The M1928 Thompson was a sub-machine gun that was used by the United States and Great Britain during World War II.


It could fire the .45 ACP round at a range of up to 200 meters, though it was only really effective up to 50 meters.[1] The first military production model was the M1928 which was based on the earlier civilian model which had been made famous by American gangsters during the 1930s. One of the main features of the M1928 was that it had a special compensator which lowered muzzle climb which was a major problem for Thompson users when using in fully automatic.

Also notable was its capability to use drum magazines that gave it an ammunition capacity of up to fifty rounds per magazine. The regular stick magazine which was the most widely used had an ammunition capacity of thirty rounds. The M1928 also had a rate of fire of 700 rounds per minute and a muzzle velocity of 280 metres per second.[2] The total weight of the Thompson was about four kilograms while the length of the Thompson was eighty-one centimetres. The Thompson utilized flip up adjustable rear sights for aiming and it had a blow-back type gas operating system. The Thompson was highly reliable and was well liked by its operators.


The first variant of the M1928 was the M1928A1 which was the first variant that was capable of a military sling and still retained the foregrip. Following it came the M1 Thompson which solved another one of the series's main drawbacks, its cost. The M1 was a highly simplified version that had modified mechanics and had a lowered rate of fire of about 650 rounds per minute. The M1A1 which was the last variant of the series was an even more simplified version of the original M1. At this point, the thirty round stick magazine became standard and the firing system was modified. However, the simplification meant that the elder drum magazine could no longer be fitted to the weapon.


Corporal, East Surrey Regiment 1940

A British corporal with a Thompson SMG.

The Thompson SMG series was first designed in 1919 by General John Thompson and was initially denied by the US military. This led to its marketing to civilians and its wide use in the prohibition era. Following its later introduction with the American armed forces, the Thompson was exported far and wide overseas to a number of countries, most notably China during its invasion by the Japanese. However, by the time that the US entered into World War II, most American units had not received Thompsons leading to its simplification and subsequent mass production. Controlled amounts of the weapons were provided to the Soviet Union along with M3 Stuart Tanks as crew weapons. However, these weapons saw little use as the 7.62mm pistol round was the prominent submachine gun caliber on the Eastern Front, as opposed to the Thompson's .45 ACP. In addition, it saw use by British and Canadian Commandos - somewhat famously by the No. 1 Commando, who feature the M1928 on their unit patch. By 1942-1943 the M1 was the standard weapon of the US Army and saw widespread use with US military in all the theaters it served in. In total, about 2,700,000 models have been produced in its existence.



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