Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thompson Model 1927A1

I always loved the gun that made the 20s roar. I grew up watching “The Untouchables” on TV. Robert Stack as Elliot Ness was my hero. Of course, if I had been of drinking age, I might have had different priorities! A long time ago, the prices for the original full auto Thompsons went way out of sight and my price range. I resigned myself to one on the long barrel semi auto M1927A1. Boy I’m glad I did. When I saw the machining on the finned barrel and the deep blue in the compensator I was very impressed. Overall quality was very high. It was like taking a trip back in time.

That was over 15 years ago, and I’m still crazy about the M1927A1. I have found a few things I would correct, the wood was not as contoured on the vertical grip as are the originals, the butt stock is more like the later M1 Thompson, and the rear sight was not the Lyman adjustable site that was on the original Model 1928 Thompson. So, I bit the bullet and changed out the site for an original Lyman, the butt stock and vertical grip will be addressed at a later date. The Lyman sights can be found for about $200 as of this writing. If you need one, get it now, they won’t be around forever.
There is no felt recoil, and the Model 1927A1 is very accurate. It fires the legendary 45 ACP cartridge and happily, it digests lead round nosed bullets without a problem. The hardest job is loading the magazines. The 50 round drum is a hoot, but it really is heavy. Since the Model 1927A1 fires from the closed bolt position, removing the empty drum is difficult and required the use of an metal “ third hand” device available from Auto Ordnance. The price is $7.00 and here’s the link; http://www.tommygunshop.com/cgi-bin/itemdetail.asp?itmid=295

The Thompson is big, heavy, beautifully made, and a classic in every sense. I can’t think of a gun that is more fun. Kahr Arms, which now owns Auto Ordnance, makes a couple of versions of the Model 1927A1. They include the standard model, a lightweight model with an aluminum receiver, a WW II military model and pa parkerized “Commando” model with black wood. There is also the factory made short barreled rifle(SBR) that can be purchased with additional BATF-E paperwork (in most states). The cost of this SBR is $2,500, a lot less than the conversion cost for a standard Model 1927A1. Very fun!

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