Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1405: Colt Model 1921/1928 Thompson Submachine Gun

Auction Date: May 14, 2022

Documented Law Enforcement Shipped Colt Model 1921/1928 U.S. Navy Overstamp Thompson Submachine Gun with Case, Class III/NFA C&R Registered Fully Transferable Machine Gun

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $35,000 - $45,000

Documented Law Enforcement Shipped Colt Model 1921/1928 U.S. Navy Overstamp Thompson Submachine Gun with Case, Class III/NFA C&R Registered Fully Transferable Machine Gun

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1921/28 Thompson
Type: Machine gun
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 10 1/2 inch ribbed
Finish: blue
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1681
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 283
Class: Class III
Description:

Originally manufactured by Colt as a Model 1921 Thompson SMG, one of a number stuck in inventory due to sluggish sales; while today the Thompson is recognized as an American classic and one of the all-time finest "heavy metal" SMGs, at the time it was a novel, untested and expensive weapon, and few were willing to roll the dice. The U.S. Marine Corps was an early adopter, and the firm attempted to capitalize on the connection by adding "U.S. NAVY" markings to their 1921s, updating the features based on USMC feedback, and overstamping the "1921" to "1928" to match their newer model. According to Herigstad's "Colt Thompson Submachine Gun Serial Numbers and Histories" (page 454), this particular Thompson was shipped as a single item to the Public Safety Department of the town of Adams, Massachusetts, on January 8th, 1934. The item would later end up in the collection of James Ronaghan at an unknown date. Blade front sight on the Cutts compensator and a folding Lyman rear sight, showing the signature cooling fins on the barrel, dual hardwood pistol grips, and a quick-detachable hardwood buttstock. The left side of the receiver has the aforementioned "U.S. NAVY" model markings ahead of the 5-line address and caliber markings, with the Thompson "bullet" logo on top and the Auto-Ordnance address and 6-line patent markings on the right. A set of "crown/BV" Birmingham proofs have been added to the left side of the receiver and trigger housing, with a "JHB" mark on the right side of the receiver, suggesting that this Thompson traveled to Britain at some point. The internals are of the 1928 pattern, including the brass Blish Lock device and the felt-padded oiler. The trigger group is numbered to match the receiver on the underside, with separate selector ("FULL/AUTO" and "SINGLE") and safety ("FIRE" and "SAFE") levers. Includes a modern blue velvet lined black leatherette "FBI" transport case, a brass cleaning rod, one Auto-Ordnance type "L" 50-round drum and two stick magazines.

Rating Definition:

Fine, with 70% of the faded original blue finish, touch up blue on both sides of the forward receiver, with areas of brown patina on the balance. The otherwise fine wood shows some mild scratches and dents overall. The case and accessories are excellent. 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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