The Thompson Submachine Gun Story

Discussion in 'Guns & Weapons' started by Frank Sanoica, May 3, 2016.

  1. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    Having moved to Vegas from the Midwest in 1972, and finding the "Gun Culture" attitudes prevalent there to be quite acceptable to me, I learned from a Gunshop owner downtown of a guy who collected Thompson submachineguns, legally, and occasionally could be persuaded to sell one. Turned out the guy's business location was only about half a mile from my service station, on Charleston Boulevard. He was a Realtor named Ron Rudin.

    I went to his place early in 1975, explained why I was there to his receptionist, and was ushered into his office. Tall guy, I recall, mild mannered, I told him why I was there. He explained it was not a good time, but come back in a day or two. I did. This time, he locked his office door, parted some drapes to reveal an immense safe door, almost like those in banks! Opening it, he led the way into the hidden room beyond, wherein were lined up like incredible sticks against the walls, hundreds of Thompson Machine Guns! The guns of Al Capone's era, when my Mom and dad were Dating!

    We talked about ownership, I looked over a few, and Thompson Serial Number 152-A was chosen as "mine". For $375. He filled out the necessary U.S. Treasury Dep't paperwork, took $100 as a binder, and I went downtown to the Police Station for the necessary Police O.K. A Cap't. Bowlden asked me a few questions regarding why I desired to own one, signed the Treasury form, and I mailed all the stuff to Washington, D.C., along with a check for $200, the required "Tax Stamp" fee.

    The waiting began. About 3 months later, Mr. Rudin called, I had already received the paperwork, and I drove madly to his office! There, he handed me the one thing I had never before envisioned owning! The gun was magnificent. Machined from the solid, no stampings or lost frills. I allowed only a few confederates of mine to even know of it's existence, my nephew was one. We often went out of a Sunday afternoon, to shoot it up in the mountains. This was in 1975.

    Jump ahead to about 2005. Living in Missouri, my wife watching one of those 20-20 like shows, heard and recognized the name "Rudin". The story was about Ron Rudin! His wife had murdered him, hidden the remains, which were found subsequently. Rudin it turned out was a millionaire developer, a fact never seen by me in his quiet demeanor, low-class Realty Office on West Charleston. 30 years after he had sold me my Thompson! I absolutely could not believe it!

    Doubtful? Try a search of "Ron Rudin". Frank
     
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  2. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    ....I don't have time....
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Gary Ridenour

    Gary Ridenour Very Well-Known Member
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    Margaret Rudin

    Margaret Rudin (born May 31, 1943), is an American woman convicted in the December 18, 1994, murder of her husband, real estate magnate Ronald Rudin. She is incarcerated at Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center in Nevada.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Rudin

    the same??

    nicknames for the gun: "Tommy Gun", "Trench Broom", "Trench Sweeper", "Chicago Typewriter", "Chicago Piano", "Chicago Style", "Chicago Organ Grinder", "The Chopper" and simply "The Thompson"
     
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  4. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Then there's the Rubber Band Machine gun!
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    Yes. When I acquired the arm from him, Rudin presented himself as a true fancier of the Thompson, self-assured, cautious at first, had to get a "feel" for my intent. I had no idea he was a rich man, considering the outwardly plain office he used. Owning a Thompson was like a dream come true for me. It came with original papers supplied by it's OEM seller, Auto-Ordnance Corp., West Hurley, NJ.

    John Thompson used in his original design, a delaying-mechanism called a "Blish lock", pictured below. My arm had the Blish device, however, later designs used by the U.S. Army in WW-II deleted it altogether. The Blish lock is an "H"-shaped bronze part, which slides up and down a short distance, guided by the angled slot seen in the bolt, and slots within the lower receiver. It delayed opening of the bolt, ostensibly to allow pressure to dissipate before opening. Difficult design to mass produce easily, but likely lowered full-automatic firing rate. Mine fired a calculated 600 rounds per minute, based on stop-watch time to empty a magazine. Chambered in .45 Automatic Caliber.

    Today, models like mine are priced in the $10,000 and up range. I paid $375, sold for $2,000!

    [​IMG]
    Thompson M1928A1 bolt group with "H" type Blish-Lock piece.
     
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  6. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Veteran Member
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    I have one. A model 1927 A1. Mine is brand new in the box, 45 caliber with the 50 round drum magazine. Mine is a semi- auto civilian version though. It sure is a heavy gun.
     
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  7. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Have you fired it much, Shell? Hope you're not using it for a paper shredder!;)
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    My machine gun of choice would be a PPsh-41. Like the Thompson, it had it's faults, but it was cheaper and easier to build. And, lighter to tote. About 8 lbs. compared to Thompsons 10 lbs.
    fem-ppsh.jpg
     
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  9. Gary Ridenour

    Gary Ridenour Very Well-Known Member
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    [​IMG]

    the BAR. when i was in boot i was required to fire it. I only weighted about 125lbs and the recoil knocked me back into the instructor flattening him. 3 laps around the grinder with this at high port.
     
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  10. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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  11. Gary Ridenour

    Gary Ridenour Very Well-Known Member
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    its all about recoil

     
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  12. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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