Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3392: Colt 1921/1928 Thompson Machine gun 45 ACP

Auction Date: September 12, 2014

Exceptional Original Colt Model 1921/1928 U.S. Navy Overstamp Thompson Submachine Gun with Drum Magazine and Contemporary Storage Case

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $30,000 - $45,000

Exceptional Original Colt Model 1921/1928 U.S. Navy Overstamp Thompson Submachine Gun with Drum Magazine and Contemporary Storage Case

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1921/1928 Thompson
Type: Machine gun
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 10 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 2646
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 151
Class: Class III

This is an excellent example of a Colt/Auto Ordnance Model 1921 submachine gun with the 1928 U.S. Navy Overstamp" markings. Regardless of the configuration, these Thompson SMGs were probably one of the finest submachine guns ever produced, that had superb machining and hand fitted parts. They all have a distinctive deep rich blue metal finish with the bolt remaining in the white with the walnut, fore grip, pistol grip and buttstock. If you ever have a chance to disassemble one of these weapons you will be amazed at how well they were made, the parts just slide together like glass. This model still retained the distinctive Thompson features, easily recognizable in the various gangster and war movies such as; the short 10 1/2 inch barrel with cooling fins, the ported Auto Ordnance barrel compensator, the vertical pistol grip, the detachable buttstock, and the fully adjustable Thompson ladder rear sight, graduated from 100-600 yards. The left side of the receiver is marked "U.S. Navy/MODEL OF 1921" with the number "8" over stamped on top of the number "1" in 1921, with the serial number 14217 below the marking block. The right side is marked with five lines of patent dates along with the two-line "AUTO-ORDNANCE CORPORATION/NEW YORK, U.S.A". The left rear side of the receiver is marked: "THOMPSON SUBMACHINE GUN/CALIBRE .45 AUTOMATIC COLT CARTRIDGE/MANUFACTURED BY/ COLT'S PATENT FIRE ARMS MFG. CO./HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A." The top of the receiver and is marked with the "Bullet" logo with "THOMPSON" inside. The lower trigger housing is also correctly stamped with the matching serial number of "14217". This model came into being because the original Model 1921 SMG had a fairly high rate of fire, (approximately 800 rds/min) and the military requested a slower more manageable rate of fire in the 600-700 rds/min range. The USMC had also been successfully using many of these weapons in the China and Nicaragua, so the Auto Ordnance company decided to convert the 1921 models to the slower cyclic rate of fire and remark their inventory with the intent of developing a new model (the U.S. Navy Model of 1928) meeting the military requirements and to help improve lagging sales and pique interest with police and Government agencies. The basic difference between the original 1921 and 1928 configurations is that they increased the weight of the actuator, to reduce the cyclic rate of fire and also modified the firing pin assembly. This specific Thompson submachine gun is complete with one fifty round drum magazine and a contemporary storage case, that holds the submachine gun and magazine.

Rating Definition:

Excellent with 98% of the bright original blue finish overall with extremely minor edge and high spot wear. The walnut components are al in excellent condition with a nice matching dark brown oil finish on all three components with minimal handling marks. Mechanically excellent. NOTE: This item is restricted as a National Firearms Act (NFA), Fully Automatic Weapon that is currently registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATF&E) that has been classified as a "Curio or Relic" as defined in 27 CFR, 478.11. These weapons are still subject to the provisions of 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 and 27 CFR part 478. Before bidding on this item, it is the sole responsibility and obligation of the bidder to understand and comply with all the State and Federal transfer laws and restrictions that apply in their current place of residence.

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