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Colt Thompson Up For Auction!


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#1 LIONHART

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 03:59 PM

Just received the latest Rock Island Auction Catalog. In it, is a Colt 1921AC TSMG. It states; ''Original 1920's Colt Thompson Submachine Gun from the historic Rock Island time of the "Looney" gangster era, as in the film "Road to Perdition". Also has a small add, "AUCTION OF "GANGSTER GUN" TO AID ANIMAL SHELTER". Gun appears to be in very fine condition. Furniture appears to be all original. Not sure if it's on their site, though. http://www.rockislandauction.com
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#2 colt21a

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 05:00 PM

what is the "looney gangster era""when they advertise german stuff with historic note's or the coveted colt single action..but a thompson is from the looney era.......they can have my looney bid to start.$10,000.00

wink!!

i wonder how they will pump this one up.beside's detachable front grip...i saw the ad from a buddy of mine in texas a week ago...he even sold his kansas city colt after having it 20 year's...the {sold}price he could not pass up...anyways back to the widget's..take care,ron

you mean they lied to me telling it was the gun from the hank's "looney tune "movie.

why there must be a law on that someplace...

double wink!!
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#3 Zamm

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 09:57 PM

Pretty clean, wish they had some closer shots.
It's not the removable foregrip gun though.

http://www.rockislan...Thompson-F1.jpg

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#4 Sig

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 06:24 PM

Heard this went for $80,000.
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#5 Sig

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 06:28 PM

Uh let me add, price was posted on subguns.com
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#6 sevengunner

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 07:44 PM

Heard the same as Sig.

Already spoken for.

Dueling bidders with deep pockets.

$80K not including buyer's premium.

Sven
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#7 Mike Hammer

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 07:58 PM

How do you say" Out of your friggin mind"? It's no wonder some people are asking the world for a Thompson, some dummies are actually dense enough to pay these kind of prices. A fool and his money... buttkick.gif

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#8 OldFalGuy

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 10:00 PM

Lot of baloney in that news article on the auction- for one serial number 9000+ was not one of the first production models of the 1921 but then again the article infers there were a bunch more like the Colts when there was not, then goes back over it again saying there were 15K made which we know is about right.

How do you tell this one brought 80 grand?

It was probably appraised about right at 30K, lots of scuzzy in the receiver blue.

What is a real shame is the winner is writing a check to the auction house, not the animal shelter so there is no charitable deduction for any offset- good cause though.

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#9 ACARLG

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 11:57 PM

Posted online: May 1, 2006 7:18 PM
Print publication date: May 2, 2006

'Tommy gun' nets more than $80K at auction
By Brian Krans, bkrans@qconline.com
http://qconline.com/...splay&id=286578

The Rock Island Sheriff's Department would have settled for $20,000 for an antique icon made famous by gun-toting gangster movies.

But at an auction Sunday in Moline, a model 1921 Thompson submachine gun that had been collecting dust in a gun locker brought in a whopping $80,500 to benefit the county's animal shelter.

“We were hoping to sell it between $20,000 and $40,000," Capt. Dick Fisher said. “When it comes to these collectors, they're willing to pay."

Deputies were working on paperwork Monday to finalize the sale of the gun to a registered dealer in Houston, Texas. A purchaser must show a specific federal gun license to possess the fully automatic weapon. After the purchase, the buyer is fingerprinted and undergoes a background check.

While the sheriff's department knows where the gun is headed, they're still not sure where it came from. It's a mystery dating to John Looney's reign of terror in Rock Island, which inspired “Road to Perdition."

Sheriff Mike Grchan and Capt. Fisher figure the gun came into the department's possession between 1922 and 1931, but can't find any records concerning the weapon.

“We don't know if it was confiscated by the sheriff's department or used by the sheriff's department," Sheriff Grchan said before the sale, “but I don't think there was a time when sheriff's deputies were machine-gunning people."

Back in the day, the department had two Thompsons. Long recognized as collectibles, the guns were never marked for destruction. One was sold in the early 1970s for $6,000. That money was used to purchase guns for deputies.

“It's a highly collectible item," said Judy Voss, manager of Rock Island Auction, the auction house that sold the gun. “It's hard to find a Tommy Gun in this kind of condition."

The model 1921 with its menacing black steel, round clip, wooden stock and grip was made famous by gangsters, who called it the “Tommy Gun," “Chicago typewriter" and “Chicago piano." The sheriff department's weapon is in good shape, with some pitting in the wood and the letters “rico" etched into the stock.

Ms. Voss said while there were other items estimated to sell at about $80,000 for the auction -- anticipated to bring in $4 million to $5 million total -- the Thompson's possible connection to Mr. Looney upped the value. She didn't expect it to sell for the amount it did.

“The chance it came from that era makes it all the more valuable," Ms. Voss said.

The county originally planned to use surplus furniture from various offices to fill the animal shelter, since new furniture would cost about $25,000. The $80,500 from the sale of .45-caliber weapon will be used to pay for the furniture and computers for the shelter.

“There'll be some cats and dogs sitting pretty because of this," Ms. Voss said.
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#10 OldFalGuy

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 01:14 AM

This statment makes it very doubtful as to its true provenance-

While the sheriff's department knows where the gun is headed, they're still not sure where it came from. It's a mystery dating to John Looney's reign of terror in Rock Island, which inspired “Road to Perdition."

This one is certainly way after 1922 and closer to 1929 I am going to guess -
Sheriff Mike Grchan and Capt. Fisher figure the gun came into the department's possession between 1922 and 1931, but can't find any records concerning the weapon.

Oops, no records concerning the weapon and it might have been confiscated prior to 1931.....uh is it in the registry at all??? blink.gif

Wonder how we can find out?

M

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#11 Grey Crow

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 05:59 AM

Well there you have it!

Animal Shelter, and Thompsonitis.

Being in the animal shelter business, I've seen such craziness.
It defies all logic. Seen new $25.00 items sell on the block for 2k. Pending the way it was done they may have written it off as a tax deductible for a non-profit, provided the shelter has a 501 C3 status.
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#12 gijive

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 08:31 AM

QUOTE (OldFalGuy @ May 3 2006, 01:14 AM)
This one is certainly way after 1922 and closer to 1929 I am going to guess -



Oops, no records concerning the weapon and it might have been confiscated prior to 1931.....uh is it in the registry at all???

OldFalGuy,

I wonder how you are calculating the year 1929 as the year of production for this gun? All 15,000 Colt Thompsons were made between 1921 and 1922, so the reference to the gun being an early production gun is true to some extent. I think they meant it in the context of Colt guns being the first production Thompsons, not the numeric serial number range.

The gun has to be registered or they wouldn't have been able to sell it. I'm sure the Rock Island Auction service has enough sense to have checked the registration before entering into an agreement with the Sheriff's Department to offer the gun at auction.
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#13 gijive

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 09:48 AM

QUOTE (PhilOhio @ May 3 2006, 09:30 AM)
What dealer in his right mind would pay this much, unless he knows something?  He certainly would not be buying it for his own collection, without some very unusual provenance or condition factor.  And it doesn't seem likely he could resell it for the usual Thompson ripoff profit margin most dealers depend upon.  There's something very unusual here, besides just the silly price.

Maybe the account in the article is all wrong, and maybe this is just another nutcake private buyer sucumbing to E-Bay bidding war syndrome.

Phil,

I thought the same thing. That's an awful lot for a dealer to pay, unless he has some millionaire client that had to have a Colt Thompson. Strange indeed.
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#14 philasteen

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 10:36 AM

Even a crazy rich bidder will need a transferring FFL if he's not a C&R.
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#15 OldFalGuy

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 05:08 PM

I do not have a serial number book on Thompson but have been told one in the 6900 s/n range was made in 1926ish so I was extrapolating on the 9000 s/n on this gun. Rather remarkable they managed to built 15000 in just 2 years but if thats what the book says so be it.

I ceratinly hope its in the registry to say the least, its the fact the sheriff's office didn't manage to keep up with any paperwork that worried me- How hard could it be since at the latest in 1968 to leave it in a file?? But things get lost I do suppose.

I don't put much into the idea it went to a texas dealer either- I doubt he is holding it for future resale, its bought already, at least we can hope so-
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#16 TactAdv

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 12:38 AM

There is no mystery as to a Dealer purchasing the gun on specific direction for an unnamed bidder, the eventual owner. Many high net worth individuals specifically refrain from directly identifying themselves with such "flamboyant" purchases in general, being an NFA item has no particular bearing on it really.

Where I live here in the mtn foothills of Colo. I have done this many times for very well-healed and very quiet buyers. I have placed many extremely expensive C&R NFA guns into Aspen and surrounding areas, Breckenridge, Vail, and other close by Summit County locales. You'd be amazed at what elusive and remarkable NFA treasures abound in Ski Country.

The other consideration, if the monetary value alone is not worth the effort is that many of these unnamed buyers have very public personnas around here, either as Entertainment or sports stars, or in associated businesses, or are very well known high end Industrial people. The key to smoothly interacting with these folks and gaining acccess to the financial windfalls of holding their business is to understand the subtle notion of being absolutely discreet at all times, and for all time. If one involved in such dealings were ever to neglect such a requirement, the door closes forvever.

As a side benefit, it is an interesting and fun time to go casually shooting for fun with some very famous people whom you regularly watch on TV or movies or see in other public realms. There has also proven to be some very valuable personal connections made as a result. During past compliance checks, more than one examiner has raised their eyebrows when they see certain names in the A&D book!!!

-TomH
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#17 colt21a

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 01:12 AM

you mean stock broker's,company owner's, movie star's, race car driver's. witch doctor's and indian chief's, and well healed attorney's own m.g's..??WOW i thought only low class dealer's and collector's had them...

it's been going on for year's...this isn't new's..and i can care less who own's what...they all pass on and leave it to somebody else.now who want's that hymie weiss thompson again??wink!!

and who ever spent $80,000.00 on that tommy.chump change to the rich...

to everybody else here hard earned money..and maybe a little more sense..but what they heck they want to own something also.at no matter what cost..what was that madonna song...in a material world..i'm a material.....wink! have fun.that is what it is supposed to be. and preserving the history not the $$$$$ take care,ron

p.s. but i've only owned one gun...so what would i know??
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#18 cavediver

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 11:11 AM

It could be the start of someone trying to by every Colt out there and corner the market at any price. Then Colts will be 1.8 Million a copy.
Westies would only frtch 750k or so.
Just joking but where will it end. I never thought id be shooting a gun worth 15k or more. Do you guys think the rate of inflation will ever end? The rate is better than a California beach house.
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#19 OldFalGuy

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 11:42 AM

You mention inflation and all would agree it exist in spades but is being under reported to a startling degree in the financials- WIth Tommy's its not inflation so much has greed and desire colliding, can't really blame anything else rationally.

I would be happy if interest rates were in a proper perspective with inflation and tommys' and NFA's in general rose along with it on a steady basis- these wild leaps of 1-30% a year makes everything rather stupid and supports the sttement that you can't pay too much, only buy a bit early.

I don't have my eye of any other NFA's at all but I will go broke buying uppers and Registered sear convertibles- Shrike, LM7, Am-15 etc. MM-23E

Mark
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#20 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 10:14 PM

The Rock Island County Sheriff said in that interview that his department sold the other ordinary Colt TSMG at auction back in the early 1970's for $7K. Now that is 3 or 4 times the amount Colt TSMG's were getting at the time. Even P.T.J. Curtis Earl-Barnum advertised his "Midas" TSMG for only $5500 back in 1971.

My Shep is ecstatic that a Colt TSMG could contribute $85K to the building of an animal shelter.



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