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#1 consult4745

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 12:02 PM

I am a Thompson fan since my youth (Combat) and recently acquired a Kahr M1. I found this board shortly after the purchase. I have been both awed by the knowledge and experience shared here, and amused at the "interactions" and responses posted. I have also been impressed by the ability of the members to "stick together" and support each other in your collecting passion. Having not been attracted to this kind of medium (internet forums) in the past, I have been surprised at my interest in reading the latest postings. I think it is a tribute to the member's intelligence and ability to articulate your thoughts, and to work through your "disagreements". That said, I found myself dissappointed at the initial responses to "coloradocreature's" post seeking advice regarding the impending purchase of a Kahr "Thompson" ( I hesitate to even write "Thompson" ) in steel or aluminum. While I do understand the heirarchial mindset of "Colt is the only TRUE Thompson", and "Kahr is just a cheap imitation" ( My interpretation of others comments ), and recognize that these perceptions are prevelant in many areas of collecting, be it Thompsons, motorcycles, etc., I have found that for me ( and many others, it appears) the Kahr "Thompson" was my only option available at this time to own a weapon with the legacy and heritage carried since my youth. I have been more than pleased visually with my M1, it is a beautiful weapon, and have also experienced some of the same problems ( jams, feeding ) that others on this board have expressed. This has not deterred my excitement in shooting it, and finding it my favorite gun in my modest collection. I can appreciate and marvel at the beauty and prices of "real Thompsons", weather they are Colt, West Hurley, etc. but struggle with others need to denigrate the only available option (Kahr) for those of us with a gun habit, but modest means. I truly applaud and value you members and collectors who have become the vanguard for the next generation of "Tommy gun lovers" and hope I have not been "out of line" with my comments here. I believe we are all seeking something similar - a connection to the past, enjoyment in the present, and a legacy for the future. Thank you for the opportunity to "vent". I will continue to read, learn, and laugh with this excellent forum.

Cotton
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#2 must

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 12:19 PM

I also have experiance those on this board that have their nose up in the air with their Bridgeports etc. Thompsons. I own a West Hurley M1 Thompson that PK fixed for me (FA version). I have tried to aquire a WW2 Thompson, but no luck. I really enjoy my West Hurley & I plan to go out & shoot it again on Saturday. I consider the West Hurley a modern day Thompson just like a 2005 Mustang is a modern Mustang & not a 1964 Mustang. It is still a Mustang.
I'll take my soap box & go home now.

Thanks, Brent.

P.S. Any body on this forum from Utah? cool.gif
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#3 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 02:16 PM

Cotton,

Welcome. The distinctions between the pre 1945 manufactured Thompson's and the post 1944 45 smg's with the Thompson name are valid, but they are not meant to demean, denounce, besmirch, or condemn the owner's of these versions. It has nothing to do with elitism, snobbery or snottiness, but rather to remonstrate to those novices who might be laboring under a misapprehension as perpetrated by Numrich/Trast.

Must,

The last bona fide Jeep was made in 1983 when the CJ5 ceased production. But to draw a parallel between the Thompson variants of post 1944 with the 1960's Ford Mustang and the millennium Mustangs is at best superficial and at worst specious. While Ford is the manufacturer of the Mustang model in either decade, you can not make the same claim with the Auto-Ordnance Corporation of 1944 and the one that set up shop in West Hurley, New York in 1975.

While Ford's reputation was on the line when they made their updated version of the Mustang, Trast felt no such obligation when he produced what is neither a 70's updated version of the !921/28 TSMG, or an attempt to adhere to the same quality and craftsmanship guidelines of the genuine article.

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#4 consult4745

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 02:47 PM

Aurthur,

Thank you for the response, and for the clarification. Your analogies are helpful, and I have, through this forum, become much more educated on the history and evolution of the Thompson. I am under no delusions that my "Kahr'ed" Thompson is in any way an improved evolution of the originals. It is my "Thompson" though, and for now, as close as I can get to a "real" Thompson. I also believe that while it is a far cry from the original Colts in workmanship and functioning, it is helping to keep the name, and enthusiasim alive for another generation of Thompson enthusiasts, "Semi-alive" anyway. I can understand the belief of "real" Thompson owners that thier firearms are superior, and I agree. I struggle to understand the bias against the Kahr "Thompson". I have learned much from you, and others on this board about the differences in each era's Thompsons. For that, I thank you.
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#5 dalbert

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 05:18 PM

Arthur,

I found your statement, "The last bona fide Jeep was made in 1983 when the CJ5 ceased production" intriguing...very similar to your stance on Thompson succession.

David Albert
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#6 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 05:35 PM

David,
While my Jeep analogy is really a personal opinion, although shared by other enthusiasts, the Thompson topic is not speculative nor subjective, but rather well documented and accepted truth by authors of firearm books and periodicals.

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#7 full auto 45

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 06:23 PM

I always thought the last good year for Jeep was in 1979 when they made their last V-8 in the CJ-7.
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#8 TD.

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 07:15 PM

As usual, Arthur like’s to put his slant on everything in an attempt to guide some members away from all the facts. There is really no right or wrong answer to this issue. However, one must first have all the facts before one can draw any conclusions. I offer this to the new board members who may not have spent time researching this subject on the board or in the several books published on the famous Thompson Submachine Gun.

First, a little history on the subject: For the sake of brevity, I am going to omit the early Warner & Swasey days in Cleveland, Ohio and the production of the Model 1921 Thompson by Colt Patent Firearms MFG CO. I will start the journey with the Auto-Ordnance Corporation under President Russell Maguire, the time when all the WWII Thompsons we have come to enjoy were manufactured by Auto-Ordnance and Savage Arms. In March 1944, the Auto-Ordnance Corporation under Russell Maguire was re-organized and a new parent company emerged named Maguire Industries, Inc. All assets pertaining to the Thompson Submachine gun became a division of the parent company; this division was titled the Auto-Ordnance Division of Maguire Industries. The assets of this division were placed in storage and sat dormant for the next few years. In 1949, Kilgore Manufacturing, Westerville, Ohio, paid $385,00 to McGuire Industries for all the remaining assets of what now had become the Auto-Ordnance Division of Maguire Industries. Kilgore had the intention to resale the now former Auto-Ordnance Division to the Egyptian government because officials at Kilgore thought the Egyptian government wanted to manufacture the Thompson Submachine gun. This deal was done with future manufacturing as the stated pretext.

This is where you have to make your decision about the continuing lineage of the Thompson Submachine Gun. I submit that even today $385,000 is a lot of money; imagine what it represented in 1949. I think is ridiculous to think Kilgore paid that type of money for a few crates of parts and old machinery? Given the money involved, I submit the legal department of one of these parties drafted a contract of sale. I expect it was a very simple contract assigning all rights to the Thompson Submachine Gun from McGuire Industries to Kilgore Manufacturing. To take it one step further and again given the amount of money involved, I am sure Kilgore would have expected the Egyptian government to have performed some type of due diligence prior to making any future deal so clear title and rights would have been important issue to Kilgore. In addition, I have never heard anywhere that McGuire Industries retained any rights to the Thompson Submachine Gun or ever claimed any future rights to the Thompson Submachine Gun. If you can make this link between Maguire Industries and Kilgore Manufacturing, the rest of the story is very easy to follow.

Unfortunately for Kilgore, the deal with the Egyptian government never came to pass. Kilgore then sold all the assets of the Auto-Ordnance Division of Maguire Industries to former Auto-Ordnance Corporation Executive Fredrick Willis at a loss. In a nutshell, Willis got what Kilgore purchased. Willis was in or had been in the gun business. Willis certainly would have done some due diligence to know exactly what he purchased. In October 1951, George Numrich purchased the former Auto-Ordnance Division of Maguire Industries from Willis. Like McGuire Industries above, there is no indication that Kilgore or Willis would have wanted to or did retain any rights to the Thompson Submachine Gun when it left their respective hands. It is also well known that George Numrich knew how to conduct business.

The lineage from Cleveland, Ohio to West Hurley, New York is what it is - intact. I suggest anyone with additional interest see an article by Ray Bearse, titled, The Thompson Submachine Gun, Weapon of War and Peace, published in the 1967 edition of Gun Digest. At the end of the story, George Numrich in a discussion concerning the development of a new semi-auto Thompson stated, to wit: “Numrich states that, since his company holds the patents, trademarks, etc. on the Thompson SMG, it is doubtful if any other company could produce a Thompson of any kind.” What is important about this 1967 date is none of the questions heard now days were an issue; Colt Thompsons were selling for under a $1000 and the West Hurley Thompsons we see and own today were just a dream. In addition, I have never heard anything that indicated George Numrich was anything other than an honest businessman. Given George Numrich’s statement back in 1967, and many other noted references that say the same thing that have been recorded over the years, I think it is safe to assume he acquired the total assets of the former Auto-Ordnance Division of Maguire Industries.

Now you have a much more complete picture of how the lineage of the Thompson Submachine Gun came to pass. It really doesn't make any difference how some authors describe a West Hurley Thompson. We are not talking quality; we are talking ownership of the Thompson Submachine Gun and the continuing lineage of General Thompson's dream. Numrich Arms Corporation never owned or claimed ownership of the Auto-Ordnance Corporation, New York, New York. What they did purchase, several owners down the chain, was the Auto-Ordnance Division of McGuire Industries, Inc. and all rights to the Thompson Submachine Gun. The Auto-Ordnance Corporation, New York, New York discarded the name Auto-Ordnance Corporation and became McGuire Industries, Incorporated. Don’t get hooked into the trap of following the corporation names. Corporation names and re-organizations are easily done. Always follow the business enterprise and rights – this will lead you to the right place.

Jeeps....ah, never mind wink.gif


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#9 Mike Hammer

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 07:42 PM

TD: Once again thank you for your logical explanation of the "Thompson" lineage as best as we know it. Follow the money and you can't go wrong. I also do not believe, that kind of money changed hands without the "Thompson" name and rights going along with it. I also suspect that ATF accepts this direct lineage as fact and that the recent acceptment of "all Thompsons" by the ATF as curio and relics to mean that ONLY West Hurley '28's have been added to the exisisting list and not OTHER rewelds or 3rd party mfg. receivers....BUT, this could be open to speculation untill ATF clarifies it's wording on their recent letter. iagree.gif

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#10 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 08:15 PM

Mike H,

You erroneously suggested that ATF was using the first C&R category for WH inclusion and now, despite the response in the ATF letter that all 1928 "Thompson's" now qualify for C&R, you superimpose your own interpretation again. ATF is not the arbiter and makes no claims either way as to whether WH's are replicas/reproductions made in the last 30 years.

TD,
You really need to revise your cut and paste job since William J. Helmer has subsequently undermined the basis of your contentions.

If Maguire sold Kilgore the exact same company that produced the Thompson why would Helmer regard the Colt/Savage/AO receiver Auto Ordnance markings with the "original" disclaimer appellation giving way to the obvious implication that Numrich/Trask's "Auto Ordnance Corporation" markings are indeed not sanctioned or authorized by merely purchasing a bunch of crates.

Could you please refer me to this document that you use as documentation that stipulates incontrovertibly that Maguire sold Kilgore all names, trademarks and patents? Where did you find it? Helmer would probably be very grateful since he never saw it either and could only determine that Maguire sold crates.

In fact, as far as the $385,000 sale figure, Helmer can only go so far as to say it was the "reported" price. Helmer was contacted by G.I. Jive personally and he confirmed to G.I. Jive that he never saw this bill of sale. Helmer also never saw the documents that Numich says gave him any rights other than a bunch of crates with machinery, parts, and complete TSMG's.

Helmer also says that Numrich picked up only the "crated" assets of Auto Ordnance. Unless Maguire/Kilgore/Willis slipped into those crates legal papers entitling the bearer of the crates rights to Thompson names, patents, and logos of "The Auto Ordnance Corporation Of New York, U.S.A." then there is a huge leap in faith that Trast ever had the legal right to use the full "Auto Ordnance Corporation" name with his city tacked on the end anymore than any other manufacturer of a "Thompson" type of firearm that wanted to place their own town or city as the suffix.

This is exactly the point that Doug Richardson makes with such authority and logic.

Since the Maguire family continued to own the name Auto-Ordnance Corporation as late as 1982, and Maguire disbanded the "Auto-Ordnance Division of Maguire Industries" in 1944, and renamed it "Ordnance Division," then he could not have sold the name "Auto Ordnance Corporation" to Willis.

Also, we now know that Numrich admitted that he had no idea what was in the crates since he never looked inside them back in 1951. We also do not know what he paid Kilgore. We also do not know what Kilgore sold Numrich other than crates.

But we do know that in 1975, 31 years since the last legit TSMG was manufactured, Trast, Numrich's employee, was the first in this long line of undocumented deals to ever make from scratch a .45 smg stamped with the "Thompson" name, bullet logo, and patents.

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#11 TD.

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 08:41 PM

For some very easy and enjoyable reading on this subject, may I recommend the booklet written by members of the Thompson Collectors Association to highlight the exhibition, On The Side of Law & Order, at the William B. Ruger Gallery of the National Firearms Museum at the NRA in 2004 and 2005. I believe it is still on sale at the NRA Headquarters. While no substitute for in depth research on the subject, it does lay out the succession from General Thompson's dream in 1916 with his new company named Auto-Ordnance Corporation, all the way to Kahr Arms. Yes, you can follow the Blish pistol all the way to the short barrel Kahr Thompson rifle in pictures. Please note the Blish pistol pictured in this periodical was contained in the assets purchased by George Numrich, along with everything else related to the Thompson Submachine Gun. Does anything more really need to be said on this subject wink.gif

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#12 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 08:53 PM

TD,

So whomever owns the magical Blish pistol is the rightful heir to the Thompson legacy? I guess then the "Private Collector," as referred to by the NRM in the photo credit as the loaner of said pistol, is the only one allowed to manufacture Thompson's. This will be news to Kahr.

If John T. was buried with the Blish pistol in 1940, would that then mean Maguire was not authorized to make Thompson's? While your thesis is overall flawed, this particular reference is weaker than 3.2 beer.

The booklet also makes no distinction between the electric powered Marui toy Thompson, a rubber Hollywood prop Thompson, a MGC non-gun Thompson and any other replica/reproduction/facsimile sporting the Thompson name.

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#13 Mike Hammer

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 09:21 PM

Arthur: On the one hand you refuse to belive West Hurley's didn't inherit the Thompson name rightfully and are nothing more than "replicas" and on the other you interpret and agree that the recent ATF letter legitfully claims that any "Frankenstein" put together reweld or 3rd party manufactured receiver is considered or accepted as a genuine legit rightful heir to the name"Thompson" smg. So if the ATF considers those guns (and all West Hurley's) as "genuine" "Thompsons", you still do not? I really have to ask you then just what the hell do you believe is the true definition of what we should all by definition consider to be a "REAL" "Thompson", and what deserves to be named as such??? Spillane it to me again!
Oh, I want to hear this one! slap.gif

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#14 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 10:09 PM

Mike H,

ATF has never cared what the transferor writes in the manufacturer box, or type of firearm box on a Form 3/4/10. They only care primarily about the serial number, then caliber, and barrel length. As far as the type of NFA item and model, they seem indifferent to whether that box says "smg," " machine gun," "Thompson," ".45 smg," or "1921," "Navy," "1928," "1921/28 Navy," etc.

By this logic, the reason why all post 1944 "Thompson's," 30 years old up til 1986, should be considered C&R by ATF is self-evident since it is a little late in the game for them to differentiate what a Thompson is now. Since there were no original, genuine Thompson's manufactured after 1944 when Auto Ordnance Corporation ceased to exist as a firearms entity, all reproduction/replica/facsimile .45 smg utilizing the Thompson design, with or without the name "Thompson" on the receiver, are equally valid as curios or relics by virtue of their paucity of numbers and that ATF never gave a shit about the significance of the name "Thompson" other than it is a NFA item.

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#15 TD.

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 10:23 PM

QUOTE
Since there were no original, genuine Thompson's manufactured after 1944...

Actually, no wink.gif


consult4745 and must, I hope you are enjoying the dialog. And yes, the West Hurley Thompsons are as much a Thompson as the first 15000 that were manufactured by Colt. No, the quality is not the same - but they are another generation of Thompsons whose beginings go all the way back to 1916 in Cleveland, Ohio. Hopefully, the line of sucession will never end!

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#16 dalbert

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 10:52 PM

But apparently, according to Arthur, the line of succession for Jeeps ended in 1983, when the last 3,085 CJ-5's rolled off the assembly line with their Kaiser pedigree, manufactured by AMC. No other Jeeps have been made after that date. The rest are all "replica" Jeeps.

Arthur has his "opinions," and I respect them. I just disagree with them.

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#17 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 11:03 PM

Unless you are Richard Gere and can channel Maguire from his eternal resting place, whether that be North or South, one will have to rely on mythological succession.

David,
Yes, the Jeep deal is based on opinion and what the parameters were for the original Willys and Ford GP.

But you have a vested interest in the WH designation since you collect WH paraphernalia and have stated your belief that even the semi WH's will be worth thousands of dollars before the earths eventual calamity. You would not be the first to encourage "rarity," exclusivity," desirability," in an object where none existed before.

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#18 Grey Crow

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 11:05 PM

consult4745,

Welcome to the forum.
There are many, including myself that feel the same about the Auto-Ordnance & Kahr semis. Even owning a Kahr clone, there are still many ways that one can enjoy not only the gun, but many original items available for collection revolving around the Thompson.
Around here we call it "Thompsonitis". It hit me so bad that I now have a room dedicated to 20's-30's items.
Its like stepping back in time!

It would take a lifetime or longer to learn all that is presented on this board if done with out its assistance.

Granted we do not always agree, as you have seen but the bottom line is the gun that started it all.
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#19 cavediver

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 12:53 AM

My opinion is MY WH looks like a Thompson and shoots like one and is one hell of alot of fun to shoot and share with other people. I dont care if it is a real Thompson or a reproduction. It is worth more than I paid for it but i will never sell it again, did once and got it back.
I would love to have the 1919G Model or a 28 Navy but I would still shoot it no matter what the value is just because I love the kid like thrill every time I dump 20, 30 or 50.
Mabe I am missing something but I do it from pure enjoyment.
I also have a 1927A1 Mfg in 1975 and bought it when I was in High School making about 40.00 a week. I do like the good info that I get on this Board but cringe every time someone new asks something to do with Real or replica. The same discussion begins again.
My .02 is lets share the love of everything Thompson, Numrich or Kahr and support the Rights of all Americans to enjoy whatever version we can enjoy. Oh yes Consult welcome.
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#20 consult4745

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 07:45 AM

[FONT=Arial]Thank you to all for the welcome. And thank you for the condensed version of the Thompson lineage. I am finding my self questioning myself as to the ligitamacy of many other "toys" I have. My '90 Jeep YJ is not a "real" Jeep! I also have to deduct that my Springfield Armory ( ILL ) is not a "real" Garand. Oh well, to me, if it look like a duck....... I will just try not to call it a "duck". Thanks again, and I look forward to the continuing adventures that this forum provides.

Cotton
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