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Char-Gar
08-15-2006, 12:07 PM
Many years ago, I got to put about a hundred rounds through a full auto Thompson 1927. The gun and the ammo belonged to the U.S. Border Patrol. I was about 18 and that event did leave an impression on me.

I am trying to talk myself either into or out of getting one of the 1927 A-1 semi-auto carbines with the 16.5" barrels. This itch has been there quite some time. I have a couple of questions.

1. Anybody have any experience with these and what are your impressions?
2. I understand the triggers suck, any fix for this?
3. How are they as cast bullet shooters?
4. Any other comments, pro or con on the notion?

45 2.1
08-15-2006, 12:17 PM
I've heard that the internals are "weak" with broken firing pins being a problem. Just heard with no experience.

felix
08-15-2006, 12:39 PM
Chargar, that gun would be too heavy for me. Yeah, for full auto action you might could enjoy the extra weight. Just not enough fun for the expected cost plus upkeep. ... felix

StarMetal
08-15-2006, 01:01 PM
Charger,

Joe to the rescue! You know you depend on me. Felix is only right about one thing, they ARE heavy. I have one. Other then that they are alot of fun. Very very very very accurate too. So accurate in fact I asked a WWII friend of mine if the original GI full auto versions were that good. He said, well remember those were open bolt type actions and the big bolt slammed forward. He said except for that, yes they were pretty accurate, especially the ones that had select fire.

Very easy to maintain, very easy to tear down, nothing breaks, the trigger sucks, but manageable. The carbine will handle any bullet style too. I find myself shooting alot of my target SWC's in it!!! It's the reason I bought my Lyman 230 gr round nose bullet mould too. I got an original un-issued sling for it too. I also bought the HK UPC 45acp carbine. Reall space-age looking and shoots even better then the Tommy.

45 2.1.. I have no problems with the firing pin. I think the only thing that can break on the firing pin, and it's not actually on the pin itself, is the pins that pin it in the bolt. No big deal. The firing pin itself is very robust.

Charger, you can hot rod the 45acp SOME, but not enough to really gain anything worth while. I just know that's going through your head. The old story about the Tommy gun having a bad climb is a bunch of bull. I love the thing.

You have any questions fire away.

Felix, did I hold up to my trademark???

Joe

Char-Gar
08-15-2006, 06:02 PM
Yep, they are heavy at 13 lbs. The full auto version is almost that heavy. Not the gun to take on a long hike in the woods to smell the flowers and enjoy the day.

The guy who gave me an introduction to the full auto Tommygun was the firearms instructor for the Border Patrol Academy. I saw him tuck the butt stock under his arm, place the front grip on the open palm of his hand and put an entire 30 round magazine full auto into the kill zone of a paper target at 50 yards. It never climbed off his hand. So much for the stories of the Tommygun climbing.

I had no trouble controling the gun in full auto and found it easy to control. I did my shooting from the shoulder. I am left handed and that stream of brass flying by my face did keep me from my best concentration on the sights.

Emptying a 50 rn. drum out of the "Chicago Typewriter" is indeed an experience to remember. If I had $13,000 to piss of (which I don't) I would not hesitated to spend the money and go through the paperwork to own one.

Joe..Thanks for the first hand experience. I am tempted, mighty tempted.

StarMetal
08-15-2006, 07:25 PM
Charger,

I also heard stories like they use to unfasten the rear of the sling (buttstock end) and tramp on the loose end to hold the climb down and also that is why they turned it sideways, the climb, then horizontal would make it "sweep" [smilie=1: Boy I tell ya, same as the stories about the 1911's vicious recoil and even worse how a hit with that boy would pick you off your feet.

Yeah I really like my carbine, I wish though it was legal to have the original lenght barrel as it would look alot better. Shucks, there's no way to hide that gun with the shorter barrel.

I kind of have a hybrid, let me explain. When I got the tommy fever there were NO 45acp one to be found in the country, seriously. So I had to settle for a 10mm Deluxe. First I didn't want a 10mm, second I don't like the appearance of the finned barrel, the compensator, and the vertical front grip. I basically wanted the military version that came later on with plain barrel and horizontal forearm. Well the 10mm is a potent round. Not that a Thompson won't handle, but the firing pin method on the semi models is strange and the 10 is alittle hot for that as it would just about blow all the primers. So...I called Auto Ordanance, as they owned them back then, and got the shop supervisor, and he was a wonderful guy. He said he wished they would have never made that semi in 10mm after I told him what it was doing. He asked if I would be upset if I sent it back and he converted over to 45acp? I said I'd be delighted. I said while you have it make it a M1A style. He said ok. I sent it in and about two weeks later he called me. Said he didn't have an M1A upper receiver, would I accepted it with the 1927 upper receiver with the horizontal forearm and plain barrel. I said sure. That's how I got and I'm glad because the 1927 style upper receiver has the adjustable rear sight, whereas the M1A doesn't, and the 1927 receiver is cut for use of a drum magazine or the sticks. It retains the cocking knob at the top, no big deal.

When I first got it back I shot a little over a one inch group with it at 65 yards. I was using a Lyman target 195 gr SWC, with a very blunt nose that I use in my 1911's. It shoots great in them, as I did also in the tommy. That's when I begin to learn hot accurate that gun is. Popcans at 100 yards are a breeze. My wife loves the gun too.

Joe
P.S. To give you an idea of how long ago it was I paid about $510 for it.

McLintock
08-15-2006, 07:26 PM
I had the select fire version, an Auto Ordnance 1928, but never fired it on semi auto, it was too much fun on full. But it did climb, so 3-5 shot bursts was the only way I could keep it on target, and it had the cutts comp on it for climb control. I'm 6'1" and over 200 lbs and I have a video of my ripping off a 30 round mag and I had to take a step back to maintain balance and it climbed up clear off the target; the instructor that kept it on at 50 yards definitely knew a lot more about it than me. I had a select fire Ruger Mini 14 at the same time that was a lot more controllable. The 50 round drum was definitely a burst only option as you'd be shooting at the sky on the last round with that one. I would say, for the money involved there's a lot more fun guns in semi auto than the 1927 Thompson, due to the weight of them and the limitations of the round. But Thompsons do have that look and feel about them and if you want one (1927) get one, I'm sure you'd be happy with it; but for pure fun to shoot, the full auto version is hard to beat, but very pricey now. I bought mine in the mid '90's for $1800, complete with FBI case, and several mags, sold it in 2002 for $4600 and it's probably worth at least double that now. Never had any problems with it except for an occasional jam, and always shot reloads in it with plated bullets, but several guys I knew said they shot lead bullets in their's with no problems. It's a blowback design, so you don't have the problems with lead bullets that gas operated autos do. Oh yeah, I was told when I started looking for one to buy that letting a women shoot a full auto Thompson was the quickest way to sex that they knew of, it gets them excited for some reason. Never got to test that theory but would have liked to if I hadn't been married; but my wife doesn't like guns much.
McLintock

StarMetal
08-15-2006, 07:40 PM
Mclintock,

Thanks, great story too, esp letting a woman shoot it. Hmmm maybe that old saying about fast cars and hot women should say fast cars, machineguns, and hot women.

Joe

beagle
08-15-2006, 09:12 PM
Charles....Like you I kind of have the urge for another "tommy". I'm kind of partial to the plain jane M1A1s. I've fired the semi-autos and with cast, it's a matter of finding the correct seating depth/charge.

I'm not into the drums but like the 20 round sticks.

Had an old M1A1 in the nam and it was a little messed up. It would only shoot on rock and roll but never jammed on me. They do climb and I can attest to that fact. This one had a bullet hole from another .45 slugh through the horizontal grip and it nipped the barrel. I often wondered about the story behind that episode. How about "Dueling Thompsons?"

I'm wondering if it would be possible to take one of the semi-auto M1A1s and replace the barrel with a short barrel and register it with the BATF. This should place it in the same category of the "other destructive devices" as with a sawed off shotgun but still not be in the true Class 3 category.

What the hell, you got plenty of $$$ go for the Class III and be done with it./beagle

StarMetal
08-15-2006, 09:24 PM
Beagle,

I don't know about the right powder charge and bullet and such as I haven't found anything mine won't feed and shoot. For example, besides the round nose, the targer SWC's I mentioned and get this, the RCBS 255 gr SWC meant for the 45 Colt. It shoots and chambers everything I've concocted up. I don't believe it's even fussy to seating depth, as long as it fits the magazine.

I know what you mean about the 20 rd magazines. I got a bunch of those, I make them out of the 30 rounders. I don't like that big 30 rounder sticking out of the bottom.

To answer you question about registering it with a short barrel the answer is YES. I called the BATF one day to see what the requires were and the fellow on the phone laughed alittle. He said you have to get the same license as though it were full auto, so he said why full around with a short barrel semi, go for the full auto. Well one reason not too is the cost.

Joe

beagle
08-16-2006, 09:24 PM
That might be worth persuing. A Thompson with a long barrel looks like ****.

I know they're fun as hell to shoot with tracer ammo.

The length I was referring to were some cartridges with the bullet seated out that I was playing with in my Ruger convertible. They were seated out too far to chamber.

The Thompson was a fairly new one with only a couple hundred rounds through it. The combination didn't match at all. The first round would fire but the second in the mag hung up on feeding. Plenty of ejection power and the second round started to feed and hung up before it was fully seated./beagle

StarMetal
08-16-2006, 09:34 PM
Beagle,

I have alot of 45acps in alot of various forms. I have tight chambered match barrels on 1911's. You mentioned your Ruger convertible. I got one too and mine is the old three screw model. Beagle, that 45acp cylinder has the most unforgiven chambers I've ever seen in any 45acp gun and the tightest too. I believe yours may be the same. Boy if everything isn't perfect about your reloads that Ruger cylinder won't chamber them good enough to work and you'll know it right away when trying to turn the cylinder to load more. Usually end up pulling the cylinder pin to get the cylinder out to get the round out.

My Auto Ordanance semi has never ever jammed on any bullet type. You're right about ejection and bolt power going back into battery too. Don't know if you ever notice, but the breech on a Thompson is just about like a giant funnel. I myself thing the magazine are pretty flimsy made, by that I mean they have a slot from top to bottom on the back side facing the shooter because that little tab rides in that slot to trigger the lever to hold open the bolt on the last shot. So basically the magazine isn't a box with four sides solid all the way around, the back side, like I said, is split.
The weapon is ackward to carry and those 30 round sticks even make it worse. I don't think it's a real easy gun to slap a fresh magazine into fast either. But I still love mine.

Joe

NVcurmudgeon
08-16-2006, 09:53 PM
I was privileged to use the Thompson in the Navy. It was 100% reliable, accurate enough to hit small floating patches of kelp within reasonable range, easy to fire in three or four shot bursts, and the weight was no bother, going from one end of the ship to the other!

bobthenailer
08-19-2006, 08:20 AM
2 friends have them, very heavy and akward handling ( in my opinion), both were auto ordance bought around the 70 and 80 s , the 1 that was shot the most broke the firing pin after a few thousand rounds of 4.5 be & 200gr hg 68 the other was only shot about 500 rounds with the only problem was the 50 round drum would not stay in place all the time. bob

rockrat
08-28-2006, 11:50 PM
Hate to tell you McLintock, but they are around 17K now:shock:

beagle
08-29-2006, 08:14 PM
Don't tell the gubermint that or they'll declare an amnesty period and sell all their clunkers off for $10K each....../beagle


Hate to tell you McLintock, but they are around 17K now:shock:

dot6
09-07-2006, 06:59 PM
Yep, the long barrel on the civilian version don't look right and the trigger is long and mushy. BUT, like the other guys have said, they'll eat anything reliably and are more accurate than I would have ever expected. No problems with cast bullets, either. I shot a doe last year with it; one shot, ran forty yards, game over. And yes, the wife likes it.......but not that well.....

StarMetal
09-07-2006, 07:09 PM
Yeah some of the parts inside it are/were surplus, like the trigger. I can't understand why the civilian magazine latch hole is in a different location then the military one. The military magazines are easily modified with a dremel and little grinding wheel. I wondered how one would be for deer hunting and you answered that question. I also wondered how they would shoot with a scope.

Joe

toolman
01-11-2007, 12:54 PM
I just bought a 1927 A1 in dec. 06 , It came with a 30 rd clip, I bought a 50 rd drum. I need a violin case now:roll: :roll: I have found that the one I have is accurate fun to shoot & i will own more of them.
I also need a sling. here is what mine has done with the open sight at 65 or 70 yards just standing & a snap shot!~ not bad for a 1/2 blind OLD MAN!!
I think it would KILL a deer, and smart really bad if one of those big ole hunks a lead hit a person.
I am just new to tommy guns. I shot one in the army . but this is #1 that I owned
Dan
here is the target
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v344/thetoolman/DSC02586.jpg

mag_01
01-11-2007, 01:26 PM
A boson's mate on our ship fired one off the fantail and held it in a horizontal position and it walked sideways with 10 shot burst-----it was something to see--he also liked fishing for sharks and it was not uncommon to see one or two on the deck--good old navy days----Mag

KCSO
01-11-2007, 02:34 PM
All my experience has been with the full auto versions. I have put a few thousan rounds through several 1927's of various configurations including a drum fed mint condition 1927 with detachable stock. They are not a target gun, but are good out to 100 yards or so. I wouldn't say that one would be my choice for a deer gun, but they should do the job if the bullet is in the right place. I never had any problem with any of them shooting cast and was surprised at how well they shot swc's. I have only shot one of the repro's and the trigger, although heavy was managable and could be slicked up pretty easily. My favorite day at the range involved destroying the toilets and urinals taken out of a city building with two Tommy guns. You might say we shot the #$%# out of them. The downside of these things is that they encourage hip shooting and blasting and it sure is sad to see a weeks worth of reloading shot up in a half an hour!

AlaskaMike
01-11-2007, 05:50 PM
I always thought the 1927 was the commercial semi-auto only version, and that the full autos were the 1921, 1928, 1928A1, M1 and M1A1. Did they actually make a full-auto 1927?

Mike

txpete
01-19-2007, 02:20 PM
I bought one and love it.got lots of rd's(??) through it.kind of hard to keep track as I go to the range with ammo can full.

***nothing has broke/fell off ect***

I shoot my cast 200 gr swc .452 and loves them.I have even went out for grins at 100 meters and shot at silhouette targets.the AR guys had a laugh then everyone wanted to try it out:-D .
pete

deadguy
01-19-2007, 05:02 PM
I bought one and love it.got lots of rd's(??) through it.kind of hard to keep track as I go to the range with ammo can full.

***nothing has broke/fell off ect***

I shoot my cast 200 gr swc .452 and loves them.I have even went out for grins at 100 meters and shot at silhouette targets.the AR guys had a laugh then everyone wanted to try it out:-D .
pete

HA HA! AR guys are funny. I always love scaring them at the range with my Mosin carbines. Apparrently the BOOM and flash from a real full caliber round always scares the pants off them.

txpete
01-19-2007, 11:00 PM
ditto,you should have seen them when I was touching off a few rounds out of the 30/30 contender.loud and flames.
pete

45nut
03-05-2009, 02:48 PM
Yeah some of the parts inside it are/were surplus, like the trigger. I can't understand why the civilian magazine latch hole is in a different location then the military one. The military magazines are easily modified with a dremel and little grinding wheel. I wondered how one would be for deer hunting and you answered that question. I also wondered how they would shoot with a scope.

Joe

Hey Joe,
A friend of mine just picked up a 1927A1 and is coming up against that very issue,, one mag has a pear shaped hole and the other is round and it was marked as GI surplus and will not seat.

This is common for the GI mags huh? just take the dremel and open it up to match the pear shape as on the AO supplied mag huh?

What else should we be looking for, I haven't played with one at all and neither has he.
Heavy sob though!

StarMetal
03-05-2009, 02:58 PM
Hey Joe,
A friend of mine just picked up a 1927A1 and is coming up against that very issue,, one mag has a pear shaped hole and the other is round and it was marked as GI surplus and will not seat.

This is common for the GI mags huh? just take the dremel and open it up to match the pear shape as on the AO supplied mag huh?

What else should we be looking for, I haven't played with one at all and neither has he.
Heavy sob though!

Yup Ken, that pear shape one had been ground to relocate the hole. I don't know why they made this change, I mean heck everything else on the carbine is pretty close to the original. What I did was buy a bunch of military surplus magazine (glad I got them when they were $7 a piece and in the comosline wrapper) and found a Dremel fine grinding stone that would fit the original hole and oblong it in the correct direction of course. Go a little at a time and keep trying it until it locks in. On those Tommy guns it's good to give the bottom of the magazine a smack. Now that it fits there is one other item to attend to. That is the little blade on the back of the follower that rides up the slot. It's what trips the bolt hold open device. You have to grind that down some on the top because it will usually trip the hold open with there are one or two cartridges in the magazine.

Joe

45nut
03-05-2009, 04:15 PM
Can you post pictures of that tab that needs to be ground down? I think I remember it but...I am home now and don't have it here.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/45nut/other%20guys%20stuff/104_1617.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/45nut/other%20guys%20stuff/104_1618.jpg

pictures of the mags.. and the gun is here..

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/45nut/other%20guys%20stuff/104_1621.jpg

JSnover
03-05-2009, 05:50 PM
Bought one last summer I really like it. The sights are nothing to write home about and the trigger.... well, the trigger works. That's all I'll say about that [smilie=1: but it was never intended to be a precision instrument. Enjoy!

StarMetal
03-05-2009, 05:57 PM
Ken,

First picture shows that tab from rear angle of the magazine. You can actually see how much I filed it down. The second picture, again from the rear, shows the latch hole and how big I had to elongate it, and the tab again right above.

Help these help. First try your Tommy as your tab may not need altered. And yes that magazine is parkerized grey.

Joe

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg51/starmetal47/TomMag.jpg

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg51/starmetal47/TomMag1.jpg

leadeye
03-05-2009, 06:34 PM
I had one of those things back in 80, sold it as it did not like anything other than hardball. Had the same issue with the magazines that you guys are having and fixed them the same way. Solid and heavy though, had a case rupture in it and just picked out the shredded brass, checked for an obstruction and went back to shooting.:-D

45nut
03-05-2009, 06:40 PM
Thanks Joe,
I plan on bring my dremel,, a few choices of stones and my calipers to measure and mark so I dont go too far.
The pics helped a bunch. :drinks:

StarMetal
03-05-2009, 08:45 PM
I had one of those things back in 80, sold it as it did not like anything other than hardball. Had the same issue with the magazines that you guys are having and fixed them the same way. Solid and heavy though, had a case rupture in it and just picked out the shredded brass, checked for an obstruction and went back to shooting.:-D

That's interesting. I haven't found a bullet mine doesn't like yet. I'm not quite sure what you meant by yours..was it accuracy or feeding? Mine feeds everything from all target 45acp wadcutters to the 255 gr Colt SWC. It also shoots extremely accurate for the not so perfect sights on them. Thing is too darn heavy is my complain.

Joe

45nut
03-06-2009, 04:52 PM
well the magazine mod worked perfectly, thanks !

StarMetal
03-06-2009, 05:54 PM
well the magazine mod worked perfectly, thanks !


Glad it worked out Ken.

Joe