Thompsons 1922 & 1923
Posted 26 March 2006 - 11:29 AM
Posted 26 March 2006 - 04:13 PM
I think it is great you are back and posting on the board. I hope your eye problems are on the mend and you will be back in full time production soon.
It is my understanding that the Model of 1922 Thompson you are referring to on your website is your designation and not a designation used by the Auto-Ordnance Corporation, New York, New York. I don't think this is a model number that was ever used by the original Auto-Ordnance Corporation. If I am not mistaken, the photo you have posted from Jean Huon is actually referenced by Mr. Huon in his book as a Model of 1923 Thompson.
Posted 26 March 2006 - 07:23 PM
Below is how DR described the 1922 Model:
|In 1922, the 1921 buttstock was modified by the addition of a Springfield type sling swivel for use on what I call the Model of 1922 Thompson Submachine Rifle. (Since no documentation has been found from AO giving a name for that model, I named it.) In 1923, the Model of 1923 Extra Heavy Barrel Thompson Submachine Rifle was introduced. It had a new style buttstock fitted that was a straight back (no drop) style. It was also fitted with a Springfield style sling swivel. From then on, if a 1921 TSMG were ordered with a sling, the gun was fitted with a 1922 or 1923 buttstock (I guess AO wanted to get rid of them somehow) and a 1923 horizontal forearm or a vertical foregrip and a barrel band with swivel. In 1927, a new style horizontal forearm was introduced. For some reason, it was fitted with an Enfield style offset swivel and the same swivel was added to the buttstock. I believe this happened simply because Remington was making Enfields (P17) at the time and so used the same parts. I can think of no other reason for using that swivel. The 1928 Navy (overstamp) used the same swivels and so did the 1928A1 (Colt), which is the same as the 1928 Navy except for the markings.|
The following shows a picture of your "1922 Navy" Buttstock latch. Notice the difference in the design of the stock release button thumb indentation with the tear drop indentation on all known Colt TSMG's Remington buttsotcks.
All these stocks seem to have come from your old supply. They don't seem to have anchors, but have numbers on the latch, unlike Colt ones, and have the WWII type rounder indentations for the thumb release area.
Posted 26 March 2006 - 07:24 PM
Posted 26 March 2006 - 11:16 PM
Thanks for the quote from Doug. I have always thought the different versions of the Model 1923 Thompson were just normal development progressions of this model, much like the progression of the Model of 1919 Thompson’s. Work on the development of this Thompson may well have started in 1922, but the decision for the name and model number is quite evident in the often-cited 1923 Thompson Gun Catalog. I am not sure enough were ever produced or exist today to make an accurate assessment of everything that happened with the development of this model. What is known is this model and the new cartridge introduced with it was a marketing failure. In addition, a few Colt Thompson’s exist with longer barrels that may or may not be part of the Model 1923 Thompson development program, thus creating more confusion.
The buttstock pictures you posted are interesting. I understand the anchor emblem was probably not on every Colt buttstock produced by Remington. This would not cause me any problem if I owned a complete Colt Thompson with a verifiable history and it did not contain this marking. However, it would be hard for me to spend top dollar for a stand alone Colt buttstock without this marking. You have probably seen more Colt buttstocks than I; would you venture an educated guess as to what percentage of Colt buttstocks you have seen with or without the anchor marking? Anyone else have a thought on this?
Posted 27 March 2006 - 12:20 AM
It isn't so much that examples of Colt/Remington stocks escaped the anchor stamp. But rather that all the "1922" buttstocks that DR sells/sold from his catalog are sans anchor. Also, the additional numbers on the latch, and the shorter indent thumb release further cloud the origin of these stocks and hardware being of 1922 design. If all the existing buttstocks needed were Springfield swivels to accommodate slings, why put into manufacture additional stocks with different hardware when all the 15,000 Colt TSMG's already had Remington stocks attached to them? Why put into production stocks made for the "1922" model when it never became a bona fide AOC TSMG option?
The alternative possibility suggests these stocks were of WWII period manufacture rather than the early 1920's.
Posted 27 March 2006 - 01:09 AM
No Auto-Ordnance documentation regarding the Model of 1922 is known to exist and only one vintage photo of it has been found.
Unfortunately, it wasn't until 1927 that A-O retrostamped the 1921 receivers to the new model designations that they were creating. Until then, they referred to 1919s and standard 1921s as the "short barreled" model and others as the "long barreled" or "military model". I discovered the gun while doing research on the Model of 1923. At first, I did not consider it to be a model because the only one we knew about was in the West Point Museum and it is a much modified and incomplete gun and is, now obviously, a tool room prototype of the 1923.
It was my world wide search for a 1923 that kept turning up the 1922s. Mr. Huon got it wrong but he was personally helpful in reaching the correct determination and was instrumental in arranging for me to have access to the gun in his picture.
Since I was the first person to figure out what it was, I named it. It is often called a 1923 because people don't seem to know exactly what a 1923 is and there is no A-O catalog picture of the 1922. This is a little researched Thompson era that creates a lot of confusion.
It took me a long time but I believe I have it figured out. Unfortunately, there are many people who just ignore the whole thing and call every long barreled Thompson a 1923 which is simply not the case. The strangest thing of all is that the Model of 1923, that everyone seems to know about, doesn't exist that we know of and the Model of 1922 that no one knows about keeps popping up.
Posted 27 March 2006 - 11:18 PM
That is an excellent point about the hardware on the 1922 buttstocks. I know the original contract between Auto-Ordnance Corporation (AOC) and Colt called for the production of spare parts. Certainly enough spare buttstock latches would have been available for use by AOC on the 1923 project without having to make new latches or remove latches from buttstocks of unsold Thompson’s (but plenty of unsold Thompson’s were available at this time). I think it would be a good presumption that any buttstock latch that does not match the buttstock latch on a Colt production Thompson would not be an original AOC or Colt buttstock latch. However, what I do not know is if there were variances in the buttstock latches on the Colt production Thompson’s. I have not studied this on Colt Thompson’s enough to comment, but I have seen differences in the WWII variety latches.
I applaud your efforts to research the Military Model Thompson and notate all the differences between the different guns you have located. However, I still do not understand why you created a new Model of the Thompson Submachine Gun when it is entirely plausible that the differences between the Military Model Thompson’s you document may just be production or development variations. With no documentation from AOC to support a new name, and with so few of all of this type actually in existence, I think this is the only way to explain the differences. I also note this model number was not used by Eickhoff, Payne or Goll in any publication to date. It seems enough confusion already exists on the Model of 1923 Thompson’s that are marked Model of 1921 without creating another name that never existed within AOC. As to the Model of 1927 Thompson, it was also a commercial failure, but many more examples of this model exist today than all known variations of the Model of 1923 Thompson. Increased sales or a better initial marketing campaign by AOC may explain the reason AOC physically changed the model number on the receiver of this Thompson.
Posted 29 March 2006 - 08:52 AM
When a company creates a product, makes a number of exact duplicates and sells them to a number of different customers, I don't call that a prototype, I call it a model. No one duplicates prototypes to sell.
So search for the missing documentation. There has to have been some.
What irritates me is that some of you people seem to have an agenda you are trying to prove instead of letting the research lead to the conclusions.
In any case I’m trying to make parts, not spend my time endlessly on the computer.
Posted 29 March 2006 - 11:25 PM
I enjoy Thompson’s way too much to get irritated. However, I can’t help but notice when someone posts a picture of a Thompson Military Model on a website and calls it a Model of 1922 without informing the readers that this model name is something that is based on the conclusion of the website owner and has no basis or foundation in any known Auto-Ordnance Corporation literature or documents. Your conclusion that “There has to have been some” is just….well, just your conclusion. I immediately noticed that this picture is from a noted French book on the Thompson Submachine Gun and is listed as a Model of 1923 Thompson in the book. This is noteworthy in that the great majority of board members do not have this book and would never know this fact without my post.
The number of documented and undocumented Thompson Military Model’s is under 10 – and to my knowledge there are differences. If you have some unpublished data that would support your conclusion, I welcome you to post it so everyone will understand the basis for your conclusions. There are many knowledgeable Thompson enthusiasts on this board that do not mind asking questions and playing devil’s advocate with others opinions or conclusions when no documentation or testimonial evidence is present. You have to go no further than this short thread to find that out – See Arthur’s posts, above. I happen to enjoy the discussion; I find most times it makes for an excellent learning experience.
I feel my hypothesis about the differences in the Thompson Military Models you have documented is nothing more than development variations. You believe a new model name is warranted. The truth is we are both making educated guesses, but my reasoning does not create a new model number for the Thompson that never existed before. There may be some that have an agenda on this board. I really do not pay much attention to things like that. Remember, you started this thread promoting your new website with undocumented claims; I just wanted to know the reasoning behind your conclusions – something that I still find puzzling. However, I want you to know that I have learned from your research and am grateful for your efforts.
In an effort to generate some actual dialog on the differences you have documented on the few known Thompson Military Models in existence, let me state that if I were so inclined to name a new model number for the Thompson Military Model, I would have chosen the Model of 1924. And I can make a pretty good case for that name if I were so inclined.
Making parts is a good thing. Again, I applaud your efforts and wish you a speedy recovery from your eye problems.
Posted 30 March 2006 - 09:34 AM
I may be repeating something that was written or posted elsewhere...that being said, the
bipod on the "M1922" Thompson shown on Dougs site is undoubtedly from a Benet-Mercie M1909
machine gun. Perhaps it was slightly modified, but my point is that I doubt this bipod was made from
scratch in the toolroom. The Benet-Mercie M1909 was manufactured under contract by (surprise) Colts
Patent Firearms, so surely they had some lying around a few years later.
The bipod on the "M1923" shown on Dougs site has a definite BAR quality to it...and I'm guessing
since Colt also manufactured a variety of Browning Automatic Rifles thats probably where that bipod
is from. My guess would be its from a Colt Monitor. I'll have to check when they made this
model - that bipod has the distinctive bananna shaped feet. The Benet Mercie
bipod was available in 1922 and 1923...the question is, when did Colt start making the Monitor?
I would use the production date of the Monitor (when the bipod became available) to help date
when these Thompsons were assembled. In other words, you can't make a gun in 1922 or 1923
using a bipod that wasn't made yet. I think we can all agree that for these prototypes Colt
was using finished bipods that were available from other Colt production runs and
fitting/adapting them to the Thompsons. If by chance the Monitor was not in production until say,
1926, then the idea that the M1923 was completely made in 1923 goes out the window...somebody
added the bipod at a later date.
Bob Bower/Philly O
Edited by reconbob, 30 March 2006 - 11:28 AM.
Posted 30 March 2006 - 08:26 PM
Maybe the bipod was added to it later, but I tend to think it was put on it when the gun was first produced. FWIW
Posted 30 March 2006 - 10:11 PM
I have checked my books and I don't see the banana foot bipod on any Colt or American made BAR.
As far as I can tell the banana foot first appears on the FN Model 30 BAR which is said to be a slightly
modified Colt R75, so maybe the bipod was available to Auto-Ordnance tinkerers, then again, it
seems to be a European modification. As an aside, I checked
Bannons photographic study of the Thompson. He photographed the West Point M1923 in or around 1975
and it had no bipod. I'd say the Thompson with the Benet Mercie bipod is a true Colt assembled
piece, whereas the Thompson with the banana foot bipod requires a little explaining - where did the
bipod come from and when was it assembled to the piece?
Posted 30 March 2006 - 10:23 PM
See http://www.smallarms...pdf/Monitor.pdf and
The photograph clearly shows the R75 fitted with a Benet Mercie style bipod.
2. However, the bipod on the Thompson Extra Heavy barrel *does* look like that found on the BAR Model 30
Produced by FA since the early twenties, this is the equivalent of a light machine gun. Prior to World War 2 the Model 30 was manufactured in the greatest quantity at the Fabrique Nationale D'armes de Guerre of Herstal in Belgium.
Posted 30 March 2006 - 10:24 PM
Interesting observation about the bipod on the Thompson Military Model shown on Doug’s website and Jean Huon’s book. You may very well be on to something. It makes perfect since that Auto-Ordnance used an off the shelf bipod on all versions of the Thompson Military Model. Doug made the same observation in his book, Thompson Technical, Volume 2, and stated the bipod may have been part of the Thompson Auto Rifle program. There is an excellent picture of this bipod on Page 36 of Tracie’s book. Here is the only picture I could fine of the Benet-Mercie M1909 machine gun. It is not the best, but is does show the bipod.
It is also interesting Auto-Ordnance chose a bipod similar in design to a French Machine Gun when presenting the French Government with a Thompson Military Model for testing – but this could just be coincidence.
I believe Colt introduced the Colt Monitor in 1931. I don’t think I have ever seen a Monitor or picture of a Monitor with a bipod. Perhaps other board members have comment on this. I do agree the bipod on the Thompson Model of 1923 Military Model as shown in the 1923 catalog definitely has a BAR look to it. I think that is to be expected since the Thompson Military Model was designed to compete directly against the BAR.
Posted 30 March 2006 - 11:42 PM
|QUOTE (reconbob @ Mar 30 2006, 10:11 PM)|
| I'd say the Thompson with the Benet Mercie bipod is a true Colt assembled|
piece, whereas the Thompson with the banana foot bipod requires a little explaining - where did the
bipod come from and when was it assembled to the piece?
It would have made sense to fit the Extra Heavy Barrel Thompson with a Model 30 BAR bipod, if that Thompson was being demonstrated to whatever countries were buying (or interested in) Fabrique National's export versions of the Model 30.
Posted 31 March 2006 - 12:03 AM
Posted 31 March 2006 - 12:41 AM
Incidentally, this particular paper item was used by Jean Koree as reference material when he was putting together a patent application and marketing plan for the Hyde Model 35 SMG. In 2004, I acquired an estate package with all the developmental, patent, manufacturing, and marketing paperwork associated with the Hyde 35, as well as the Jean Koree/Marcellus Thompson/Matthew J. Hall Auto-Ordnance buyout attempt documentation from 1932 and 1935. A few paper items such as this Colt Monitor flyer were sold separately, and I did not obtain them, but retained the pictures. It's a very nice sales flyer, and I have never seen any others for this particular weapon. All this history was sitting in a box for 60+ years.
A lot can be learned from firearm paper items, with my favorite items, of course, being those associated with the Thompson.
Posted 31 March 2006 - 12:31 PM
Posted 31 March 2006 - 08:28 PM
WOW! What a find on the Hyde paperwork etc. I would have killed to have had that paperwork when I owned the Hyde 35 and the Hyde M2 SMG. I had those and two of the 6 known T2's (one in 9mm and one in 45acp). I felt really humbled to have them in my collection for a few years before they all found new homes.
We are all just the temporary caretakers of these historic arms. After we are gone there will be new owners who can marvel at the development, design, and workmanship of those individuals who had the ability and knowledge to create a new model of mg that was different than anything that had come down the pike before.
Thanks for sharing the paperwork.