The Almighty Thompson. For Ivantank who has one!

The Almighty Thompson. For Ivantank who has one!

"The Thompson is an American Submachine Gun", invented by John T. Thompson in 1919, that became infamous during the Prohibition era. It was a common sight in the media of the time, being used by both law enforcement officers and criminals. ...The Thompson was also known informally as: the "Tommy Gun", "Trench Broom", "Trench Sweeper", "Chicago Typewriter", "Chicago Piano", "Chicago Style", "Chicago Organ Grinder", and "The Chopper". The Thompson Submachine Gun was developed by General John T. Thompson who originally envisioned an auto rifle (semi-automatic rifle) to replace the bolt action service rifles then in use. While searching for a way to allow such a weapon to operate safely without the complexity of a recoil or gas operated mechanism, Thompson came across a patent issued to John Bell Blish in 1915 based on adhesion of inclined metal surfaces under pressure. Thompson found a financial backer, Thomas F. Ryan, and started the Auto-Ordnance Company in 1916 for the purpose of developing his auto rifle. The principal designers were Theodore H. Eickhoff, Oscar V. Payne, and George E. Goll. By late 1917, the limits of the Blish Principle were discovered: rather than working as a locked breech, it functioned as a friction-delayed blowback action. It was found that the only cartridge currently in U.S. service suitable for use with the lock was the .45 ACP round. Thompson then envisioned a "one-man, hand-held machine gun" in .45 ACP as a "trench broom" for use in the on-going trench warfare of World War I. Payne designed the gun itself and its stick and drum magazines. The project was then titled "Annihilator I", and by 1918, most of the design issues had been resolved. However, the war ended before prototypes could be shipped to Europe. At an Auto-Ordnance board meeting in 1919 to discuss the marketing of the "Annihilator", with the war over, the weapon was officially renamed the "Thompson Submachine Gun". While other weapons had been developed shortly prior with similar objectives in mind, the Thompson was the first weapon to be labeled and marketed as a "submachine gun". Thompson intended the weapon as an automatic 'trench-broom' to sweep enemy troops from the trenches, filling a role for which the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) had been proven ill-suited. Contemporaneously, this concept was developed by German troops using their own Bergmann MP18 submachine guns in concert with sturmtruppen tactics. IN PICTURE: Archetypal gangster image of a Thompson in a violin case.See More

1 Comment

5 years 28 weeks ago, 9:53 AM


luckybychoice's picture

Secretary of the Treasury
Join Date:
May 2009
United States
so much fun

to shoot,escpecially full auto.My wife and 13 yr.old stepdaughter went to the Machine gun shoot with me this year.My daughter got to shoot the Thompson Full auto,of course the first thing she did was grab a very hot barrel( right after being told not to grab a very hot barrel),but with the newness of the situation obviously,she quickly regripped and went on to shoot.After that she allowed herself to feel the pain of her burnt palm,complete with blisters.She would only shoot one-handed after that.She is a trooper.She had a great day even with the burn.

i tried being reasonable,i didn't like it, NRA LIFE MEMBER,USMC VETERAN
samD's picture
Posted by: samD
5 years 28 weeks ago

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