Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1484: Colt Model 1921 Thompson Submachine Gun with Drum Magazine,

Auction Date: September 12, 2020

Outstanding Colt Model 1921 Thompson Submachine Gun with Drum Magazine, Class III/NFA C&R Fully Transferrable Machine Gun with Case and Accessories

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $40,000 - $60,000

Outstanding Colt Model 1921 Thompson Submachine Gun with Drum Magazine, Class III/NFA C&R Fully Transferrable Machine Gun with Case and Accessories

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1921 Thompson
Type: Machine gun
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 10 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 6189
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 377
Class: Class III

One of the most famous sub-machine guns in the world, the Thompson SMG rates as one of the truly signature American weapons. While advancements in manufacturing techniques and materials would allow later designs to match or exceed the Thompson's performance, none of them have managed to do the job with the same level of style and craftsmanship. The Thompson, a product of old-school hand craftsmanship, is virtually synonymous with the Roaring 20s and the Great Depression, being found on both sides of the law during the "gangland" era of American history, and also serving on all Allied fronts of World War II, where it stood tall among its more cost-effective stamped steel substitutes. Blade front and folding adjustable peep rear sights, with the signature Cutts compensator and cooling fins on the barrel, the model and address markings on the left side of the receiver and the Auto-Ordnance patents and address on the right, and the trigger group is numbered to match beneath the stock, and fitted with a set of fully functional selector and safety switches. The bolt is still fitted with an early "Blish Lock" device, as well as a felt-padded spring steel bolt oiler, and the detachable stock is unnumbered. Included with the Thompson is an "FBI" pattern case fitted with Eagle Lock Company latches, which holds the gun and the following included accessories; one A-O marked Type "L" 50-round drum magazine, four "stick" magazines (assorted makers), an oiler, and cleaning rod. Also included is instructions for both the SMG (short sheet and full manual) and drum (single page), and a copy of the shipping order from Auto-Ordnance, which lists the recipient as a Sheriff Milton J. Krieg of Eaton County, Michigan, and a ship date of March 24, 1937; while the order lists a "21AC" for the model, the hand-written serial number on the order is a match for this item. Records show that Krieg was the Sheriff of Eaton County from 1935 to 1946, and his grave marker (1891-1963) notes him as a veteran of World War One. The weapon remained in Eaton County's inventory until at least 1968, when it was registered on a Form 1 by the Sheriff (records show this would have been Elwin J. Smith).

Rating Definition:

Excellent, with 98% of the bright original blue finish, showing light handling and cycling marks overall. The wood is also excellent, with some light scratches. The case is fine, with wear appropriate to age and travel. The drum is untested, otherwise mechanically excellent. NOTE: This weapon is a National Firearms Act (NFA), fully transferable Class 3, which is registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (BATFE) that is 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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