This is a beautiful example of a super rare early WWII Auto-Ordnance/Thompson experimental SMG. This weapon was designed/developed in late 1941/early 1942 based on the request from the US Army for industry to develop a standardized 45 ACP SMG, as a replacement/substitute for the Thompson M1928 SMG. This is "One of Two" examples ever manufactured by the Auto-Ordnance company and tested at Aberdeen Proving grounds. The other example as we understand is still held by the Government. As we know it competed against several other SMG designs namely the Marlin M2 and the General Motors/Inland Div., M3 Grease Gun. All were developed with the intent of being a low-cost war expedient weapon intending to reducing the numerous parts and machining operations that were used in the Thompson. This gun is very unique in that it was developed along the same lines as the British STEN submachine gun in that it uses a straight tube receiver with a round machined bolt. It still used some of the M1 Thompson type parts such as the non-finned barrel, and front sight. It does have a completely unique full length one piece walnut stock with a fixed vertical pistol grip and top handguard. The actual receiver and barrel groups are held in the stock by two wing-bolts that served as simple take down mechanism. It has a fixed front sight mounted on the end of the barrel and a simple fixed rear sight that was mounted on the rear end of the receiver tube. The internal trigger pack is comprised of a machined frame with the hammer and trigger mechanism inserted/installed in the frame and covered by a stamped sheet metal plate on the side. The top of the receiver tube is marked: "THOMPSON SUBMACHINE GUN/CALIBER 45 T2/AUTO-ORDNANCE CORPORATION/BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT, USA". This specific weapon was actually tested by Aberdeen Proving Grounds and the results are documented in Ordnance Test Program number "5082". A Copy of the cover sheet is included with this rare SMG, and a full copy could be obtained from the Government. The consignor also included some informational research with this weapon that discusses the performance of this gun during testing. As we all know this design did not win out against the General Motors/Inland Div. designed M3 Grease gun. It was noted in the report that this example had several stoppages and malfunctions as well as a small stress crack at the tail end of the trigger housing, all of which helped contribute to it being eliminated. Notwithstanding this is a very rare experimental SMG. Additional Information: This rare submachine gun lot now includes a photocopy of the original Aberdeen Proving Grounds Test report (Ordnance Program Number 5082) on the functioning and performance of this weapon.
Excellent with 98% plus of the dark blue/parkerized type finish showing minor edge wear only. The complete internal mechanism is still in the white as manufactured by the factory. The stock and handguard are both in near excellent condition with just some minor handling marks on the sides, from handing and use. Certainly a very rare example of an experimental test weapon. 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 "Curios 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.
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