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New Guy Needs Help Buying Thompson


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#1 atmow

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 07:39 PM

I'm considering buying a Bridgeport M1 gun (I want a shooter but also something reliable) but my limited Thompson knowledge has hit a few roadblocks. First, I thought serial numbers on all Bridgeport guns started with AO. This gun does not have that. It looks like it has a six digital serial number starting with maybe a 3 or a 5. The trigger housing also looks more like a 1928 version with the checkered switches and mag release. I'm guessing it is a replacement. I believe the barrel was also replaced. Is there anything else I should be looking for here? Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 full auto 45

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 10:10 PM

Well let me say you picked a good place to start.
Welcome to the boards.
I bought a M1 Bridgeport earlier this year. One thing you must remember about 99% of the M1's have been re-built at some point in their life. Lowers may or maynot have a serial number on them and it may/not match the upper on it. The gun may/not have a stamp on the buttstock indicating where it was rebuilt at. Their should be a inspectors stamp on the reciever by the barrel area on the left side,may be on right. Barrels if it has seen military service may have been replaced. Here is a site that has pictures of my M1 and some of it's markings and details for you to compare. Good luck and if for some reason you don't buy it, let me know.I'm looking for another good M1.
M1 Pictures and Stuff
Remember to pick up a copy of Frank Iannamico's book, "American Thunder" it has priceless information on the M1's and the 1928's that saw service. Very good read and information.

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#3 Ron Mills

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 10:28 PM

I'll chime in here, too. Mike, thanks for your valuable info towards our new member. Here's stuff that may help too: M1's from Bridgeport would have the acceptance stamp marked G.H.D. (Guy H. Drewery), the Army Inspector General @ Bridgeport, or WB (Col. Waldemar Broberg). The letters AOC stamped behind the grip mount do indicate a Bridgeport build. To make matters interesting, as Mike said, so many of these guns have been rebuilt (all for the good).
I have an M1 dummy with a 1928 mag release. The frame has a serial number of 33XXX on the bottom. The buttstock has an "MR" rebuild stamp on it. Haven't taken the barrel off yet.
Ya can't go wrong by picking up Frank's book, that's for sure. I hope this helps some more, and I add my welcome to the board.
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#4 gijive

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 10:34 PM

When the M1/M1A1 series of Thompsons was introduced, they deleted the "S" or A.O." prefix before the serial number. Serial numbers were assigned in blocks to Savage or Auto Ordnance. The way to tell which plant made the receiver is by the manufacturing code "S" or "AOC" on the underside of the receiver. The other parts parts are stamped accordingly with various manufacturer's letter codes.
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#5 atmow

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 11:00 PM

Thanks for the info, guys. That is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for.
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#6 atmow

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 12:45 PM

New question on this gun: according to the seller, the two proof marks are something like GEG inside a circle and the serial number is in the 580,000 range. Does anyone know when the gun might have been made? I thought all Bridgeport M1's were WWII manufacture. Also, what finish is correct for this gun--e.g. black parkerize? Thanks again.

I'd get Frank Iannamico's American Thunder book, but it is sold out! Maybe I'll try Moose Lake Publishing.
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#7 gijive

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 01:08 PM

Hi,

George E. Goll (GEG) was an inspector whose proof mark appears on Savage made Thompsons, according to "American Thunder." All M1 series Thompsons with an Auto-Ordnance, Bridgeport, CT address were made during WWII. Production began in 1942 and ended in 1944, if I remember correctly. The gun was made during WWII. A serial number in that range probably would be closer to the end of the production run.

The original finish according to "American Thunder" would be black oxide. Most were parkerized during rebuild programs.
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#8 atmow

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 06:19 PM

QUOTE (gijive @ Nov 5 2003, 01:08 PM)
George E. Goll (GEG) was an inspector whose proof mark appears on Savage made Thompsons...

That's odd. Any guesses on why he'd be marking a Bridgeport gun?
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#9 full auto 45

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 06:28 PM

My M1 has GEG inspection mark, it has FJA for Frank J. Atwood also. My serial # is 511626. If I remember it was made in April or May of '43. AOC contracted out alot of work and had parts made by several manufacturers. I don't have American Thunder handy but I believe GEG would have done a majority of final inspections.
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#10 Bisley45

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 09:25 PM

My Savage parts kit is a 58XXXX and has FJA and GEG on it twice and came with the 28 checkered mag catch. Guess they used the 28's catches until they ran out very late in production.


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#11 gijive

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 12:59 AM

atmow,

Nothing odd about at all. All M1 and M1A1 series Thompsons had a Brideport, CT address on the right side of the receiver, regardless of what factory manufactured them, Savage or Auto-Ordnance. The current collector's reference to Bridgeport Thompsons is somewhat misleading to those new to Thompsons. Bridgeport, Ct was the address of Auto-Ordnance Corp. from 1941 until the end of WWII production guns. Early Savage guns made made prior to 1941 had an Auto-Ordnance New York, N.Y. adddress on the receiver because that is where Auto-Ordnance had their headquarters. Colt guns had a New York, N.Y.address because that is where Auto-Ordnance had their headquarters.

Any Thompson gun made after late 1941 or early 1942 (regardless of model) had a Bridgeport, Ct address on the receiver. In other words, all WWII Thompson guns are "Bridgeport" guns. They couldn't be anything else!

I guess I just don't understand this current fascination with the term "Bridgeport" gun.
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#12 atmow

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Posted 07 November 2003 - 01:38 PM

gijive,

That was my ignorance. I didn't know all Thompsons--including those made by Savage--had the Bridgeport address. Thanks for clearing that up.

I just bought the gun. It's not my first SMG, but it is very exciting nonetheless.
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#13 gijive

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Posted 07 November 2003 - 02:07 PM

atmow,

No problem! Hope you enjoy your new gun. If you have anymore questions, just ask, there are lots of knowledgeable people on this list.
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#14 SecondAmend

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Posted 07 November 2003 - 05:34 PM

Not only are there a lot of knowledgable people who are members of this Board, there are some like me who are NOT knowledgable but are opinionated none the less. It makes for an interesting discussion at times. Way more fun than just the facts.

Welcome to the Board and to TSMG ownership. Having had another SMG and having shot several others, nothing compares to the first and still the best SMG.


"Say 'Hello' to my little friend, Tommy."
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#15 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 07 November 2003 - 08:04 PM

The Colt TSMG is certainly the best, but the Villar Perosa Revelli was the first submachine gun. Beat John T's prototype by four years. And of course there is the MP-18/1 Bergman designed in 1916.
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#16 Bisley45

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Posted 07 November 2003 - 08:27 PM

huh.gif How many of those Italian jobs do you see ? One or two in a museum? wink.gif General Thompson came threw to parafrase Mosbey " The Firstist with the Mostist " with the first SMG produced in volume. The fact that most examples (where not cut up by Lewid and Lavacious beurocratic whim) are still alive and kicking speaks well to the General and his design team.

BB
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#17 SecondAmend

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Posted 08 November 2003 - 12:32 PM

Arthur, Not to be argumentative, but Gen. Thompson coined the term "submachinegun" to describe his weapon (according to Helmer's book). There were other, earlier pistol caliber, personally held, fully-automatic fire, firearms but they were not called submachineguns.
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#18 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 08 November 2003 - 05:18 PM

That's true that John T. coined the term, but that does not mean that something did not exist until someone came up with a name for it. The Jeep existed before it was known as a "Jeep", the American foot soldier existed before they were monikered "Doughboy", or"G.I." etc. As far as the "Mosbey paraphrase", if "mostest" were the yardstick for legitimizing pioneering achievement, then the Wright Brothers would not be considered the first to fly since they only travelled 120 feet on their initial flight, and then did not immediately start an airline. Also, Lindberg would not qualify as the first to fly across the Atlantic because he did not make it a round trip. Armstrong would not be considered the first man to step foot on the moon because he didn't colonize it.
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