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 857), this particular Thompson was shipped to the Wabasha County Sheriff's Office in Wabasha, Minnesota as a single item on December 6, 1933. The exact usage the Sheriff put this Thompson to is unknown, and it later passed through the collections of Kenneth Ward and William Crane. Blade front sight on the unmarked 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. 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. The internals are of the 1928 pattern, with the reduced spring and spring guide and correspondingly heavier bolt assembly, with brass Blish Lock and felt padded oiler. Included with the Thompson is an Auto-Ordnance "L" type 50-round magazine, one stick magazine, a "Kasekraft" brand transport case, cleaning rod, and a pair of Wabasha County Sheriff's Department patches.
Excellent, with 90% plus bright original high polish blue finish, showing bright edge wear, light handling marks, and areas of brown patina concentrated on the compensator. The grips and stock are very fine, with some scuffing and scattered storage dings. The case is fine 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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