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The Thompson Submachine Gun

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The video from hickok45 features the Thompson submachine gun. He demonstrates how the gun works by firing a few rounds at an assortment of targets.

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The gun he’s firing is a 1921 configuration and there also a 1928 A1 model. There were a lot of changes made to the Thompson guns during World War II to make them cheaper and faster to produce. He says he was under the impression that the Thompsons used in World War II were the coolest, and the originals were works of art, but were expensive to make and were not as reliable due to old designs. The Thompsons used in World War II were simplified to be more serviceable, such as putting the bolt on the top, cheaper rear sight and so on. So in truth, the original models used during the gangster era of the Roaring ‘20s were the better guns, used by the infamous mobsters of the time.

The two guns were imported from Russia back in the 1930s, as the US used to lease them out, and these guns came back. Along with the Thompsons are some World War II guns on the table as well, like the Colt 1918 reproduction, 1917 .45 ACP revolver, Garand, 1897 shotgun – firearms that were popular in that era. He says these are nostalgic weapons, wood and steel.

John Thompson was in the Spanish-American War and thought there was a need for a machine gun that could be carried by a person, because he saw how effective they were. He wanted to create a semi-automatic rifle initially, but it wouldn’t work so he came up with a few more ideas, including the submachine gun as it is known today.

He goes on to strip the gun, taking it down to its basics, describing the gun’s history and its roles in World War I and II, along with some stories on Thompson’s attempts to sell the newly made submachine gun. He says criminals were actually the ones who made the gun popular, until the military took notice around World War II.

The Thompson gun is taken out on the range and put through more tests with the wide array of targets set up on the field.


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