Jump to content

Thompson 1928 Black Shinny Bolts

Recommended Posts

I’m flying to Israel Wednesday and will be there for 43 days, but before I leave I have a question for you guys that know a lot more about the Thompson.


I have about 15 brand new bolts for the 1928A1 (I think they are 28A1's). They are marked with the same ‘S’ stamp that is on all my other Savage bolts be they bright or parkerized. Most of these bolts I’m talking about are still in the cosmoline and military sticky greenish paper wrap.


However, can any of you tell me when these bolts might have been manufactured?


They are a bright black kind of shinny finish to them, and not the parkerized finish that is a dull flat rough style.


If I want I can shine these up to a very nice luster without too much trouble and get a beautiful shine of black.


I don’t know if they were manufactured just prior to the contact work with the military or if these may be for an earlier style finish.


I would think that they are not post WWII since Auto Ordnance would have had a ton of bolts from the contract work. And just prior to the end of the war, the M3 took the place of the Thompson’s, so there would be no need for new bolts to be made by Savage. Also, after the war, they would have more than enough for any commercial ones so why make new bolts with a commercial finish?


So, could these be a sort of transitional bolt, between the bright and then the parkerized? Or prior to the bright ones!


Also, from my talks with people that were in the employ of Auto Ordnance and Numrich, they said the bright bolts were not nickel plated, just not blued or parkerized.


While I'm in Israel looking for some surplus stores, can anyone add any information on them?


Diane NRA Life Member 1974


Link to comment
Share on other sites



Those bolts were made during WWII probably as replacement bolts for rebuilt guns. They didn't make any 1928 Thompson parts after WWII. Lots of them were repackaged as surplus in the early 1950's with dates from that time period on the packaging. This usually leads some to believe that they were made then. They were just repacked for long term storage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the information. It could be that you're correct, I do agree that they would not have continued with production after the contract expired.


With 8 of my 15 bolts having the greenish paper wrap none of them show a date anywhere.


I do kind of like them the way they shine though, so I think I'll just make use of a few of them to show a variation in a some Thompson's.


I'm not sure though if they were replacements because yes, they must have been made and then not used, but I cannot understand the reasoning for that black luster finish. Why not just parkerize them like all the rest?


Now having quite a few of the hammers, I can see that some of the contractors made then a very smooth shinny finish and some just seemed to make them with rough steel. But all the bolts I'm taking about are made by Savage, and since they used the parkerize finish on the contract bolts, it would seem to me reasonable that they would just make a few thousand at a time and park all of them.


When I do get back from Israel, I'll give a call to a few guys that might have a much more definiative answer for me and back it with documentation. One of them can look for it in some of their archives from Auto Ordnance.


Now if within my 43 days in Israel, I can find some original Kerr Slings......


Link to comment
Share on other sites

QUOTE (Diane @ Jul 13 2005, 01:47 AM)

I'm not sure though if they were replacements because yes, they must have been made and then not used, but I cannot understand the reasoning for that black luster finish.  Why not just parkerize them like all the rest?



I have to respectfully disagree with your conslusion that the majority of Thompson bolts were parkerized. The early bolts used in the guns as they came off the assembly line had nickel colored bolts or unblued. Many arsenal rebuilt guns have blued bolts. That is why I believe the blued bolts were mostly used as replacement bolts in rebuilt guns.


Although some bolts were parkerized during later rebuilds this seems to be the exception, not the rule. By far, the majority of WWII bolts observed, by me anyway, are nickel colored or blued, not parkerized.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my experience, new guns left the factory with “bright” (un-blued) bolts. All the replacement bolts (such as those you describe in the green wrap) were blued (to help prevent rust in storage I presume) as is denoted on the GI blueprints.


This accounts for all the factory finishes. The Parkerized bolts sometimes seen were the result of refinishing during arsenal servicing operations.


No doubt exceptions exist, but the above is the standard as I understand it.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...