Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1559: Colt 1921 Thompson Submachine Gun

Auction Date: May 15, 2021

Documented Law Enforcement Shipped Colt Model 1921 Thompson Submachine Gun, Class III/NFA C&R Fully Transferable Machine Gun

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $32,500 - $47,500

Documented Law Enforcement Shipped Colt Model 1921 Thompson Submachine Gun, Class III/NFA C&R Fully Transferable Machine Gun

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1921 Thompson
Type: Machine gun
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 10 1/2 inch fluted
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1322
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 376
Class: Class III

One of the most famous submachine 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. Per the records in Herigstad's "Colt Thompson Submachine Gun" (page 618), this Thompson was shipped on January 21, 1930 to Sheriff W.O. Coulter of the Beaver County Sheriff's Office in Beaver, Pennsylvania, and later released to Pennsylvania Police Supply of Chalk Hill, Pennsylvania. Like most parts of the country, Beaver County had to deal with the crime boom triggered by the passage of Prohibition, with a particular emphasis on moonshine production and bootlegging in the rural areas and the back roads, and Herigstad's records indicate they acquired 7 Thompsons to meet this issue. Blade front and folding Lyman rear sights, with an unmarked Cutts-style compensator and the signature finned barrel. The receiver is marked with the model and five-line Colt address on the left side, and the Auto-Ordnance patents, address, and "JHB" 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. Internally, the bolt is equipped with a mobile firing pin and a brass "Blish lock" device, as well as a wide spring and spring guide and the felt-padded oiler. Fitted with a set of traditional pattern walnut furniture. Included with the lot is one Seymore Products stick magazine, an Auto-Ordnance "L" type 50-round drum, an Auto-Ordnance catalog and copies of the periodical "Thompson Collectors News".

Rating Definition:

Excellent, with 90% plus of the original blue finish, showing bright edge wear, light scratches and mild handling marks overall. Some small patches of heavy spotting/light pitting are present, concentrated on the top left side of the receiver and rear sight assembly. The wood is very fine, with mild scuffs and dings overall. 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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