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 Thompson M1A1
GunDisaster  [Team Member]
7/5/2011 8:18:50 AM EST
I want to buy a transferable WWII style Thompson M1A1 for my collection. I have a trust and have bought a few machine guns already. I see a lot of the WWII Thompson's for sale are C&R; would I need to get a C&R license to buy those? Also any help on what to look for when buying one of these Thompson's would be great. Thanks
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raysheen  [Team Member]
7/5/2011 8:38:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By GunDisaster:
I want to buy a transferable WWII style Thompson M1A1 for my collection. I have a trust and have bought a few machine guns already. I see a lot of the WWII Thompson's for sale are C&R; would I need to get a C&R license to buy those? Also any help on what to look for when buying one of these Thompson's would be great. Thanks


I know next to nothing about Thompsons so I'll let someone more knowledgeable than myself tell you about the differences between the guns.
But to answer your question about the C&R: You don't need a C&R license to buy one. If you have a C&R license then it can be transfered directly to you so (if you are looking at a C&R gun) then it may make sense to have a C&R in place as it would avoid a wait on two different form 4s to clear (if you bought from an out of state individual). If you purchased from someone in state then it wouldn't save you any time at all.
I'll let someone else talk about the differences between a Colt from the 20s and a West Hurley from the 80s.
AlexanderA  [Member]
7/5/2011 1:49:44 PM EST
All WWII and pre-WWII Thompsons are C&R (because of the 50-year rule); so too are all West Hurleys (because of a specific recent ruling by the ATF). That means that just about every transferable Thompson is C&R.

The "classic" Thompson, with the actuator knob on top, the removable buttstock, the Lyman rear sight, the finned barrel, etc., is the 1921 - 1928 - 1928A1 series. The M1 and M1A1 are simplified, eliminating the Blish lock and the Cutts compensator, moving the cocking handle to the right side, making the stock non-removable, using simplified sights, etc. The M1 Thompson is a transitional design, leading to the M2 (never produced) and the M3 submachine guns.

If you are to have only one Thompson, get an M1928A1, even though it costs more.

JAD  [Member]
7/6/2011 3:49:11 PM EST
Only individuals, corporations, and LLC's can obtain C&R licenses. Trusts can not be so licensed.

You don't need a C&R to own/ possess the weapon. However, it could save you a transfer if you were bringing it in from out of state.
bigbore  [Industry Partner]
7/6/2011 4:00:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By GunDisaster:
I want to buy a transferable WWII style Thompson M1A1 for my collection.


"style" Do you want a piece of history, or a reproduction? Real M1A1s run about $15-17K, but you can get West Hurleys for around $12k.

Overall, there is very little to an M1/M1A1 Thompson. The are big, heavy, have a God awful long LOP, but are over built so you will never break or wear one out.

If you have any specific questions, let me know.


ETA: There is a M1A1 on sturm for $12K. Says reweld, but for a shooter that's still a good price.
raysheen  [Team Member]
7/6/2011 4:21:03 PM EST
Originally Posted By bigbore:



ETA: There is a M1A1 on sturm for $12K. Says reweld, but for a shooter that's still a good price.


shhhh don't post heads up like that when I'm asking the guy for pictures!
GunDisaster  [Team Member]
7/6/2011 8:53:53 PM EST
Yeah I wouldn't mind getting a West Hurley for around $12K, that would be a great price for Thompson.
223monkey  [Member]
7/9/2011 7:10:08 AM EST
Originally Posted By GunDisaster:
Yeah I wouldn't mind getting a West Hurley for around $12K, that would be a great price for Thompson.


I picked up a next to new, still had Comso inside 1928A1 WH from the notorious "Relco" for 10K. It was actually out of the estate of a Thompson collector and author. It was a good deal 3 years ago. This particular WH was made from all Savage parts in the early 70's (1974 to be exact) based on the serial #. WHs were made from '72 till the ban '86. Be careful when buying a West Hurley and check them for wear. Towards the late 70's and through the 80's till the ban, WH started using their own parts and essentially put out out junk that would need tuning to run reliably.

There was a WH M1 for sale not to long ago for 11K. They are good guns and run fine when they have GI parts in them, if you can try to inspect it for yourself in person. Most people will say that there isn't much to a Tommy, but when you get one that is a problem child, they can be hard(er) to get to run well. Also be sure to have Paul Keogh who is a Thompson Guru send you a buffer disk for it, that way you won't beat the tar out of the receiver. Good luck and good hunting!
bigbore  [Industry Partner]
7/9/2011 7:39:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By 223monkey:
Originally Posted By GunDisaster:
Yeah I wouldn't mind getting a West Hurley for around $12K, that would be a great price for Thompson.


I picked up a next to new, still had Comso inside 1928A1 WH from the notorious "Relco" for 10K. It was actually out of the estate of a Thompson collector and author. It was a good deal 3 years ago. This particular WH was made from all Savage parts in the early 70's (1974 to be exact) based on the serial #. WHs were made from '72 till the ban '86. Be careful when buying a West Hurley and check them for wear. Towards the late 70's and through the 80's till the ban, WH started using their own parts and essentially put out out junk that would need tuning to run reliably.

There was a WH M1 for sale not to long ago for 11K. They are good guns and run fine when they have GI parts in them, if you can try to inspect it for yourself in person. Most people will say that there isn't much to a Tommy, but when you get one that is a problem child, they can be hard(er) to get to run well. Also be sure to have Paul Keogh who is a Thompson Guru send you a buffer disk for it, that way you won't beat the tar out of the receiver. Good luck and good hunting!


This is why I wouldn't suggest a WH 1928. The M1/A1 are direct blow back and dont have any of the issues the WH 28s have with the blish lock channels.
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