Thompson Submachine Gun (VIDEO)

The Auto-Ordnance Thompson Submachine Gun is a select-fire weapon chambered in .45 ACP. The gun was invented in 1919 and earned the nickname the “Tommy Gunn”. It gained massive notoriety due to its popularity among Prohibition era gangsters and criminals. It was also used by law enforcement. Today, the gun is a favorite of collectors for its historical significance.

The Thompson fires as semi-automatic or fully-automatic from an open bolt position. When the trigger is pulled, the bolt flies forward to chamber and begins to fire rounds until the trigger is released or the ammunition is finished. The gun’s cyclic rate of fire was high for its day: some models could fire 1,200 rounds per minute, with most law enforcement opting to go with a version that ranged from 720-600 rounds per minute.

The Thompson features a walnut stock that helped make it noticeably heavier than today’s guns with a weight of 10.6-10.8 lbs. The gun was originally meant to held 50-100 round drum magazines, but 20 and 30 round box magazines were soon adopted because they weren’t as loud and were more durable.

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