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M1928a1 Thompson Historical Query


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#1 grenademan

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 07:35 AM

Gentlemen,

I have just bought a very nice deactivated M1928A1 that seems to have a story behind it.

Here is a description of the markings:

It has WB, I assume, an inspectors mark, on the left side of the receiver, just behind the extractor plate, with a small flaming bomb ordnance mark beneath it. On the receiver, above the fire selector it reads, US Model 1928A1 with AO 31638 below. Under the rear sights on the left side of the receiver, Thompson Submachinegun, Calibre .45 automatic cartridge.

On the right side:Auto-Ordnance Corporation, Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA above the trigger & a list of 13 US patents in two columns of 6 & the last central, just under the rear sight.

Interestingly, on removing the detachable stock, on the underside of the frame, I found the serial number AO 48007 crossed out with three lines, definitely applied with a sharp tool, as they are quite deep, very straight, lines. Done with the aide of a steel rule, without a doubt., so this is a likely workshop/armoury/production alteration. The number 31638 is stamped next to this and above it, 31638 is scratched in quite legible, neat, flowing handwriting. My experience of dealing with many Americans over the years leads me to believe that the script is strongly evocative of American style handwriting of the WW2 generation. No proof, but I feel it is very likely.

That could be an interesting story. Was it re-assembled in a US Army armoury? The punch stencilling of the two numbers on the underside of the frame is identical in size & style - was it done in production? Someone wanted the frame marked AO 48007 mated with the receiver & barrel of AO 31638 before 31638 was stamped onto the frame & hand marked it so accordingly.

The weapon is suposed to have come from unused former Soviet stocks of lend-lease weapons, released & sold recently to importers based here in the UK It is not marked 'US Property' in any place that I can see.

The weapon has the finned barrel, compensator, flip up adjustable sights, with side protectors & the usual detachable stock. The foregrip is the military type, but of different timber to the pistol grip & stock. Overall condition is excellent - far better than the very good 800,000 range serial M1A1 that I have just sold.

Over to you guys. Any clarification, (particularly a production date), would be very gratefully recieved. Can anyone fill out the story?


Tim

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#2 gijive

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 08:58 AM

QUOTE (grenademan @ Feb 8 2006, 07:35 AM)
Over to you guys. Any clarification, (particularly a production date), would be very gratefully recieved. Can anyone fill out the story?


Tim,

I have seen several 1928A1 parts kits imported from England that were from the stocks of unused Thompsons found in Russia that have the same crossed out number on the grip frame.

All that means is that the guns were refurbished and rebuilt before Lend Lease shipment to Russia. The original guns had the receiver and grip frame stamped with the same serial number. Your gun is an Auto-Ordnance made gun, distinguihable by the A.O. prefix before the serial number and the WB acceptance stamp. Auto-Ordnance had their own production facility at Bridgeport, CT and made 1928A1 models from 1941 until 1942. Your gun was obviously rebuilt before shipment to Russia and the grip frame from another rebuilt gun was mated to your receiver. This explains the crossed out serial number and the number of the receiver scribed on the grip frame.

The guns would have been refurbished in the United States prior to shipment to Russia for Lend-Lease. Thioe markings would not have been made by the Russian Military. As far as anyone can determine those recently found Thompsons in Russia were stored and unused.

Hope this information helps.
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