A historic (and NFA-registered transferable) Colt Model 1921 Thompson sub gun tied to the famous FBI agent present at the last ride of “Public Enemy No. 1” is up for auction.
The Tommy gun is documented to legendary G-man Melvin Purvis and was one of two in the hands of J. Edgar Hoover’s agents during the final pursuit and ultimate death of one Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd. The notorious Georgia-born bank robber and Prohibition-era gangster was just past his 30th birthday when he was named the FBI’s Most Wanted criminal at large following the death of John Dillinger.
FBI agents and local police, led by Purvis, cornered Floyd in East Liverpool, Ohio, on Oct. 22, 1934, and the one-sided gunfight was his last. Purvis, who went on to practice law, became a colonel in the Army during WWII, helping to search for evidence against Nazi war criminals in the Nuremberg trials before dying in 1960, outliving Floyd by a quarter-century.
The Thompson, up for auction with Rock Island in December, was owned by East Liverpool and, requisitioned by the Purvis and his fellow agents, returned to the Ohio town’s police armory where it sat until 1974 when it was sold on the commercial market.
The .45 ACP “trench broom” is also notable as it is an early Colt-made gun, S/N 14033, that is still original and escaped the later conversion to a slower rate of fire into the M1928A1 “Overstamp” configuration.
Estimated price on the gun is between $75,000 and $120,000, Ford V8s and fedoras not included.