SHOOTER'S TIPS from our readers...
SPRING INTERACTION: I found that a feeding problem that I was having with my 1928N while using 30 round clips was partially caused by too long springs in some Seymour clips; those springs should be 20 loops by 19 loops (see TM 9-215 photo) but were as long as 21 by 20. In addition, I found that the longer (11 plus inches) recoil springs, which are typically what's sold on the parts market, seem to bind and chaff inside the actuator body and actually reduce recoil spring tension versus the shorter (10 plus inches) recoil springs recommended in TM 9-1215 and FM 23-40, thus contributing to the feeding problem. Using a shorter recoil spring and cutting back the Seymours magazine springs to 20/19 solved the problem. Tip sent in by Chris Martin.
HANDLING RECOIL SPRINGS: When at Tracie's Show and Shoot, I noticed that several people were having trouble removing and replacing the recoil spring in their 1928's, even when using the proper tool in the military (with hole) recoil spring guide Those same people were doing it pretty much the way the training manuals and films tell you to, with the gun flat on a table (and often, perpendicular to their bodies as well). This is an unnatural position relative to your body's strength and coordination. Try holding the gun with the muzzle in your crotch and resting it against a table at a 45 degree angle versus the table and vertically versus your body. Your right hand can now get a good grip on the guide and the left hand can guide the compression of the spring into the actuator body for removal/insertion. The mechanical action is now up and down, the gun can't slide around the table, and the wrist doesn't have to be bent. You don't need a tool and even a near 12 inch spring can be handled easily. Tip sent in by Chris Martin.
TIP NEEDED: Every time I go out and shoot a few hundred rounds in my 1928N, I spend ten minutes cleaning the gun itself and a half hour trying to clean the crud out of the compensator slots and from the inside of the compensator body. The stuff seems to be a mixture of carbon from the gunpowder and maybe even lead from the compensator apparently slightly shaving the bullet as it comes from the .45 inch barrel into the .75 inch compensator body and then out the 47 inch muzzle. Overnight soaking in Hoppes does no good; various brushes have little impact; only a tool (like a screwdriver) works (but crudely). What's the better way? Tip request from Chris Martin.
TIME TO STOCK UP ON PARTS: Right now, Thompson parts are easy to come by (except for drums, undrilled sights, and sight pins); SARCO is my supplier of choice but IMA gives great value with their parts assemblies! You may have been aware of the controversy that made importing clips and drums difficult for a while, but new legislation has banned further ex-military parts importation all together (which probably means magazines as well). All you shooters out there had better move NOW to stock up on small parts, barrels, and clips; all the repo stuff that I've seen from "Auto Ordinance Corporation" (Gun Parts Corporation/Numrich) is crap. Imagine trying to find a frame latch spring substitute at a hardware store! Tip sent in by Chris Martin.
BARREL REMOVAL: I took a M1A1 "parts kit" barrel (with receiver stub attached) to my shop to turn off the barrel. Using a 6 inch bench vice, a nice long wrench, and wooden blocks in the vice to hold the barrel still (which it didn't, of course), I leaned my delicate 285 pound body into it.. and nothing productive happened. As a next step, I soaked the assembly for 24 hours in a gallon jug of WD-40; took it out onto the patio (to avoid the wrath of the "Don't You Drip on My Floor goddess); took a hammer] and smacked the receiver and barrel junction a few times all around to (theoretically) work the WD-40 further down the threads, planning to soak it another day and then try to wrench t. As I turned to leave the porch, holding the "gun" by the barrel, I felt a movement. Looking down, I discovered that the slightly off center mass of the receiver stub had begun to unscrew the barrel! It was finger loose from the soaking... next time, try WD-40 soaking FIRST! Tip sent in by Chris Martin.
For those of you who want a good example of the Thompson, but don't want the real thing, Collector's Armoury has something for you. They have begun production of an all "plastic" TSMG The model is nonfunctional and has a fifty round drum permanently attached. The only problem with this model is that a Numrich semiautomatic gun must have been used as the pattern. This is why the butt stock is the M1 style configuration. The quality of the model is fair upon close examination, but from a few feet away it does fool the eye. The retail price is $229. To order call 1-800-544-3456 ext. 515.