So I fired a Thompson sub-machine gun yesterday

Zeus-cat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
4,851
Reaction score
1,159
A friend of mine goes to a shooting range with his son about once a month or so. I went with them a few months ago, but I don't go with them every time. So the last time I was with them my buddy really wanted to shoot the Tommy, but he wouldn't cough up the $50 to get two 30 round clips. I called the range the following week and bought him a gift certificate to use for the Tommy. He finally used it yesterday, except the deal I had bought it for had expired. So he paid an extra $10 and got four 25 round clips (I'm not sure the range guys are very good at math). He shot two clips and me and his son each got one.

My impressions: First and foremost, FUN. However, this weapon has some serious drawbacks. It is HEAVY! I would not want to lug this thing around for any length of time. Wikipedia says it weighs between 12 and 13 pounds loaded and it seems a lot heavier than that. Also, it tends to rise as you shoot, and I mean rise a LOT. The range guy had us shoot 3 rounds in single shot mode and then short bursts. Single shots were fine, but once you switched to full auto it was really hard to shoot straight. With practice I am sure you would get a lot better, but in full auto I was off target by the third or fourth round.

I fired three shots in single mode and then three bursts. The first two bursts were probably 6 rounds each and then I emptied it on the last, slightly longer burst. At the end of the last burst the barrel had kicked up at least 15 to 20 degrees on me. And the gun range guy had his hand on our shoulders as were shooting to keep the gun from rising. The gun is very butt heavy which is one reason why it rises so much.

My buddy fired his second clip in one burst and did better. The gun range guy told him to start low and let it walk up a little, but use the forward grip to really hold it down. Again, the guy had his hand on my friend's shoulder as he fired. He did empty the clip in one burst and kept it sort of on target.

Anyway, we fired a few more rounds with their pistols, but after the Tommy they seemed anti-climatic so we wrapped it up soon after.
 

Andrew_ASC

UTC SEDS 2017 3rd/ SEDS 2018 1st
Joined
Sep 22, 2017
Messages
3,883
Reaction score
534
The Buds Gun Shop in Sevierville has a “rental” select fire HK G36.

They also let you rent nearly any gun to help you decide if it’s worth buying. The G36 isn’t for sale since it’s post sample.

The pretty blonde chick at the gun counter will say, “I’m sorry we don’t have the item you want in stock anymore, do you want to rent a machine gun instead?”

Because Tennesseeans. Hicks rock.
 

MClark

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
3,248
Reaction score
1,608
Location
Glendale, AZ
I had a friend who had a few Thompsons. About once a year we would go out and shoot them until we didn't want to shoot anymore.

M
 

Zeus-cat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
4,851
Reaction score
1,159
I had a friend who had a few Thompsons. About once a year we would go out and shoot them until we didn't want to shoot anymore.

M

I assume your aim improved with practice. Could you put every round from a full clip into a bullseye as I was told by the guy at the gun range?
 

burkefj

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,981
Reaction score
1,938
That's funny, the Thompson is so heavy especially with the drum magazine that I had no problem with the gun rising at all and I never understood why people had trouble controlling it. that said I much prefer the grease gun it was really controllable is the rate of fire seemed much slower. I did find that the AK on the M14 on Full Auto are pretty much useless after the second round.
 

MClark

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
3,248
Reaction score
1,608
Location
Glendale, AZ
We used 55 gallon barrels as targets and not far. Aim was always poor, but hey! We're shooting Tommy guns!
We had 20mm cans of 45ACP loaded on a demo machine (Dillon) by customers. Some no powder, some double charged. We called it "Tommy Gun Surprise".
We tried to hunt jackrabbits, two guns empty the 50 round mags in one burst. Never hit one.

M
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
316
Reaction score
31
Location
Southwest Virginia
A friend of mine goes to a shooting range with his son about once a month or so. I went with them a few months ago, but I don't go with them every time. So the last time I was with them my buddy really wanted to shoot the Tommy, but he wouldn't cough up the $50 to get two 30 round clips. I called the range the following week and bought him a gift certificate to use for the Tommy. He finally used it yesterday, except the deal I had bought it for had expired. So he paid an extra $10 and got four 25 round clips (I'm not sure the range guys are very good at math). He shot two clips and me and his son each got one.

My impressions: First and foremost, FUN. However, this weapon has some serious drawbacks. It is HEAVY! I would not want to lug this thing around for any length of time. Wikipedia says it weighs between 12 and 13 pounds loaded and it seems a lot heavier than that. Also, it tends to rise as you shoot, and I mean rise a LOT. The range guy had us shoot 3 rounds in single shot mode and then short bursts. Single shots were fine, but once you switched to full auto it was really hard to shoot straight. With practice I am sure you would get a lot better, but in full auto I was off target by the third or fourth round.

I fired three shots in single mode and then three bursts. The first two bursts were probably 6 rounds each and then I emptied it on the last, slightly longer burst. At the end of the last burst the barrel had kicked up at least 15 to 20 degrees on me. And the gun range guy had his hand on our shoulders as were shooting to keep the gun from rising. The gun is very butt heavy which is one reason why it rises so much.

My buddy fired his second clip in one burst and did better. The gun range guy told him to start low and let it walk up a little, but use the forward grip to really hold it down. Again, the guy had his hand on my friend's shoulder as he fired. He did empty the clip in one burst and kept it sort of on target.

Anyway, we fired a few more rounds with their pistols, but after the Tommy they seemed anti-climatic so we wrapped it up soon after.
Without getting too Gun-Nerd ... Do you know which model it was? In easy terms, did it have a forward pistol grip, or was the forearm horizontal, like a "conventional rifle"?

Class III guns in general, and the Thompson in particular, are some of the most fun you can have with your clothes on ...
o_O
 

Salvage-1

Certified
Joined
Mar 17, 2012
Messages
2,681
Reaction score
15
Beautiful weapon - Pull down on the front handgrip when firing - a little weird feeling, but that is why its there!

If you ever have a chance, try a Bren. I have an Inglis Mk III. Don't get it out very much to feed it as it is LOUD and eats 30 rounds magazines like breakfast cereal.
embed
 

Attachments

  • BrenMkIIpic10a.JPG
    BrenMkIIpic10a.JPG
    94.5 KB · Views: 67

Zeus-cat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
4,851
Reaction score
1,159
Without getting too Gun-Nerd ... Do you know which model it was? In easy terms, did it have a forward pistol grip, or was the forearm horizontal, like a "conventional rifle"?

Class III guns in general, and the Thompson in particular, are some of the most fun you can have with your clothes on ...
o_O

It was their rental gun, so it didn't look nice like the ones they had for sale. They had one hanging up which was nice and shiny. The rental hadn't been cleaned up in a long time. I am sure it was well maintained, but it didn't look nice; both the metal and the wood needed a serious polishing. It did not have a forward pistol grip; the forward grip was like a rifle.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
316
Reaction score
31
Location
Southwest Virginia
It was their rental gun, so it didn't look nice like the ones they had for sale. They had one hanging up which was nice and shiny. The rental hadn't been cleaned up in a long time. I am sure it was well maintained, but it didn't look nice; both the metal and the wood needed a serious polishing. It did not have a forward pistol grip; the forward grip was like a rifle.
Did it have a funky looking device on the muzzle, or just a hole at the end of the tube?

Was the cocking knob on the top, or the side?

You might have fired one of the late-model M1 or M1A1 variants, rather than the M1928, which seems to be more common on the rental racks.

The M1 was definitely not as "pretty" as the earlier variants.

I've still never handled an M1 or M1A1, and, being a WWII nerd, very much want to.
 

Zeus-cat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
4,851
Reaction score
1,159
Oops David, I did say clip; I meant magazine.
Did it have a funky looking device on the muzzle, or just a hole at the end of the tube?

Was the cocking knob on the top, or the side?

You might have fired one of the late-model M1 or M1A1 variants, rather than the M1928, which seems to be more common on the rental racks.

The M1 was definitely not as "pretty" as the earlier variants.

I've still never handled an M1 or M1A1, and, being a WWII nerd, very much want to.

I don't remember anything at the end of the barrel. I'll ask my friend's son to send me the video he took of me firing it. He was behind and to the side so you don't get a great view of the gun.
 

Bat-mite

Rocketeer in MD
Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Messages
11,931
Reaction score
2,732
Location
Maryland
I always thought a magazine is inserted into the weapon, whereas a clip clips onto the outside of the weapon. If so, then the Tommy has a clip.

So, what is the correct definition of each? I'ma learn me somethin'.
 

Zeus-cat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
4,851
Reaction score
1,159
I always thought a magazine is inserted into the weapon, whereas a clip clips onto the outside of the weapon. If so, then the Tommy has a clip.

So, what is the correct definition of each? I'ma learn me somethin'.

Clips just have the rounds clipped into them, whereas the rounds would be fully inserted into a magazine. A clip is usually much cheaper to make than a magazine.

Here is a good video on clips versus magazines:
 

heada

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
5,443
Reaction score
2,823
Location
Indianapolis, Indiana
All small arms have a magazine. Some are external, some are internal. Some are removable/detachable and some are non-removable/fixed. Some hold multiple rounds, some only hold a single round. The magazine is what holds the round(s) in the gun. A clip is used to load a magazine. In the above images, the clip is a "stripper clip" used to load an internal, non-removable magazine.
 

rharshberger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
11,664
Reaction score
3,508
Location
Pasco, WA
All small arms have a magazine. Some are external, some are internal. Some are removable/detachable and some are non-removable/fixed. Some hold multiple rounds, some only hold a single round. The magazine is what holds the round(s) in the gun. A clip is used to load a magazine. In the above images, the clip is a "stripper clip" used to load an internal, non-removable magazine.
And the stripper clips in the picture appear to be for a SKS (top) and a Mauser Broomhandle ( lower). Bolt gun stripper clips for the Mauser 98, Springfield '03, Lee-Enfield and similar rifles were all straight and were 5 rounders iirc.
 

heada

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
5,443
Reaction score
2,823
Location
Indianapolis, Indiana
And the stripper clips in the picture appear to be for a SKS (top) and a Mauser Broomhandle ( lower). Bolt gun stripper clips for the Mauser 98, Springfield '03, Lee-Enfield and similar rifles were all straight and were 5 rounders iirc.
Add 91/30 Mosin-Nagant to the straight, 5 round clip list. I love my Mosin!
 

Bat-mite

Rocketeer in MD
Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Messages
11,931
Reaction score
2,732
Location
Maryland
All revolvers are pistols but not all pistols are revolvers. Just like saying all thumbs are fingers but not all fingers are thumbs.
I've heard a good many gun purists say that pistols and revolvers and distinct. Both are handguns, but a pistol is not a revolver and a revolver is not a pistol.
 

rharshberger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
11,664
Reaction score
3,508
Location
Pasco, WA
All revolvers are pistols but not all pistols are revolvers. Just like saying all thumbs are fingers but not all fingers are thumbs.
There are a few revolving rifles out there... though to be honest they are really just modified pistols for the most part. Examples are the Tibert 12 shot, Colt, and Rossi Circuit Judge.
 

heada

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
5,443
Reaction score
2,823
Location
Indianapolis, Indiana
I've heard a good many gun purists say that pistols and revolvers and distinct. Both are handguns, but a pistol is not a revolver and a revolver is not a pistol.
Pistol is the type of gun. Revolver is the action of the gun. Other options for action in a pistol would include single-shot, semi-automatic, automatic, multi-barrel, etc.
 

heada

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
5,443
Reaction score
2,823
Location
Indianapolis, Indiana
There are a few revolving rifles out there... though to be honest they are really just modified pistols for the most part. Examples are the Tibert 12 shot, Colt, and Rossi Circuit Judge.
I was thinking about that as well but the only difference between them and a standard pistol is the barrel length. I even had an asterisk in my post to cover them but pulled it out as I'm not 100% sure how they're classed.
 

Bat-mite

Rocketeer in MD
Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Messages
11,931
Reaction score
2,732
Location
Maryland
I guess it's one of those things like is Frankenstein the doctor or the monster. According to Wikipedia:

Some handgun experts and dictionaries make a technical distinction that views pistols as a subset of handguns; others use the terms interchangeably. Sometimes in usage, the term "pistol" refers to a handgun having one chamber integral with the barrel,[1][2] making pistols distinct from the other main type of handgun, the revolver, which has a revolving cylinder containing multiple chambers.[3][4] But UK/rest of Commonwealth usage does not always make this distinction, particularly when the terms are used by the military. For example, the official designation of the Webley Mk VI revolver was "Pistol, Revolver, Webley, No. 1 Mk VI".[5] In contrast to Merriam-Webster[3][4] the Oxford English Dictionary (a descriptive dictionary) describes 'pistol' as a small firearm to be used in one hand[6] and the usage of "revolver" as being a type of handgun[7] and gives its original form as "revolving pistol"[7][8]
 

markkoelsch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
4,364
Reaction score
152
All small arms have a magazine. Some are external, some are internal. Some are removable/detachable and some are non-removable/fixed. Some hold multiple rounds, some only hold a single round. The magazine is what holds the round(s) in the gun. A clip is used to load a magazine. In the above images, the clip is a "stripper clip" used to load an internal, non-removable magazine.

Not to be rude, but you are incorrect. I have a single shot 22 at home.
 

Zeus-cat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
4,851
Reaction score
1,159
Did it have a funky looking device on the muzzle, or just a hole at the end of the tube?

Was the cocking knob on the top, or the side?

You might have fired one of the late-model M1 or M1A1 variants, rather than the M1928, which seems to be more common on the rental racks.

The M1 was definitely not as "pretty" as the earlier variants.

I've still never handled an M1 or M1A1, and, being a WWII nerd, very much want to.

My friend says he thinks it was the M1A1.

The gun range guy cocked it for all of us so I really didn't notice. The guy loaded it, cocked it, set it to single shot, flipped the safety off and set it on the counter pointing down range. All we had to do was pick it up and fire and then flip it full auto when ready.
 
Top