Worcester drums which didn't have the U stamp. The earlier Worcester faceplates with both model instructions were almost identical to the early AO faceplates with the U stamping. Only the AO drums had the bullet logo, so it isn't a mismatched cover, only an interesting variation.

I hope I haven't confused you too much. It looks like you guys had a nice time. It's also nice that the Alabama Dept of Corrections has kept the guns in good condition and hasn't destroyed them.
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#5 Bruce L

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 11:18 AM

If I remember correctly, the faceplate did contain instructions for both the 1928 and 1921.
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#6 Murray

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 02:24 PM

Sorry GI Jive, but I disagree with you.
The Worcester drum mag did not have any drain slots so it cannot be a Worcester cover. Also the Worcester cover did not have any large winding instruction under the key nor did it have the bullet logo.
While on photo from above I can just make out the winding instuctions under the key, I cannot see the bullet logo, I still think it is a Fischer.
Regards
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#7 gijive

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 03:09 PM

QUOTE (Murray @ Jan 20 2006, 02:24 PM)
Sorry GI Jive, but I disagree with you.
The Worcester drum mag did not have any drain slots so it cannot be a Worcester cover. Also the Worcester cover did not have any large winding instruction under the key nor did it have the bullet logo.
While onĀ  photo from above I can just make out the winding instuctions under the key, I cannot see the bullet logo, I still think it is a Fischer.

Murray,

It's okay to disagree.

I refer you to page 334 in Tracie Hill's book, "Thompson: The American Legend", showing what he describes as a Worcester drum with a face plate with drain slots.

I also refer you to Doug Richardson's 2nd Edition book on the Thompson Drums, page 73, showing what he descibes as a Worcester made drum with drain slots on the face plate.

I had a very similar drum with unusual markings that I sold to Tracie Hill a couple years ago that he believed was a Worcester made drum. It had drain slots in the face plate.

Late Worcester drums did, in fact, have winding instructions stamped on the cover, in a couple of different positions, but did not include the 11 clicks instruction, like the later AO Bridgeport made drums. I agree that Worcester drums did not have the bullet logo, only AO Bridgeport made drums had them and that was the later variations. Some early AO Bridgeport made drums originally did not have the bullet logo either.

I thought I made it clear that only AO Bridgeport made drums had the bullet logo. If the drum pictured does not, in fact, have the bullet logo, then I would agree that the cover looks identical to a Fischer made drum cover.

I was referring, in my earlier post, only to the face plate with the winding instructions looking like a Worcester late model face plate with drain slots, not the entire cover. If the drum pictured does have a bullet logo, then it would be an unusual variation with a face plate without a U stamp.
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#8 Bruce L

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 03:22 PM

I've looked at another photo of the drum after enlarging the image. It does have the bullet logo.


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#9 Murray

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 10:29 PM

Thaks JI Jive,
This is all very interesting.
Unfortunatly my Richardson Book is a third edition, which is
what I am refering to and on page 73 there is an inside view of the 1928 Worcester "L" drum.

On the preceeding page, 72, there is a photo of the front view of a worcester 1928 drum with no drain slots, no winding instructions under the key and also no bullet logo.

Reference Tracie Hill page page 334, showing the fourth variation Worcester drum, I agree with you that the drum shown has drain slots, but hey! no bullet Logo and the winding instructions under the key have been moved to the left side of the face while the large winding instructions of the drum cover in question are directly underneath the key.

I am at a loss but suspect that the orginal idea of a Bridgeport with out a U might be the answer.
It is all still a learning curve after all these years and thanks
Bruce L for posting the Photo! I just love those drums
Kind wishes
Murray
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#10 gijive

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 11:21 PM

QUOTE (Murray @ Jan 20 2006, 10:29 PM)
Reference Tracie Hill page page 334, showing the fourth variation Worcester drum,  I agree with you that the drum shown has drain slots, but hey! no bullet Logo and the winding instructions under the key have been moved to the left side of the face while the large winding instructions of the drum cover in question are directly underneath the key.


Dear Murray,

That is all I that I have been trying to say is that the Worcester drums did not have a bullet logo. I have only been referring to the riveted face plate that has the winding instructions for both the 1921 and the 1928 Models that should have the "U" stamping, only for an AO, Bridgeport marked drum.

According to Bruce L's original post, this would make it unusual, since only the early AO Bridgeport drums had the winding structions for both models. The absence of a "U" would make it unusual, only in the sense that the face plate (not the entire cover) might have been an earlier production leftover.

If the Alabama Corrections officer hadn't taken an eraser to the engraving on the face plate, maybe we could read it biggrin.gif
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