Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1652: Colt Model 1921/1928 U.S. Navy Overstamp Thompson Submachine Gun

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Highly Desirable Documented U.S. Marine Corps Mail Guard/Law Enforcement Shipped Colt Model 1921/1928 U.S. Navy Overstamp Thompson Submachine Gun Class III/NFA C&R Registered Fully Transferable Machine Gun

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $45,000 - $70,000

Highly Desirable Documented U.S. Marine Corps Mail Guard/Law Enforcement Shipped Colt Model 1921/1928 U.S. Navy Overstamp Thompson Submachine Gun Class III/NFA C&R Registered Fully Transferable Machine Gun

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1928
Type: Machine gun
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 10 1/2 inch ribbed round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 2034
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 326
Class: Class III
Description:

Per the records listed in Herigstad's "Colt Thompson Submachine Gun Serial Numbers and Histories" (page 547), this Thompson was originally manufactured as a Model 1921A, with the first recorded transfer being to the Quartermaster of the United States Marine Corps as part of the First Marine Corps Contract order of 250 Thompson SMGs. Herigstad further notes that this was one of only 10 delivered in "A" configuration, with the rest being in the "AC" configuration with signature Cutts Compensator. On January 13th, 1927 this SMG was issued to the District Commander of the Eastern Mail Guard, operating out of Atlanta, Georgia. Subjected to many rounds of violence and robbery during the Prohibition Era, the United States Postal Service turned to the President for assistance, who in turn deployed the Marines to bring things under control. In turn, the Marines treated the task as serious as any combat deployment, with orders to go weapons in-hand and ready to fight to the death at a moments notice. To quote Edwin Denby, Secretary of the Navy, "When our Corps goes in as guards over the mail, that mail must be delivered, or there must be a Marine dead at the post of duty. There can be no compromise". Later, this Thompson would be returned to the factory, receiving both the upgrade to "AC" configuration and conversion to the 1928 parts standard, which came with the "8" overstamp of the model marking and the addition of the "U.S. NAVY" marking; while this USN mark is more or less just a tool for marketing hype on most 1921/1928 overstamps, on this one it's legit. At an unrecorded date this SMG would be delivered to the Tennessee Highway Patrol in Nashville on a seven piece order, and then in turn entered the commercial market in 1975. Blade front and flip-up notch and peep rear sights, the former installed on the Cutts Compensator and mounted on the ribbed barrel. The receiver bears the three-line model and serial number markings and five-line Colt address on the left side, Thompson patents and Auto-Ordnance address on the right, and the "bullet" logo on top. The trigger housing is numbered to match the receiver, with standard "FIRE"/"SAFE" and "FULL/AUTO"/"SINGLE" markings on the controls. Per the restamp, the internal parts have been changed to 1928 configuration, with the thinner recoil spring and guide, heavier blued cocking piece, brass Blish Lock, felt-padded oiler, and bright polished bolt with articulated firing pin. Fitted with a set of grooved pistol grips and a detachable buttstock. One magazine is included, an Auto-Ordnance Type L 50-round drum, and a nickel plated oiler. The 100 year old Type L 50-round drum magazine is "New York" marked.

Rating Definition:

Excellent, with 95% plus of the original blue finish, showing a brown patina on the compensator and a few areas on the receiver, bright cycling/handling wear around the cocking knob, safety switch and stock rail, and mild scratches and handling marks. The very fine grips and stock show mild dents and scratches, with the latter showing some cracks at the buttplate heel and mounting iron. 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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