Thompson Drum Question

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Buggy Man
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Thompson Drum Question

Post by Buggy Man » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:58 pm

Guys

I have a 50 round drum for one of the Auto Ordnance semi auto Thompsons made back in the late 1980's early 1990's. Will that drum work with a real F/A M1928A1 Thompson?

Thanks,
Matt

Cal.Bar
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Re: Thompson Drum Question

Post by Cal.Bar » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:20 pm

Well, I can now definitively answer this question. I actually got to spend some range time (here in CA no less) with original 1921 AND 1928 full auto Thompsons. I brought my Semi-auto Auto Ordinance mags and drum to use. And.... NONE of them work with the originals. They do not lock in and cannot be used with the originals. I have no idea why they would do this but they did. But... with the original mags.... I can report that BOTH were awesome.

GUNNUT in Iowa
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Re: Thompson Drum Question

Post by GUNNUT in Iowa » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:59 pm

The semi-auto Thompson has a completely different "upper". If I remember correctly, it is not as "tall" as the automatic version.

You can use the automatic magazines in the semi-auto, if you modify them. You must make the magazine retention hole in the magazine into an oblong shape. This will allow the magazine to sit lower and thus let the weapon function.

I have modified a bunch of automatic magazines like this to work in my semi-auto gun. This was back in the day when automatic magazines were cheap enough to do so.

Drum magazines - both semi-auto and automatic - were never cheap enough for me to try the modification. I don't know, if it would work anyway.

I do know that I am always interested in finding drums for my semi-auto.
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Urban Camo
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Re: Thompson Drum Question

Post by Urban Camo » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:43 pm

Cal.Bar wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:20 pm
Well, I can now definitively answer this question. I actually got to spend some range time (here in CA no less) with original 1921 AND 1928 full auto Thompsons. I brought my Semi-auto Auto Ordinance mags and drum to use. And.... NONE of them work with the originals. They do not lock in and cannot be used with the originals. I have no idea why they would do this but they did. But... with the original mags.... I can report that BOTH were awesome.
Strange the drums work in my semi auto.
Only stick mag's needed to be modified to work in S/A version.

Raymond Smith
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Re: Thompson Drum Question

Post by Raymond Smith » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:06 am

My experience was that the drums will fit in the semi auto version and the auto versions.
The drum hangs on rails machined in the upper frame, while the stick magazines are secured by a catch on the lower frame.

For the semi auto, the magazines need to have the hole in the back of the magazine elongated by 0.10" so they will work.

Glad you had a good time! not sure how you managed that in CA, must have been a movie set,
Raymond
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jonsm114
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Re: Thompson Drum Question

Post by jonsm114 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:06 pm

we don't modify the mags locally, we modify the mag catch to hold and lock up unmolested Thompson mags.....on the semi thompsons...

Jon
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Cal.Bar
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Re: Thompson Drum Question

Post by Cal.Bar » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:15 pm

Raymond Smith wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:06 am
My experience was that the drums will fit in the semi auto version and the auto versions.
The drum hangs on rails machined in the upper frame, while the stick magazines are secured by a catch on the lower frame.

For the semi auto, the magazines need to have the hole in the back of the magazine elongated by 0.10" so they will work.

Glad you had a good time! not sure how you managed that in CA, must have been a movie set,
Yeah, it was nothing short of a miracle to get range time in CA with so many full autos in private hands.

Buggy Man
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Re: Thompson Drum Question

Post by Buggy Man » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:21 pm

As my original post stated my question was about weather the DRUM mags from the S/As would fit/work with the F/A guns and that was answered. THANK YOU. I too had to mod a few F/A stick mags to work in my S/A when I had it way back in 1992. Original mags were cheap & all over the place back then. Not so much the case anymore. Now I think I'd do what Jonsm114 did and mod the mag catch on the (original)Thompson mags.

One of my reasons for posting the above question was that I've kind of been bitten by the Thompson "bug" again and have been giving (semi)serious thought to buying another. I know I'll never have the kind of money it takes to buy an original F/A one so a S/A copy will have to do. As of this typing, I'm not sure if I should do another M1928 or maybe buy the M1 this time around. The M1s will not accept the drum mags. On the plus side, I've never owned an M1 whereas I have owned an M1928...



If I do get another Thompson it's either going to be SBR'd (have a friend who's a class-3 dealer) or I may buy one of the blank fire only barrels for it. Only problem with the BfB is that it turns said Thompson into "the world's greatest cap gun" and I like to shoot live from time to time.

Matt
Last edited by Buggy Man on Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jonsm114
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Re: Thompson Drum Question

Post by jonsm114 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:34 pm

The mag catch fix is the way to go..dont destroy the mags.....

Jon
M3 37mm Cannon Parts and Resin Weapon Replicas. We also manufacture reproduction Stuart parts.
Fuel tanks, Rear Exhaust and Air Deflectors, and other components.
314-703-9710

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