Auto Ordnance Tommy Gun


There is just some cool about the Tommy gun. The is Thompson submachine Gun is a piece of Americana, something cool and classic like a Harley Davidson. Few Americans don’t feel something when they see one.

Sadly, the day of the Tommygun is over. It is obsolete, as large as a M4 with stock extended(longer if you have a 16 inch barreled Thompson), but much heavier. Expensive and complex to produce, much smaller lighter, newer weapons give much more capability. The original Thompson is a collectable American classic, but new production ones leave much to be desired.

Back around 2002 I saved up and purchased a new Auto Ordnance Thompson. It was a real lemon. Constant malfunctions. I think I once managed to fire 5 shots in a row with out a jam. Both the front and rear sight fell off. When I sent it back to the factory they used over sized self tapping screws to try and hold the rear sight on the soft receiver. Those screws were so large that the rear sight couldn’t fold down properly. Yet the rear sight still stayed loose. It was a piece of junk that I sold at a loss.

Since then Kahr has purchased Auto Ordnance. The wood looks nicer on these rifles, they have a nicer charging handle, and the front sight is pinned on. I have seen several of these newer, slightly nicer, Thompsons at the range and they still tend to have reliability problems, rear sights falling off, and other issues.

Not to long ago, I was at the range sighting in a new AR upper I picked up, and the shooter to the left of me was shooting an Auto Ordnance Thompson. I don’t know when it was made, but it is one of the newer ones with the improvements that happened after Kahr bought them. I had casually mentioned that I had one in the past and had issues. Then while I was sighting in my scope I noticed this Thompson had issues also.

Not much later, the owner of this rifle had a showstopping malfunction, and got a Range Officer for help. That RO got another RO for help, who said to get me. First inspection the rifle showed it was jammed bolt partway open. Previously people tried to drive it back, and it would not move more, so I attempted to move it forwards. It did move, and then I was able to see that the extractor has popped out of its channel and jammed the whole gun up. Fortunatly I managed to get it out, and the weapon was cleared. I gave the owner of the Auto Ordnance Thompson the best advice I could, “Sell it to someone you don’t like.” Then I found out it was also piercing primers.
Auto Ordnance Thompson