I Am Back (6 Jan 2018)
really did not go anywhere. I just have not been able to make changes or
additions to the website since Madalon died. I relied on her for so much
so her death left me completely overwhelmed by all the "on-line" knowledge that
I do not have. I finally found someone who was able to get control of the
website for me. It will never again be the way it was when she was doing
it but I, with the help of my computer knowledged friend, will try to prove that
I am still alive. When a person is 80 years old, as I am, the slightest
silence makes people suspect the worst has happened. Other than my vision
continuing to deteriorate, I am in fairly good shape. So there is hope.
along with my old associate, been making receivers. I am maintaining the
list of people who want a receiver. Even though I have not been heard from
much lately, the list has been growing at an amazing rate. I have made
every change that I can make without help in order to speed up production.
As yet, no receivers have been finished. What is going on is that we are
using all the steel that I still had in stock, completing the primary machining
on original configuration 1928A1 (2AS) and M1/M1A1 (MAS) receivers. We are
just about out of steel so we will soon be completing those receivers. I
want to start shipping receivers as soon as possible. I can not tell you
when that will be because I am so dependent on others and, with Madalon gone, I
have to be in Belize a lot more. The Government finally got embarrassed
enough about my being a part of Belize for over 50 years but never being able to
become a legal resident because of a technicality that the just waived the
requirements and granted me permanent residency. That helps because it
gives me all rights of citizenship except voting and lets me come and go as I
2018 receivers are only slightly different than earlier ones. The main
changes are an increase in the length of the bolt channel in front of the solid
section and fully threaded rear sight holes. People making display guns
prefer being able to bolt the rear sight on. Those wanting to use bolts
instead of rivets on shooting guns will like the totally threaded holes but must
be careful to grind off any bolt penetration into the bolt channel and may have
to use Loctite on the threads. If traditional rivet attachment of the
sight is to be followed, the threaded holes can be counter drilled with a form
cutter to create the original rivet hole. It is important to use only the
special Thompson rivets. Genuine Thompson rear sight rivets are available
to the website that I still have to make include a completely new parts page.
I want to combine all the parts listings into a single page that lists every
part to every model gun whether I have the part or not. I think this will
simplify things. I also have to update the WORKSHOP MANUAL description now
that the 3rd edition is available. It is 209 pages of everything a person
needs to know about assembling, disassembling and otherwise working on and using
the Thompson. Price remains at $35 + $7 priority mail. Of all the
books I have written, this is the one book that everyone interested in Thompson
RECEIVER ORDER FORM has to be completely revised. I will have that done by
the time I ask people to finalize their order.
disappointed that I have been unable to find someone to take over my operation
and continue to offer the over 100 products I have developed. In
particular, my semi-auto design, if put into production, could well be a whole
business it self. We are reaching the point where virtually every part of
the gun needs to be put back into production because the original parts are
disappearing. I foresee my operation expanding into a 4 or more person
full time business. Sadly, it is too late for me. It is not that
people are not interested. I receive offers periodically from people but
the offer always involves me continuing to run things which is exactly the
opposite of what I am trying to accomplish.
that I have access to this website, I will be making periodic comments but no
where near the amount as before. So check once in a while.
Receiver Want List (28 Jun 2017)
I have created a list of all those people who have been calling me
(310-457-6400) to give me their first name, telephone number and the model
receiver wanted. I have also gone through my files and notes of people who
have indicated that they would like to have a receiver if I ever started
making them again and added those people to the list. I have left messages
with some because I needed some clarification. The list is not perfect but
it gives me an idea of what receivers to make first so that everyone who has
wanted a receiver will get one from the first batch. This is a different
plan than I had first announced. If you want your name on the list, study
the RECEIVERS & BARRELED RECEIVERS page on the website and then call me with
Receiver Order List (18
I have been compiling the
list here in Belize of the receivers people are wanting. I still can not
walk w/o crutches but I think I will be able to return to California by
Saturday. When I get back I will go thru my records of people who have
previously said they want a receiver and add their wants to the list. Then
I will have a good idea about what to make now. It will take a little
longer than my original plan of first making just MB receivers at first, but I
think I will be able to make all the receivers everyone has been waiting for.
Then I will start making receivers for inventory. I have been working on
the revised RECEIVER ORDER FORM which is essential for any formal and paid
orders. It is just to difficult for me to handle receiver orders which are
not on a standard form. I am not capable of deciphering letter receiver
orders. The form also helps customers sort out what they want.
I am told we are ready to put
the finishing touches on the bolt drawings and to make the 3-D prints.
That will enable bolt producing to get re-started. With that done, I will
have time and the help to get the semi-auto gun project moving. The bolt
has been the hang-up on the semi-auto.
2A Receivers (11 Jun
According to the receiver
pre-orders that are being phoned in, I misjudged what receivers I need to be
making right now. To that end, I have re-written the 2A Primary program in
order to start making 2A receivers. In the process, I re-thought the
way I was making the squared end actuator slot on the 2AE receivers. I was
reconfiguring the rounded end slots on 2AS receivers to create the 2AE squared
end which was not very efficient. During this re-thinking, I believe I
discovered how Colt had done it. I have revised my procedure to follow the
Colt procedure although varied to accommodate the difference between my
machinery and Colt's. Although I will be making the slot better than the
way I used to make it, the squared end slot is still a stupid design that caused
manufacturing problems. With the advantage of hindsight , I know how they
did it but I will probably never know why anyone thought it was a good design.
I think that the choice as to how the rear portion of the slot was to be made
trapped them into being forced to make the front end of the slot squared.
Colt probably had made tooling that they did not want to scrap. In any
case, Colt soon realized their mistake and went to the rounded end slot.
There are several other, in my judgement, errors in the design of the receivers
that I have corrected in my Improved "B" receivers. I can understand why
people would want absolute originality in the Colt receivers but I can not
understand, especially after all the complaining I have heard about the
difficulty of barreling receivers with the Thompson-style grip mount, why anyone
would want the original "A" M1-style receiver instead of the Improved "B" that
has the Screw-On Grip Mount and extended frame rails which make the receiver
stronger. But as long as people want original "A" receivers, I will make
Actually, it is getting more
and more difficult for me to make anything as my vision continues to deteriorate
and age tries to do me in. In the last 5 months, I have fallen 3 times.
First I broke my back. Then I broke a rib and injured my arm. 2
weeks ago, I fell down a stairway and fractured my right (leg) femur. As a
result I am unable to return to Los Angeles until I can walk.
I am hoping I will have
additional help with the receivers when I get back.
I know I need to revise the
RECEIVER ORDER FORM before I start finalizing orders.
Bolt Project(18 May
Here is the latest thinking on the Bolt
Project. When I get back to California, we should be ready to make them.
I have partnered with the best machinist
(including CNC) that I have ever known to make special Thompson bolts. I
consider all of the bolts being made to be of "improved" design. The special
features common to all the bolts include:
1) Elimination of the second sear
notch at the front end of the bolt body which is useless and creates
confusion and sometimes masks a problem with the gun.
2) Inclusion of the sear clearance
slot which enables the safety to operate in the "closed-bolt" position.
3) The firing pin is fixed and formed on
the bolt face like on M1A1 guns.
4) The rocker slot design is simplified to
5) Bolts are made of heat treated
(hardened) 4140 alloy steel.
6) Blued finish.
7) Front corner and shank fillet radii are
sized to better fit all receivers.
8) Bolts are finish machined in the
hardened state fo eliminate any distortion that might be created by the heat
9) Bolts are stress relieved after heat
10) All models are available in both .45
ACP and 9mm Luger calibers.
11) Prices are for bolts only. No other
parts unless stated.
The following models will be offered:
2B: This is the improved version of the
1921-1928A1 bolts. $
MB: This is the improved version of the
M1A1 bolt. $
M2: This is the same as MB except that it
has provisions for a top mounted handle and will not accept a side handle. $.
Add $ for a checkered 1928-style bolt handle installed.
BM: This is the same as MB but sized to
fit the Bower (Philadelphia Ordnance) Type M blank firing gun. $.
B2: This is the same as M2 but sized to
fit the Bower (Philadelphia Ordnance) Type 2 blank firing gun. It has provisions
for a top mounted handle and will not accept a side handle. $. Add $ for a
checkered 1928-style bolt handle installed.
2S: This is a semi-auto bolt for the Type
2 Richardson Semi-Auto Gun. it has provisions for a top mounted handle and will
not accept a side handle. Complete with checkered 1928-style bolt handle
MS: This is a semi-auto bolt for the Type
M Richardson Semi-Auto Gun. $.
2M: This is the same as M2 except that the
pilot hole is in the 1921 position. It has provisions for a top mounted handle
and will not accept a side handle. $. Add $ for a checkered 1928-style bolt
I do not know what I will do with 9mm
bolts. But if we can push the boundries ahead without much effort - go for it. I
know how to make a "quick and dirty" 9mm magazine for the Thompson but I am not
making any 9mm barrels. Years ago, the late Jim Bannan told me that right after
WW2 he had seen a whole bunch of new surplus 9mm Thompson barrels in a war
surplus store. I have no documentation as to where they might have come from or
why they were made. Since they never surfaced again, I assume they were used as
9mm blanks. It was amazing what uses people found for war surplus stuff back
then. Camera stores were advertising 1928 Savage vertical foregrips as camera
handles. I always regarded Jim as a credible source so I believe the 9mm barrels
Website & Receivers (14
We have completely revised
the website. In particular, the RECEIVERS & BARRELED RECEIVERS page has
been replaced with the latest 2017 receiver information. If you are going
to want a receiver (or even if you are not), please study what I have said
there. I still want to add some illustrations and the RECEIVER ORDER FORM
has to be revised, but I have otherwise finally finished it. Working with
the website construction software is about the most frustrating, exasperating
and difficult experience one can have. True, we committed to a particular
software 15 years ago so there must now be better and easier ways to make
we are not going to start over now. The website is not perfect or even
acceptable to me but I want to make Thompson parts not make websites. This
was supposed to be done by the person taking over for me but I have not found
that person yet. Regardless, the information is there and that is what
counts. The irony is that most everyone prefers the paper print catalog
rather than the internet catalog. So do I but I was not able to maintain
the paper catalog. The internet is ok for searching for an item you know
about. It does not give an overview of what is available like my catalog
did for my stuff. People like to page through a catalog to see what is
available and how it all goes together. Unfortunately, I am stuck with the
internet. If you have any questions or comments regarding my thinking on
receivers or you find some glaring error, call me.
Receiver Page (5 May 2017)
I am not yet accepting paid orders for
receivers. What I am trying to do is to determine what Type M receiver models to
make at first. I am only focusing on the Type M models while trying to restart
production. Type 2 models will come later. I have been trying to perfect the
over 1200 lines of code, Master Primary Program. Without changing the default
settings in the master program, it makes Model MB receivers. I have used up half
my Type M steel supply making the MB receivers. Right now I am at my Belize home
until mid-June. During that time I will strip out the program elements for Model
MA receivers. When I get back to Los Angeles, we will use up the rest of the
Type M steel making MA receivers. By then, I should be ready to start making
Type 2 receivers. I have a supply of Type 2 receiver material. I also have two
M2 receivers that were started before I shut down a few years ago. We will
I did find a half finished Type M
Generation 3 semi-auto Ultimaxô receiver from the last production. It fits in
place of a Numrich/Kahr receiver. We will finish it, so that will be available.
I have no plans to make any more receivers to fit N/K frames. At first, I was
modifying Kahr bolts for my semi-auto gun. I find that it is counter-productive
to get myself involved in any manner with Kahr. The only parts I plan to make to
fit the Kahr gun is my detachable buttstock adapter kit. At this time I have
included special semi-auto bolts of my design in our current bolt manufacturing
project. Once I have those, I will be able to complete my Generation 4 semi-auto
gun production prototype. My Gen 4 semi-auto uses a full height receiver which
enables it to accept standard TSMG box magazines and properly accepts TSMG
drums. Unfortunately, everything I do relies on help from others so I have no
control over the schedule.
Please study the new "RECEIVERS" page on
this website for descriptions and nomenclature of the various
receiver models I offer. Then call me at 310-457-6400 to give me your
first name, phone number and model wanted so that I get an idea of what to make
at first. You may include Type 2 receivers wanted as well. I will want to know
if you want only a receiver or you want a receiver with accessories like bolt
handle kits, barreled receiver or complete gun. I will call you back when I am
ready for an order.
The biggest problem I have right now is
that I have none of the optional parts like Display Pilot Kits, Display Bolt
Handle Kits, Screw-On Grip Mounts, Thompson grip mounts, etc. to go with the
receivers. I do not want to get myself involved with more partially filled and
back orders. So until I am able to make those parts, I will start by accepting
paid orders only for bare Type M receivers.
I have a lot of parts for making up
complete "guns", including early and late Colts, but not all parts yet. When I
have all the parts, I will be offering complete "guns" of every model. I have
one original 1928 Savage drum so I will be able to put together a really
complete and original 1928 Savage gun package.
I am sorry that everything is taking so
long. I never intended to restart receiver production so every thing has to be
done anew. And we are all too old to move quickly or work late. There is still
hope that someone will take over my operation. I have some prospects but nothing
definite. Unless some one else takes over, I will only be able to offer a
fraction of all the Thompson products I developed over the years.
Madalon has a new computer so she is now
able to service this website. I have already revised the RECEIVERS page. From
now on I will be maintaining this website and only occasionally post information
of a general interest on the Machine Gun Board. So please monitor this website
for information about what I am doing.
Production (8 Dec 2016)
Doug Richardson announces
that Ultimax Receiver production has been restarted. Watch for more
information to come.
Belize Trip (7 Nov
I have been in Belize for
the last month. Unfortunately, the answering system did not work so I have
not received any messages. If you left a message and did not get a call
back, please try again.
My vision has been
steadily improving but is still not much good. I still plan another
manufacturing run of receivers but I have no idea when I will see well
enough to do it. In the meantime I can't do much of anything except think.
So I have been rethinking every last detail of my semi-auto design. I am
really happy with it. If only I could see well enough to make the prototype
SEMI-AUTO PARTS (14 Sep
Along with the
list of semi-auto parts shown on the SEMI-AUTO page of the website, I have
several late model slightly used bolts & firing pins available @ $150. The
items shown on that list are all I have left of N/K parts. As far as the
"Richardson Semi-Auto Gun" is concerned, I have finished every last detail
of the design but can go no further with my current vision.
I had thought
I would be able to use some N/K parts in my gun but that did not work out.
Every single part that is not real Thompson is my special design. There are
just too many problems with the N/K gun. Trying to get someone to take over
my operation may be impossible. No one seems to have the passion to invest
their time in developing new products. It is all about making a profit on
Richardson receivers. If I had had that way of thinking, none of the 100 or
so Thompson products I developed would ever had seen the light of day. I
believe people would beat a path to my door to have one of my Richardson
Semi-Auto Guns if I could get them made. Somehow I have got to get enough
vision to do it. I do not know how but I will never give up. In the
meantime I keep going through this place finding stuff to sell off. I have
sold a lot of my Thompson stuff but there is still a lot more. Check out
the website. I am still planning to make a last run of receivers. I just
need a little more vision.
Manual (10 Sep 2016)
I am sold out of
Workshop Manuals. I did not think this would be a problem because I
believed that as soon as I got a new cornea to replace the old swollen and
distorted cornea, my vision would be enough better to enable me to put the
masters together and print more books. That did not happen. Ater the
fourth transplant, my vision was almost non-existent. So, right now I can
do very little. I am told my vision will get better.
(3 Aug 2016)
On August 2, I
fell and broke my back. A thrilling ride on the fire dept paramedic
ambulance to hospital emergency room followed. For most of the rest of the
month I laid motionless while heavily medicated in my bed. I managed to get
to the surgical center on August 25 for the 4th cornea transplant. Today was
the first day I managed to be on my feet most of the day. I'm not sure there
really was an August after all.
Telephone (30 Jul 2016)
having phone problems so if you can not reach me at 1-310-457-6400, please phone
me at 1-747-204-8346.
Vision (26 Jul 2016)
scheduled for cornea transplant surgery on August 25. Hopefully my
eyesight will be improved because right now I can barely function.
etc. (5 July 2016)
continued to deteriorate after all the sutures from my rejected
transplanted cornea were removed. My vision is now so bad that I can no
longer read even with my magnifier. Do not even think about e-mailing
me. I don't look for them because I can not read them. You will have
to use the telephone if you want to talk to me. I do not understand why
people are so reluctant to use the telephone. People apologize for
wanting to call me, which is what I ask people to do and then they send
me a 6 page e-mail which I don't want and can not read.
orders short and clear because other people have to figure them out.
I am trying
to make arrangements to get a new cornea but I have so many eye problems
other than the cornea that even a good cornea will barely get me
I am still
working on the bolts and frames projects but without better vision I can
not lead the effort.
I was in Belize, Madalon and I got the website finished. All it needs
now is a listing of all the parts I have.
I am trying
to get an inventory of all the M1/M1A1 parts kits I have in anticipation
of finishing them out with receivers. I have my assistant on that but
everything moves so slowly now that I have to rely on others who do not
have the same enthusiasm I have.
As far as
selling the business is concerned, we updated that page on the website.
Interested people should check that out. However, with the vision
deteriorating, I do not know how much help I can be to a buyer at this
time. Right now almost nothing. I think everything will just have to
be placed on hold until I can get the cornea issue resolved.
Plans (27 May
I plan on
leaving for Belize in a week and stay for a month. So, if anyone is going
to be desperate for some Thompson item from me, better get going. My town
ride was late last week so I did not get anything shipped.
A whole pile
of packages will go out tomorrow. Progress, although at a snail's pace, is
being made on the bolts and frames manufacturing projects. When I get back
I will be getting a new cornea transplant. Unfortunately, none of the local
hospitals will provide corneas because Obamacare is so far behind in paying
claims. My medical transport company says they haven't been paid in 8
months. Don't worry. If Hillary gets in we can count on 8 more years of
Obama disasters. No body knows what Trump would do but he is our only
hope. I voted Libertarian the last two elections but this time I will vote
there still is a medical system when I get back, I will get the new cornea
and, hopefully, enough vision to make receivers.
Sight Rivet Hole Cutter (21 May 2016)
I have a few more of these available at $15
(16 May (2016)
finally showed up after being gone for 2-1/2 weeks. So, most back orders
are ready to go as soon as my transportation provider comes sometime this
In the meantime,
we are assembling M1 frames. Once I get all the frames (approx. 150)
assembled, I will be able to figure out what parts I have available for
sale. I plan to make one last run of receivers to go with the frames in
order to make up complete guns. At that time I will also make the other
receiver models. Of course, a lot depends on getting a new cornea in a
couple of months that gives me some vision.
on my partnering to make bolts and special frames.
I have given up
trying to find some one to buy my Thompson business. It just seems to be
overwhelming to people. It really is not that difficult because I have
documented everything. When people see the extent of the documentation I
just on how to make all my products they are amazed. I still have hopes
that someone will buy the shop who wants to partner with me on making the
Thompson stuff. That takes the unknowns out of my business but it still
requires a person with the right circumstances and the passion for
Thompson. It would be a shame for all my Thompson work to end up in the
I have not given
up on making the Kahr buttstock adaptors and some of the other products but
I do not anticipate making any of the tools. If I make all receivers
to accept my Screw-On Grip Mount, there really will not be a need for
special barreling tools for most situations.
Bolts (1 May 2016)
manufacturing project is continuing well. Frames are a lot more complicated
than you would think. The frames we are going to make are all what I call
my Model Bs. These are improved versions of standard frames. I am
resurrecting my old Adaptor Frame that allows a skilled person to make a
really authentic semi-auto out of a N/K gun or modify it to use to convert
the N/K gun into a select fire machine gun. That requires more skill and a
license to modify the frame and make the conversion. The advantage is a big
cost saving over buying an original TSMG. Other frames are for my semi-auto
gun design and for my special receivers including my folding stock
"Paratrooper" gun. For now they are all made of aluminum.
Work has started
on three types of bolts: standard M1A1s, 1921Bs which are 1921 bolts with a
fixed firing pin and closed-bolt sear safety slot. I am also making
M1A1-style bolts with top mounted bolt handles with the pilot holes in
either the standard M1 position or the 1921 position. All but the M1A1
bolts have only one sear stop notch at the front. I am tempted to improve
the M1A1 bolts by deleting the second notch because it no longer has any
purpose but it can hide problems with the gun. Apparently, no one but me
knows why there are two notches although they think, incorrectly, that they
do know. I will cut the notch rather than get involved with the question.
That is always the dilemma. Do I make Thompson parts as they were
originally made or do I improve them? Unfortunately, others claim their
changes are improvements when, in fact, they are covering up for cutting
corners or do not have the original drawings to know how it was done.
Of course, all I
can do is the thinking because of my poor vision so I have to depend on
others for progress and schedules. I am interested in comments and
questions because I try to fill the needs of the Thompson people.
Manufacturing (24 Apr 2016)
If anyone is
interested in manufacturing drum magazines, I am willing to accept a deposit
to guarantee the return of all drum manufacturing items I have which I would
provide. I would partner in return for a royalty on each drum
manufactured. I can no longer afford to store all the parts made with the
tooling. I will hang on to the tooling but I will have to scrap all the
parts, particularly the drum bodies which take up a lot of space. I am
doing everything I can to prevent the loss to us all of all this Thompson
stuff I am sitting on.
(24 Apr 2016)
One third of the
sutures have been removed from my rejected cornea transplanted eye. This
releases the cornea to reshape itself for good or bad. Bad for me as the
reshaping cornea is destroying what little sight I had. Two more removals
and then I get a new cornea and try again. In the meantime I can barely
function. I could do better with orders but people insist on sending me
hand written orders on scraps of paper I can not read. Sometimes no name,
address that is not decipherable and no telephone number. Then it gets
followed up with an e-mail even though I repeatedly state I can not deal
with e-mails. Today I tried to get all the remaining orders shipped. I had
to give up because I could not decipher them. I will try again when someone
shows up to help me. There is hope that in a few months I will have a new
cornea. It is my intention to make a final manufacturing run of receivers
in a few months. I need to do this because I have a lot of M1A1 parts that
I want to complete into guns. I am currently partnering with others, both
in my shop and in other shops, to manufacture M1A1 bolts, 1928-style bolts
with closed bolt safety slot and an M1A1-style fixed firing pin, special N/K
semi model frames that restore the missing 1/10" from the N/K receivers,
special frames for my full receiver height semi-auto gun design, frames that
accept any model buttstocks and frames that accept any type of buttstock
including my folding stock design. The frames will first be made in
aluminum and then maybe in steel. Of course, everything I try to do is
dependent on other people.
Business (24 Apr 2016)
I continue to
believe that selling my Thompson business is not going to happen because
there isn't anyone who can and wants to do it. Even if I gave everything
away free, which I think I am almost doing, there isn't anyone who could
continue doing what I did. However, the idea of selling the entire shop as
a turnkey machine shop for $150,000 is a possibility. Then the buyer
partnering with me to put all my products back into production with a
royalty to me, may work. The limitation is that the shop would have to
remain where it is as long as I am involved. I am talking to a person along
those lines but I do not know if anything will happen. It just may be that
I will reconfigure my product line to eliminate a lot of products and add a
few to round out things toward simplifying my involvement. As you can tell,
I really want to keep supporting Thompson. I have a lot of ideas that I
want to pursue. I believe the future of Thompson is in shooting guns
particularly with my semi design.
The bad news is
that my vision is now so bad that I can not do much of anything. For some
reason, I find out that people keep trying to e-mail me in spite of me
saying I do not provide any texting or e-mail service because I am not
capable. I have help getting out orders but it is slow. The good news is
that I have started the process of getting a new cornea transplant. Even
so, there is little hope of any vision improvement for months.
Selling the Business(18
I believe the
problem of finding someone to take over my activities is not the cost. Lack
of Thompson passion is not the problem with a number of people who have
expressed an interest. I believe the problem is that it is too difficult to
put a price on my knowledge and all the special Thompson manufacturing
components that are part of it. People do not have the confidence that they
can continue to do what I have been doing no matter what they pay for the
Thompson component. My original plan was to sell the entire Thompson
manufacturing facility but keep the rest of the shop. I now realize that it
is unrealistic of me to think that I will be able to continue on with
anything. I have, therefore come up with a new plan which is:
I sell the
entire machine shop being a complete high capability turn key facility for
$150,000 which I feel is a real bargain. It is easy to place a value on
that. I would retain title and possession of all the special components of
Thompson manufacture including all tool holders, collets, cutters and
fixtures. The buyer could take over the building area I rent or move the
shop. If the buyer chose to keep the shop where it is and wanted to
continue making my Thompson products, I would stay on, contributing all the
components of Thompson products, supervise production as a consultant for
25% of the selling prices of the products. This would mean that the buyer
would not have any investment in the intellectual assets or special
components of the Thompson manufacturing yet would be guaranteed success
making Thompson products. At the very least the buyer bought a machine shop
at a bargain price. At most he has a successful Thompson business. His
incentive would be to have the business. My incentive would be that it gets
done right and I realize a return on my investment in the products. At some
future time, he could buy out my contribution and I disappear into the
If anyone is
interested or has comments, please call me @ 310-457-6400. I am doing
everything I can to keep the Thompson going and get the receivers made
Activities (18 Apr 2016)
Actually, I have
been proceeding somewhat like I proposed above. I have designed a whole
series of frames I call the Model "B". I have partnered with my buddy, to
make them in my shop. His eyes and hands combined with my knowledge seems
to be working. These frames are for my semi design, the Kahr and SMG.
These are special frames that I have wanted to make for years. We will see
how that goes.
partnering project is making standard M1A1, special M1A1 style with top
mounted handles and 1921s with fixed firing pin bolts.
Belize Update (5 Apr 2016)
I will be going back to
California Saturday to find out about a half human half plastic cornea for
me. Something has got to work. My vision continually decreases
as my transplant cornea dies and my "good" eye keeps worsening. I am
almost incapable of doing anything except thinking. I have done a lot
of that. I redesigned a couple of my tools and re-thought my whole
product line getting ready in case someone jumps in. At this point in
time, I think my best route is to sell my entire shop as is as long as I can
stay on to get whatever use out of it I can. I would retain ownership
of all my products and the special items of equipment necessary to make
them. The new owner would then make them and sell them as I did but
under my direction and using my special equipment, paying me a percentage of
the selling prices. That would get me out from under the burden of
operating a business and would remove the uncertainty of the buyer as to
whether he could recover his investment in my products. There would be
an incentive for him to run a good efficient business with little risk.
I would have an incentive to make sure my products were being made correctly
and continue to improve and refine the designs. I am really just
grasping at straws in the wind. I am sitting on something I feel is
really valuable. I have a great product line, great customer base and
people seem to really like what I do. But it is so tied to me, I think
many people who would like to take over are afraid that without me, they
would fail. This plan may be the best of both worlds but it will still
need a very unique person with real passion for Thompson. Regarding
the drum business which involves stamping that I know little about, unless
there is interest in that, I am going to have to start scraping out all the
parts that have been made and are now consuming my storage area. They
are the least valuable since more can be made with the dies. Maybe the
best way to handle the drum business is to turn over everything I have and
just get a return by being paid a percentage of the selling price.
I do not understand
why everyone does not live here in Belize. I was in the Caribbean Sea
a couple of days ago and measured the water temperature at 95F. We go
over to the lagoon side of our property to catch little fish for Madalon's
aquarium. Usually our dog goes along and swims around. I am
always worried about crocodiles but never saw one on our property.
Until today. They have moved in. They are of no danger to us but
they will eat a dog. So now I will have to jump in to scare them away
before the dog goes in.
Big green parrots have
built a nest in one of our dead trees. Get near them and they really
A while back a sea
turtle broke through our pool fence to build a nest and then could not get
back out. It took a whole gang of people lifting and pulling it, but
it got back to the sea to return next year.
I have heard that
people are beating the bushes looking for M1 frames. I do not know why
they don't just ask me. I have them at $385
I do not know how our
M1A1 bolt manufacturing project is going. I will find out soon.
In the meantime of thinking, I think it would be a good idea to make 1921
bolts with a fixed firing pin, closed-bolt safety slot and delete the second
sear notch. I think that would be a good improvement. Boy, am I
frustrated just sitting around thinking. Maybe there is hope?
(12 Feb 2016)
I have finished the
design details and made some prototype mockups of the last Thompson gun I
have wanted to offer. I call it the "Paratrooper". It uses one of my M2
receivers made in aluminum with the rear end configured to accept an UZI
folding stock. The gun also uses my Model B frame in aluminum. I have
gotten a lot of requests for a Thompson of this configuration. I think it
all started with some movie involving a submarine where a guy had a Thompson
with a folding stock. It was obviously a movie prop, but the idea took
hold. It is frustrating for me to not be able to go out in the shop and
make the gun but I never give up trying. Either I will eventually be able
to re-start receiver production or maybe someone else will take over.
UZI Buttstock (2 Feb
I finished the Uzi
folding stock / Thompson design and built a mockup to prove the design. It
has been a project of mine for a while because the only thing the Thompson
lacked was a folding stock. And it is fun to think about what could be.
The design uses a
modified receiver and frame. I imagine using my M2 receiver. Receiver and
frame should be aluminum which goes along with the folding stock
That is the last
receiver concept that I have wanted to work out. Unfortunately, everything
is on hold until I get some vision or some one takes over my operation.
Either way, I try to keep ahead on the engineering and Thompson ideas so
that everything is always ready to go.
End Of Receivers (26
I packed up the last
finished receiver for shipment.
All that is left
is one unfinished pre-Ultimax 1928A1. It has all the markings. It is
complete except that it does not have a feed ramp, extractor slot or barrel
socket and the drum entry corner rounding which is not important. It is not
blued but I could do that at no charge if the buyer is not in a hurry. It
has the bore drilled. It looks like a finished receiver and would make a
great display if fitted with a dummy barrel. The price is $300 less than
Ultimax plus another $200 less because it is unfinished. That makes the
receiver $385 plus $266 for the markings plus $18 shipping.
Someone could finish
this receiver into a shooter with the proper license but it would take a lot
of work. There are scrap receivers and pieces which I take to the gun show
because they are too difficult to describe. Prices vary. The maximum price
is $150. If interested, I will try to find what is wanted. Now that the
receivers are all gone, I will focus on some old back orders and try to
finish an inventory of the parts still available.
There are some
Breech Entry Countersinks, Pivot Plate Tools and some other tools left as
shown on the website TOOLS page. I am being prepped for a new cornea
transplant. Maybe there is hope for the future but right now I am so blind
I can hardly
Manual Shipping (21 Jan 2016)
The Post Office
has AGAIN raised the price of shipping. I can no longer ship
Workshop Manuals for $6. The new HIS is now $7 for Priority Mail.
I could ship Media Mail for about $4 but no one seems to want to
wait 2 weeks instead of 2 or 3 days. So if you want a copy of the
204 page second edition of the Workshop Manual sent
separately put $42 in cash, check or money order in an envelope with
your shipping address and I will send you a Manual. No need to
write me a letter. Just send $42 and I will know what to do. I do
not wait for checks to clear for the Manuals because I know that
people want their book as soon as possible. I still have to wait
for a ride to the Post Office so that can take up to a week. I have
a few copies left before I will have to get more printed. The
response has been overwhelming. I am happy that so many people find
the book helpful.
Back From Belize (18
While I was in Belize
I started working on the new Thompson Technical book. Strangely, I am
so blind now I can't do much but I can write on the computer.
I just finished going
through the mail and new orders. There are no more Ultimax receivers at
all. No where. No way. There are none. There are no more 1928s of any
kind other than one pre-Ultimax that was never finished. It would make
a good display with a dummy barrel, etc. or a project for someone.
There are 2 1921 pre-Ultimax
receivers that were found getting ready for the SAR show. The cupboard
It looks like the doctors are going to
try a 4th cadaver cornea transplant on me but only after some
anti-rejection prep work. That means I will be almost totally blind for
6 months before any decision can be made regarding any future receiver
production. In the meantime I will do my best to get the old back
orders resolved. I have been selling a lot of the Colt stuff I had
built, there are still a few items left. Madalon and I worked on the
website. It is now up to date with the exception of non-Colt parts. I
have a lot of parts, including M1 frames and barrels, that I have to
inventory to get onto the website.
Receivers (26 Dec 2015)
In preparing to go to the SAR show we found 2 more. They were
available when I left California but I don't what orders are waiting in my
mailbox. You can call me in Belize at 818-627- 5019.
Vision (14 Dec
Things went from bad
to terrible. The third cornea rejected. I now have the worst vision I
have ever had. I am barely able to function without help. Madalon was
here for the SAR show which helped a lot but she is now back in Belize.
I leave for Belize Friday. The doctors tell me that the likelihood of a
successful 4th transplant is very poor. When I get back from Belize
they are going to see if they can implant an artificial cornea. There
is still hope but there is no way I will have any improvement in vision
Post Office (14
In their never ending
search to find new ways to irritate their customers, the Post Office has
done it again. When I would go in and hand the window clerk a pile of
catalogs they told me to pre-stamp them and drop them in the box rather
than require the clerk to stamp each one. I did that with the Workshop
Manuals. Pre-packaged and pre-stamped allowed me to receive orders and
hand the carrier the Manuals to fill the previous day's orders. One day
turn around and the window clerk was out of the loop. Now they tell me
that is only for packages that weigh less than 13 ounces. Apparently,
there is a threat to national security if the package weighs 14 ounces
but not if it weighs 12 ounces. What bone head thought that up? So now
I will only be able to send out Manuals when I can get a ride to the
Post Office during their inconvenient hours and have the time to stand
in their lines and then be entertained by their charming clerks.
(29 Nov 2015)
today there is 1 pre-Ultimax 1921 Colt and 2 1928A1 pre-Ultimaxes at $300
less than Ultimax. The only difference is in the level of completion of the
bolt channel where the main difference is that the lock ramps are not done.
There are still 3 M2M Ultimaxes. These are my redesign of the M1 receiver.
People like the M2 but the problem is that they use my Screw-On Grip Mount.
Normally, that would be a real good thing. But since I do not have any of
the Grip Mounts and can not guarantee that I will be able to make more, I
think people are afraid to order an M2. My plan is that in the event I can
not provide the Grip Mounts in the future, I will provide a kit for $10
postpaid that will include the steel material, 2 special screws and a
drawing which will enable a person to have a local shop make it. However, I
am so set-up to make them and I need several of them as well as some other
items I need to finish up my operation, I believe I will get them made.
Thompson Business For Sale
(29 Nov 2015)
replaced the THOMPSON BUSINESS FOR SALE page with a more comprehensive
information page to assist those trying to figure out how they can take over
from me. If you are one of those people, please review that information. I
know that a lot of people do not want to see all my Thompson work end.
However, very few if any possess the combination of passion, knowledge and
ability needed to do it. I left off money because I do not see that as the
major problem. For even more information call me.
Most all the
rest of the orders went out yesterday. I have been able to make up
some Display Bolt Handle Kits for the 21 & 28 Ultimax receivers. I
will send those out to fill back orders for those. No pilots yet.
California (22 Nov 2015)
I have managed
to find and get a few more receivers finished up. There are two
1921/8 pre-Ultimax with WW2 1928A1 markings and one M1A1 Ultimax
In California (22
Madalon got my
computer set up so I can work on the Website. I have made a lot of updates
and added a new Page called "MAGAZINES". I have gone through all the
magazines I have and finally made an inventory. There is everything there
from Colt "C" drums to box magazine parts. I am trying to dig out all the
Thompson items I have and get them listed. I am still working on the parts
I have. I do have a lot of M1 frames that I am trying to assemble and get
listed. Call me regarding your parts needs. I have revised the COLT STUFF
website Page because I have sold so many Colt items. If you want Colt stuff
check out that Page. I still have a few genuine Colt frames and a couple of
pre-Ultimax Colt receivers. There is also one pre-Ultimax M1A1 receiver and
a few Ultimax M2s.
I have once again
partnered with the same person I partnered with to make the 1921 actuators
and you know how good those turned out. We are making M1A1 and M2 bolts.
The M2 bolt is an M1A1 bolt with a top mounted bolt handle and the pilot
hole in the 1921/8 position. That style would be used in my 2M2 receivers
and the next version of my 2MM and M2 receivers. I just could not bear to
discontinue my M2 receiver as originally planned. Instead, I have come up
with a new receiver configuration It will be called the M1B. It is a
standard M1 receiver except it will have the frame rails extended all the
way back, use the Screw-On Grip Mount, have the bolt handle on the left side
and incorporate some other 2M2 features. Of course, everything is
conditioned on my vision improving and/or finding someone to carry on my
work. People keep asking me when I am going to make a decision as to
whether I am going to make more receivers. That is not my decision to
make. I have no control over my vision. Last Thursday I went in for a
regular eye check up only to find out that my third cornea transplant has
rejected. It now seems that the last 7 months of misery was for nothing.
My vision is now worse than it has ever been. There are people who are
serious prospects to take over but nothing has been finalized.
I finally got a huge
number (for me) orders out. There is one more pile here that will go out
next week. Normally, if I receive an order with anything other than cash or
a U.S. Postal Money Order, I wait at least 14 days for the check to clear
just like my ORDERING INFORMATION Page says. So please do not call about an
order before that time passes. Believe it or not, a guy called me on
Saturday wanting to know why he had not received his order It turned out he
had mailed his order from New Jersey two days earlier.
I am shipping Workshop
Manual 2s as soon as I get an order. If a $41 check falls out of an envelop
that has a return address on it, the Manual goes out the next day. No need
to write me a letter I can not read. The response has been overwhelming.
The Manual got finished 2 weeks before my vision failed again.
Shutting Down (12
Madalon leaves for
California tomorrow for Thanksgiving and the SAR show so there will be no
more postings for about a month. The Workshop Manuals will be back from the
printer tomorrow and I have help with the orders. . Everything has been
found so most orders will be shipped early next week.
Workshop Manual (13
If you want a copy, you
can save us both work by not writing a letter. If I get an envelope with a
return address on it and $41 (cash, check or money order) inside, I will
immediately mail out a Manual.
Colt Frame (12
This is a pre-Ultimax
receiver fitted with an original Colt frame assembly. I can put 2 of these
together. Not cheap. The Colt frame goes for $3000. But the combination
gets very close to a $50,000 Colt gun.
Thompson Pin (12
I have some of these
pewter 2-stud pins for $10 each to decorate your hat or gun case.
Plate (12 Nov 2015)
This 1-3/4" x 4" x 1/16"
steel plate engraved with M1A1 markings would male a nice label for a gun
case or wall presentation. One only. $35( Note: The smudge on the side was
probably from Doug's fingers while taking the photo. I'm sure it is not on
the plate. If you want it..ask him.)
Orders (5 Nov 2015)
I finally got a handle on
the orders sitting here. All receiver orders that I can ship are packed and
waiting for someone to take me to the post office. A couple of the
receivers did not measure up to my assistant's scrutiny. They will be
parts orders are waiting to go to the Post Office or Fedex with the
exception of a large Colt order. I am trying to find one of the items.
The Workshop Manual is
not back from the binder so that holds up things somewhat. I made a mistake
on a customer's name and ended up reserving 2 pre-Ultimax 1921s instead of
1. So there is 1 more of those available. A lot of the Colt stuff has been
sold. I have not had time to update the website so call before ordering any
Receiver Inventory (4
Now that Workshop Manual
2 is being printed, I have my assistant helping me with orders. I hope to
get them all out within a week. I am sorry about the delay. I am doing the
best I can which is not very good anymore. I did give out some bad
information about M2 receiver inventory. I do have 1 with the 1928
rear end shape which was designed to use with a 1928A1 parts kit. There are
also several M2s with M1 style rear ends which were designed to use with M1
parts kits although any
M1 style receiver can be
used with a 1928A1 parts kit. The frame mismatch is hidden under the
All M2s are
Ultimaxes. There is 1 pre-Ultimax M1A1 receiver at $100 less than an
Ultimax. There is 1 M1A1 Ultimax with a serial number that the pilot hole
center drill went too deep. That has no effect on the functioning of the
receiver and can be repaired by welding and reworking. Price is $685 for
the receiver plus $150 for markings and $45 for the number less $100 for the
There are a
couple of pre-Ultimax 1921 Colts at $300 less than Ultimax. It looks as
though all I will have at the Phoenix SAR show is scrap receivers.
Thankfully, I do not have too many of them.
Workshop Manual 2 (2
Here is the information
on the new Workshop Manual:
THOMPSON SUBMACHINE GUN
WORKSHOP MANUAL 2
The second edition of the Thompson
Submachine Gun Workshop Manual is finished. It is a substantial improvement
over the first edition. At the time the first edition was published, my good
eye had rejected the transplanted cornea. I had the worst vision I have ever
experienced. I was almost totally blind. There was no way I could finish the
Manual. I felt badly because it was so long in the writing and so many
people were waiting for it. Others took over finishing what I had done in
order to get the Manual published. They were neither Thompson experts nor
manual makers. But they got a lot of information out to a lot of people who
needed it. At the time there was no certainty that I would ever be able to
A new cornea and some luck improved my
vision enough for me to rewrite the Manual. I have included everything I
think useful to a Thompson owner and gunsmith. The gun models and parts are
identified. Assembly and disassembly are covered along with a section on
special repairs necessary to make the parts useable. Other sections include
magazines, possible modifications and parts interchanges that are possible,
manufacturing a receiver, finishing an Ultimax receiver, analyzing
functioning problems, checking out the gun, shooting and maintaining the
gun. An appendix includes the instructions for all the special tools I
designed. This is not a story book. It is a working manual with information
not available in any other book. Make one mistake when working on your gun
and this manual will have paid for itself probably many times over. I want
everyone to have this Manual because I am tired of hearing the horror
stories of what people or incompetent gunsmiths have done to the guns. Even
if you will never work on or shoot your gun, you can show this Manual to
anyone you have work on your gun for you.
It is 204 pages which is 21 pages more
than the first edition in addition to many original pages which were
replaced. It is 8-1/2" x 11", soft cover, with a Perfect binding. I am
autographing every copy because so many people ask for that anyway. Price is
$35. I will ship it for the special cost of $6 if sent by itself. Since it
completely fills a Priority Mail envelope, there is no room for much of
Because of the circumstances involving
the first edition, which sold for $25, and my desire that everyone have the
best information, I will give full credit of the $25 to anyone who trades in
their first edition for a second edition.
The Manuals are prepackaged in stamped
envelopes so they can (if I am not in Belize) be sent out the day after I
receive an order.
Manuals are available from:
Douglas W. Richardson
9705 Owensmouth Ave., Unit 2
Chatsworth CA 91311
Telephone 310-457-6400 or 818-993-1753
Eyes (29 Oct 2016)
Unfortunately the sutures
were not removed today as I had been told would happen. So I do not
know if my vision will improve enough to be able to make more receivers.
Receivers (29 Oct
Even if I will be
able to make more receivers, I will have to simplify my product line.
To that end I will have to discontinue my M2 which is my redesign of the
M1. I am very fond of the M2 design but it complicates receiver
manufacturing too much. I still have a very few M2s left so if you have
been thinking about getting one some day, some day is here now. All M2s
Manual (29 Oct 2016)
Edition is finished. It is 204 pages . First Edition was 183. I
am waiting for my helper to check the masters and take me to the
Mayan Bush Dog (28 Oct
Several people have asked
me about the dog in the photo. Here is some information about my dog:
MAYAN BUSH DOG
Known in the Mayan languages as ďSacol
TzyĒ, ďNahua XolotoĒ and ďSaam PekĒ ("dog of lightning"), this is the dog
many claim to be the one depicted in the ancient Mayan temple stone
The true Mayan Bush Dog is a medium size
(about 24Ē at the shoulder) and medium build, well proportioned dog similar
to a German Shephard. It has medium length, coarse hair, except for the
tail which has longer hair. The ears are large but fold over at about the
midpoint. Color is similar to that of mainland beach sand ranging from an
ivory color to a light brown with black on the end of the tail, ears, and
muzzle. The dog is very intelligent and alert with excellent senses and a
good swimmer. It is claimed by many in Central America that it is immune to
heart worm infection, but that has not been confirmed. Whether or not it is
immune, it is a very strong and generally healthy dog. The light hair color
keeps the dog cool in its native tropical Central America while the dark
areas create warmth to enhance its senses. Its size is perfect for
navigating the jungle undergrowth and its coarse hair sheds ticks and burrs.
It is called a ďbushď dog because It is
often found feral in the bush where local legend claims it originates after
a lightning strike. (In Central America, the jungle or rain forest is
referred to as ďbushĒ.) It is said that these dogs were used by the
ancient Mayans as hunting dogs. The dog is not a killer dog, it is
primarily a tracking and watch dog and so has a wonderfully friendly
disposition, making it an outstanding family companion and house pet.
Orders (28 Oct
There was a whole pile of
orders waiting for my return to California. Be patient. I have to get help
with them and help is in very short supply. I know that there are a few 1921
Colt pre-Ulitimax receivers available at $300 less than Ultimax. These look
real good when assembled with a 1928A1 parts kit and every one likes the
Colt. These receivers are identical to an Ultimax except not as finished in
the bolt channel. At this time I do not know if I will ever be able to make
more receivers. The sutures are supposed to be removed from my eye Friday.
That will change my vision but which way?
Workshop Manual 2 (28 Oct 2015)
I got quite a bit more done on the Manual. All that is left is
finishing a few illustrations. I thought I would have it to the
printer by the end of this week. Unfortunately, my HP copy machine
quit. I went out and bought a new Brother machine. That turned out
to be a disappointment. My plan now is to return the Brother
and get my old HP repaired. More time and no help. I am trying to
get the Manual done in time for the Phoenix SAR show. Madalon and I
plan to be there.
Belize (18 Oct 2015)
I am back in Los
Angeles. I finished rewriting the text section of the second edition of the
Shop Manual. I at first thought I would just clean up the first edition but
it soon became obvious that I was rewriting the book into a second
edition. The new edition is 20 pages longer than the first edition. I hope
to finish it in the next week. My new cornea has improved my vision just
enough to enable me to do this.
Otherwise I am completely
overwhelmed with back mail, so bear with me. I have a few of the pre-ultimax
1921 receivers available. Fitting this receiver to a 1928A1 parts kit
produces a very nice 1921 gun at minimum cost. See the photo of one of
these guns that I made for a customer in the guns section of the web site.
I plan on being at the Phoenix SAR show in December but I doubt that I will
have any receivers by then. I will bring what ever I have including scrap
receivers for the do-it-yourselfers. I do not know what I will be able to
offer in the future. Everything will have to be reviewed at the first of
the year. I have some Assembly Pins available even though they were
inadvertently dropped from the website.
All our computers died,
so we are trying to get restarted with new computers. We really liked XP
but had to go to Windows 7 and then immediately upgraded to Windows 10.
That turned out to be a big mistake so we re-installed 7. When we finally
figured out how to get Outlook Express to work on 7, 7 became OK. But all
this has put us way behind.
You might find the photo
uplifting. It is me walking my dog (a Mayan Bush Dog) in front of my house.
Workshop Manual (14
I have completed the
re-write of the Manual text. When I get the illustrations cleaned up, the
second edition of the Manual will be ready for printing. It should be
available in time for the SAR show in Phoenix December 4-6. Madalon and I
hope to see you at the show.
Belize Trip (14 Sep
I am leaving for Belize
today. I will return to California October 15. I deposited checks and
mailed what I could on September 12. There is nothing more I can do until I
return. If you need to talk to me while I am in Belize, you can call me at
818-627-5019 which is a U.S. number that rings through to Belize.
Receivers (27 Aug
For the first time in
2 Yeats, I have run out of 1928A1 Ultimax receivers. I am also sold out
of 1921 Ultimax receivers. I have a few M1 & M1A1 Ultimax receivers. I
also have 1 2M2 and a few M2s but no Screw-On Grip Mounts for them at
this time. There are some 1921 Pre-Ultgimax and a couple of M1A1 Pre-Ultimax
receivers available. I have discussed this situation with my
associates. We have tentatively agreed to make one more run of
receivers before I quit for good. They will all be Ultimax . If you
want a receiver and what I have in stock does not meet your
requirements, fill out the receiver order form in the RECEIVER page of
the website and send it to me. Do not send any money because it might
not happen. Every good thing comes to an end. By the time this is
finished, I will be 80 years old. I intend to shut down most all of my
activities by then. Call me anytime at 310-457-6400 but no e-mails.
E-mails are too difficult for me so I don't even look at my inbox
Book by Gordon Herigstad
(24 Aug 2015
Book by Gordon Herigstad.
Third edition (2002). Last one left of this edition. 4" thick. Fancy
leather- like covers. $125
What's Happening? (22
Cyber melt-down: The
motherboard in Madalon's desktop self destructed, finishing off that
computer and work on the website. My computer was fatally attacked by
viruses and malware. It seemed time to update so I bought 2 new HPs with
Windows 7 Pro. Then Microsoft offered a free Windows 10 upgrade. It made
sense to go that route than to set up and learn 7, so we did. What a
mistake! 10 was awful. So, we started over and reinstalled 7. I have the
feeling that Microsoft made a giant mistake coming out with 10. The only
thing I did not like about 7 was that I could not use Outlook Express with
it. We solved that problem. Now I have Outlook Express working with 7
which is really nice. One computer is now ready to use so maybe I can post
some blogs again. I could no longer read the labels on the keys so I have
had to replace both keyboard with ones that are easier to read. Madalon's
monitor went bad so I am giving her mine . I will try to get a much larger
one for myself. Life was so much simpler before computers but without my
computer with large fonts, I would not be able to write my books and other
Vision: It has been 4
months since the last cornea transplant. Instead of my vision getting
better and better as my eye heals, it has gotten worse and worse. At this
time, I can barely function. I can send e-mails but I can not read incoming
without extreme difficulty. In spite of all my blogs, personal requests and
messages at the top of the website telling people to phone me and not e-mail
me, some still persist in e-mailing. Madalon tried to monitor my e-mails
but it was too difficult. We don't even try anymore. Unless I know
something is being e-mailed to me that I can find with a magnifying glass
and then find someone to read it to me, e-mails do not get noticed. I can
with difficulty, write e-mail. They tell me I will be able to see better
after the sutures are removed from my eye.
Workshop Manual: I have
almost finished rewriting all the text. I am hoping to finish it in time
for the SAR show in December.
Update 13 Aug 2015
Doug says his vision
continues to deteriorate . He is unable to do emails as stated on the website so
if you want to talk to him you must use the phone. There are no more Workshop
Manuals however due to the miracle of magnification, he is writing the
Second Edition of the Workshop Manual. Price and availability are not yet known.
There has been no decision on continuing receiver production. There are still
receivers in stock.
Update 06 Aug 2015
I have not been able to
do much in California since my cornea transplant 2 months ago. My supply of
receivers is getting very low but I can not make more without some improvement
in vision. The doctors tell me that my vision should improve during the next 10
months of healing but I have heard that before.
M1A1 Style Bolt For The 2M2 (10 Jun
I am always thinking about the best
Thompson possible. If one wants the best 21 style gun, I believe the best
is my 2M2. Of course, the 2M2 can be a 29 just as easily but I never liked
the 28. The 28 is for those with WW2 nostalgia not shooters. It occurred
to me that the best option to the 21 setup on the 2M2 would be an M1A1 style
bolt that would fit the 2M2 receiver. That would combine the best features
of all the Thompson models into one gun. Toward that end, I have been
working on modifying an M1A1 bolt to move the spring hole down 1/10" in
order to match the pilot hole on the 2M2 receiver. I like the idea so much
I started dreaming about making new bolts. We need M1A1 bolts anyway so why
not make both. Someone needs to make bolts. So far I have not found anyone
interested. I have all the engineering. Kahr 's bolts seem to have finally
achieved some quality. Does anyone know who makes the Kahr bolts? At least
that would be a starting point.
Barrel Vise (29 May 2015)
Barrel Vises are sold out. I have some of the clamps so it might be worth
trying to make the matching bodies some time in the future. But the status
now is that I have no more barreling tools available of any kind. My plan
is to get the Thompson grip mounts in production so I can offer barreled
receivers to those who are unable to do the barreling themselves. I have my
Screw-On Grip Mounts available (which I prefer) but they only fit my
Workshop Manuals (24 May 2015)
The first printing is sold out. I started to prepare the masters for a
second printing but it now looks like I will be doing the first printing
of a second edition. I do not know when I will get it done. Any orders
I receive will go into a back order file.
Progress (24 May 2015)
I am barely functioning. I thought I would be seeing better now with my
new cornea but that has not happened. I should see better with time as
the surgery heals. In the meantime, I can fill most orders. I
have most receivers in stock.
Orders (10 May 2015)
I am completely out of Workshop Manuals. I do not know when
I will be able to redo the masters and get more printed. I
am able to fill some simple orders but not much.
Madalon (10 May 2015)
Madalon has been in Los Angeles for
the last month. She can not work on the Website when not in Belize.
She is back in Belize now.
Doug (10 May 2015)
I had the third corneal transplant. That makes eye surgery #27. I
will have almost no vision for awhile. Hopefully, there will be
some improvement after I heal. I am available by phone.
Grip Mounts (10 May 2015)
Until I am able to manufacture grip mounts, I need to buy them.
If you have any you want to sell, call me.
Workshop Manual (10 Apr 2015)
The response to this book was
overwhelming. Every thing that could go wrong - didn't! The first printing
(Dec.2014) is completely sold out. I need to get a second printing done but
right now I can barely function because of my vision problems. Madalon
arrives tomorrow for hip replacement surgery so that is what we will be
doing for the next couple of weeks. Then I get another cornea transplant on
April 30. Not much time for dancing and partying which is what old age is
all about. Of course, if she will be able to get around better and I will
see better, just think of all we can accomplish - or not. Only time will
T-Slot Cutters (6 Apr 2015)
cutters have arrived from Japan made to my specifications. Next they get
modified here and then sent out for the special coating which gives them a
SARCO Foregrip (28 Mar 2015)
Right after posting my review of the IMA
foregrip, I was sent two SARCO #TMP015 foregrips. The SARCO grip is on the
left in the photo - IMA on the right. The cost was $19.95 each plus
$5.95 for Priority mail shipping for both. The SARCO grip does not come
with a bolt. It does use a standard Thompson rear grip bolt which I sell
for $5. That makes the cost of both the SARCO and IMA grips the same if the
IMA bolt can be salvaged. I did not want to say it at the time I wrote the
IMA review because I did not trust my poor vision. I thought the IMA bolt
was metrically threaded to 6mm x 1.0 pitch and that has now been confirmed.
Hard to believe, but true!
The SARCO grip is correctly made of
walnut wood. It is unfinished. It has a much bulkier feel than the Colt
and is therefore uncomfortable to hold. There is enough extra wood to allow
sanding it into a Colt-like shape. But that would take a lot of work and
skill. I doubt most people are up to that.
Comparing the two grips leads me to rate
them the same. They are both equally bad. With a little sanding, the IMA
grip can be made to have a nice feel. I believe most people would prefer
the IMA grip.
The only really good "Colt" foregrips
ever made were the ones I made years ago. So, I know all about making
foregrips. I do understand IMA. They tried to make the cheapest grips
possible and they succeeded brilliantly. What I can not get beyond is my
inability to understand why, for the same cost of materials and
manufacture, SARCO (or whoever made their grips) would make grips that are
IMA Foregrip (7 Mar 15)
A client had two of IMA's #AMU1650
Thompson Vertical Foregrip including mounting bolt @ $24.95 each plus $7.50
HIS for both, sent to me for evaluation.
At first glance it was obvious that the
grips and bolts were not made in accordance with the original drawings and
specifications, which I have. I also have original Colt foregrips for
comparison. Unlike others who make aftermarket Thompson products and then
falsely claim their product "was made in accordance with the original
drawings and specifications", IMA makes no such claim. IMA states that the
foregrips are a reverse engineered foreign made copy.
A comparison of the IMA foregrips with
the original drawings and specifications and original Colt grips yields the
1) The bolt hole is incorrect as to
diameter and length. This means that neither an original foregrip bolt nor
even a rear grip bolt can be used. For that reason it is a good thing that
the bolt is included.
2) The height of a Colt grip is
about 4-7/8" whereas the IMA grip is about 4-5/8" high. About 1/4"different
which shows and requires a special length bolt.
3) The length of the Colt grip is about
1/16" longer than the IMA grip. Not much difference there. The major
thickness is also about the same.
4) The rear end of the Colt grip is cut
on a radius, the IMA grip is cut straight but it hardly shows.
5) The Colt grip is made of walnut. The
IMA grip is not. As a result. the color differs from the Colt.
6) The look and feel of the IMA grip is
not quite right. There is a horizontal groove cut across the IMA grip near
the top which is the greatest visual distraction.
7) The bolt is totally wrong. A Colt
bolt has a head diameter of 7/16" and a length of 4-3/4". The IMA bolt has
a head diameter of 1/2" and a length of 4-3/16". The Colt bolt thread is
#14-24. I have no idea what the IMA bolt thread is because I don't have the
time to gage it. But, neither of the two bolts I received would screw into a
Thompson grip mount. It may be possible to force
rethread the IMA bolt with a #14-24 die, but how many people have one of
those? A Thompson rear grip bolt could be shortened to work but because
of the oversize bolt hole in the IMA grip, there would be a tendency
for the Thompson bolt head to dig into the supporting wood.
So, am I recommending not buying this
foregrip? Not at all! It is a great value. There is enough "meat" on the
IMA grip to rework the shape enough to get it very close to the Colt look
and feel to placate the hard core Thompson people. But how many people care
that much? I would never use the IMA grip as a replacement on a Colt gun
but I might put one on my Colt just to temporarily protect my very expensive
Colt grip. At $24.95 the IMA grip fills a real need. I recommend it for
those who can live without a Colt. As a Colt grip, I give it one star. As
a bargain value utility vertical foregrip, I give it 4 stars. I would have
given it five stars based on value for the money were it not for the thread
problem There is nothing else I am aware of that comes close at this
price. It is just a shame that the little extra effort required to
have made it a Colt clone was not invested.
Order Service (28 Mar 2015)
Some things I can do myself. Those
orders go out right away. Some things I can not do myself. If those things
require general help, I get the orders out within 30 days. Anything that
requires machine work may take months or more before I get that level of
help. That is the way it is and there is not anything I can do about it.
I had hoped that someone would take over
from me and, with my help, continue all my products. I split up my
activities into four "divisions" - Receivers,Tools, Parts and Drums. I
thought this might make it more manageable.
The Receiver Division requires a
substantial investment just for the machinery. It also requires Thompson
knowledge and passion.
The Drum Division requires
stamping expertise and an expensive facility but Thompson knowledge and
passion are not required.
The Parts Division requires some
Thompson knowledge but no passion and requires only a small machine shop.
The Tool Division requires the least
amount of knowledge, passion and money.
When a person expressed an interest in
the Tool Division but said he would never be able to raise the great amount
of money I would want, I made him an offer I thought no one could refuse. I
offered the rights to all my tools described in the APPENDIX of my WORKSHOP
MANUAL, a machine worth about $15,000 that would do most of the machine
work, all the drawings, programs, procedures, special cutters. special
fixtures, source contacts and all the consulting from me needed for
$25,000. He said it was too much money. I just wanted to see that my tools
continued to be available. $10,000 for the engineering time I put into it
was nothing more than a token return on my investment. But it was never
about money to me. It was about Thompson. I give up. It just isn't worth
the time and stress it takes away from my life.
I go in for another cornea transplant
April 30. Maybe it will improve my vision. It can't be worse.
Sight Bolts & Nuts (23 Mar
They are back in stock
Rear Sight Mounting Bolts & Nuts
(19 Mar 2015)
These are back in stock and all back
orders were mailed out.
Vision (19 Mar 2015)
It is official now. The cornea
transplant in my right eye has been rejected. I will get a new cornea
on April 30. That means a year of pain and misery. It can't be worse
than the last one. Hopefully , it will be better and my vision will
TSMG Grip Mounts (9 Mar 15)
I am completely out of TSMG grip mounts
so I can no longer make guns or barreled receivers that use those. I was
not concerned about this coming because I had intended to put TSMG grip
mounts back in production or only make receivers that took my Screw-On Grip
Mount. Enough buyers want totally authentic receivers to preclude only
making receivers that take my grip mount. So, my decision is to make all my
design receivers (2M2. 2S, M2 & MS) to take my Screw-On Grip Mount and all
authentic receivers (21, 28, M1 & M1A1) to take the TSMG grip mount. I
think this works because people either want an authentic receiver or an
improved receiver. I am ready to start making TSMG grip mounts. All I
need is some help. I do not know when that will happen. In the meantime,
let me know if you have any grip mounts for sale. I also need some M1 rear
sights (No side ears.)
Early 1921 Colt Barreled Receiver (21
Check out the three photos at the bottom
of the BARRELED RECEIVERS PHOTOS section of the RECEIVERS page. Note that
there is a serial number on the receiver. That is as good as it gets. For
just a few dollars more than the cost of a 1928A1 barreled receiver, you
can have the Colt. With all the levers and plate covering the surface of
the frame (trigger housing) it is not very noticeable that the frame is not
Colt. Most people never think of assembling their 1928A1 parts kit as a
Colt. I have enough parts in stock to make one more of these at this time.
Update (11 Feb 15)
My vision has deteriorated
drastically. My cornea has rejected. This means I have lost all vision in one
eye and the other eye isn't much good. I am barely able to function. I have no
way to get to the post office to pick up mail, so using my shop address is
working out well and speeding up filling orders.
With very few exceptions the Post Office is managing to forward my mail from the
PO box. I am now able to fill most orders within 10 days.
Receivers are available from stock.
I am going to have to get a new cornea transplant so things may improve.
Changes (2 Feb 15)
You may have noticed that I closed the
Post Office box. It was just too difficult for me to get there. Sometimes
I would have to wait 2 weeks before someone would take me to get the mail.
So mail should now be faster.
I am getting a lot of orders for my new
WORKSHOP MANUAL ($25 + $7 HIS). I used to say if I saw $5, I would send a
Catalog - no need to write a letter. There is no catalog anymore. Now if I
see $32 I send out a WORKSHOP MANUAL. No need to write a letter. There is
also no need to get a money order for fast shipping. I do not hold checks
The Website is now very up to date. Do
not order anything that is not shown on the Website. If you think I might
have something not shown on the Website, call me.
I have stopped selling standard parts
until I determine my own needs. Unfortunately, I have not had any help for
a couple of months. If you need parts, call me until I get a new list done.
I have finished the designs for the
fixtures, tooling and programs needed to make the TSMG grip mount. If I get
some help, I will make them. I like my Screw-On Grip Mount better than the
TSMG design but there is a need for the TSMG type. We will just have to
wait and see whether I get help on this or not. In the meantime, I am
going to go ahead making the fixtures. That is something I can do. We all
certainly need someone to take over from me. Today my vision is so bad I
can barely function. I will see what the doctor has to say about it
Ultimax Display Bolt Handles & Pilots
(25 Jan 15)
I apologize to those of you who have been
waiting patiently for them. I have changed the design for the Ultimax but
that is done now and I am currently making them. No date but it is getting
Website (23 Jan 15)
It seems like we just started a new era
of life. We managed to publish the "Workshop Manual", get to the SAR show
in Phoenix and now the Website has been re-made from info only to an on-line
catalog. I miss the old Catalog and I still use my copy. There just wasn't
any way I could keep it going with all the changes. Madalon has the Website
pretty much done. There will always be little updates and changes. If you
have any comments about the Website, now is the time to let me know.
Almost all manufacture of Tools and
products have been discontinued with the exception of receivers and receiver
related parts. As long as my assistants want to keep making receivers, we
will. I only have a few of the pre-Ultimax 28A1 and M1A1 receivers left
which go for a substantial discount. I have more of the Late Colt pre-Ultimax
receivers available. I am going to start barreling those receivers,
particularly the Colts because people do not seem to understand how to get
started with the Colts. Since I make all the parts of a Colt barreled
receiver and none come in parts kits, I might as well put those together. I
am short of TSMG grip mounts. I have already designed the fixtures, cutters
and programs to put the TSMG grip mounts back into production. If I can get
some help here with the machines, we will make them.
Website (11 Jan 2015)
Madalon and I have been working on the Website while we are together in Belize.
We finally got it finished. Most everything is new or revised.
Please look it all over. I hope you like it. I preferred the print
Catalog but it just wasn't practical any more because it is too difficult to
make all the changes and get the word out on a timely basis. If you have
any comments to make regarding the Website please call me.
Phoning Me (11 Jan 2015)
People are still trying to e-mail me instead of phoning as I have requested.
If you phone me, I answer the phone where ever I am and talk to you. If
you e-mail me, it goes to Madalon in Belize because I can not read due to my
poor vision. I have told her to respond to e-mails with "Call Doug".
All e-mailing me does is delay things. E-mailing works for some things but
one of those things is not getting a response from me. I do not really
understand why people now-a-days prefer e-mailing over phoning. Direct
conversation ALWAYS results in getting quicker, more and better information.
And I answer the phone Sundays, nights and holidays. Who else will tell
you how to fix your gun on Christmas or New Year's eve?
Workshop Manual (18 Dec 14)
It was a miracle that the the Manual got
finished in time for the Phoenix SAR show but it did. I thought I had taken
more than enough Manuals to last the show but I was sold out the first day
of the 4-day show. I was overwhelmed by the response. I only hope that
people find it helpful. No matter though, there will never be enough photos
and illustrations to satisfy me but the reality is that there is not enough
of a market to justify even what I was able to include. I will never make a
profit on the Manual unless I work for free but it had to be written. The
first person to contact me after the Manual was published had damaged his
gun because he did not have the information in the Manual. I had heard that
story so many times before so I feel bad that I was not able to finish the
Manual a long time ago. The Manual is 184 pages. It was just too thick for
me to use my standard comb binding. So I went to Perfect binding which
worked out well. The Manual is $25. I had originally priced it at $35 but
I want everyone to have one. $7 HIS. There is enough room in the Priority
envelope for another of my books or small stuff.
Belize (18 Dec 14)
I leave for Belize tomorrow and return mid-Jan. My
phone will ring in Belize. Everything I can ship went
Workshop Manual (21 Nov 14)
The Manual is nearing completion. It
is right now at 183 pages, It will probably be at 190 after I get some
more pictures in. I'm getting some help with final editing and proofing
because I can not read the printed text because of my vision. The price
will be $35. Even so, there is no way I can ever recover my costs
because there just isn't a large enough demand for this sort of book.
Regardless, it had to be written and I am probably the only one who
could do it. I have just received too many calls over the years from
people who really needed the information in this Manual. I would feel
too guilty if I did not try to help. It is not as good as I would have
liked it to be. With my vision problems it is a miracle that it got
done at all.
Workshop Manual (5 Nov 14)
While in Belize I continued work on
the Manual. In spite of my vision deteriorating so much more, I somehow
managed to finish the final draft even though I can not read it when
printed. A Thompson friend volunteered to edit it. So that is where it
is now. I am hoping to have it available at the SAR show in Phoenix.
Madalon and I are planning to be there,
Belize (1 Oct 14)
I leave for Belize tonight. Orders
on hand will go out today. I will be in Belize until Nov. 4 so nothing
will get done in California until I get back. I answer my phone in
Belize but sometimes the communication can be a little trying...
PIVOT WANTED (13 Sep 14)
I need a checkered WW2 Savage pivot
(selector lever). Let me know if you have one for sale. I also need grip
mounts, pivot plates, "L" rear sights and compensators.
Display Guns (11 Sep 14)I have finished the early Colt gun shown
in the Display Guns photo section. That will soon be shipped. I have been
taking inventory to determine how many more special guns I can make. Here
is what I can do:
1) Late 1921 Colt: This would have a
complete Colt frame, correct Colt "L" drum, Colt box magazine, 1921 Colt
actuator, recoil spring, buffer & pilot. All other parts would be non-Colt.
2) Colt Navy: This would have a complete
Colt frame, correct Colt "L" drum, Colt box magazine, 1928 Colt actuator
& buffer. All other parts including sling would be non-Colt.
3) 1928 Savage: This would have an early Savage Frame, correct "L"
drum, box magazine, vertical foregrip, adjustable rear sight,
checkered levers, flat ejector, etc.
4) Early 1928A1 Savage: This would have an early Savage Frame, correct
"L" drum, box magazine, horizontal forearm, adjustable rear
sight, checkered levers, sling, etc.
Each of these "guns" would be a complete package made to the
customer's order. If you want one of these, call me.
I will pay $20 for TSMG 1-piece grip
mounts and $10 for bent "L" (dogleg) style rear sights.
Back In Stock (3 Sep 14)
Long Neck T-Slot Cutters
and Vertical Foregrip Bolts are back in stock. Back orders
were shipped yesterday. Also, aluminum receivers are
Long Neck T-Slot
Cutters (29 Aug 14)
These are available
again. All back orders are in the outgoing mail.
Colt Gun (27 Aug 14)
If you have not seen the photo of the
Colt gun in the Display Guns section that I just made for a customer, take a
look at it here. This gun was made using an early Colt frame and other Colt
parts. If my name were Colt and I had made a gun receiver instead of an
Ultimax receiver, that gun would be worth $45,000 or more. But, I made it
so the cost was substantially less, a lot less. If you want to have a gun
like this, let me know. I do not have an early Colt frame available but I
do have a late Colt frame that I can use to build a gun for you. I still
need to buy a WW2 compensator sight if anyone has one. Also grip mounts.
T-Slot Cutters (21
The T-Slot Cutters
are finished and being coated now. I am told by
unreliable people that they will be ready for shipping
by the end of next week.
Workshop Manual (21
Except for final editing,
all the illustrations, about 70 pages, are ready for
publishing. The text pages now have to be edited which is
something I will do on the next trip to Belize. I hope to
have the book printed before the SAR show in Phoenix Dec. 1.
Workshop Manual (12
Today I finalized all the
illustration pages of the Workshop Manual I am writing.
There are 64 which is more than I had anticipated. I am
trying to include illustrations of every part of every model
Thompson gun so no one comes up with a part they can not
identify or know where it goes. There are a lot of
illustrations of repairs and every modification to the gun I
can think of. Now I will go back and rewrite all the text
pages. That is a good job to work on when I go back to
Belize which should be this month. The book will probably
end up at about 130 pages unless I think of more things I
think people would like to know about. My goal is to have
the manual available at the SAR show in Phoenix in December
at the latest.
New Website (12 Aug
I hope everyone likes the
new website that Madalon has been working so hard on.
After sending out about 8000 Catalogs, the time has come to
discontinue the print Catalog and go to an internet
catalog. I could not do it before because so many of the
Thompson machine gun people were not able to use the
internet because they are generally older. We are trying to
make the site as simple as possible because, like me, older
people have trouble with most websites. When I go on a
website the first thing I do is look for a phone number. I
learn so much more by a phone conversation than I could ever
get from a website or e-mailing yet it seems that no one
wants to talk to anyone any more. I suppose I will lose
some of them but the time has come to move on. If anyone
has any suggestions or criticism of the new website, please
make them known to me.
Compensator Sight (5 Aug
I need a WW2 compensator
sight. Does anyone have one they will sell or trade me?
Complete 1928A1 Guns (5 Aug
Even though I own Cutts, I have
not made more WW2 compensators because there is so little demand for
them. But, in order to make up compete guns I need more compensators
than I have. So, does anyone know of a source for them? I was told
that someone in Poland had new WW2 compensators but I did not get
contact info. Anyone know about that? Also need grip mounts. I
was going to make them but that would be very difficult for me
now. What we all need is for someone to take over my business.
Web Site (3 Aug 14)
We are literally throwing the
web site together in order to complete the switch from print
Catalog to the web site. Since we are selling out current
inventory, when we have time to pretty-up the web site many
items will be gone. In many cases there are only 1 or 2 of an
Guns (3 Aug 14)
After rechecking my supply of
parts, I am able to make 1 1928 Savage gun package. That will
include a rare 1928 Savage drum which is the correct one for
that gun and a Colt buttstock with the added Springfield swivel.
and vertical foregrip This is the gun that was provided to the
British in 1940/41 before the U.S. entered the war. This is
also the gun that confused collectors who started calling it the
Savage Commercial before my research set that straight (see my
book "MODELS"). This gun will also be with the "TOMMY GUN" &
"MECHANISM MADE EASY" manuals. This is my favorite WW2
Thompson. The other 2 I will make will be the earliest
1928A1s. You just don't see that configuration any more but I
remember back in the late 50s seeing a lot of them. I have not
changed my thinking on the M1s. I will make up several real
M1s. Most Thompson people have never seen an M1 mag catch or
even a picture of one. That's also true of the trip (again see
my book "MODELS"). I forgot to check on my supply of M1 trips
so that might be a problem. I always wanted to build a display
of all Thompson gun models. May I can be happy just making the
I was starting to list
for sale my stash of Thompson parts . Then it occurred to
me that there were probably people out there who would like
to have a complete gun package of the rarer WW2 models like
I have been doing with Colts. I have enough parts to build
3 Savage 1928s or very early 1928A1s. I am talking about
completely authentic guns using my Ultimax receivers serial
numbered to match the frame with vertical foregrip
(1928)drum magazine, original sling (1928A1), checkered
levers, Lyman , adjustable rear sight. flat ejector,
buttstock oil can, manuals, etc. I also have enough parts
to make several authentic M1s using M1 mag catches and M1
(not M1A1) buttstocks. Besides thinking about this, I have
been working on the illustrations for the Workshop Manual.
I am doing much better than I thought my eyesight would
allow. That has got me thinking that I would be able to
rewrite my Thompson Technical books.
I hope everyone
appreciates Madalon's efforts to rebuild the website and
like how it looks. We will be terminating the print
Receiver Back Orders(22 Jul
Yesterday I shipped all the rest
of the old receiver orders. They should arrive Wednesday or
Thursday. The file is now empty. It is a miracle!
Back Orders (19 Jul 14)
All the rest of the barreled receiver
orders will go out Monday. The only exceptions are the aluminum
receivers which are finished except for extractor slotting and unmarked
1928 receivers. Virtually every type of receiver I offer is on the
shelf and ready for immediate shipment.
Website *(18 Jul 14)
Madalon is revising the website, This is
in keeping with the discontinuation of most of my tools and parts that I
have manufactured for so many years, The website will replace the Catalog
eventually. For the first time the website will have prices. It won't be
e-commerce but it will include everything a person needs to put together an
order and it will be up-to-date. If you have any comments or suggestions,
call me. Calling is best for me because I can't read e-mails and they go to
Madalon in Belize not to me in California. If she doesn't know the answer,
she will just say "call Doug". We were going to terminate e-mailing all
together but there seems to be people who can't use a telephone without
1936C Barrels (17 Jul 14)
A 1936C Barrel is like the thick-finned
WW2 barrel which was designed in 1935, not in WW2. But like all Colt
barrels, it was sanded whereas the WW2 barrels were not. The sanding of the
edges gives the appearance of the fins being rounded. They are not rounded
intentionally, they just end up looking that way. The thicker the fin, the
less rounded it appears. In any case, I have removed the 1936C Barrel from
the Products No Longer Available list because I can easily finish a barrel
to that configuration. Because the 1935 barrel came along so late, few Colt
guns have them. They often appear on Colt 1928A1 guns, which is a rare
Back Orders (17 Jul 17)
I shipped a pile of old orders
yesterday. I will probably get the rest of them shipped tomorrow.
Old Colt Orders(13 Jul 14)
The Colt receiver back order file is
empty. Some of the people have waited for years for their receiver. I
promised that I would do it and I did. The good news is that the receivers
they are getting are light years ahead of what I was doing at the time the
orders were placed. I never lost an order or forgot anyone. No one lost a
penny with me. I really appreciate the faith shown in me during those years
of very difficult times for me because of all the eye surgeries. I believe
the receivers I am shipping now are beyond anyone's, including mine,
expectations. That was what it was all about with me. It was never a
business. It was a quest to make the finest Thompson receivers possible.
Barrels (12 Jul 13)
All the barrels are finished. I now
have plenty of finned barrels that are made of 4150 ordnance steel and
properly made. Of course they are because they are new WW2 surplus.
And they are better finned and threaded for Compensator (where
applicable) than Colt or Savage ever did. This means I can spend the
weekend barreling all the back ordered Colt receivers that people have
been waiting for.
Progress (9 Jul 14)
1) Receivers: The latest batch of
receivers went out for bluing today. They should be finished by this
weekend. Except for some aluminum receivers not yet finished, all
receiver orders should be mailed next week.
2) Barrels: They went out with the
receivers which means that all orders for barreled receivers should also
be mailed next week. Getting those barreled receiver orders out means
that all the old backlog of orders will be completed which is a great
feeling for me.
3) Vertical Foregrip Bolts: These
were sold out and put on the permanently out of stock list. But, since
I need those bolts for grips I will be selling, I have started top
manufacture another batch. So, Vertical Foregrip Bolts will once again
be available but this is the last time I will make bolts. The lot will
be fairly small and all the costs have gone up (steel alone is now twice
as expensive as it was the last time I made the bolts) so the new price
will be $8.
4) Prices: Talking about prices,
Madalon compared the price we charge for a 1921 Ultimax receiver (which
is the same price we would charge for a functioning receiver if we could
sell them) to the price AO/Colt charged in 1921 in 2014 dollars and
found that their price would be $660. They made 15000. We charge $885
and we made less than 1000.
5) Workshop Manual: The finished
draft with all illustrations should be finished next week. Since I can
not read it, I will turn it over to a friend to proof read it.
Hopefully, it won't require too much correction. Problem is that it
keeps growing as I find more and more things to add to it.
Parts Box (2 Jul 14)
The photo shows one of my Parts Boxes
fitted out with the last recommended spare parts. The price for the package
is $434. The Box was included with FBI cases. It was held in the case top
by leather straps. This plus the FBI Cleaning Rod which I also offer for
$110, are the missing parts in most FBI cases. The box was made to the same
dimensions as a 20 cartridge capacity box magazine so it also fits in the
1921/8 canvas gun cases and magazine pouches. A nice touch to any Thompson
Progress (1 Jul 14)
Receivers and barrels were supposed to be
ready for bluing as soon as I got back from Belize. Unfortunately,
assistant Sam Slow didn't do anything. We should be there by the end or
this week. I did send out all the orders I could yesterday.
Workshop Manual (23 Jun 14)
Today the rough drafts of the
illustrations got done which finalizes the makeup and configuration
of the book. I wanted to keep it at 100 pages but that was not
possible. It is at about 135 pages. The price will be $25 as of
now. I think that the book provides so much information that most
people will find useful. I suspect it will be my most popular book
because it isn't just nice to have, it is essential to have.
Back In California(23 June 14)
I am back in California from Belize.
Priority is to get all the receivers including barreled receivers
Workshop Manual (23 June 14)
I actually finished writing the Manual. It needs a few illustration
which I am working on now. Biggest problem is I can't read it to do
the editing and proving because my vision has gotten worse. I have
been promised help with that.
Belize (23 May 14)
Tonight I leave for Belize. I will be
there approximately 3 weeks and will be answering 310-457-6400 but sometimes
there can be phone problems. Belize time is the same as Texas. We have
been working non-stop on barrels and they are now finished except for
bluing. Same for a new batch of receivers. This means that soon after I
get back to California, I will have gotten thru the entire backlog from
years ago. It will be like starting fresh. I have had to cut back on so
many of my products due to vision and health problems but with less to do I
will be able to focus on the receivers and other things I want to do, I
will have to get used to not being far behind and never having time for
Talking about time for other things, can
anyone help me find original manufacturing drawings for the bipod and bipod
barrel attachment for the 1922 Hotchkiss light machine gun and also the
bayonet attachment on the 1898? U.S. Krag rifle?
Milling Cutters (15 May 14)
For those who like to save money, I offer
reconditioned T-Slot cutters for $175 and 1/2" End Mills for $85. These are
not just resharpened by the local grinder, They were remade by the original
manufacturer. I just did not have the time to wait for this work to be
E-mail (14 May 14)
Madalon used to forward e-mails to me
that she could not answer. When my
vision got too bad for me to read the
e-mails, she started calling me for the
answers so she could reply to the
e-mails. That system has become too
complicated so now if she can't answer
herself, she is telling people to call
me. That works best for me even though
it seems that many people today have
lost the ability to communicate any
other way than with their thumbs on a
machine. Anyway, if you want to talk to
me it will have to be by phone at
310-457-6400. 10am to 9pm California
time is best.
(11 May 13)
you people are your own worst enemies as far
as getting a fast response from me on your
orders. In order for me to help you. your
orders must be on full sized paper with your
name, address and phone number on the
order. Since I am now almost totally
blind, unless your order is hand written
with a fiber tipped pen like PaperMate Flair
or typed in 12 point block style font, I
have to wait until I find someone to read it
to me. You just wouldn't believe the
scrawls I get on a tiny piece of paper with
contact info missing. If I need to ask a
question about an order and there is no
phone number, I just set the order aside
until the customer calls me.
Barrels (11 May 14)
machine work has been completed and now the
finishing is in progress. I know this is
important because I continue to receive
complaints about aftermarket barrels. I
designed a gage for checking the headspace
dimension on barrels but haven't had a
chance to make one. Probably doesn't make
much difference to me because I only use
original barrels but I would like to be able
to check customer's barrels.
Mounts (11 May 14)
grip mount design is just not good. My
Screw-On Grip Mount seems to solve the
problems but requires the receiver to be
made to accept it. I am going back and
forth on this but I am leaning toward making
all my receivers to accept the Screw-On Grip
Mount and making the TSMG design a special
for me. I am also leaning toward putting my
extended trigger housing rails on all
receivers except for 1921/8 Ultimax
receivers where it is not suitable. If a
person wants the TSMG style, the extended
rails can be easily removed.
else has stopped other than making barrels. The
barrel shortage situation had reached the
ridiculous. Since there was always something
that would come up to thwart my scheduling, I
figured that the only way to get the barrels
done was to stop everything else. We will
probably keep working on finning the barrels
until maybe Wednesday or so. Then I will put my
finish man on them while the first man restarts
Receiver/Barrel Headspace Gage (5 May 14)
Headspace is not
adjustable on the Thompson. The receiver, barrel
and bolt each have one dimension that determines the
when-assembled gun headspace. It occurred to me
that what was needed was a headspace gage that
would check the receiver and barrel headspace after
the barrel is installed. This assembly check is
particularly important now that receivers and
barrels are being newly manufactured. The design I
came up with is extremely simple so there is hope
that I can make up a few. Regarding aftermarket
barrels, the outside diameter of the receiver
threads is .848" maximum. All the barrels I offer
are genuine WW2 new surplus M1A1 barrels. I grind
the compensator threads because that produces
threads that are better than lathe-cut. Then I fin
them to 1921 or 1928 specs. By the way, the
original 1921 Colt drawing has an error which most
people are not aware of. I don't care what people
claim, no new-made Thompson barrel is made in
accordance with the original specs - it is just too
expensive. That is why I fin and thread original
M1 (Class 2) Gun
(01 May 14)
The following two
photos are of a "gun" I just finished for a customer. I
like putting together complete "guns" for people
because I get a lot of satisfaction seeing it all come
together. Customers like it because they get a "gun"
done right. It is amazing to me to realize just how
lost and confused so many people are when it comes to
their Thompson. But it is usually not their fault.
Most have been completely mislead by "experts" that
don't know what they are talking about. I would rather
help someone out before the "experts" get to them rather
than trying to sort out a major mess later. I am
usually available by phone at 310-457-6400. I don't
mind the calls because I always seem to learn something
from the caller. If nothing else, I get a clue as to
what Thompson misinformation is being circulated.
Image #1636: Left
Side View Of M1 "Gun" Made Using A Richardson Ultimax
Receiver And Original Thompson Parts. This Package Is
Configured Especially For Class 2 Licensed Manufacturers
Who Can Legally Finish The Receiver. Therefore, It Is
Not Fitted With Display Pilot & Bolt Handle Kits But
Does Include All The Bolt Channel Components Which Can
Only Be Installed In The Receiver After It Is Finished.
Image #1637: Right Side View Of M1 "Gun" Made
Using A Richardson Ultimax Receiver And Original
Thompson Parts. This Package Is Configured
Especially For Class 2 Licensed Manufacturers Who
Can Legally Finish The Receiver. Therefore, It Is
Not Fitted With Display Pilot & Bolt Handle Kits But
Does Include All The Bolt Channel Components Which
Can Only Be Installed In The Receiver After It Is
Mount (01 May 14)
I just finished
installing a barrel on one of my M1 receivers. It went
fine using my Receiver Vise with Grip Mount Retainer and
my Heavy Duty Barrel Wrench. Unfortunately none of
those tools are available any more. But even with my
tools, I still ended up cursing the TSMG grip mount
design. I started lamenting over my being forced by
Thompson purists to make my M1 and M1A1 receivers
If it were up to
me, I would use my extended trigger housing rails design
and Screw-On Grip mount design on every receiver I
make. At least I can relieve my frustrations by
incorporating those designs in my special receivers
(2M2, 2MM, 2S & MS). Another advantage occurred to me
regarding the tools. With all my special receivers, my
Barrel Vise and Receiver Wrench (which are still
available) are better for barreling receivers that take
my Screw-On Grip Mount than my Receiver Vise set-up
It is strange how
things turn out. I designed the Barrel Vise and
Receiver Wrench specifically for removing barrels from
cut-off receiver noses which was a very limited
application. Now they are the perfect tools for my
improved receiver designs, But I wonder if the
authentic police are still out there. Would people want
M1/M1A1 & 21/28 receivers made to accept my Screw-On
Grip Mount ? To find out, I will accept orders for that
configuration at no extra charge but there will be a
wait because those would be specials. Anyway, tomorrow
I will mount a Barrel Vise on the work bench and start
using it for barreling my special receivers. By the
way, the great barrel shortage has turned into a barrel
flood. In a couple of weeks I will have a lifetime of
barrels ready to ship.
Barrels (29 Apr 14)
Barrels are currently being
finished so that should
solve the barrel problem.
Now I can start getting the
1921 and 1928 barreled
receivers finished that so
many people have been
Compensators (29 Apr 14)
I found some more of
these so they are off
the "Out-Of-Stock" list
Madalon was in
California for 3
weeks so she was
unable to do
anything with the
#14-24 Taps (3 Apr 14)
I found a few of the #14-24
ejector, grips & buttstock bolt
hole taps. The Catalog prices
them at $18 but that was based
on me making special taps which
I will now never do so these are
available for #12 each.
1928 Savage Aluminum Receivers
(27 Mar 14)
In 1941 the Savage Arms Company
manufactured a number of 1928
receivers in aluminum for the
British. Nothing came of it because
the U.S. entered the war and took
over all Thompson production. These
receivers are an authentic
reproduction. The price is $45 over
the price of the same receivers in
1921 Gun (23 Mar 14)
The photo shows a "Colt" 1921(1921A)
display "gun" I made for a customer.
The trigger housing assembly and
buttstock are original Colt. The
receiver, ejector, foregrip, barrel,
front sight, Display Pilot and Display
Bolt Handle are of Richardson
Screw-On Grip Mount (23 Mar14)
The photo shows my Screw-On Grip Mount both
mounted on a receiver (top photo) and
unmounted (bottom photo). Note that the
barrel is shown installed in both cases.
That is the advantage of my design. The
barrel does not have to be removed in order
to remove the Grip Mount. In fact, the
first thing to do when removing or
installing a barrel is to remove the Grip
Mount from the receiver. This tremendously
simplifies barreling and eliminates the
force applied to the middle of the barrel by
the standard TSMG grip mount during
shooting. To use this Grip Mount, the
receiver has to be specially made. All my
special receivers (2M2, 2MM, 2S, M2 &
MS) accept the Screw-On Grip Mount and will
not accept a standard TSMG grip mount. A
standard TSMG receiver can not be made to
accept the Screw-On Grip Mount.
Telephoning (11 Mar 14)
We have been
having a lot of trouble with the 310-457-6400
phone connection to me in Belize. I think we got
Workshop Manual (11 Mar 14)
I have been making a lot of progress on the
book. I think that with some help with the final
editing, I can finish it. I had wanted to keep
it to 100 pages but that limit has been well
passed and there is so much more I want to
I set aside 2
days to pack and ship receivers and other orders
before leaving for Belize. Part way in. I
discovered that many receivers had black oxide
finishes that were not acceptable. I shipped
everything I could. Everything I shipped has
been delivered by now. The other receivers have
been sent back for refinishing. Since I will be
in Belize until March 19, nothing more will get
shipped until then.
1921 Gun (2 Mar 14)
The photo shows a "Colt" 1921C(1921AC)
display "gun" I made for a customer.
The trigger housing assembly and
buttstock are original Colt. The
receiver, ejector, foregrip, barrel,
compensator, Display Pilot and Display
Bolt Handle are of Richardson
2S Receiver (2 Mar 14)
The photo shows a 3rd generation 2S (semi-auto)
receiver. This receiver fits the N/K triger
housing. It has a full TSMG length bolt cavity and
is intended to be fitted with Richardson designed
bolt assembly components. Even though I do not have
those components ready yet, I am making the
receivers available for those who want to make their
own. The receiver will also accept all standard N/K
components if a spacer block is fitted in the rear
end of the bolt channel.
Computer Crash (1 Mar.
got computer functioning today. I am now in Belize and
will take up from Feb 19 newest Blog.
Progress (19 Feb
Nothing much getting
done while I was in Belize the last time made it
impossible for me to be caught up before I leave again
Sunday. I will get a lot of the parts backorders
shipped tomorrow. I will also ship as many of the
receiver orders that I can get packed before the Post
Office closes tomorrow. The last big push was to fill
all the really old receiver orders. This time it was to
get all my special receiver models finished. I will not
be shipping those tomorrow because I was held up by the
lack of the Screw-On Grip Mounts that are used on all my
special models. I didn't know how I was going to get
those made because I can't make them myself. My
assistant took time from receiver production to help me
make the Grip Mounts. So, now I have the grip Mounts
and the receivers. However, I was reluctant to request
payments until I was sure I could deliver. I will take
the orders with me and call everyone waiting for the
special receivers while I am in Belize. I still have
some "Colt" and early Savage smooth-type ejectors @ $60
so let me know if you Colt and 1928 Savage customers
want one fitted to the receiver. I also have a few of
the M1/M1A1 and 1928A1 and Colt hybred Display receivers
available. I will add lock ramps & bevels to those for
$100 which just about turns them into Ultimaxes @ a $200
savings for those who will probably never be able to
finish the receiver into a working gun but still want to
have the ramps & bevels just in case.
M1A1 Grip Mount
(15 Feb 14)
I have one M1A1 grip
mount I was saving to build an authentic M1A1 display
gun for the SAR show but that will never happen now.
$65. Call me at 310-457-6400 if you want it. I'm
starting to go thru all my stuff so there will be 1 or 2
of things which is not worth putting in my Catalog.
Receivers (15 Feb
I will be leaving for
Belize next weekend. Back March 18. I answer my phone
(310-457-6400) there but some times there can be
difficulties with the connections. I have all the 28A1
Ultimaxe s, 2M2s, 1928 Savages (steel & aluminum),
2MMs and 2S semi-autos finished. I will do my best to
ship everything before I leave but it seems something
always comes up. Had anything gotten done in the
shop while I was gone the last time, I would not be so
out of time now. I did finish some back ordered items
so that will go out to the shock of some people who
probably thought I would never get caught up with their
Orders (9 Feb. 14)
Tomorrow or Tuesday
depending on when I can get someone to take me to the Post
Office, I will mail out all orders other than receiver
related, except for those waiting for items on my
"Temporarily Out Of Stock" list at the top of this
It is getting more and
more difficult for me to fill orders because I have so much
difficulty reading them. I can not read fine blue pen
handwriting on bluish paper or scrawls on Post-Its. If you
want to help get your order out, use a black Flair pen on
full letter sized white paper with your phone number. You
can not believe what some people send me that I am supposed
Vision (8 Feb 14)
My vision is improving
simply because my eyes are healing after the last
surgeries. I finally found out why my vision is getting
worse. A brain scan disclosed damage to the optic
nerves inside my brain. There is nothing that can be done
Backlog (8 Feb 14)
I have had a medical
appointment every day for 3 weeks. That really slows down
my progress on Thompson. I am doing the best I can. Just
These receivers, both
steel and aluminum, are in for engraving now. I decided
to switch to the 1st pattern markings. 1st pattern has
patent dates whereas 2nd pattern has patent numbers.
The consensus of opinion favors the 1st pattern which
transitions between Colt and 1928A1 since it still has
the dates and New York address. The 1928 Savage is the
only 1928 made from scratch and is the only WW2 Thompson
to have been fitted with a vertical foregrip. (Colt has
"NEW YORK". Savage has "NEW YORK, NY")
T-Slot Milling Cutters (25 Jan 14)
These are finished except for ALTiN
coating. My experience has been that this coating extends the cutter life
before needing resharpening so much that the cutter may never need to be
resharpened. They should be ready to ship before I leave for Belize Feb.
Price Changes (24 Jan 14)
I rarely change
prices. Instead, I rely on working smarter and more
efficiently. But, I have no control over everything.
people. Therefore, please note the following changes:
1) Square end
actuator handle slot on "Colt" receivers: $75
2) Receivers made of
aluminum: add $50
3) Minimum charge for
markings engraving: $75
Springs (24 Jan 13)
Unless someone knows
of a source for these, there are none available. I need
some myself so I can put display "guns" together. When
there is a shortage of something, suppliers come out of
the wood work claiming to have made parts in accordance
with the original specifications. Of course, they don't
have the original specs or it is too much work to do it
right. Kahr makes their own version of this spring but
it doesn't look much like the original. Let me know if
there is a source for NOS. Otherwise, I will have to
see about putting these back into production.
I got things moving
again after being in Belize. 2M2s, 2MMs, 2Ss, Savage
1928s in both Aluminum & steel and 1928A1s are ready for
We are currently
making M1s and M2s and Screw-On Grip mounts. I still
have not been able to make any barrels.
Some people have
said they want to save money by taking advantage of the
"hybred" Colt Display receivers I have mentioned but
really want the lock ramps & bevels. So, I will add
lock ramps & bevels to those receivers for $100. That
ends up saving $200 over the cost of the Ultimax
receiver and does everything that most people can't do.
This is for the person that does not believe they will
ever be able to make a shooting gun but wants the ramps
just in case. I will only do this with the Colts
because I have extras of those.
Vision (23 Jan 14)
It is very strange.
I have 5 eye specialists (cornea, lens, glaucoma, retina
and nerve) trying to restore some of my vision yet no
one can tell me why I can't see. In desperation (I
think) they have sent me out for an MRI of my brain to
see if there is a problem there. Actually, I hope they
find something because I'm getting exasperated with it
SAR Show (13 Jan 14)
I was not able to
attend the SAR show in Phoenix in person but I was there
in spirit. My friends came by the shop, picked up all
the receivers I had in stock and set up a table for me
as shown in the picture. A lot of people came by and
bought receivers. This was the first show I was able to
offer cash-&-carry receivers. They were all hybred
Display receivers. Apparently, people realized what a
great deal they were without me being there to explain
it. I still have a few of each model left.
Belize (13 Jan 14)
I am back from 3
weeks in Belize. My vision took another downturn so I
was unable to finish the Workshop manual as I had
hoped. Nothing got done at the shop either. I was
expecting a lot of receivers to have been finished.
They are getting done now. There are 2M2s, 2S-3s, 2MMs
and 1928 Ultimaxes in the mix. We are now starting
M1/M1A1s and M2s. Next priority for me is to try to get
some finned barrels made up. I plan on assembling
complete M1A1 display "guns" with serial numbers
matching my trigger housings for those who want that.
Year 2013 (30 Dec 2013)
This was an amazing Thompson year for me. Maybe it should be
called the Ultimax year because that was what it turned out to
be. I had no idea when I came up with the Ultimax concept that
it would take off like it did. This was the year I finally got
caught up with all the years old receiver backorders. It was
also the year when my advancing age and diminishing vision did me
in, essentially bringing to an end my continuing Thompson
progress at the very time when I feel I was really getting it
right and just finished the best year ever, I will continue to
offer receivers and try to keep some other things available
until I donít have much of anything left from my years and years
of accumulated Thompson stuff.
Belize (8 Dec 13)
I will be leaving for
Belize next Sunday. I will pick up the mail Monday. The
last mail going out will be next Saturday. After that,
nothing will happen until I return about Jan. 10. I will
answer my phone which will be forwarded to Belize.
Taps (5 Dec 13)
It seems that as soon as I
announced that I will no longer be providing the special
Thompson taps a lot of people remembered that they were about to
order them. If there are enough orders to justify another
production run, I will do it. I just don't want to order a 2
year supply at the same time I am discontinuing to replenish my
inventories. If I do make another run, the price will be a bit
higher because I want to add ALTiN coating which will
substantially increase cutter life. Don't send me an order,
just e-mail me of what you want. If there is enough demand, I
will notify you as to price.
SAR SHOW (03 Dec 13)
I will not be at the SAR
Show this year, however some of my receivers will be. Colts, 1928A1s,
M1s and M1A1s will be available at the location where my table used to
be. Look between Gordon Herigstad's and Mike Young's tables.
Assembly (30 Nov 13)
After using my Pivot Plate
Tool to disassemble trigger housings I swore I would never again
take apart a trigger housing without it and I made a special
holder in my SuperShooter case for it. Now I just finished
assembling a dozen trigger housings using my Assembly Pins and
have come to the same conclusion. I originally designed the
Assembly Pins to enable trouble shooting problems by isolating
the trigger group from the sear group. That worked fine. I
figured that the pins could be used in assembling the trigger
housing as well but I hadn't really had the opportunity to try
it until now. It worked so well that I designed a mount for
them in the SuperShooter case. The Pivot Plate tool and
Assembly pins are, in my opinion,tools that should be part of
the gun kit. Unfortunately, it appears at this time that I will
probably never be able to make more of the SuperShooter cases
even though I maintain the design in hopes that somehow more
cases can be made. I have tried to interest other people in
making my cases but it seems that no one wants to do much of
anything any more.
Receivers Inventory (23 Nov
Apparently, I did not make it
clear that I do not have any Utlimax M1/M1A1, 1928/1928A1 or Colt
receivers available at this time. There are still some hybrid
Display receivers available. Those are between the regular Display
and Ultimax but are being sold for the Display price so are an
exceptional value. I am currently making 1928 (& A1) and 2M2
receivers. We worked our little buns off to fill the pile of old
backorders for receivers. The response to my new ESF receivers has
been overwhelmingly positive. It is really gratifying to me and I
appreciate the nice words of satisfaction from those who have
received a receiver. No one complains about what I do - only what I
don't do. It seems that everyone wants me to do more. I wish it
were possible. There are so many Thompson projects I wish I had
Barrels (23 Nov 13)
The cutting oil needed for the lathe in order to fin barrels is
supposed to arrive Monday. I should be able to make the barrels
needed for the 1928A1 and early Colt receivers waiting for
Vision (23 Nov 13)
My poor vision seems to always be the limiting factor. I
think the main problem is the corneas. I don't think that
my latest transplanted cornea is not working well but I
can't seem to get a firm opinion from my regular cornea
specialist. I am making arrangement to go to Jules Stein /
UCLA for another opinion. Maybe there is still some hope.
Vision (20 Nov 13)
The consensus is that my 3rd
cornea transplant in my right eye is no good. I'm going
to the UCLA Eye Institute for another opinion. If they are in
agreement, I go in for another cornea transplant. Maybe there
is still hope.
Colts (17 Nov 13)
A few barreled "Colt" receivers
fitted with early Colt style compensators. These will be mailed out
Monday. Bottom half of picture looks lighter, but they are all the
Barrels (17 Nov 13)
I tried to start making
barrels this weekend. It looks like I will be able to do it.
The lathe needed some work done to it so I didn't get very far.
That work won't take long so I should have more barrels soon.
1921C, 1928A1 smooth & M1/M1A1 barrels are in stock. It's just
the 1921A & 1928A1 finned that I don't have. I still have some
early Colt style compensators available.
Colt Receivers (12 Nov 13)
All Colt receivers ordered
with an early style compensator have been finished. They should
be packed and shipped this week. I do not have ring sights or
barrels in stock. I am trying to make them but my poor eyesight
is giving me a lot of trouble. If you want to change to the
early style compensator, I can get it out without delay.
1928A1 Barreled Receivers
(12 Nov 13)
Barrels are the problem just
like for the Colts but I have no alternative to offer so we will
just have to get some barrels made somehow.
Barreling (12 Nov 13)
There are 2 main problems
with barreling the receivers lf you do it yourself. 1) Grip
mounts are the worst made Thompson part. They are all over the
place in dimensions. I like the grip mount to go in half way by
hand and then drive it the rest of the way to yield a nice tight
fit. I have the luxury of having a lot of grip mount to try out
for fit. All the grip mount slots on my receivers are within
1/1000th" of each other and well within Thompson specs. Yet one
grip mount falls out of the slot and the next one couldn't be
driven in with a sledgehammer. All I can advise is to use a
file on the grip mount or a Dremel tool on the receiver if the
fit is no good. I was planning on manufacturing grip mounts to
the proper dimensions but I will not be able to do that now.
2) Aftermarket barrels
are showing up in the kits which do not meet Thompson specs.
(Of course the vendor claims the barrel is made to Thompson
specs but probably doesn't even have the drawings
required. ) The problem is that the major (outside) diameter is
too large and the threads are too thick. Use a file. (I
haven't checked out the material, hardness, chamber and
Shipped (10 Nov 13)
Yesterday I shipped every
marked 1928A1 and Colt order that did not require a barrel,
a check to clear or combined with a large parts order. Also
shipped standard M2 orders. Today, I will try to fill the
parts orders and start barreling receivers.
I still have a few 1928A1
and M1/M1A1 Display "hybrid" receivers available. Those are
the Display receivers that I used some Ultimax programming
to finish them.
Since the price is the same
as the standard Display receiver price, these are a really
good deal. I have already finished the new programming for
the standard Display so the next batch of Displays will not
be the "hybrid" configuration.
Aluminum Receivers (4 Nov 13)
I have received several inquiries
as to why I don't make aluminum receivers. I DO make aluminum
receivers. I made a couple of 1928s similar to the 32 or so made by
Savage in 1941. They are waiting to go to engraving. I was going
to post a photo and announce that I was making them but they are
already sold and now I'm backordered for more. I am making ALL
Ultimax models in aluminum. The aluminum alloy I am using is the
strongest heat treated aircraft aluminum I can get. If you want
one, send me a Receiver Order form marked "ALUMINUM". Pricing is
the same. They will be in the aluminum finish - not blued.
Colts are finished and some delivered. 2M2s are
finished machined and are now being deburred, then
engraving and bluing. They should be finished in
about 2 weeks. It is really hard for me to keep up
because my bad vision makes me so slow. I hope to
get a lot of receivers in the mail next week.
I have wanted to put my Catalog on the internet. We
could never figure out how to do that. David Albert
responded to the comment I had made that my
copyright was only intended to prevent persons from
using or profiting from my illustrations and text.
I'm all for promoting my products any way I can.
still offer the print version to those like me who
have never much liked the internet or don't have a
Repro-Barrels (25 Oct 13)
I have had customers return receivers to me along
with a barrel that they say will not fit my
receiver. In both cases the barrels were not
original Thompson barrels. Bad repro-parts are
becoming the norm and the vendors are always
claiming that their products are "made to the
original specifications". Before you buy into this
fraud, ask the vendor to give you the numbers of the
drawings they used to make their parts. (There are
2 drawings for the barrel.) If they can't give you
the drawing numbers that were used in the
manufacture of their product, there is no
possibility that they could have made their product
to the original specifications. I guarantee my
products to fit and/or work with real Thompson parts
not out of spec repro-parts. Unfortunately, I am
not set up to do custom gunsmithing, so I can not
make bad parts work.
Receivers (25 Oct 13)
All the Colts
are finished. This is a great day. It means that I
have made receivers for every one who has waited for so
long. I will start shipping them out next week. Be
sure to let me know if you want your receiver fitted
with a Colt-style ejector @ $60.
Business for Sale (25 Oct 13)
SMG BUSINESS FOR SALE
Douglas W. Richardson, October 25, 2013
was born in 1937. My first memory in life was running
into the kitchen to tell my mother that I had just heard
President Roosevelt announce that the United States had
just been attacked by Japan. That was 1941. For the next
4 years everybody was part of the War effort. Most news
came by weekly magazines like Life, Look, Saturday
Evening Post and Collierís . I would take those
magazines, cut out the pictures I liked and paste them
in my scrap book. Many years later, my mother showed me
my scrapbook. Every picture in the book featured a
started making wood Thompsons which I would take to
grade school to sell to my classmates. Every recess we
would grab our Tommy Guns to defend the world in the
playground. At 14, I was helping the ATF in Chicago
identify Thompsons that turned up. In 1957 while an
engineering student at the University of Illinois
working as a machinist in the University machine shop, I
made my first full sized steel Thompson receiver.
Thompson hobby continued to develop. finally becoming a
real business in1962 with a friend. We were known as the
Universal Precision Corporation. It was a gun
manufacturing business specializing in making exact
replicas of very rare antique guns and Ĺ scale Thompson
SMGs. I did all the engineering and other technical
work. My associate was in charge of the manufacturing.
After that business ended, I continued to expand my
Thompson hobby with the goal of putting the Thompson
back in production. Just as I was about to start
production, President Reagan signed the 1986 gun law
which prevented citizens from being able to purchase
new-made machineguns. So, I started to develop my tool
and accessory designs, wrote several reference manuals
on the TSMG and manufactured receivers, trigger housings
and my various product designs. I became very successful
in the Thompson field, not because I had talents no one
else had, but because I combined my engineering design
and manufacturing expertise with a love of the Thompson
that has now lasted for over 70 years. I was never
interested in promoting myself or making a profit as I
never considered my efforts to be a business.
hobby has been propelled by people who like what I do
way beyond the hobby status yet I still have no interest
in making it into a real business. In spite of my
attitude, I am, arguably, the worldís leader in
aftermarket Thompson products. In fact, there are now
about 8000 copies of my catalog in circulation. I am
considered to be the leading Thompson expert with a
world wide reputation both for my knowledge and designs.
I literally have no competition. At this point in time,
my hobby should be made into a business with internet
catalogs, credit card sales, computer record keeping,
employees increasing production, etc. But, I am too old
and almost totally blind. Just as the business is
starting to boom, my body is starting to bust. It is
time for me to quit.
This is not a notice that I am quitting. It is the
realization that I must start to quit. To that end,
several people had contacted me to suggest I sell the
business and let some one else continue with what I
started. At first I was not very receptive because I
viewed the business and me to be inseparable. I changed
my mind about this after reviewing what I had and what
would be involved In a sale. Because I manufacture so
many products and because each production run of any
particular product may be months or sometimes years
since the last time, I have documented everything for
each product. I could not possibly remember how I made a
product and I do not have the time to rethink it.
Therefore, when I want to make more of some item, I just
follow the instructions. A new person, with my help,
could do the same thing. So I do now believe that it is
possible for some one to take over. If you have the
resources, ability and desire to take over, call me at
310-457-6400. Regardless, I will continue to make
receivers with the help I have and try to support them
with some selected products. In any case, I will no
longer replace stock for most of my products.
(20 Oct 13)
I have a supply
of new made Colt-style ejectors @ $60 each. Let me know if
you want one fitted to your Colt receiver on order.
Colt Receivers (18 Oct 13)
The receivers are
finished. They will go to black oxide Monday. Probably back
Tuesday. Final inspection & highlighting Wednesday and shipping
Shop Sale (18 Oct
Because of my failing
eyesight and age, I am getting very serious about quitting and
selling the Thompson business. Call me @ 310-457-6400 if you
are a serious buyer.
Shipping Costs (12
I have been losing money
on the shipping of every large package I send out. So, I have
changed the TERMS as shown below:
Add $18 ($36 for barreled receivers) Handling,
Insurance and Shipping (HIS) unless otherwise stated.
If the order is less than
$100 and is for pamphlets, small drawings or other small items which
can be packed in a U.S. Post Office Priority Envelope or small
padded envelope, add $7 HIS.
No CODs, credit cards or
billing. I consider everything other than currency or U.S. Post
Office Money Orders to be the same as personal checks which will
delay the order at least 14 days for check clearing. I will not ship
anything other than catalogs to a foreign country.
1928A1 Receivers (11 Oct 13)
All non-barreled receiver orders
except most recent orders waiting for checks to clear were shipped ahead
of my forecasted date on October7.
Colt receiver orders will be
delayed. I now expect to ship them October 21. According to my
count there are 2 early Colts that are available. There are no Late
Ultimax Colts left.
Display Receivers (11 Oct
When I made the last batch of
Display receivers, I was preoccupied with getting the Ultimax
into production so I did not have time to finish the machine
programming for the new ESF Display receivers. Rather than
delay them I used a portion of the Ultimax program. As a result
the Display receivers I have on the shelf are really a hybred in
that the rear end of the bolt channel is milled out and rivet
holes are finished. Display receivers in the future will have
the rear end of the bolt channel made solid with sight mounting
holes drilled and tapped for screws similar to my pre-ESF
receivers. Because of this, the Display receivers are, in my
opinion, a real bargain. I know many people are not doing well
financially at this time, so the Display receivers right now
offer a big savings. A Display receiver can be made into a
working gun just as the Ultimax.
Long Neck T-Slot
Cutters (11 Oct 13)
I am sold out of these.
Unfortunately, my Japanese supplier has raised the price to
me. In reality, the U.S. Government has barrowed and spent
us into a continuing devaluation of the dollar. Also, my
custom grinder wants more money to buy the Chinese goods
that have gone up for the same reason. I will get more made
and will hold the price at $195 but it will take 3 months to
Receivers (5 Oct 13)
All Colts should be competed by the end
of next week. If you have not received your Colt by October 26 (except for
barreled receivers), call me. 1928A1s are stacked up here waiting to be
packaged and mailed. If you have not received your 1928A1 receiver (except
for barreled and/or unmarked) by October 19, call me. I will be packaging
receivers all weekend.
Please do not call or e-mail asking
when your receiver will be shipped as all that does is consume the time it
takes me to package one more receiver. Please do not e-mail me at all as I
can not see the monitor. I am still trying to contact several people who
have old receiver orders with me who have changed their contact information
without telling me. If that is you, please call me.
Early Colt Receivers (Sept 30,2013)
I have few extra early colt receivers. Those are the ones with the square end
on the actuator slot. Anybody who wants one of these should call me right away.
It is very I unlikely that I will ever make this type again. 310-457-6400
Colt Receivers (Sept 30 13)
I finally got all the serial numbers
sorted out. I will probably be able to finish the engraving next week and
start shipping the following week. I have enough "C" barrels and early
style compensators but I have run out of "A" barrels and ring sights. I
should be able to make more in time not to hold things up. For those who
wanted me to provide original Colt frames (trigger housings), I have been
able to do that and serialize the receivers to match.
Other Products (Sept 30 13)
There is definitely going to be a problem
for me to re-stock all my catalog items. My vision has improved somewhat so
that I will be able to make some things. I intend to support the receivers
as long as my associate wants to make them but many other items will not be
available after the current stock runs out. It really is time for someone
else to take over but I don't see a scenario where that could work. A
number of people have indicated an interest in continuing my operation so
maybe someone will figure out a way. I have been working on Thompsons for
70 years. I will never completely stop but a major slow-down is due.
Receivers (27 Sep 13)
I have shipped all the orders for
1928A1 receivers without barrels that were paid for with U.S. Postal
Money Orders. I was finally able to cash all the checks I received so
those orders will go out after a couple of weeks hold for clearing.
Apparently people do not realize
that I can't go to the post office or the bank or anywhere else unless I
find someone to take me because of my vision problems, so nothing gets
done quickly. Also, banks do not call me to tell me that they have paid
a check sent to me. Do not expect me to ship anything paid by a
non-post office money order in less than a month. I already have 2 bank
cashier's checks that were not any good.
I have run out of 1928A1 barrels.
Normally. I would just make up more but, again because of my poor
vision, I will have to get help. I do have a free weekend so I intend
to get sorted out on the Colt receivers. I hope to get them done next
week. My vision problem is really slowing me down.
I have been approached by several
people interested in taking over my operation. I am interested in
getting out of the daily demands but I would have to provide a lot of
help because no one could just come in and take over what has taken me
70 years to achieve.
Display Bolt Handle (22 Sep 13)
Some people have complained that they
want the Display Bolt Handle positioned on the receiver as it would be if
the bolt were closed instead of my choice of having the handle where it
would be were the bolt to be open (cocked) as AO envisioned the gun would be
when carried ready for use. All my ESF receivers are drilled for my Display
Bolt Handle kit in the cocked position. But apparently, people do not
realize that my Display Bolt Handle can be installed anywhere along the
receiver handle slot with a little modification.
Vision (20 Sep 13)
There is now no hope for an
improvement in my vision as I
Receivers (15 Sep 13)
mailed out a bunch of 1928 Ultimax
receivers today. That is everyone whose
U.S. Post Office Money Order I had
received or payment made by anything
else which had time to clear. I did not
have time to barrel any receivers.
we finished the primary machining on the
first production 2M2. We will continue
to make 2M2s until all orders can be
Receivers (10 Sep 13)
out a bunch of receivers yesterday. I
apparently confused people (so what's new?)
when I asked people to call me. I only want
those people who have receiver orders with
me who I have not been able to locate to
have a paid order or have been in contact
with me recently, you do not need to call
people I am looking for are those with old
orders who have changed their contact info
and so now I can not locate them. If you
have a receiver order with me AND I have not
contacted you for payment AND your order is
NOT for a 2M2, call me.
receivers are hung up in engraving. I have
overwhelmed the engravers with receivers. I
am now sold out of M1/M1A1 Ultimax
receivers. I have M1/M1A1 Display receivers
in stock. Actually, there is not that much
more done on the Ultimax as evidenced by the
only $100 difference.
Receivers (7 Sep 13)
these will begin Monday. This is my redesign of
the 1921/8 receiver. I am very satisfied with
the receiver design but I did not finish the
pilot/buffer design for the 1921 configuration.
I have done that now. It will use a new style
pilot and urethane buffer.
Semi-Auto Receivers (7 Sep 13)
generation design has been finished for some
time now. The problem has been that because
of my poor vision, I have been unable to
finish the prototype of the internal
parts in order to verify the exact position
of the bolt handle slot on the 2S receiver.
There is no question about the MS receiver.
I can provide both receivers at this time
with the 2S having no bolt handle slot or
one where I (or you) think it should be.
This may be helpful to those who can go it
Vision (7 Sep 13)
don't like talking about it but people
keep asking. The night of the 24
surgery, the surgeon called me to find
out how much better my vision was. I
said it was the same or worse. I
couldn't really tell because I am
blind. Next day I went in for post-op
check. The surgery was perfect. He
said I would be able to see a lot better
in a week and I would be given glasses.
A week later I still couldn't see much
better. So, I was told to wait 3 more
weeks and then my vision will be much
much better. 3 weeks is up September
(6 Sep 13)
I have now
called, e-mailed or written to every person who
has an order with me for any type of receiver
EXCEPT 2M2. If you have an order with me for
any type of receiver other than 2M2 AND you have
not heard from me, call me at 310-457-6400.
2M2s start in production Monday. Check out the
pictures of new M2 receivers and the M1 with
bolt handle slots on both sides similar to the
(at least) one made by Savage in 1942.
Receiver With Additional Bolt Handle
Slot On Left Side Similar To The (At
Least) One Made By Savage In 1942.
M2 Receiver With M1 Shape Rear
End. Receiver is shown fitted
with Combo sight and optional
Display Bolt Handle and Pilot.
M2 Receiver With 1921/8
Shape Rear End And Flat Area
To Accept Lyman Adjustable
Rear Sight. Receiver is
shown fitted with sight and
optional Display Bolt Handle
Right Side Bolt
I have now
called, e-mailed or written to every person who has
an order for a 1928A1 Ultimax receiver to notify
them that their receiver is ready. If you have a
1928A1 ULTIMAX RECEIVER on order with me and you
have not been contacted by me, call me at
310-457-6400. There are those who thought this day
would never come, including me, but it has and a lot
of the reason it has is because so many people had
faith in me. For that support, I am truly
thankful. The upside of the long wait was the
creation of the Ultimax receiver which has become so
well received. From now on, I will not be
accepting deposits for receivers as they will mostly
be shipped from existing inventory requiring full
payment with order.
Receivers (30 Aug 13)
Some said this day
would never come. But it has! I have a pile of 1928A1
Ultimax receivers ready to ship. I will be calling
everyone who has an order dated 2010 or earlier. The
receivers in work at this time will fill all the rest of
the back orders.
M2 Receivers (29
All back orders are
ready to ship and I have already called everyone who has
an order with me for an M2.
Project (27 Aug 13)
35 years ago I
partnered with the best tool & die and stamping guy I
have ever met. Also the slowest. He has retired at
over 80 years old. I must have at least a million $ in
tooling and equipment to manufacture the drums. The
photo shows the parts the tooling produced. There is
about 10% yet to go. Now what? Anyone out there want
to make drums? Call 310-457-6400.
Firing Pin Protrusion
Gage (27 Aug 13)
This new product is the
last item missing from all the tools I offer for the Thompson.
It reads the length of the firing pin protruding out of the
front of the bolt face. When the gun misfires and a light hit
on the primer might be the problem, this gage will determine if
the hammer/hammer pin/firing pin are ok or not. $35
New Catalog Policy (27 Aug 13)
I am now including a new Catalog with all orders over $500.
Status (18 Aug 13)
The 24th eye surgery was a
complete success---I just can't see. They tell me my vision will
improve. In the meantime I'm struggling with the mail and orders.
Receivers (9 Aug 13)
Yesterday I was able to deliver
all the M2, Early Colt, and a big batch of 1928A1s to engraving. The M2s
and 1928A1s will then go to bluing. The Colts will be finished except
for serial numbers.
I will be calling people for the balance due on these M2s and 1928A1s,
but not for a week because I can't read the orders.
I will be having eye surgery on Aug 15. Right now I can't even read the
Blind in Belize (3 Aug 13)
I brought the Workshop Manual with
me to finish it but my vision deteriorated so much I canít even read the
draft I wrote here in April. I have not been able to do anything. Other
than large bold font, I can not read. I was unable to get the receivers
into engraving before I left California, so there is a big jam up of
receivers that should have been shipped by now. I will be back on August
8. My second biggest priority will be to get the receivers finished and
shipped. My first biggest priority is to try to get some vision. I go in
for eye surgery August 15 which means a lot of preparation the week
before. They tell me there is hope. But they said that before each of
the last 23 surgeries. Regardless, I will get the receivers out and I
have a plan for getting other parts back in inventory if my vision does
not improve enough to do it myself.
Problems (22 Jul 13)
I had to go to Belize
unexpectedly. I wonít be back in California until August 10. It doesnít
really matter because I canít do anything anyway. My vision has become
almost non-existent. I canít work on the Workshop Manual, read orders or
much of anything. Iím scheduled for the 24th eye surgery on
August 15 which is my last hope. There is some hope since this surgery
should correct some problems created by the last one as well as replace
my cataract lens.
Receivers (9 Jul
It now appears that
all my efforts to improve receiver production have paid off. At
this time, I see no reason why ALL receiver orders will
not be shipped by the end of September.
Buffers (8 Jul 13)
These are back in
stock and will be mailed this week.
1928 Style 27A1 Bolt
Handles (7 Jul 13)
I have been able to
finish up some of these. All back orders will be mailed next week.
was hoping to get my vision improved by now
with surgery #24. Now it doesn't look like
that will happen until August. In the mean
time my vision continues to deteriorate. I
can now not read at all unless the type is
very large and making any of my products is
now almost impossible.
Workshop Manual (6 Jul 13)
book is now complete with all pages nearly ready
to print. All I need now is a trip to Belize to
finish it. There are just too many
interruptions here. I tried to keep it at 100
pages but it looks like it will be a bit
longer. The problem with this type of book is
that it is never complete or detailed or
illustrated enough. Now that the second
addition of the "MODELS" book is available, I am
very anxious to get this one out there. It is
also the last book I will write but I do intend
to rewrite the 3 volumes of "THOMPSON
Receivers (6 Jul 13)
into a problem putting in the square ended actuator
slots on the early 1921s. I had done a few before
but there always seems to be some unforeseen
problems when volume production starts. A new
fixture and a revised procedure got things going
again. The Colts should have been in the mail by
now but my man Ben Gonna didn't work out so I
replaced him with Petey Pokey.
finally got motivated so 1921s are just about
finished. The bottleneck in the 1921 finishing
department resulted in 1928s piling up. I hope to
get the 1928s into engraving at the beginning of the
week. There are a lot of them. Most everyone who
has been waiting a long time for a 1928 should be
getting it soon.
be calling every one to finalize their order. Of
course, there are 1928 Display receivers (and
M1/M1A1 Display & Ultimax receivers) ready to ship
the 1928s are not serialized, it is a lot easier to
get them finished. You can not believe how much
more time the Colts have taken because of the
numbers. People ask me why others can offer
markings and numbers without the problems that I
have. The answer is that my markings are not like
theirs. I hired artists to copy the Colt markings,
including the numbers, so that they are exact.
Others find a font on the internet that is close and
then claim their receivers are "marked just like
remember searching for fonts exactly like the
Colt's. Finally, I found an old guy who recognized
the fonts. He told me the name of the company that
made the marking dies. So where is this company? I
asked. It doesn't matter, he said. They went out
of business in 1935.
Receivers (3 Jul 13)
shows two Ultimax 1928 Aluminum receivers. They will be
marked like the originals with the New York address and
highlighted with black lacquer. I made these because I
wanted to duplicate the ones that Savage made. I have
no plans to make other models in aluminum although there
is no reason why I couldn't make any model in aluminum.
The price is the same for steel or aluminum.
Models Book (2
I have just
published the second edition of my book "Thompson Submachine
Gun - Models". It is 61 pages, 8-1/2" x 11", comb bound.
This book identifies every model of Thompson Submachine Gun
that the Auto-Ordnance Corporation sold, offered for sale,
intended to sell or hoped to sell beginning with the Model
of 1919 (Production). It is written from an engineering ,
design and manufacturing point of view. As each model
evolved into the next one, the changes are followed
including any parts that changed, part interchangeability
and, in many cases, my opinions and comments. I believe
this is the most important Thompson book available because
it provides a guide to all the models and parts of the guns
just as my "Drum" book and "Box Magazine" book provided a
complete guide to the magazines. $16
Receivers (29 Jun 13):
I have reluctantly marked
non-standard (2M2, 2MM. 2S, M2 & MS) receivers with any marking
that would fit.
From now on I will not
accept an order for any of those receivers unless marked and
marked with the correct model designation. This will prevent
the possibility, which has already happened, where a 2M2
receiver ordered with 1928 markings was destroyed by some one
who tried to finish it as a 1928.
There have also been
situations where some one had machine gun markings put on a
semi-auto receiver because it looked authentic. So much so that
it fooled the police and resulted in the individual getting into
big trouble .
Milling Cutters (27
The 3 milling cutters
shown in the photo are used in my shop every day to make Thompson
receivers. They are (left to right):
5/16" End Mill @
This is a 5/16" diameter
x 5 flute x 40 degree helix x 1-3/8" cutting length x 3" overall
length, center cutting, micrgrain carbide, ALTiN coated, single end
mill. I use this cutter for finishing the front end of the bolt
channel on all Thompson models and the rear end of the bolt channel
on M1/M1A1s. Although the receiver drawings call for a 1/4"
diameter cutter for 1921/8s and a 11/32" diameter cutter for the
M1/M1A1s. I find the 1/4" is too small because the cut is too deep
for that size cutter. The cutter tends to flex in the cut,
destroying the accuracy of the cut and thereby results in wasted
time. Savage recognized this problem when they designed the M1 but
went too far in the other direction. However, in their defense,
this cutter was not available then. The drawing must be slightly
altered to accomodate use of this cutter. This cutter is not needed
to finish Ultimax receivers because those areas where it is used
have already been completed.
1/2" End Mill @ $95
This is a 1/2" diameter x
4 flute x 40 degree helix x .030" corner radius x 1-1/2" cutting
3-1/2" overall length,
center cutting, micrograin carbide, ALTiN coated. I use this cutter
for finishing the sides of the bolt channel on all models and the
rear end and oiler cavity on 1921/8s.
1/4" T-Slot @ $195
This is a 1" diameter x
1/4" wide x 8 staggered teeth x .030" bottom corner radius x .4"
diameter neck x 1-3/8" from cutter bottom to top of neck x 5/8"
diameter shank x 3-1/2" overall length, 8% cobalt (M42), ALTiN
coated T-slot cutter. This is a very special cutter designed to cut
the horizontal side slots in the bolt channel and the clearance cut
under the actuator slot on the "roof" of the bolt channel of
1921/8s. The drawing calls for a 1-1/2" diameter T-slot cutter for
the clearance cut and another special end mill for the side slots.
Everything can be done with this cutter with better results
especially if used in a milling machine with interpolation
capability. It can be used in a manual milling machine if the 3/4"
radius of the actuator clearance cut is changed to 1/2" radius.
This change has no effect on the receiver and makes life a whole lot
easier for those people limited to manual machines.
All of these cutters are
made from raw blanks in accordance with my drawings and
specifications. The end mills are totally American made. The
T-slot cutter is partially made for me in Japan and then finished in
America. I do not have specific use information available. I hope
to include that information in my forthcoming Workshop Manual book
but I have no completion date for the book.
Handling, Insurance &
Shipping (HIS) is $7 flat rate for orders under $100 and $14 flat
rate for orders $100 and over. Add $3 if you want a 50 page
Thompson catalog included.
Douglas W. Richardson,
P.O. Box 3364, Chatsworth CA 91313, Phone 310-457-6400,
Suppressor (16 Jun 13
My Thompson integral
suppressor design as documented in my book "Suppressors" is still
the best way to go for the most quieting but does have the drawback
of being built into the gun. I have come up with what I
think is a really good design for a screw-on Thompson
suppressor. Not quite as quiet as an integral suppressor, it does
have the advantage of being able to quickly install and remove it.
It does require a special Thompson barrel that is permanently fitted
to the gun. If I find some time, I'll try to make a mockup.
Milling Cutters (16
The special Long Neck
T-Slot milling cutters used for cutting the horizontal side slots in
the receiver bolt channel have arrived from Japan. I will have them
ALTiN coated next week. The coating is expensive but it increases
the life of the cutters so much that in moderate usage, the cutters
will never need re-sharpening. I should be able to ship all cutters
on back order by the end of the week.
All Colts and a
big batch of 1928 Ultimax receivers are back from having the
extractor slots put in. Now they are being finish machined
to completion at a high rate. I am trying to get all of
them and the M2s into engraving asap. Then all that is
left is bluing. It has not gone as fast as I hoped because
of more vision problems.
Vision (8 Jun
"You are really going
to see well after this (the 20th) eye surgery." That was
followed by 3 emergency surgeries to repair what went wrong. I
went from 20/60 to 20/200 vision (20/40 is required to drive).
I can barely see anything. Now I am being scheduled for another
surgery to remove adhesions that developed between my iris and
lens, remove the lens and implant a nice new plastic lens. "You
are really going to see well after this (the 24th) eye
surgery." Sure! If you want to talk to me, call me. I can not
read e-mails. I also can not read handwriting.
Bolt Handle Position
(25 May 13)
The question has been
raised as to the position I chose to locate the bolt handle on my
Display receivers. My decision was based on three considerations.
First, the gun was designed to fire from an open bolt. It was
intended that the gun be carried with the bolt open (cocked) so that
it would be ready for instant use. The designers did not consider
carrying the gun with the bolt closed as evidenced by the fact that
the safety will not work in the closed-bolt position (1921-1928).
Second, the movie
people use my Display guns in non-shooting scenes. It would not
look right to see soldiers in battle carrying their Thompsons with
the bolt closed since that would delay getting the gun into action.
Third, when I display
complete guns, I load the magazines with dummy cartridges. I think
it looks really good to be able to look into the breach and see the
cartridges at the top of the magazine, the feed ramp and the
ejector. Why would anyone want to cover up all that? To make my
receivers look complete without further work, every one of my
receivers is drilled and tapped to accept my Display Pilot Kit and
Display Bolt Handle Kit. They have also had the rear sight holes so
that a rear sight could be easily installed. From the get-go my
receivers have been finished. I don't understand all this talk
about what shop work is required to assemble a display receiver.
There should not be any.
Phila Ordnance and Richardson Receivers Side By
Side (18 May 13)
is an interesting discussion on this topic going
Thompson Submachine Gun Message Board
Click on the
Link to see
It was started by Bob Bower of Philadelphia
Ordnance who also makes Thompson receivers and a
lot of other interesting items. As I see it,
the more people see and hear about my receivers,
Orders (18 May 13)
been scrambling since I returned from Belize trying
to get caught up with the mail. I thought I had
done it. Made a mad dash to the Post Office to get
everything mailed . They had just closed as I
arrived. I did get the new mail out of the P.O.
Box. Monday I will ship the pile of outgoing mail
which includes everything I can ship including a few
receivers. Unfortunately, I am out of several items
including 1921A Barrels, 1921 & M1 Urethane
Buffers and Models books. I thought I had more
books. Next week I will get some help looking for
them otherwise I will have to print more.
including those items will be delayed. I found more
Standard Front Sight Drivers so those backorders
will go out Monday. My vision has improved some
because my eyes have healed from the 4 surgeries in
January. Receiver production went so well while I
was gone that I had to order another ton of steel to
keep the production going. There is a pile of 1921
and 1928 receivers being finished up here. When I
get those shipped, the backlog of receiver orders
will be substantially reduced. That will really
cheer me up. I suspect it will cheer up a lot of
other people as well.
Los Angeles (10 May 13)
went well at the shop during my absence. Receivers
continued to be made without problems. All the 1921s
are ready for final finishing. Lots of 1928 Ultimaxes
look to be near finished with many more about 75% done.
I really haven't had time to analyze the status of
everything. My goal now is to get the 1921s ready for
shipment and ship out the receivers held up because of
the mail theft. I hope we have dealt with the last of
that. You can call me with questions but I am no where
near getting through all the mail so I don't know what
is here and I won't until at least Tuesday.
Missing Persons (6 May
I have been unable to
contact Mark S. of Mapleton UT. Except for that person, I
have contacted everyone who has ordered a Colt receiver from
me that I know about. If you know Mark, please have him call
me at 310-457-6400. Or, if you have a Colt ordered from me
and I have not called you, please call me. Please do not
call me about a WW2 1928A1 Ultimax - only Colts. I can not
hold up everyoneís order because of a couple of people. This
is one of the problems of custom serial numbers.
2MM Receivers (8
This is one of my
special receivers. It is a 1921/8 receiver on the outside
and an M1/M1A1 on the inside. There were two reasons for
this receiver: 1) The movie industry wanted the simplicity
and reliability of the M1/M1A1 mechanism for use with blanks
in 1921/8 style guns. 2) Manufacturers wanted to make a
working 1921/8 receiver but didnít have the capability of
forming the lock ramps and didnít want to spend the time
finishing the bolt channel. 1) is still a legitimate
requirement but the demand is small. I eliminated 2) by
first offering lock ramps as an option and more recently by
offering my Ultimax receivers which included all the hard
work already done.
I have become
increasingly aware of the growing popularity of re-enactment
enthusiasts who want movie -style blank shooting guns. So
maybe this receiver has found a new home. Actually, the real
value of this receiver is that it makes a better gun than
the 1928. I have always said that there is no engineering
justification for the 1928 gun. Savage realized that during
WW2 when they designed the M1. The 1921 is a great gun but
by increasing the weight of the actuator to create the 1928,
the lock mechanism became fairly useless. My 2MM retains the
ability of using drums which the M1 design does not. Maybe
the 1928 should be abandoned and just use the 2MM??? The 2MM
combines every good feature of the 1928 with every good
feature of the M1/M1A1 with some additional improvements. It
does not replace the 1921 (The 2M2 does that.). If you are a
shooter, I think the lineup should be 2M2 (with 1921
components), 2MM and M2. If I were able to sell machine guns
today as the Constitution says I can, those are the models I
1928 Ultimax Receivers
(27 Apr 13)
No where in any blog
have I said 1928 Ultimax receivers are available for
immediate delivery. If I say "1928 Display", I didnít make a
mistake and had meant to say "1928 Display and Ultimax".
I try to be very careful in how I say things because people
read what they want to read - not what is actually written.
I doubt that I will have 1928 Ultimax receivers for
immediate delivery for at least 6 months.
If I had a 1928 Ultimax receiver for you, I would have already called you
and asked you to send me the balance due. I donít lose
orders or forget customers. I have a lot of catching up to
do. Receivers are being made every day. Orders are being
filled in accordance with: #1 Receiver Model (1921Early,
1921 Late, 1928, M1, M1A1 etc.), #2 Receiver Type (Display
or Ultimax) and #3 Order Date.
It really helps if you know
what you ordered. Sometimes that is difficult because I have
come out with new models and discontinued others. To call me
and say "This is Sam Spade. When will I get a receiver?"
Doesnít help because I havenít a clue. I would have to look
through hundreds of orders looking for Sam Spade. On the
other hand if you call and say "This is Sam Spade. When will
my 1921 Early Style Ultimax receiver be ready?", I might be
able to say something intelligent (on a good day).
orders for receivers other than 1928s have been confirmed.
On the 1928s, if the order was for a receiver with Lock
Ramps & Bevels, I converted the order to Ultimax because
Lock Ramps & Bevels are standard on Ultimax and not
available on the new ESF Display receivers.
Where there was
any doubt as to what was wanted, I called for confirmation.
If that is not what you would have wanted me to do, call me.
What seems to be confusing people is that they think that if
I have 1928 Display receivers available, I must also have Ultimaxes available. Why, I donít know because they are two
different receivers. I believe there are 1928 Display
receivers available right now (where did I just say ULTIMAX?
Nowhere!!!! but some one will call absolutely sure I said
1928 Ultimaxes are available for immediate delivery. I know
itís frustrating, but I can not make receivers any faster
than I am and I do appreciate your patience. The good news
is that people who have receiver the new ESF receivers tell
me it was worth the wait.
This week I called
every person who has a Colt on order for final payment. If
you have a Colt on order and havenít heard from me, call me
at 310-457-6400. I believe there are both early and late
1921s and M1s and M1A1s, all in both Display and Ultimax,
available right now. I wonít know for sure until I get back
to California. There are also some M2s that are being
finished now and which are available. 2M2 receivers will be
started next month and will be made along with more 1928s.
Firing Pin Protrusion Gage (27 April 13)
In the course of
writing the Workshop Manual, I realized that this tool some
how got overlooked. I made a few changes to the design. I
hope to have these available soon. The price will be $28
including the 2" dial indicator. It is a handy little tool
and a must have when you need it. This tool will complete my
Thompson tools selection. More later when I have a picture.
Non-Colt Receivers (20 Apr 13)I
think there are still some 1928 Display and M1 & M1A1
Display and Ultimax receivers available for immediate
shipment although I havenít gone through any mail for orders
since I left for Belize. This is almost the ultimate
work-from-home situation. By the way, I answer my
California phone in Belize so no one even knows I have left
the U.S. And receivers are being made without me being
Colt Receivers (20 Apr 13)Iím
going to start calling everyone from Belize that has a Colt
receiver on order. It is time to collect the balance on
them in order to finish them up. I can not finish the
markings until the receiver is paid for because as soon as a
serial number is on them, they are a custom receiver. That
doesnít mean that I ship a receiver as soon as the check
clears. It means I start finishing them. I know people are
going to call and say their check cleared yesterday and I
said I would ship as soon as I received payment. Of course
I never said that but that doesnít matter. People will
still call. Thatís why I really donít like putting serial
numbers on receivers.
Website (20 Apr 13)Since
Madalon and I are together we have been able to go
through the website. Since I donít use the website
as a catalog, there is really no ongoing editing to
keep it current. All the new information added
about the ESF receivers conflicted with other
information about receivers. People were getting
confused. So we cleaned out a lot of old stuff. It
is not conflicting within itself any more but it
needs an overhaul. One more thing to do when I have
Workshop Manual (20 Apr 13)Iím
in Belize right now. Belize is the only place I can
find uninterrupted blocks of time to work on the
Manual. The first draft is finished. When I get
back to California, I will work at getting all the
illustrations together. There wonít be as many as I
would like but that is the way it always is, The
Manual is now just over 100 pages. I want to keep
it between 100 and 120 pages. After all this time,
the Manual is a reality. It will probably take at
least one more trip to Belize to finish it. I want
to finish it because there is nothing available to
walk people through working on the gun.
Week Ending 5 April
I will be shipping a lot
of orders next Tuesday. They are ready to go. I
am using my new system of including a copy of the
marked up order where any item is not included. Who
says you can't teach an old DOuG new tricks?
My vision continues to
improve and I think cataract surgery and new glasses
would help. My vision will never get really good. I
doubt if I will ever get above "legally blind". This
week I got my white/red "blind " cane. It will help me
with curbs and steps but is mostly to make other people
aware that I am a menace. It also makes a good weapon.
Work on the Colt
receivers is nearing completion. It's taking
longer than I originally anticipated. Both
because I underestimate the cost and time it
takes to do everything and because I added
receivers to the mix to be sure to cover every
Colt order. I don't like putting serial numbers
on receivers because it makes every receiver a
custom receiver so I have to be paid in full
before the model/serial number markings panel is
engraved and then blued. Therefore, I will be
calling every one who has a Colt on order in
about 30 days. I will not hold everyone up
waiting for a couple of people to pay for their
receiver so please plan ahead. If a receiver is
not paid for when I start the engraving, that
order will be bypassed and moved over to the
next run of receivers.
(6 Apr 13) Stolen
Mail I'm still finding out about more stolen
checks. I thought we had gotten past that then
another comes to light. Anybody that mailed me an
order in December should make sure that I got it.
Any check to me that is endorsed with "Pay to the
order of" is a stolen & forged check. Any check
with the name "Brady" in the endorsement is a stolen
& forged check. Any check to me that was deposited
in the USAA bank is a stolen & forged check.
Apparently, the USAA bank has little or no concern
about accepting 3rd party endorsed checks which
any reputable bank would flag. Don't expect the
Post Office or FBI to care about stolen mail. Local
police departments won't do anything either. It's
going to get worse as increasing Government
corruption and dishonesty trickles down. Just
remember that there is no way a forged check can be
made good. It is the bank's responsibility not to
accept forgeries even though they will sometimes
deny responsibility. So far, I am not aware of any
bank (checks) or the Post Office (money orders) that
has refused to make good once they have the evidence
that a forgery is involved.
(30 Mar 13)
Better Order Response
Madalon got after
me about doing a better job of keeping people aware of
what is going on. These blogs seem to have helped a lot
to do that. But, I have not done a very good job of
documenting what I have done with orders that result in
something being back ordered.
To improve that
situation, I am now making a photocopy of every order
that is not completely filled showing what was done and
sending the copy back with the order. It would seem
that is something that should always have been done but
in my frenzy to get things done I didn't consider the
customer as much as I should have.
Also, most customers
do not keep a copy of their order which I find
incredible. So now it will not be necessary to guess
what the order was for or what I did because the
customer will have a complete record of his order and
what was done if the order is not completely filled at
(30 Mar 13)
Folding Stock on Thompson I mentioned before that I was
fascinated by the idea of fitting an UZI folding stock on
Further study of this has
convinced me that it is a very practical idea. However, to
make it look clean and proper rather than like an
awkward add-on, it will require a modification to the design
of the rear end of the receiver. It turns out that the
changes required are easy for me to do. No new fixtures or
cutters are required - only a simple program change.
Therefore, the receiver price would not change. The
modifications to the frame (trigger housing) are more
involved. If I were making frames like I used to do, the
changes would be as simple as they are for the receiver.
However, it seems at this time that an M1 frame can be
fairly easily modified to accept the stock but will add
additional cost. Anyway, I am pursuing this project at a
totally non-interfering with backorders policy.
Let me know
if this is something you would be interested in having.
Mar 26 2013 Receivers Ready to Ship Apparently the word
has not gotten out that I have receivers sitting on the
shelf ready to ship. People call and are in disbelief
that I can send them a receiver. Now that's not all
models. There are no 1928 Ultimax receivers available.
Those are being made every day to fill orders that have
been waiting a long time. But M1/M1A1s, 1928 Display
and Late 1921s are available now. If you want one of
those, print out the Receiver Order Form on the website
, fill it out to the extent you can and then call me at
310-457-6400 for final details and pricing.
Mar 25 2013
I now have both the 1/2"D
and 5/16"D end mills in stock. These are the ones I have
specially custom made to my specifications. I was forced to
do this because I just could not find the exact types I
needed. The 5/16" is a 5 flute in order to provide the
stifness needed to cut to the bottom of the bolt channel
without deflection. I use it to get into the corners of the
bolt channel without the excessive size they used to use on
the M1s and is just larger enough than the ones used to make
the corners on the 1921s. So, I find it the perfect size to
make all models. I finalized the contract with the Japanese
to make the 1/8"W (lock ramp) and 1/4"W (horizontal side
slots) T-slot cutters. These will be typical long shank
T-slot cutters but made to very high quality at a good price
by eliminating the "middleman". (I hate that guy.) I will
offer them both as received and as modified in the U.S. for
the specific Thompson applications.
Mar 25 2013
I have several 2S Shop
receivers that were never finished before I switched over to
ESF receivers. They do not have bolt handle slots and are
not blued or marked. The original Catalog price was $535.
I will sell them for $350 each because I can not go back and
finish them. Also, I am working on my 3rd generation 2S
Ultimax design so these do not fit into my product plan,
But to the person who can finish them to his own plan, these
represent a real bargain.
25 Mar 2013 Thompson
(UZI) Folding Stock
I have always admired the
UZI folding stock design. It therefore stands to reason
that I would try to figure out how to fit it to a Thompson.
I believe I have come up with a really good design but it
would require a special receiver and require the frame to be
modified. I'm wondering if it's only me or if anyone else
would want that configuration?????
15 Mar 2013 Milling Cutters There
has been more interest and orders for the 1/4" wide x 1"
diameter Long Shank T-Slot Cutters than I had anticipated.
These are cutters I use everyday in the manufacture of
1921/28, 2M2, 2MM & 2S Ultimax receivers. It is also the
best cutter for licensed manufacturers to use to finish
those receivers into shooting guns. The 1/8" wide version
is for making lock ramps. Since lock ramps are included in
my Ultimax receivers so there isn't much demand for that
size. If you need one of those, let me know.
Because of my never ending effort to
use only the best cutters and the demand for these, I have
contracted with a company in Japan to make them to my
specifications. This will cause a delay in being able to
fill orders but it will be worth it.
This completes the cycle. Now all the
cutters I offer are being custom made to the exact Thompson
specifications and are of the best quality I can get.
By the way, this is the first blog
I have been able to write myself in months. My vision is
improving. Even so, it will never be good.
Mar. 8, 2013 Orders My
vision has improved to the point where I can barely read. I
have been able to go thru all the parts orders that have been
piling up. Today I mailed most all of the parts orders. I
cannot yet see well enough to do Colt sales and shipping
information letters. If you are waiting for parts from me and
haven't received your parts orders from me that I would have received before March 1 in a week, give me a call.
has nothing to do with receivers.
Mar. 5, 2013 Orders
I am just barely able to fill orders. Even with help there is no
way I can make parts when I run out. Therefore it would be best
to call and confirm that I have the items in stock that you
want. If my vision improves and we get caught up on
receivers my associate may be able to make other parts. But at
this time I do not know what will happen.
Mar. 2, 2013
The 3 emergency surgeries were apparently
successful. My eye pressure is now normal and my vision is
Improving. There is no problem making receivers but I cannot
make any of my catalog products when I run out.
I am having a great deal of difficulty trying to fill parts
orders because I can't read them.
Feb. 23, 2013 28A1Ultimax Receivers Yesterday, another 1,000 lbs. of receiver steel arrived. It
has already been cut in segments ready to go on the automatic
machines. The early Colt receivers should be mostly done by
Mon. or Tues.
At that time, 1928 A1 Ultimax receiver production will be
re-started. Mostly all other receiver models are in stock ready
for immediate shipment.
Feb. 16, 2013
Apparently, the third emergency eye surgery following the
original surgery to implant a pressure relieving shunt, was
My eye pressure for two weeks was zero, it is now three. When
it reaches ten, I should have some vision. Right now, I am near
totally blind. Needless to say, it is extremely difficult for
me to handle the mail orders or other paperwork. I am getting
some help with that but not enough to keep things up to date.
However receiver production continues at the highest. We are
finishing up the last of the Colt receivers and then we will
resume production of 1928A1s.
Feb. 16, 2013 Milling
cutters. I have been frustrated by what is available even
after modification . I am therefore having the special cutters
manufactured to my specifications. These will include:
1. 1" D x 1/4" W long shank
T-slot for cutting the rough and side pockets on 1921/1928s.
2. 1"D x 1"Dx 1/8"W long shank T slot for cutting lock ramps.
3. 1/2" D x .030" corner radius x 1 1/2" flute length for
profiling the bolt channel on all receivers and the breech oiler
cavity on 1921/1928s.
4. 5/16D x 5 flutes x 1 3/8" flute length for finishing the
ends of the bolt channel.
This cutter is larger than the 1/4" D cutter called out for the
1921/1928 A1s and smaller than the 11/32"D called out for
M1/M1A1s. The use of this cutter results in better bolt channel
corners on all receivers.
Sometimes it's just easier to have made
exactly what you want but, of course, the quantity has to be
great enough to result in a reasonable price.
Feb. 13, 2013
This M1 Ultimax
Receiver has the bolt handle slot on both sides. This enables
the shooter to install the Bolt Handle on either side of the
gun. This is a standard option shown in my Catalog. Maybe all
M1/M1A1s should have been made this way?
(2 Feb 13): They made a 1928 Aluminum receiver similar to the
ones made by Savage in 1941 or later.
Doug Richardson (1 Feb 13): Doug
had 2 surgeries this week. An eye surgery and hernia surgery.
There were complications with the eye surgery. This resulted in
an emergency 3rd surgery.
It is unknown at this time whether the emergency surgery was
successful. He is not able to use a computer for emails.
However Madalon will monitoring the emails. If it is important to talk to him call 310
457-6400 and leave a message. He will try to listen to the
messages from time to time and call back if it seems that a
response cannot wait.
It will be the middle of next week at
least before Doug will be able to
function normally. He is able to supervise receiver production
in the shop intermittently .
Early Colts are half finished, M2s are in final work, M1 and
M1a1 and some 1928a1s are ready for shipping, however he cannot
fill any orders at this time.
Address (26 Jan 13): My new
mailing address is:
Douglas W. Richardson
P.O. Box 3364
Chatsworth, CA 91313-3364
Please use this address for all mail
as I no longer trust the mail delivery security
Vision (23 Jan 13):
Unfortunately, I have now been declared legally blind. It
is extremely difficult for me to do much of anything. I can
not do e-mails any more. (Typos corrected by Madalon)
To communicate with me it is
best to call me at 310-457-6400 between 9AM & 9PM. I will
be having eye surgery Monday but there isn't much hope.
Fortunately, I developed the Ultimax receiver because I
could not do that now and I have help now to make them. We
are making early Colts now.
Theft 3 (24 Jan 13): It is Los Angeles Police Department
Incident Repost #130124002206
Mail Theft 2 (23 Jan 13):
Apparently the mail theft occurred some time during the 1st
two weeks of December. How or where or the area involved is
unknown to me. I reported this to the Postal Inspector @
877-876-2455. It is case #CA111733553. Call them if you have
Mail Theft (22 Jan 13): I have
received information that a mail theft occurred around Dec. 15. I
know that mail to me was involved because, among other things,
applications for credit cards in my name have been applied for.
Checks sent to me may also be involved. Understand that it was not
me who was robbed. The theft occurred before the mail got to me. If
you think you may have been a victim call me (310-457-6400).
Because I was in Belize from Dec. 24 until just a couple of days
ago. (My mail is regularly picked up and held for me.), I do have
checks and orders here that I have not had time to process
Workshop Manual (18 Jan 13): I'm back
from Belize with what may be a 90% finished manual. I will print it
out and add the illustrations from my files. Then we will see what
we have. I would really like to get the manual published as soon as
Workshop Manual (11 Jan 13): I
have been working on my "Workshop Manual" book while I am in Belize.
I had gotten a lot more done on it than I had remembered. Perhaps
one of the reasons I have not been working on it was because I had
not finalized my receiver designs and so did not know what I heeded
to include in the book to help people finish my receivers. But now
that my new line of ESF receiver designs have been finalized and the
response has been so overwhelmingly positive, I can proceed with the
"Shop Manual" book.
I realize from going over the first draft of the book that there
is a wealth of information already in it of value to people as it
is. That is motivation in itself for me to get going toward
finishing the book. Unfortunately, my poor eyesight is a real
handicap in trying to write a book but it has to be done. Iím tired
of having to tell people that there really isnít anything available
to tell them how to work on a Thompson gun. Iím also tired of
hearing sad tales of how some "gunsmith" "expert on Thompsons"
screwed up another Thompson because he didnít know what he was
Thompsons are very easy to work on. There is no reason why any
Thompson owner possessing basic shop skills and a few tools can not
do most anything to his gun that needs to be done. All that is
needed is a comprehensive how-to-do-it book. Iím on it. But I also
am behind on a lot of other things that need to be done so I will do
the best I can.
Belize & M1 Receivers (4 Jan 12): I left
for Belize Dec.24 for 3 weeks. I did send out everything I could
before I left so those mailings should have arrived by now. I
brought with me all the orders for M1 and M1A1 receivers and have
called everyone who has one of those on order. Those receivers are
being engraved during my absence. Any one who has an M1 or M1A1 on
order who I did not call should call me at 310-457-6400 which rings
in Belize now. Belize time is the same as Texas.
M1A1 Set (24 Dec 12): I have a
stash of nice M1/M1A1 trigger housings. I plan on matching them
with Ultimax barreled receivers. Each receiver will be marked
including the serial number of the trigger housing. They will
be priced at the sum of the regular option prices except that
the extra cost of the serial number will be $50.
This plan enables me to offer serial
numbered receivers without getting myself entangled with custom
Belize (23 Dec 12): I will be leaving
for Belize tomorrow. Using the miracle of magicJack, my Malibu
phone (310) will ring in Belize. I'll be back around January 17.
(23 Dec 12): All
production will now be Early Colt Display and Ultimax and WW2
1928 Ultimax receivers as I have caught up on all other TSMG
M1/M1A1 ESF Receivers (23 Dec 12):
All orders for these receivers will be filled by the end of
January. I will be calling those people who have one on order
for order finalization and payment.
Milling Cutters (23 Dec 12): I am in
the process of upgrading the 1/4" X 1"D Long Neck T-Slot cutter and
the 5/16"D end mill cutter. Increased receiver production has
enabled me to get more demanding since I use more cutters. The
T-Slot cutter will now be made of high speed steel with a really
good coating to reduce wear. I have replaced the 5/16"D end mill
with my own design which I am having custom made. They will have 5
flutes for increased rigidity and the same coating as the T-Slot
cutter. Both will be available mid-January. Nowhere in the
drawings is there a direct call for the 5/16"D cutter. The 1921
bolt channel front corners use a 1/4:D cutter. The M1 bolt channel
corners use a 11/32"D end mill. I feel the 1/4" is too small and
the 11/32" is too large. So, I use the special 5/16" cutter for all
bolt channel corners. I believe this creates a better
result. Auto-Ordnance could not do this because coated carbide
(very stiff) cutters were not available. I can't improve on the
1/2"D end mill I offer, so that will remain unchanged. These cutters
are primarily for shops making their own receiver. My new Ultimax
receivers are designed to eliminate the need for special cutters for
those licensed manufacturers finishing one of my Ultimax receivers.
ESF Receivers Interior (12 Dec 12): This
photo shows the interior of 1921/28 ESF receivers fitted with Display
Pilots. The top photo is a Display model. The lower photo is an
Ultimax receiver. The receivers are shown before bluing to better show
the features. These photos should answer the question which was posed
as to how I could possibly finish the rear end of the bolt channel and
still fit a Display Pilot. The answer is that I redesigned my pilot to
work with ESF receivers. Some 1928 ESF receivers have been shipped.
1928 ESF Display receivers and Late Colt are available for "immediate"
delivery. Other models are being finished now but I will be behind on
1928 ESF Ultimax and Early Colt receivers for a while.
(12 Dec 12): We were unable
to attend the SAR show in Phoenix. I could not drive much because
of my deteriorating vision. Madalon came back to California to do
the driving but at the last minute we realized that she was in too
much pain from her back problems to do all the driving. Getting old
is not fun! I don't know whether I will be able to attend next
year. It will depend on what help I have available at the time.
ESF Receivers (16 Nov 12): I have been
amazed at the response to my announcement about my new line of ESF receivers.
Apparently, I am now doing what people have been wanting me to do for
years. But, I also seem to have opened Pandora's box. People have
asked for delivery time, pictures and all sorts of information.
As things stand now, I have no finished ESF
receivers that I can photograph. As soon as I can, I will post
pictures. I will be shipping ESF Display and Ultimax WW2 1928A!
receivers next week. Not enough to wipe out my backorders.
Late Colts will be finished in about 2 weeks.
There will be enough to fill all backorders for Late Colts and enough
extras to fill new orders from inventory.
M1 and M1A1s will be ready to ship in about 3
weeks. There will be enough of them to go into inventory to fill new
orders without delay.
M2s will be finished in about 3 weeks with
enough to fill all backorders and some extra for inventory.
In about 1 week, I will start making Early
Colts, 2M2s and 2MMs with enough to fill all back orders and extras for
inventory. Also, WW2 1928A1s will be restarted at about the same time
with production continuing until all back orders are filled and I have
You can see where this is going. I expect
that by early next year to be shipping all models of receivers from
inventory with no wait. This has been a long time in coming and is only
possible because I finally got the help that I needed.
This is particularly important at this time
because it seems I have lost the battle to save my vision which is now
steadily deteriorating. It was very important to me not to let down the
people who have stood by me for so long waiting for a receiver. I
wanted their wait to have been worth it and I think I have done that
Serial Numbers (15 Nov 12): I discontinued
putting serial numbers on my receivers because it was just too much
trouble. You will notice from the ESF Receiver information that I am
once again offering to put serial numbers on Colt receivers -
ONLY COLTS - because the Colt serial numbers have
special significance. In order to make this happen with any sort of
reasonableness, I plan to engrave the Colt receivers with every thing
except the model/serial number markings panel. Then when I get enough
fully paid orders to justify it, I will take the receivers back to
engraving to add the missing panel. Since we will only be doing the one
panel, the time involved won't be near as long as it takes to do the
whole receiver. But, this will not be quick. It may add months to the
(14 Nov 12): Everybody
who has a Colt Receiver order with me please phone me @ 310 457-6400.
Receivers (13 Nov 12): I have completed the upgrade to my M2
receiver configuration. The M2 is my redesign of the M1 receiver. I
have tried several times to discontinue this receiver because it was too
complicated to make. But each time, I would receive several pleas to
keep offering it. Since the M2 is one of my pet designs, it didn't take
too much persuasion.
The story being this receiver starts way
back before Reagan unconstitutionally made it "illegal" for us to
acquire new made machine guns. At the time I was preparing to put the
1921 back in production. I wanted to offer a version of the M1 that
would be both an improvement and be easy to manufacture. My redesign of
the M1 was called the M2. Besides improvements to the gun, it was to be
made from steel or aluminum extrusions which would greatly speed up
production and reduce the cost.
Unfortunately, because of the change in
the law, there was no mass market for any new machine gun. However, I
kept the M2 alive and made them now and then (although not from
extrusions) along with my other receivers. Every improvement I felt the
Thompson needed I tried to incorporate in my M2. Finally, yesterday, I
was able to finalize the last of the improvements I had always wanted to
make (other than changing the barrel threads to v-type which is not
practical at this time).
A couple of weeks ago I was able to finish my
Screw-On Grip Mount design and incorporate that into my special
receivers And, yesterday I was able to put my extractor slot with
rounded corners on 6 M2s. The M2 has now become practical to make due
to my recent efforts to revise the configurations of all my receivers,
all new machine programs, new fixtures and tooling. So now the M2 is
safe as a regularly offered configuration.
Colt Receivers (8 Nov 12): Today I took a
pile of late Colt receivers to engraving. There should be enough late
Colts to fill every back order and then some. Early Colts are scheduled
to start production in about 2 weeks.
Catch Up (8 Nov 12): All catalogs have
been sent & most non-receiver back orders. I'm still short on a few
things for a few orders.
Colt Receivers (2 Nov 12): Production of
Colt receivers has started. So, currently Late Colt, 28A1, M1, M1A1 &
M2 receivers are in work.
Firing Pins (2 Nov 12): I will be shipping
orders held for firing pins in the next few days. I don't know where
all the firing pins have gone but the supply seems to have dried up. If
anyone has a quantity available, I would like to buy them. In the
meantime , I have removed them from my catalog. I am prepared to make
them but unless there is more demand, it is not economically feasible.
(2 Nov 12): Catalog #72 is now available.
I'll try to get all the catalog orders shipped Saturday or Monday.
Receivers (26 Oct 12): I finally got the
primary program finished for the new generation MS (M1-style semi-auto)
Catalog (26 Oct 12): The new catalog #72
is finished. It goes to the printers Monday. I will start sending them
out by the end of the week. This catalog has major changes regarding
MS Receivers (22 Oct 12): I
ran into a problem converting the old program for my design of an M1-style
semi-auto into a new format I am now using. I probably spent way too much
time on it considering the low volume of sales on this receiver. However, I
do believe that there are a lot of people who would want this receiver if I
can get a complete package worked out. I'm almost there..
Semi-auto (14 Oct 12): The tools I ordered
arrived but I did not have time to do anything. I am anxious to make
the prototype of my new pilots design to see how well that works. Maybe
Screw-On Grip Mount (14 Oct 12): I designed the
machining fixture. The fixture is second in importance to the design
itself because it dictates the programming and determines whether the
part can be made economically. That is why I spend so much time on
fixture design. It doesn't make much difference if you are making only
a few parts but as the volume goes up it is the difference between
having a viable product or just a curiosity.
Semi-Auto (6 Oct 12): I solved the last
design problem of my semi-auto gun (the dream-gun) that I have spoken of
in the past. It wasn't a priority. Just something dwelling in the back
of my mind for years. This is my design based on the N/K ATF approved
1927A1 design. But I use a full size TSMG receiver unlike the N/K
design which reduces the receiver height by .100"or the Polston design
which modifies the receiver design in order to use modified original
receiver components. My design is not internally authentic like
Polston's but it is more practical and can be made at lower cost.
However, unless someone wants to make N/K-like bolts, I have gone as far
as I have time. But, it is fun to see what could be. I have to keep
focused on getting my 2S & MS going. It does turn out (by the strangest
coincidence) that my 2S3/MS3 receiver design is the same as the
dream-gun. The only important difference is that the dream-gun receiver
is full height.
Receivers (5 Oct 12): I shipped out a
bunch of receivers today. That is just about it for a while until more
Semi-Auto (5 Oct 12): I did get a chance
to work on the SA3 (3rd generation semi-auto) a bit and make a few
prototype parts to check out the design progress. Everything looks
good. I ordered some special cutters in order to make the parts as they
would be done in production. I will try to find time this weekend to
make a prototype of my new bolt handle design and maybe make a milling
fixture I need for my new pilots design.
M1 Shop Receiver Available (4 Oct 12):
Unbelievably, I have one unmarked receiver available for immediate
delivery @ $535 + $14 HIS. If you want it call me @ 310-457-6400 to
hold it for you.
M2 Receiver (28 Sep 12): The first M2
receiver made it through the primary machining phase as hoped. The
primary machining phase starts with a raw bar of steel and completes the
receiver to the point where it looks like a Thompson receiver including
accepting a trigger housing but lacks the secondary
machining operations. The M2 made has the standard M1 style rear end.
I started the version that has a 21 style rear end.
Screw-on Grip Mount
(28 Sep 12): I have
already changed the name. I used to call it the M2 Grip Mount. The new
name reflects my decision to also incorporate it into my 2M2, 2S and
MS receivers. Since the 2M2 is my redesign of the 1921/1928
receiver and the M2 is my redesign of the M1/M1A1 receiver,
I might as well incorporate everything I can. The 2S and MS receivers
are my redesigns of the N/K semi-auto receivers which never were an
authentic TSMG design anyway, so I can get away with adding the Screw-on
Grip Mount to them as well. Fortunately, I have come up with a good
design for a milling fixture which will make volume manufacture of the
Screw-on Grip Mounts practical. If I could only get rid of those square
barrel threads, I would really be happy. But, it is not practical to do
that at this time.
M2 (25 Sep 12): During my lifetime, I have
studied every aspect and every design detail of the Thompson gun. It
is an outstanding design and deserves being the classic it has become.
But I am an engineer and designer with the advantage of hindsight. So,
there are a number of things that I believe could have been better
designed. A major one is the grip mount. Even Thompson agreed with
this as has been demonstrated by Auto-Ordnance's repeated attempts from
1918 through 1935 to design a better grip mount. There are 3 basic
problems with the manufactured design: 1) the grip mount can not be
removed without first removing the barrel, 2) it is pre-stressed against
the barrel which reduces shooting accuracy and 3) it is an
overly complicated part to make. I believe I have solved all these
problems with my M2 Grip Mount. It is a simple straight bar that screws
on to the receiver after the barrel is installed and does not touch the
barrel. Therefore, the barrel becomes "free floating". Because my
customers demand that I make authentic receivers, I developed my M2 gun
design . Because it is my design, I can make it any way I please and I
please to fit it with my M2 Grip Mount. This was the last design
hold-up for the M2 so this week I will try to make the first of my new
generation M2 receivers.
Last Week (23 Sep 12): Shipped more
receivers. Started making another lot of M1/M1A1. Getting the last lot
of 28s ready to go to engraving.
Finally got some progress on making more
vertical front grips. My associate made a mold of a Colt grip so we can
cast a light color grip as opposed to painting the original. Our super
3D scanner can not work with the dark color of the grip. Making really
good grips requires a combination of the original drawings, which I
have, and the subtle shaping of the grip that is not possible to convey
in a drawing. Unfortunately, I have no power to motivate my associate
to move faster.
Receivers (18 Sep 12): I mailed a bunch of
receivers out today (to people I called yesterday). The last run of
1928A1s has completed machine work and is now being cleaned up before
going to engraving and then black oxide. I have started a new lot of
Receivers (1 Sept 12): Another great week
of producing receivers. We finished another batch of 1928A1s using
all the updated fixtures & cutters. Everything went smoothly. The
steel supplier says they now have M1 steel in stock so I will get a 1000
pounds next week. It is difficult to handle more than 1000 pounds at a
time and I get a good price at that quantity. I got behind on
contacting customers and shipping receivers. Maybe the holiday weekend
will get me caught up.
- Receivers (26 Aug 12): 1928A1 receiver
production is now continuing flawlessly. Unfortunately, the M1 steel I
ordered has been delayed in transit for a week or two. I have spent the week
shipping M1 and 28 receivers.
When a receiver is ready to ship I call the
customer to verify the address I put on the box and to make sure there will
be someone to retrieve it off the porch.
I have left messages when I get an answering
machine but I have not heard back from several people so there are receivers
that have been sitting here. Either the customers are on vacation so it is
a good thing I didn't just ship or they don't bother to review their
I have become aware that some people ask the
caller to leave a message even though they have no intention of reviewing
the messages. Apparently, they think people have nothing better to do
than dictate messages that will never be heard. Generally speaking, I
answer my phone for 99% of calls or if you get my answering machine with my
voice asking that the caller leave his name and number at the beginning of
the message (I make that request because sometimes I have to listen again
to the message repeatedly because the number is not understandable). I
very seldom use a cell phone but if I do and am on the road, I just have a
message to call me back later.
Catalogs (15 Aug 12): I am completely out
of Catalogs. Because I am so tied up in getting receivers shipped. I
will not have time to update the Catalog for a least a month. In any
case, I wish I could give them away but they cost me about $5 to print
and mail. I know there are many people who think I should give them
away (and raise prices to pay for them?). I believe the cost of my
Catalog is easily saved on just the first item someone orders because I
have heard "I've been looking everywhere for that item for months" so
many times. I guess they would rather spend all that time and effort
searching than spend $3 plus shipping for my Catalog in the beginning.
I don't know how anyone in Thompson land can get by without my Catalog
because no one offers the items I do.
Which brings us to the problem of
Thompson parts which are drying up. More and more parts are going to
have to be made and no one seems interested in making them, or at least
not making them properly.
Receivers (15 Aug 12): All receivers in
the first M1 lot and first 1928 lot are finished. Some were shipped
last week. Next week will see a lot more shipped. Another lot of 1928s
is in work. Next week I will have another ton of M1 receiver steel
delivered. With 3 people working on receivers, a lot of progress is
We have been experiencing difficulty in holding
the tolerances on a critical dimension. I decided to design and build
another fixture and move the operation to another machine to solve that
problem. The new fixture is finished. I wrote a new program for it
last night. Monday we will begin using the new setup. I believe that
will improve the manufacturing of receivers both as to precision and
time. Otherwise, I am very pleased with the entire manufacturing
process. There is always room for improvement but the improvements are
smaller and smaller as we approach (but never achieve) perfection,
(Eyesight: The rejection of the transplanted cornea has been stopped
and healing is in progress.)
M1/M1A1 Receivers (9 Aug 12): They have
been engraved and blued and are ready to be packed and shipped. They
will be mailed next week but I will call first.
1928A1 Receivers (9 Aug 12): Some are
waiting to be blued and some will be packed up this weekend for shipment
next week. I will call first.
Non-Receiver Backorders (9 Aug 12): Most
have been shipped or will go out next week. I still don't have 1921
Urethane Buffers and firing pins remain a problem. I will try a little
longer to find the ones I have. If all else fails, I am looking into
putting them back in production. There seems to be a shortage of them
which will encourage others to make them "to the original
specifications". Don't be fooled as I believe I am the only person who
has the latest drawings and original specs., particularly material and
heat treatment. I don't "reproduce" Thompson parts - I continue the
manufacture where it left off in 1944.
2S3 (8 Aug 12): In furtherance of my
comments about the semi-auto, one of the really neat aspects of the 2S3
(& MS3) is that the design incorporates a really good buffer. I have
already ordered special cutters needed to make the prototype. I know the
semi-auto is important to a lot of people and no one is happy about what
is available. I just wish I had time to build my SA gun design instead
of relying on the Numrich/Kahr approval. Polston told me they spent
$50,000 getting their design approved and it still is not available. My
design requires a modified version of my old Adaptor-Frame trigger
housing and all special internals. I just don't have the time to do it
and then hassle with the ATF bureaucrats over the details of the design.
Compensators (8 Aug 12): I have
discontinued offering WW2 Compensators. As you may know, I own "Cutts".
The problem is that there is not enough demand to justify making more
because there are so many compensators available from the Russian guns.
I have, therefore, also discontinued offering the WW2 compensators on
barreled receivers. I still have a supply of the early "Colt"
compensators so they will still be available.
Semi-auto (8 Aug 12): The help I have been
getting on the receivers has enabled me to make a lot of progress on
filling receiver backorders and given me time to make progress on
getting the non-receiver backorders filled. The one big problem area
has been with the 2S2 semi-auto receiver components. I still can not
find all the parts I had made. They are here somewhere but seemed to
have gone into hiding during moving. Because of my continuing poor
vision, finding things is very difficult for me. I mostly rely on
discovering missing items by accident. But rather than continue to hope
I find the 2S2 stuff soon, I have decided to proceed with the
development of the 3rd version of my semi-auto design in order to get
some progress going. The 2S3 is a sort of combination of the old 2S1
and missing 2S2 designs.
Receiver Policy (4 Aug 12): I have now
finished the last receivers I will ever make to customer order. Even
though I do not number the receivers any more (that caused every
receiver to be made to order) I did make these last receivers according
to orders because I wanted to make sure I had the right receivers to
fill all the really old orders. Now I make receivers for inventory. I
will make a batch of a particular receiver and then a batch of another
particular receiver, etc. The goal being to have every type of receiver
in stock ready to ship when an order comes in. I now have another
assistant so there are now three of us making receivers every day.
Receiver Progress (4 Aug 12 ): M1/M1A1
receivers are being shipped. More are in for markings now. They will
be finished by the end of next week. Bluing follows. They will start
shipping in about 10 days. The current batch of 1928A1 receivers are in
for markings now or out for bluing where markings are not required.
They will start shipping next week. More 28A1s are finishing up
Backorders (4 Aug 12):
1) 21/8 Replacement Buttstock Catch Button Kits
are back in stock.
2) M1 Top Mounted Bolt Handle Kits are back in
3) Pivot Plate Tools are back in stock.
4) M1 Bolt To 28 Receiver Adaptor Pilots are in
for bluing now.
Jim Bannan (2 Aug 12): While I'm at it,
lets not forget
James F. Bannan
U.S. Marine Corps
Jim was a combat veteran of the South Pacific
during WW2 and a great Thompson guy. He wrote one of the first books on
the Thompson and was a real Thompson researcher. He died years ago but
he should never be forgotten. He told me the story of how he got
started in Thompsons. Here it is as I remember it:
Jim lived on a farm during prohibition. His
father made bootleg liquor which he sold to the gangsters.
Occasionally, the gangsters would come to the farm to pick up a load of
booze. Sometimes they brought Thompson guns in order to do a little
target practice. Jim's father liked the Thompsons and told the
gangsters that he would really like to have one. To his surprise, on
one of the following trips, the gangsters brought one for him. So,
little Jimmy had a new toy.
Later, after WW2 started, Jim joined the Marines.
He was issued a Springfield rifle and sent to a Pacific island. There,
he was told to dump the Springfield on a pile and girt a "chit" to trade
for a new gun. The chits were randomly handed out and noted for
"Garand", "Carbine" or "Thompson". Disappointedly, Jim did not draw
Thompson. But somehow he became confused and got in the Thompson line by
"mistake". No one even looked at his chit. They just handed him a new
1928A1 Thompson. He carried that gun throughout the war. He told many
stories of how that gun saved his life.
Too bad that the Constitutional freedoms Jim
supposedly almost died to protect were denied to him when he returned.
After all, we can't let that sort of person bear arms without
Casey Craig (1 Aug 12): Gunnery Sergeant
died April 2012
Many of you will remember Casey cruising around
the SAR Phoenix show on his electric wheel chair checking out the
Thompsons. He was a WW2 combat vet who couldn't be trusted to have his
Thompson after the war ended. Does the current administration in
Washington have any of the respect for a great American like Casey that
they should have? I sure do - I was there - I will never forget those
(27 Jul 12): M1/M1A1 receivers
are being shipped now but------
only after I have
contacted you by telephone.
Progress (20 Jul 12): Good news. My
vision is coming back rapidly. It should be about as good as it was at
recent best in a couple of weeks after stabilizing and some new glasses.
We have worked around my limitations at the shop. A big batch of M1
receivers will probably be finished next week and be ready to ship the
following week. I believe the entire backlog of M1 receiver orders will
be completed soon. 21/28s are piling up in various stages of completion
and so will be following the M1s shortly. Everyone will be called
before shipping for finalization.
Pivot Plate Tools (20 Jul 12): These have
been finished and will be available as soon as they are blued
(14 July 12): The new primary
fixture was finalized. It was used all last week making receivers and
worked extremely well. Unfortunately, I am the bottleneck in the shop
due to worsening vision problems.
My body did not like my transplanted cornea so
it started to reject it. Emergency intervention stopped the rejection
but put me down for a couple of days with bad reactions to the drugs
used. That has passed but my vision is so bad right now I can do very
little in the shop. I am unable to make any parts and am having a lot
of difficulty dealing with orders or e-mail. I'm told this will pass.
Almost finished receivers are piling up as my associate keeps making
more. Monday we will have a meeting to see what can be done to get
around my inability to help much. We will figure out something.
Pivot Plate Tools (14 Jul 12): I just
found the special welding fixture that went missing during the shop
move. So, first chance I get, I'll be able to finish a big batch of the
tools. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, this is the
tool I designed for disassembling the trigger housing without scratching
it. After years of struggling with the removal of the pivot plate, this
tool was the answer. I refuse to disassemble a trigger housing without
my tool. Apparently, a lot of people agree with me because this has
been a popular item in my catalog for years.
Progress (6 Jul 12): The new receiver
primary fixture was completed and installed on the machining center. It
was immediately obvious as it was being used that it would improve
receiver production. A small modification of the new fixture is
needed. That will probably get done Monday. Half finished receivers
continue to pile up. I'm trying to get them done and in the mail as
soon as possible but I can't do everything at the same time so there are
going to be delays. My associate is working out well as he becomes more
and more familiar with Thompson. I wish I had another one of him.
Receivers (29 Jun 12): All machine work on
the first batch of receivers is finished. Hopefully, next week will see
all the cleanup work done. After that, they go to engraving and
bluing, The second batch of receivers have about half the machine work
done. A third batch has been started. The new primary fixture was
completed and installed on the automatic machine. Two old fixtures were
retired in the process. The new fixture is now being set-up.
Colt Sales & Shipping Letter (29 Jun 12):
Seems like every one who has a Colt Thompson wants one of my letters
documenting the original purchase. It was really just an after-thought
to offer them after finding that I had all the original records prior to
1935. I'm not a collector so it never occurred to me how nice it would
be to have the letter always go with the gun. The gun value is probably
increased by the letter more than I charge for it. It has been
interesting for me to see where all those guns went. It is also
interesting just how many people thought they knew who the original
purchaser was only to find out how wrong they were and how wrong their
original source was. And, of course, just how many phony stories had
been created to hype the value of a gun when it was being offered for
sale. I have provided letters to a lot of people, not for the guns they
owned, but for a gun they were negotiating for. Some of the stories
fabricated by sellers should get an Oscar.
Receivers (22 Jun 12): The first batch of
receivers are back from having extractor slots cut. Since then, we have
finished the barrel threads and have started cutting the feed ramps.
I'm trying to get a new primary machining fixture made this weekend.
The old one wore out and I want to make some improvements anyway. Right
now there are over 100 receivers in work.
Jun 12): I usually answer all e-mails within a couple of days. But, I
have had a computer melt down. E-mails seem sometimes to show up days
after they were sent and often appear in mail days from long past. Then
there are the seemingly endless junk e-mails that bury the ones I care
about. So, if you have sent me an e-mail and have not received an
answer, try again. I answer all e-mails I know about.
Receivers (15 Jun 12): There was no
message last week because my computer died. I really hate computers
and Microsoft software in particular. I never seem to be able to
make MS software work. Especially Word & Excel. I tried to use
Excel to keep track of receiver orders. For a while it worked OK
but then locked up just like Word does. After wasting way too much
time on Excel, I decided not to keep track of orders any longer by
computer. Everything is filed.
My plan is to spend my time making
receivers so I won't have any backorders anyway. With the help of
my associate and hired help, that seems to be going well. The first
batch of receivers is nearing completion and already a second batch
is piling up. Never before have so many receivers been in my shop.
So far I have consumed 2 tons of steel. Where to put them is
becoming a problem. But that problem will be solved by shipping
them out. I can't say when but it will be soon. I will contact
everyone who has a receiver on order to get the last minute
instructions so, please don't call me.
Receivers (1 Jun 12): While I work at
getting the last batch of receivers finished, my associate is starting
the next batch. There was a problem getting steel but finally a ton of
it was delivered to me. By Monday, I will have some new tooling
installed and some machine program changes loaded so production will be
faster and better than ever.
(1 Jun 12): All the stitches from eye
surgery #17 were removed from my eye. Tests indicate that the surgery
was successful in eliminating the astigmatism which was causing me so
much trouble. Now I have to wait a couple of weeks for my eye to
stabilize before trying to get glasses that work.
N/K Trigger Housing (28 May 12): I am
still wanting to buy a complete N/K trigger housing in case someone has
one the want to sell.
3rd Hand (28 May 12): These are back in
stock. This is the flat piece that goes into the box magazine slots on
the trigger housing that operates the trip so as to lock the bolt open
on the N/K semi-autos.
Barrel End Vise Jaws (27 May 12):
These are now back in stock.
Receivers (27 May 12): In spite of my
vision problems, receiver production continued with the help of my
associate. They will go out next week to have the extractor slots
broached. Then they come back for the feed ramps and barrel socket to
be finished. Then cleanup and bluing and they will be ready for
shipping. My associate is getting up to speed on the receiver
production and learning about Thompson. He comes up with endless
questions trying to understand the gun and you people. The other day he
was wondering why we were doing a particular machining step. To him it
didn't seem worth doing. He asked how many of you would even be aware
that we had done it. I said that probably only 1 buyer in a hundred
would know. So why do it?, he asked. Because, 100 of the 100 buyers
count on me to do it right and not cut corners. I think he gets it now.
No Blogs (27 May 2012): There have been no
blogs for a month because Madalon has been in California taking care of
me and can't post blogs from here. She took me in for eye surgery
#17. It was for another radial kerotomy to redo the last kerotomy that
failed to improve my vision. When the bandages came off my eye, instead
of the expected great improvement in my vision, I was totally blind. It
seems that somehow the membrane in the back of my eye tore. That filled
my eye with blood, blocking all vision. After a few weeks it cured
itself but I was unable to drive for a month and still can't get around
Receiver Machining Center
(17 Apr 12):
It's always something! I couldn't get the machine set up. Had to call
in the repair people who spent the afternoon making repairs. Hopefully,
I can continue now but it has cost me 3 days plus big bucks.
2M2 Pilots (17 Apr 12): These are finished
and awaiting black oxide.
(17 Apr 12): These are finished
and ready for black oxide. I'm still looking for a late complete 1927A1
trigger housing assembly for reference but the price has to be right
otherwise I would buy a new one.
1928 Display Pilots (15 Apr 12): These are
back in stock.
1921 Ring Sights (15 Apr 12): These are
finished except for black oxide.
WW2 Compensator Pins (15 Apr 12): These
are finished except for black oxide.
M1 Top Mounted Bolt Handle Kits (15
Apr 12): These are finished except for black oxide.
Receivers (13 Apr 12): I
completed work on the new vertical fixture and installed it on the
machining center. It took a while to adjust it to true vertical
alignment but it is good now. Monday I will establish the new
offsets (telling the machine where the new fixture is) and adjust
the program to accommodate the changes. With any kind of luck at
all, we should then be able to complete all the work done to the
receivers on the machining centers. After that there are secondary
operations done to the receivers on other machines but that remains
unchanged from the past so should go ok.
Eyes (13 Apr 12): The
operation got rescheduled to April 23. My vision got better after the
last surgery but then went the other way as my eye healed to the point
where I can barely function in the shop. That was why it was so
important that I got the new vertical fixture done before I would be
unable to do it at all. I'm relying on the eyes of my associate more
and more as my vision deteriorates. Now he can go forward while I am
down getting the new surgery. My surgeon says that radial keratotomy,
which is what I am getting now, is more or less a hit or miss
procedure. So this time he will hopefully go half way in the other
direction to bring my vision back.
Progress (6 Apr 12): Another very
stressful week getting the M1 Display & Shop receivers in production. I
have been programming and engineering constantly for 3 weeks now. As of
today, all 4 main receiver styles (21/28 & M1/M1A1 Display & Shop) have
completed the primary machining stage. I am extremely happy with the
way they look because of the extra details I have added.
My associate (my old shop partner from years
ago whom I have been trying to get to join me making receivers for
years) is hot on my tail making the receivers as soon as I get things
set up for him. With his eyes and my knowledge, the flood gates are
opening. Now that I have him up to speed on the 4 basic styles, I can
concentrate on setting up the next machine.
People ask why I just couldn't have
restarted production where I left off. To a great extent, I have. But
with new tooling available and time to rethink, I have re-engineered
everything to make the receivers better than ever. I have programmed
and re-programmed the machines to add every detail that is practical to
add to the receivers and to increase our productivity as much as
possible because I need to make a lot of receivers as fast as I can
without cutting quality, which I will never do. The effort was worth it
because the receivers really look great. Now I start setting up the next
Receivers (30 Mar 12): I'll try to post a
weekly report. We have consumed every piece of steel that was on hand
(a good amount) making receivers up to one stage or another. I have
spent the whole week preparing the programming and tools for the primary
machining of M1s while my associate used up all the 21/28 steel and then
getting as far on the M1s as he could. I'll spend the weekend trying to
run production samples of the M1s to check out my weeks work. If all
goes well, my associate will continue on with the M1s next week. Once I
have him going, I'll start setting up the next machine. Right now my
plan (or lack thereof) is to get as far as as I can on any aspect of the
receivers and to keep my associate going.
Production Progress (23 Mar 12): Another
outstanding week. All steel on hand for "Style 2" (21/28/2M2/2S)
receivers has been consumed. I am now switching to "Style M" (M1/M2/MS)
receivers. I have enough steel on hand to fill all back orders for those
receivers and then some. My plan is then to order another ton of Style 2
receiver steel and then to switch back to making Style 2 receivers
indefinitely. My associate is really working out well. Receivers are
being made every day and yet I am being freed up to get all the other
But not this weekend as I had planned because
unless I get the machines & programming for making the Style M receivers
ready to go by Monday morning, my associate will have nothing to do.
After I get him started, I will go back to getting the next machine
ready to continue the manufacturing process on the Style 2 receivers. I
am in the process of remaking the bore finishing fixture, which is
holding up work on the next machine. But, I did get all the back
ordered Grip Mount Retainers shipped.
Grip Mount Retainers (20 Mar 12): As
predicted, they are back in stock. Backorders will go out soon. Next
item on the automatic machines (VMC) schedule is Sight End Barrel Vise
Jaws but that has to wait until the receiver production is finished for
Non-Receivers Parts (17 Mar 12): Some people have
expressed concern that although it is great that I am making receivers,
does that mean that everything else is on hold? The answer is yes and
no. Yes, while I get my associate going but no in the longer run.
Actually, much of the work being done to get
the receivers going is necessary for the other products. Although the
receiver set-ups on the automatic machines are never taken off, I have
designed the fixtures for other parts to fit on to the receiver
fixtures. Big shops solve this problem by palletizing complete set-ups
and then interchanging the pallets (which go on to the machines) for the
particular part that is to be made. This requires a lot of floor space
for fork-lift trucks to move about and big pallet storage areas.
With my system, when receiver production is
over for the week on Friday afternoon (my associate does not share my
attitude that Thompson work should never stop), I mount the fixtures for
another part on to the receiver fixtures and then spend Saturday making
the parts. Non-receiver products usually do not take more than one day
to make any particular part.
A case in point: People have been waiting
for Grip Mount Retainers for some time. Yesterday I mounted the
fixtures for making the Grip Mount Retainer Frames on to the receiver
fixtures. Today, I will make the Fames. Tomorrow, I will probably
assemble the Frames so I can ship Grip Mount Retainers next week. Next
weekend I will make another part on the automatic machines. Of course
during the week, I work on other things that do not require the
automatic machines when not helping my associate.
Vision Disaster (15 Mar 12): Today I went
in expecting to get good news about eye surgery #16 since my cornea has
now had time to settle in after the stitches were removed 2 weeks ago.
Instead, the double vision is back and my vision as best it can get with
glasses is so bad there was no sense in even trying.
So here I go again. Surgery #17 will be on
March 28. The doctor still says my vision will be corrected since tests
today showed that my eye is capable of 20/30 without glasses. In the
meantime, my associate helping me with receivers is working out well.
With his eyes and skill coupled with my knowledge and expertise,
receivers are getting made.
Receivers (12 Mar 12): All last week was
spent fine tuning the manufacturing by upgrading and changing cutters,
program adjusting, solving handling problems, etc. We were making
receivers, but slowly. Today was the first day without a glitch so
today is the "official" start of production. Seeing those new receivers
lined up on the shelf is a sight I have been yearning to see for a long
time. They aren't finished but the primary machining has been done and
that is the most complicated part of making receivers. Of course, I had
to add a little here and a little there, usually at 3 or 4 in the
morning when I have slept on it for a while.
When my associate arrived this morning he was
relieved to hear that I was completely satisfied with the receivers and
I, therefore, had no planned changes. I think he considers me to be a
nit picking fanatic. Maybe so, but I don't feel right if I can do better
but don't. So now my associate will continue to do the primary
machining on receivers and keep piling them up while I prepare the next
machine for the following machine operations.
Receivers (6 Mar 12): I have been
reluctant to say any thing for fear of giving information that was not
reliable. I have also been extremely busy so taking time to generate
these messages was counter-productive. But, silence is not "golden" in
this case. It seems that in a couple of weeks my vision will be as good
as it will get. Right now, it is not great but it is ok and getting
better. I have , during the time I have been visionally limited, been
putting together a new shop with the help of a friend, improving the
machine programs to make the best possible receivers in the most
efficient manner. acquiring the best tooling available and anything else
I could do to prepare for re-initiating receiver production.
Even so, I desperately needed help if I were
ever to catch up. I only know a couple of people who are qualified to
help me make the receivers and they were not available. A turn of
events freed up one of those people, actually the best one of them. He
has now joined me on a full time basis.
Today, the major portion (I call it the
"primary receiver machining sequences") on the first receiver of the
2012 receiver production was successfully completed. This takes the raw
steel stock and turns it into what appears to be a receiver. The
trigger housing fits on. It accepts a drum and rear sight. The rest of
the work is fairly simple second operations. The machine program for
just what was done today is over a thousand lines of code. Each line
has several commands. An error in just one command can destroy a cutter
worth a couple hundred dollars and/or destroy the receiver and that has
happened several times in getting this far. I want to make the best
Thompson receiver possible so I do what is necessary even if it doe not
make business sense. But, I never claimed to be in business.
I can not say when the first 2012 receiver will
be shipped so don't call me. When I know more, I will say more. But
for all those people who have been waiting so patiently, I now see light
at the end of the tunnel. Because they never gave up on me, I didn't
either. Tomorrow is the first day of full production.
Eyes (1 Mar 12): The stitches were removed
from my eye today. They tell me everything looks good. I have to wait
another two weeks for my eye to stabilize. Then I will be fitted with
new glasses and will know what my vision will be. I have been to hell
and back with vision problems so I'm really hoping this will be a
successful end to it all.
Custom #14-24 Taps (17Feb 12): For those of
you who like to ponder things, here is the dilemma. My cost for one
custom made tap is $93 plus shipping. I currently offer foreign made
taps for $12. In order to be able to sell the custom made taps at a
reasonable price, say like $25, I have to order a lot of taps, put up
the money to pay for them and then place them in stock until I sell
them. Even so, people will complain about the price (including me).
Trying to provide quality products at a reasonable price at the low
Thompson volume is a never ending problem for me and is one reason why I
get so far behind and why no one will compete with me.
#14-24 Taps Recall (17 Feb 12): I have just
become aware that some of the #14-24 taps I sent out may be oversize.
Check to see if you have one that is over about .242" diameter. If you
have one, do not use it. Send it back to me. I had this same problem
with the 3/4" compensator taps. That is why I contracted with a top
American tap manufacturer to custom make them for me. It costs more but
I will not accept poor quality and I know that none of the REAL Thompson
people will either.
Projects (11 Feb 12): There are still 2
more products I would like to add to my catalog. 1) a tool for removing
and installing rear sight rivets and 2) a urethane buffer for my 2S and
MS semi-auto versions of the West Hurley design. These have to take
a back seat to catching up on everything else but I can still think
while waiting for my eye surgery to heal. So, there is no availability
date but I do want people to know what I am working on. I can't even
think about the big projects I would like to do until I have receivers
on the shelf.
Catalog #71 (8 Feb 12): #71 is now
in the mail. I am very happy with this edition because it
finishes 2 areas that have been unresolved for a long time.
They are the "Sling System" page and the "Milling Cutters"
Slings of any type are not a very popular
item for Thompsons but for those who want a decent sling set-up
on their Thompson, I believe I offer the only comprehensive
The milling cutters I offer for the
finishing of my receivers are special cutters. In the past I
offered the cutters that were very difficult for people to find
but, in most cases, they needed to be modified. So, it may have
been partially self-defeating because the very people who were
unable to find the cutters were the least capable of modifying
them. Therefore, I now offer the special cutters that I use to
finish my receivers, modified and ready to go. Price is a
problem. Because of the low volume of these cutters that will
be ordered, I can't do much about it. At least I will save
people the time they would spend trying to get these cutters.
The other problem is that because of the small number of
receivers involved, cutter advances, machine improvements and
the way I make my receivers to create the highest quality, I
recommend some slight variations from the original bolt cavity
drawings. Therefore, these cutters are special to my bolt
cavity designs. I will try to publish drawings for all my
receivers bolt cavities but when I will get to that is another
problem. A copy of the catalog page is shown below so no one
needs to order a new catalog just for this. I always like to
hear from people making (legal) guns using my receivers in
order to stay aware of their ideas, experiences and needs so I
can be responsive and supportive with my products.
These are just further efforts by me to
offer the most comprehensive Thompson source possible. I do my
best to provide everything that people need to pursue their
Thompson interests but there is still only one of me and I can
only do so much.
Eyes (8 Feb 12): 10 days ago I had
operation #16 to restore my vision. Madalon came back to
California to take me to the hospital and help me afterward.
Things seem to be going well. The double vision that was
causing me so much trouble has apparently been fixed.
Unfortunately, until the stitches are removed from my eye in 30
days, I won't really know the results of the operation or get
glasses that will enable me to do precision work. This is a
modification of the last transplant which seems to be going
well. In the meantime, I continue to work on the shop
facilities and anything else I am able to do. I really believe
that this will get me going again. We just have to wait for my
eye to heal.
Frustration (13 Jan 2012): During the last
9 years, I have had 15 eye operations to restore my vision. Each time I
have been told that this operation will restore my vision. The doctor
told me that my new cornea was looking really good and as soon as the
last stitch is removed from my eye my vision will improve markedly. The
last stitch was removed. I ended up with double vision. Special
glasses got rid of the double vision but blurred my vision. So here I
go again. I'm going back into the hospital in a couple of weeks for
another operation that, I'm told, will give me such good vision I will
not need glasses. Is there any end to this? I can't make receivers if
I can't see. I'm not blind and I get a lot done. But I make mistakes
because of the bad vision. I do what I can do, not what I want to do.
People complain that I don't have the proper priorities and therefore
don't get the most important things done first. My vision dictates what
I can and can not do. Hopefully, this next operation will improve my
SAR Show (22 Dec 11) The SAR
show in Phoenix was a resounding success. Madalon came back from
Belize to work on the show. I had redesigned and remade the table set-up
designs to improve both the appearance of our display and to make setting up
the display a lot easier. It also makes it a lot easier to load up the
car for the show. Everyone seemed to like the new display. If it wasn't
the best show we ever had it was right up there. Check out the picture.
Status (23 Oct 2011): I have been
extremely busy which is why I haven't been posting information as much
as I would like to. So, here is a summary update:
Eyes: The new cornea went well. Stitches
were taken out and I was told to expect a marked improvement in my
vision. I got new glasses. The improvement was nothing to brag about
and I had double vision. Another pair of new glasses got rid of the
double vision but my vision is still blurred. I am told that is caused
by severe astigmatism in the new cornea. I will be having the 15th eye
operation soon to cure that. In the mean time my vision is good enough
to restart manufacturing now, so that is what I am going to do.
Homeless: California has gone absolutely
berserk. They are attacking every business, every investor, and
property owners. They are literally destroying the state that people
once dreamed of moving to with their socialistic insanity. In my case,
the Government has forced me out of the mobile home I have lived in for
over 50 years because I can not produce the paper work that allowed it
to be placed on a 50 acre property 55 years ago when I wasn't even in
California. Of course, their desire to force everyone off "wilderness"
property as part of their environmental correctness has nothing to do
with it. This has caused me to have to spend the last few months trying
to relocate to a new place to sleep and work. I'm dealing with it and
the Malibu address will remain good. America is at the crossroads. The
road it takes will determine whether it survives or fails. I have no
confidence that it will survive in any form I like. I don't like
bringing politics into this website, but the future of our mutual
interest in Thompson is part of this.
Bottom Line: Regardless of one set back after
another, I keep going. I have used every available minute doing what I
can do. I have been moving all the manufacturing equipment into one
place, making improvements that will increase productivity and
partnering with friends in anticipation of being able to catch up. I am
almost there. By the end of this year I should be able to announce a
number of successes that will make a lot of people happy.
(8 Oct 11): All orders on hand
have been shipped excepting those for which the customer is aware of a
Models Book Correction (2 Oct 11):
Paragraph 5 on page 48 regarding trip design was included in the M1
section by mistake. It was supposed to be in the M1A1 section.
The M1 gun used the same trip as the 1921 &
1928 guns. The trip on the M1A1 gun was at first identical to the
1921-M1 trip except that the vertical projection on the top front of the
trip was deleted as was the mating groove on the bolt. Then, on the
last version, the back end of the trip was tapered downward
at the rear end to simplify it. This last version of the trip, which is
the most common one, will fit and function in all Thompson models.
1921 Buffers (26 Sep 11): These are
back in stock. I will try to get all back orders for these out this
Milling Cutters (10 Aug
11): I did not have time to include the milling cutters in Catalog #70. I'm
still working on finalizing what I want to offer. In the mean time, contact
me if that is your area of interest.
Catalog (10 Aug 11): Catalog
#70 is at the printers. Catalogs should go into the mail by Friday (Aug 12).
Another stitch was taken out of my eye so this time I think I got the phone
number correct. Doctor says in 1 month the last of the stitches will be
Vision (3 Aug 11): More stitches were
removed from my new transplanted cornea. The surgeon tells me that the
stitches are distorting the cornea which is causing my vision to be
poor. He is removing only one stitch per week. He says to take out
more each time increases the risk of my body rejecting the new cornea.
There are 3 stitches left to go at 1 per week. Until all the stitches
have been removed and my eye has had a chance to settle in, nothing can
be done to improve my vision.
In the meantime, I am moving my shop equipment,
building benches, improving my setup for filling parts orders and doing
everything I am capable of doing with the vision I have. Unfortunately,
I am running out of parts but I am not capable of making more at this
time. I'm also trying to get the new catalog out and figure out the
milling cutters that I will be offering.
The new catalog will reflect my decision
to offer all parts of the gun that are available anywhere and, in many
cases, are available only from me. At least when you call me about
magazine catches (for example), I know the difference between a 1921,
1928A1 and an M1 magazine catch.
Parts (15 Jul 11): I have been
digging out more Thompson parts I have had for a long time. I will be
offering virtually every part of the gun in my next catalog.
Pneumonia (15 Jul 11): I guess old
people and pneumonia don't mix very well. Apparently that is what is
meant by "died of respiratory complications". After 2 weeks, I'm still
down with it but not dead. I feel like someone parked a truck on my
Pneumonia (11 Jul 11): I came down
with a head cold on the flight back to the U.S. That put me in bed for
a week. That apparently weakened me so much that the cold was replaced
with pneumonia just as I was starting to recover. I have now gotten
over the pneumonia but I have lost 3 weeks of work time and am extremely
weakened. It will apparently be another week before I have most of my
strength back. At 74 years old, this kind of illness is very
devastating. I have been able to get most orders out but, I am
completely out of catalogs and rapidly running out of other parts. I
have no ability to make any new inventory at this time.
Return (30 Jun 11): I returned from
Belize thinking I would be able to work on Thompson with a vengeance.
Instead, I have spent the last 10 days in and out of bed trying to
recover from some airplane incubated disease. They say fly to save
time. I guess that means saving time getting to the hospital after
getting sick on the plane. Three people have told me that they got the
same disease the last time they flew. What is going on? There is
nothing I like about flying except maybe being groped by TSA and abused
in every other possible way by the airline.
The good news is that my cornea transplant
seems to be progressing without all the complications I experienced the
last time. The bad news is that my 1'-5' vision is horrible. I'm told
that it is not worth doing anything about it because the vision will be
continuously changing as the stitches are removed. There are 10
I have been working on getting the orders out
a few at a time. I finally finished them all (No, not receivers or
anything else that is out of stock.). Tomorrow I will go to the post
office to mail them. Unfortunately, as parts inventory is used up, I
can not make more at this time.
In working on the Shop Manual, I recommended
measuring firing pin protrusion for some specific problems. Then I
realized that no one has a good method for doing it. So, I'm working on
an affordable Firing Pin Protrusion Gage.
Kidnapped by Space Aliens (14
Jun 11): Well, not really and the reports of my death are probably not true
but Iím getting a second opinion on that. I recently had another cornea
transplant to replace the last one that became infected and damaged after a
laser modification. I have been putting this off for the last two years,
waiting for the ďrightĒ time which, of course, never comes. But at least it
is the right time of year in that itís too cold and rainy to work outside
and there is the least amount of dust in the air. I have been suffering some
apprehension regarding possible rejection of the transplant and surgical
complications. The medications I have had to take created a lot of
depression, disorientation and fatigue. So, what better time to run away?
And since this is the best time of year in Belize, where better a place to
run to. Iíll be back in Los Angeles in a week or so to get the stitches out
of my eye and find out how my eye is doing. I have been off the meds for a
while and so Iím starting to get some things done.
Among the things I have been working on is my ďWorkshop ManualĒ book. I
receive calls constantly about how to work on the gun so I know this is
important. Anything I can do to stop ďmy brother-in-law says he can take the
gun apart" and the reports I get of serious damage done to the gun by people
who do not know how to work on the gun, is effort well spent. I donít know
how far I will get on the book in Belize but I know there is never time in
Los Angeles to do it.
I have become more and more aware of the difficulty people are experiencing
in finding sources for the milling cutters necessary to finish the inside of
semi-finished receivers. I did offer a couple of cutters in my catalog, but
even they had to be modified to use on the Thompson. Also, I lost my source
for high quality cutters. I decided to revisit the whole problem. I wrote a
short article on the cutters I recommend along with some machining tips. I
have located new sources for the cutters. It is my plan to modify the
cutters to the configuration I use and offer them in my catalog ready to
use. There is no sense in someone trying to get to where I am on their own.
I have made every mistake that can be made, so with this information and the
special cutters, people can get a jump start. Contact me for more info on
this if this is something you need. I will get it all formalized with time.
Belize (19 May 11): I am in Belize
until the 23 of June. Hopefully, when I get back the stitches holding
my new cornea on my eye will be removed and I will have better vision.
I'm ok on distance but up close my vision is terrible. It's a good time
to be gone because the weather has been bad and I can't get much done.
I did get a lot of orders shipped. Other than receivers and a couple of
orders the customers know about, I have no back orders. I couldn't get
M1 Top Mounted Bolt Handle Kits, Grip Mount Retainers or Sight End
Barrel Vise Jaws made yet.
Paid Receiver Orders (19 May 11): I
only ask for a $100 deposit on receiver orders. But, for some reason,
people think that if they send me the full amount they will somehow be
placed higher on the waiting list and/or have some sort of special right
to harass me about when they will get a receiver. This even though I
have made it clear to everyone that I am very far behind, have no idea
when I will be able to send a receiver and not to ask me or don't order
a receiver from me. It still goes on and I know that sooner or later I
will have to cancel the order and send a refund when the customer
finally understands that the extra payment didn't buy him anything.
Maybe I should just simply not accept those orders. All it does is waste
my time. It is interesting, though, that almost no one wants a refund
(which I will send out immediately if asked). I understand better than
anyone the receiver problem. There is nothing I can do that I haven't
done to get receivers out. The problem remains that there is just one
of me to do it and I can not do more than I'm doing. Every attempt I
have made to get help has only wasted more of my time and put me further
behind. I work best alone, but Mother Nature and the Government seem to
be determined to get in the way of everything I try to do. Of course,
it isn't just me. Mother Nature seems to want every one to get old and
the Government (at least in the United States) seems determined to
destroy all activity in the country that produces anything.
T-Slot Milling Cutters
May 11): I am working on getting a new source for these and have decided
that I will try to offer them modified for use in the manufacture of
Thompson receivers. This is the one tool I do not offer that seems to be
really needed by those trying to finish receivers. More later on that. I
believe that except for that cutter, my catalog now includes everything
needed to finish a receiver or work on the guns.
M1A1 Rear Sights (6 May 11): I have
decided to offer these in my catalog @ $45 each. These are excellent to
mint condition original winged sights from my old inventory of Thompson
Headspace Gaging Plug (25 Apr 11):
They are finished so all orders being held up for this item will be
shipped in a few days.
Grip Mount Retainers & Sight End Barrel
Vise Jaws (25 Apr 11): I worked on both of these. I can not say at
this time when they will be finished.
Head Space Plug Gages (22 Apr 11):
These are back from the grinder. I will definitely finish them this
Grip Mount Retainers (22 Apr 11): All
the parts are finished except for the frame. I will work on these over
the weekend and next week. At this time, I do not know when they will
Drugs (22 Apr 11): I am no longer on
the transplant anti-rejection drugs. This is the first day in 6 weeks
that my brain has not been screwed up. Sure feels great to be back
among the living. Bad news is that my vision is terrible. It gets
worse before improving.
Eye Surgery (20 Apr 11): I just had a
checkup of the cornea transplant that was done 6 weeks ago. No sign of
my body wanting to reject the cornea. It would seem that I am past the
real critical period. Now just have to let time takes its course. Best
news is that I no longer have to take the medication that was making me
forgetful and sleepy all the time. Maybe I can start getting something
done. Every one should make sure they are set up as an organ donor.
When you are dead it won't matter and it may save someone's life. And
besides, at least a small part of you will live on. I have always been
a donor but never thought that I would need a transplant much less the 3
I have had.
Headspace Gages (20 Apr 11): I
finished the machine work and have sent them out for grinding. I
require a + or - tolerance of .0001" (that is 1/10,000 of an inch on the
length) which I can not do in my shop. They will be ready for shipping
Telephones (15 Apr 11): My telephone
system went through a melt down recently resulting in many people not
being able to reach me. That has all been corrected as of today, at
least technically. Now I face the challenge of learning how to use a
cell phone, call forwarding and message handling. The best number for
Thompson calls is 818-993-1753.
Health (15 Apr 11): Things seem to be
going well as far as the cornea transplant is doing. So far, I've had
14 eye operations including 3 cadaver transplants and 2 implants. Right
now, the transplant and my eye are growing together. Each day the joint
gets more solid and my vision improves. The problem is that my glasses
no longer match my new eye which causes my overall vision to have
deteriorated. I would see better if I didn't see at all out of my new
eye but using only one eye takes a bit of getting used to. There is no
sign of rejection so far. I believe that if all continues well, I will
be in the safe zone by next week. The worst thing is that I have a bad
reaction to the medications. Fatigue. disorientation, nausea and short
term memory loss is really knocking me down. I get very little done.
Sometimes I can't get anything done during a whole day.
Surgery (26 Mar 11): I just had my
14th eye surgery. My transplanted cornea was replaced with another
cadaver cornea transplant. Madalon was in California for the last few
weeks taking care of me so not much got done as far as blogs and
information. I had no way to go. My last cornea transplant had failed
and my overall vision was deteriorating. I will have to have another
surgery to implant a plastic lens but that can't be done until the new
cornea settles in and stabilizes. Between the medications tearing me up
and bad vision, I have been barely able to keep up with anything.
Madalon has been keeping things going.
I was not able to get Headspace Gages
finished and have run out of Grip Mount Retainers and Sight End Barrel
Vise Jaws but most everything else is in stock. I was not able to get
the M1 Top Mounted Bolt Handle Kits blued, so those are also not yet
I am actually upbeat (except when knocked
down by the conflicting medications) about the future. I have a chance
to have good vision with the new cornea. I have been putting the
surgery off for 2 years now waiting until I had a window of time to get
it done. In the meantime, I upgraded some tooling, fixtures and
programming and partially made some receivers to check out the changes.
I was very pleased with the results. I have also been moving all my
tools and parts out of Malibu into a friend's shop and now have a lot
more room and am not a victim of the weather any longer.
I know that I am about 5 years behind on the
oldest receiver orders. Notwithstanding my health problems, I am
extremely concerned about the how long many people have waited. I
appreciate those who have been so patient. I wish someone else would
take over but it seems that no one is either able or willing to make
receivers to the level of quality or completeness that I insist on. I
know it is getting harder and harder to have confidence in anyone these
days to do anything they say they will do, but if I believed for a
minute that I would never make more receivers, I would have sent out
refunds long ago.
Orders (24 Feb 11): I have caught up
on most orders (not receivers) that did not include a Headspace Gaging
Plug. I hope to get those made next week.
(31 Jan 11): The telephone
number is wrong. Should be 818-993-1753.
Catalogs (27 Jan 11): Catalogs went out
today. Each time I revise the catalog, I think that is the last time I
will ever change the catalog. Usually, the next day brings a change.
It never fails.
Catalogs (14 Jan 11): I am behind on
catalogs so be patient if you are waiting for one.
M1 Top Mounted Bolt Handle Kits (14 Jan
11): I deleted this item from the last catalog in order to simplify my
offerings. Of course, that dissapointed some people. So, it is
reinstated. Actually I prefer the M1 over the M1A1 because the M1 is
safer. The M1A1 bolt can detonate a cartridge before it is chambered if
some obstruction prevents its chambering. The result can be a damaged
bolt and/or extractor and injury to anyone who is near the ejection
Office Move (17 Dec 10): Most of office
move has been completed. All catalogs were shipped today and mail
answered. Most all parts inventory was moved. There should be no more
delays from moving. All addresses and phones are good. Unfortunately,
all of us seem to have gotten sick at the SAR show which has slowed
Receiver Order Verification
(13 Dec 10):
For those of you who want to verify your receiver order, all you have to
do is e-mail to ThompsonSMG@mail.com. Madalon is set up to locate a summary record
of all receiver orders very quickly. She can't tell when a receiver
will be shipped but she can confirm the order and position on the list.
SAR Show (13 Dec 10): It was a very slow
show but we all had fun. Madalon will post some photos.
Bead Blast & Black Oxide Service (12
Nov 10): (I am about to make another run. If you wish to take
advantage of this with a fast turnaround, call me at 818-993-1753 to
1/4"W x 1"D Long Shank T-slot Milling
Cutters (14 Oct 10): I now have a very few of these at $100. This
is the cutter I use to finish about 75% of the bolt cavity of 1921/8
Receivers (8 Oct 10): I have
completely given up on trying to get any help making receivers. So it's
just me (What else?). For those who bet I would never make another
receiver, sorry - you just lost. I restarted receiver production a few
Rear Sight Rivets (5 Oct 10): Mr. V.M.
called me regarding some "Thompson" rear sight rivets he had purchased
from Sarco as their number TMP087. He said they didn't seem to fit
properly and wanted to know what the problem was. I suggested that he
send the rivets to me to check which he did.
First off, if you know what a Thompson sight
rivet looks like, the Sarco rivets didn't look like Thompson rivets. A
check of the rivet dimensions showed that the head diameter was too
large, the overall length was too short and the head angle was too
large. I'm not talking about a few thousandths of an inch or a couple
of degrees. The Sarco rivets weren't even close. The only dimension
that was correct was the shank diameter.
Everyone makes a mistake occasionally. But
Sarco seems to do this on a regular basis. I ordered a complete set of
rivets from them for a 1919 Browning LMG. I have the drawings for those
rivets. There wasn't one rivet in the whole bunch that was any where
near correct. Then there was the time I ordered a Thompson sling from
Sarco. After I got it, I called them and asked what made them think it
was a Thompson sling. I was told that "Someone could have used it on a
Thompson - it's possible." To me, this is blatant misrepresentation and
deliberate false advertising.
This sort of thing hurts us all. Apparently
the scheme is to rely on people not returning items which are incorrect
because of the hassle and expense of returning.
This is particularly discouraging to me. I
went to a great deal of effort to obtain all the original Thompson
manufacturing drawings. Then I paid a lot of money to have carbide cold
heading dies made to produce perfect Thompson rear sight rivets. I had
to commit to buying many thousands of rivets to keep the cost per rivet
reasonable. I sell the rivets for $1.50 each. Whether I will ever
recover my cost is doubtful but it had to be done because I am unaware
of any source of true Thompson rear sight rivets other than me. Then
Sarco goes out to a local rivet supplier and buys cheap rivets off the
shelf that are not suitable for Thompson and falsely advertises them as
Thompson rivets. Then, of course, people come to me to find out what's
wrong because the rivets don't fit.
I make ever effort to advertise my products
honestly. Yet, I bet Sarco sells more rivets than I do. Buyer beware!
Backorders (4 Oct 10): Backorders
does not mean receivers.
Back Orders (2 Oct 10): According to
my records, all backorders have been shipped as of last Wednesday except
those wanting rolled drawings which have to wait until the next time I
have drawings printed.
Order Delay (2 Oct 10): I am not a
computer e-mail seller. It sometimes takes me a week to get to town to
cash checks. Then I have to wait for checks to clear. Add another week
after that to get back to town to mail stuff. And that's if I have
nothing better to do than deal with orders. So, please do not inquire
about the status of an order less than 30 days after I have cashed the
check. If you require hour by hour order status you should not order
Shop (2 Oct 10): I sold one of my
milling machines at the shop in order to make room to move all of my
Malibu machines into the shop. This will concentrate all my
manufacturing capabilities into one place. That should improve my
efficiency. I'm doing everything I can to get caught up. I have given
up any hope of getting any help making receivers, so I will just have to
rely totally on myself and making myself more efficient. During the hot
and dry summer months, I have to work primarily outside in Malibu to get
things done there. Moving everything into the shop will enable me to be
able to work on receivers during bad weather.
Auto-Depth Breech Entry Chamfering Tools
(2 Oct 10): I have a few of them back in stock.
1/4"Wide x 1-1/2" Diameter Long Shank
T-Slot Cutters (2 Oct 10); Due to a cancellation, I have 1 left
with no idea when or if I will be able to get more.
Black Oxide Service
(2 Oct 10): I
will be doing another run shortly so contact me if you have parts
ready. This will be the last run for awhile.
Black Oxide (25 Sep 10):
I will be doing another black oxide run soon in case anyone has parts
needing to be bead blasted and blued. Do not send me anything without
checking with me for shipping information.
Standard Front Sight Driver (23 Sep
10): These are back in stock. New tooling and procedures have enabled
me to hold the price on these. It is exasperating though that every
time I go to buy something, the price is higher. I do my best to keep
my prices the same but it is more and more difficult.
Barrel Price Increase (6
Sep 10): As of the 1st of September, I have reluctantly raised the price on
all new (original) barrels by $100. I will also not be supplying any more
new, in the original wrap, WW2 M1 barrels. Instead, I will be providing
excellent/new condition, reconditioned M1 gun take-offs at the old new
barrel price. All barrels that I remanufacture into the various
configurations will continue to be made from the remaining original, new
condition WW2 barrels that I have left. This is a result of original
barrels no longer being available at any price. I will have to revisit the
possibility of manufacturing barrels. The problem has always been that the
market for barrels is not large enough to justify manufacturing quality
T-Slot Milling Cutters (30 Aug 10): I
have finally located a limited supply of the 8 Staggered Tooth, M42
Cobalt, Long Shank T-Slot Milling Cutters . The prices have gone up but
still cheaper than name brands. These are 1/2" W x 1"D x 5/8"D shank x
4-15/16"L at $100 and 1/4" W x 1-1/2"D x 1"D shank x 5-5/16"L at $135,
1/4"W are still not available. I never was able to find a good price on
1/8"W. The ones I did find had been improperly reground from 3/16"W.
Black Oxide (25 Aug 10): If you have
parts kits you want bead blasted & black oxided, now is a good time to
1/4"W x 1-1/2"D Long Shank T-Slot Cutters
(24 Aug 10): This cutter is the one called for in the 1928 receiver
manufacturing drawing for milling the roof of the bolt cavity. It is
shown under "Milling Cutters" in the new products section of this
website. I recommend using a 1"D size if your machine can interpolate
but for those with manual machines, you don't have much choice. I have
not been able to get this cutter for 2 years so I took it out of the
catalog. But, now I can so contact me if you need this cutter.
Receiver Backorder List (14 Aug 10):
Madalon has taken over responding to queries regarding where a person is
on the list so e-mail her at the website e-mail address. All she can
tell you is your overall position down from first in line. Of course,
that confirms that your order is there. That is not the same as your
position for a particular type of receiver which alters delivery some.
No one can tell when a receiver will be shipped. I am doing everything
I can to eat up the backlog and get receivers on the shelf for immediate
Health (14 Aug 10): I didn't realize
it but the Vicadin I was on was making me sickish, lethargic and
depressed. I've been switched to Oxycontin which has given me 75% of my
life back. So now things don't appear so gloomy and hopeless. I have
energy and am in less pain because of my back. I really don't like
discussing my health problems but since it affects others, I'm talking
about it. I'm still working on getting some help in the shop. I have
some hope of that happening. The worsening economic and political
situation in the U.S. is actually working in my favor as more and more
qualified people are being forced to change their work situations if
they still have one. People voted for Obama to get change. Is massive
unemployment and national bankruptcy enough change so far or hasn't he
been given enough time to show what he can really do?
Catalog #68 (14 Aug 10): Catalogs are
now back in stock. Catalog orders and orders with catalogs will go out
next week. I don't make any money on catalogs. Some people do not have
computers and so hard copy catalogs are a must. Some people like me
want to be able to carry the catalog around, hold it in hand, be able to
show and discuss it with their friends or just don't do well with on
line catalogs. Then there are those people who are permanently tied to
a computer and can't deal with anything that does not appear on a
monitor. For those people I would like to be able to somehow post the
catalog so they could download it. I'm not going to turn my website
into an e-commerce shopping cart and I don't know how anyway. However,
anyone who has a suggestion as to how I can somehow provide downloadable
catalogs like the downloadable instruction manuals that some companies
offer, I would welcome suggestions. Remember that the catalog has
changed 68 times so far and I don't have a staff of geeks. I'm looking
for ways to help my customers that do not consume more of my time.
Receiver Record (10 Aug 10): The
computerized list is complete. I know there are errors which I will
sort out as time goes by. Here is what I can tell you now and that is
all I can tell you as to when you will get a receiver:
"You have (number) of
(type) receivers ordered and are (number) on the list."
I make receivers in batches of a particular
type, so receivers will not necessarily be shipped in exact accordance
with the list.
Drum Magazine "DIRECTIONS FOR
LOADING" Instruction Cards
(8 Aug 10): These are back in stock.
1921 Buffer Discs (8 Aug 10): These
are back in stock now.
Standard Front Sight Driver (8 Aug
10): All machine work has been completed. All that remains is bluing
and assembling. No estimated completion date. It depends on when I
have enough parts to justify bluing.
Receiver Record (8 Aug 10): 21 & 28
Shop receiver back orders have all been entered so I can provide
information on those orders. The last ones to do are the 21 & 28
Display receiver back orders. Of course, that is the biggest section so
it will take several days to enter but we are getting there. It
interesting to me to be able to sort by name and see instantly what an
individual's situation is. Sorting by receiver type is more to
determine manufacturing needs. Then by order date tells me who is next
or where an individual is on the "list".
Receiver Records (7 Aug 10): Thompson
supporter Pat came to the rescue and saved the day. He responded to my
cry for help with the computerized receiver record. He got me over the
blockage and got things moving again. So far all receiver orders have
been computerized except for 21/8 receivers. Shop is in work. Display
will be next. Then, for the first time, I will be able to provide
information to people regarding all back ordered receivers. I know how
frustrating it can be to not be able to confirm order status. I won't
be able to tell anyone when I will ship a receiver so please don't ask.
I will be able to confirm other order information. So, other than 21/8
receivers, I will respond to confirmation questions. The best way is to
e-mail me at email@example.com
with SPECIFIC questions that I can answer quickly when I have spare
time. If you have to phone (818-993-1753) please do it around 9 in the
morning or 8 at night California time.
Health (7 Aug 10): I was really
knocked down in the past month with both vision problems flaring up and
really debilitating back pain. A change in eye medication got my vision
back. I'm now on heavy doses of Oxycontin and off Vicadin. This change
seems to have given me a lot more energy besides the pain relief. So
much so, I'm back in the shop with some enthusiasm for the first time in
a long time. So there is hope.
Receiver Records (31 Jul 10): Most of
the advice I got was to use MS Excel. I got part way through loading
receiver order information and everything looked really good, But then
one line would not accept entries. That prevented me from being able to
sort which made the whole thing useless. I have the 2003 version. Is
it just me or do other people have problems with MicroSoft software?
Both Excel and Word lock up on me periodically. Any ideas before I give
up on another waste of my time?
Receivers (31 Jul 10): I have not
been able to get any help and my most recent health problems have
handicapped me greatly so I have no good news to report on that.
Vertical Foregrips (31 Jul 10): This
is the only other item that is on the manufacturing forefront. I have
received many inquiries as to when I would put my grips back in to
production. It is something I am working on but I have to rely on
others and that is always a problem.
Cutts Marked Compensators (31 Jul
10): Manufacturing is moving along but I have no expected date for
completion. These are the ones with the "CUTTS" diamond (I own Cutts.)
and patent dates markings that were fitted to late Colt and early WW2
guns. The problem has been getting the markings exactly right.
Catalogs (31 Jul 10): I am out of
catalogs so there will be a delay in getting them out.
Receiver Order Record (26 Jul 10):
I'm starting to enter all the receiver orders on the computer record.
It will take a while because this is added work and therefore has to be
done on dead time. It is turning out to be interesting for me to see at
a glance what has been ordered and to be able to sort by customer,
receiver type or order date. That info as well as position on the list
for a particular receiver type will be available after I finish. I will
never know when I will ship a receiver, so that question will still not
be acceptable. I will announce when this record is finished. Now if I
could only get more receivers made. I still have no hope of getting any
help. Right now I'm virtually dead in the water due to a severe back
problem. I also had a bad reaction to some new eye medication that
reduced my vision drastically. I will try to get medical help with both
problems next week. Getting old is not good. It's a good thing I got
so many other parts made last month. Most everything is in stock.
Receiver Order Records (4 Jul
10): Old Doug learned a new trick thanks to the advice provided by many of
you. I have learned how to make a spread sheet for the receiver orders. Once
I enter the orders, I should be able to sort them by name, receiver type
and/or order date. This should enable me to look up a customer quickly to
respond to ďam I still on the list or have you forgotten me?Ē. And
when I have receivers ready to ship, I can sort by receiver type and order
date. This will also give me a historical record of every order to tell me
that the order is open, shipped or cancelled. Hopefully, this will eliminate
a lot of customer frustration. It will consume some time getting all the
receiver orders listed but, hopefully, I will save some time in the long
run. We will just have to see how it goes.
One nice thing is that I think I will be able to answer the question ďWhere
am I on the list?Ē. My answer will be something like ďYou are #27 for a 1928
Display receiver.Ē This information should be available in August. I will
never be able to tell anyone when their receiver will be shipped. I donít
know that until the receiver is ready for shipment.
Now, if only someone can tell me how to catch up on making the receivers. I
thought I had help lined up just before I left for Belize, but he quit on me
just as my old associate did a month ago. Itís very difficult to get anyone
to do anything. Iím having more trouble with my eyes and back which isnít
helping. Iím getting too old.
Trip (27 Jun 10): I shut down today
to leave for Belize. The last of the mail goes out Monday. That's it
until I return July 22. While in Belize, Madalon & I will try to
implement the suggestions received as to how to better track receivers.
I believe I have gotten control of the non-receiver parts so there will
be few, if any back orders. The challenge when I return will be to try
to get receivers made.
Receiver Prices (27 Jun 10): It's
either cut corners or raise prices. Both rent and steel costs have
tripled. Other costs keep going up. I will not cut quality.
Therefore, regretfully, I have had to raise receiver prices $100 for all
types of receivers on new orders. I will try to deliver old orders at
the last price. There is a reason no one competes with me. It's not
that I'm so good - it's that no one can do what I do for the price I
charge. I learned this lesson during my recent efforts to get some
help. No one wants to work for nothing. I have never worked on
Thompsons to make money. It was not a business for me. More like an
obsession that I wanted to share with others. Anyway, SHOP receivers
are now $535 and DISPLAY receivers are now $585.
Accomplishment (23 Jun 10): I have
reworked every one of my products as to design, tooling, fixtures, gages
and manufacturing procedure. The fact that I am caught up now is proof
that the time I spent doing that has paid off. I can't get any help and
I can't work more so working smarter is my only way to go. Virtually
everything in my catalog, except receivers and where indicated, is
available for immediate shipment so there is no need to ask if I have
this or that in stock. If I run out of something, I can make more
reasonably quickly. Compensators do remain a problem. I have early
"Colt" style but no later styles and no confidence that they will get
made soon. The problem is getting the roll-die designed and made. I
have to rely on others for this item so it's the same old problem. All
1921 specific parts (actuator, recoil spring, buffer and pilot) are in
Vacation (23 Jun 10): I will be
leaving for Belize June 29. I plan to be back July 23. I will be
Receivers (23 Jun 10):
My old associate, who had been promising for months to join me to spend
full time making receivers, lasted 2 days and then ran off. It wouldn't
have been so bad except that I stopped everything else to get things
ready for him so I lost a few days. And, he didn't even turn off the
lights. I do have another plan I'm working on that may help get more
receivers made faster. It just seems impossible to get anyone to do
anything any more.
Back Orders (23 Jun 10): I just
finished up a large quantity of parts. A lot of orders were shipped out
last Monday. Other than a hold up on semi-auto parts and flat drawings
and a few orders that will be sent out next Monday and a couple of
instances where I have been in contact with the customers, according to
my records all parts back orders have been filled. Anyone who believes
I still owe him parts, except as noted here, should call me at
818-993-1753 or e-mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org . There are only a couple of items I show in my
catalog that are not in stock but I have no orders for them.
(16 Jun 10): No one
ever complains about what I do. It's what I am not able to do that
people complain about. Probably the biggest area where I totally fail
is in tracking receiver orders. I never loose an order. I just don't
know where it is or the status until I get to it in the pile. It hasn't
been that long ago that I was forced to acknowledge the existence of
computers. I can do e-mail now and word processing fairly well, but
So, I need your help. Is there some kind of
simple software I can get that would enable me to enter a customer name
and order info in columns and the software would automatically position
the entry in alphabetical order. Then allow me to sort by receiver type
and/or date of order?
I just don't have the time to hand sort piles
of receiver orders to find a particular one. People want to know if I
still have their order and some idea of where they are on the list.
Also, when I have receivers available, I want to know who is next on the
Fixed Rear Sight & Scope Mounts (20
May 10): Machine work was finished today. All that's left to do is
Buttstock Catch Button Replacement Kit
(15 May 10): I have finished the machine work on this item. If you
have a buttstock that is missing the button, this item will save the
Combo Scope Mounts (14 May 10): I
have finished the machine work on a new batch of my Combo Scope Mounts.
The new mounts differ from those I made in the past in that both screws
or rivets can be used. The price remains the same.
2S Receiver Parts (2 May 10): I now
have the special cutter I was waiting for so I can finish up the parts
people have been waiting for.
Assembly Pins (29 Apr 10): Trigger
Housing Assembly Pins are back in stock. These turned out to be more
popular than I had anticipated. The new pins are made to a slightly
different design than the originals. I'm always trying to improve
Trigger Housing Assembly Pins (26 Apr
10): All the parts for these got made today. All that's left to do is
assemble them. They will probably be finished this week.
1921 Recoil Springs (26 Apr 10):
Whenever I announce that I'm going to manufacture a Thompson product,
especially something like the 21 spring, some well meaning friend will
say something like: " I have a really nice 21 spring in a mint Colt gun
that I'm sure is original, that you can copy." I don't do that.
I'm not going to copy a spring that has
been compressed in a gun for 90 years, may or may not be original, and
maybe wasn't made right in the first place. That's how so many people
get themselves in trouble. They try to make a part by copying a part
and then they claim it was made to the original specifications. The
fact is that they don't have a clue as to what the original
specifications were. The original 1921 recoil spring worked perfectly
in 15,000 guns for almost a century. For someone to say they offer a
spring which is an improvement over the original is to admit that they
do not know what the original specifications were so "improvement" is
their cover story.
This is one of the reasons I came up
with my "PARTS CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM". It is my attempt to codify the
words people use to describe their parts. My springs are being made
exactly to the original Colt drawing.
21 To 28 (25 Apr 10): Since I now
offer 1921 actuators, there has been a surge of interest in converting
1928 guns into 1921s. A "Dear Doug" article addressing this subject has
been added to that section. Now that the actuators have been finished,
the demand for 1921 recoil springs, buffers & pilots has consumed my
inventory of those parts. Springs are being made now. Buffers & pilots
production is yet to be started.
M1 Display Bolt Handles (25 Apr
10): A new supply was finished (except for bluing) today.
Combo Scope Mounts (25 Apr 10): Work
progressed on these today.
Receiver Production (24 Apr 10): A
ton of receiver steel should be delivered next week. My old associate
that I have been trying to coax into rejoining me to make receivers has
now joined me and will start working on receivers as soon as the steel
is delivered. This will increase production significantly. I am
looking forward to getting the entire order backlog shipped and having
receivers at the next Phoenix show on the table for immediate delivery.
I think it can be done. For the first time I see light at the end of
the tunnel. (I hope that's not a train headlight.)
Combo Scope Mounts (24 Apr 10): These
are out of stock but are currently being made.
M1 Display Bolt Handles (24 Apr 10):
These are out of stock but are currently being made. I hope to have
them finished except for bluing in a few days.
1921 Buffers (24 Apr 10): These are out of
stock and are planned for production soon. I think I will make two
versions; an original specification version with fiber discs for the
purists and an aftermarket version using urethane buffering material.
1921 Recoil Springs (24 Apr 10): These are
out of stock. I am having more made to the exact original
Apr 10): As Thompson parts become more difficult to find and the prices
increase correspondingly, more people are going to manufacture parts of
varying quality and make misleading claims regarding their products.
I have been trying to figure out a classification system for the parts I
offer as well as those that others offer. Iím not talking about condition.
The NRA established a system for that years ago. Iím talking about a system
that describes how the part was made. I have come up with the following
classification system for Thompson which I present for your consideration.
Comments are welcome.
(A Proposed System)
Douglas W. Richardson
This would be any part made from 1916 through 1944 by or authorized by the
Auto-Ordnance Corporation including items procured directly by the
Government during WW2.
This would include any part made that does not fall under OLD ORIGINAL but
which was made in complete accordance with the original Auto-Ordnance
dimensional, material, heat treatment and finish drawings. The only
exception would be a change in material used if the original material is not
readily available and the material used is as good as or better than the
original. For someone to make a part to conform to this category, he would
have to possess those original drawings.
This would include any part made by reverse engineering an existing part or
otherwise copying a part as well as any part made partly in accordance with
the original drawings where the intention was to make a NEW ORIGINAL part
but the part fails to completely meet the definition of a NEW ORIGINAL part.
Any part made, whether partly in accordance with the original drawings or
not at all, where the part differs from the original part or is a new design
in order to create a claimed improvement or different use.
This would be any part which is claimed to be an OLD ORIGINAL but is not
regardless of how it was made. This would also include any part which was
made by anyone claiming to be a successor in interest to the original
Auto-Ordnance Corporation or marking their parts in such a way, without a
disclaimer, in order to mislead the buyer into believing he was buying a
part made by the original Auto-Ordnance Corporation.
Catalogs (13 Apr 10): Catalogs are
back from the printer and will be mailed Thursday.
Is There Life After Receivers (10 Apr
10): Finally got all the receivers in the current batch shipped out.
Now I'll try to get caught up on the other stuff. Catalogs are at the
SA Barrel (7 Apr 10): Years ago I
offered my SA Barrel, It was a 16.1" 1928A1 style barrel designed for
those people with N/K guns who disliked the appearance of the N/K
16-1/2" barrel that ended up 18-1/2" long when a compensator was
People tried many methods to reduce the
barrel/compensator length but unless the compensator was permanently
attached to the barrel, it could not be counted as part of the required
16" barrel length on a non-NFA rifle.
Permanently attaching the compensator was
difficult because it required shortening the N/K barrel and then adding
a bushing to enlarge the barrel diameter to the compensator thread
size. Another problem was that once the compensator was permanently
attached to the barrel, it was impossible to adjust it in the event it
wasn't exactly orientated on the barrel to put the sight straight up.
My design used a special barrel and a special
compensator that telescoped over the end of the barrel. Since
this design used a barrel of legal length, the method of attaching the
compensator was irrelevant. The special SA Compensator added only about
.1" to the SA Barrel, yielding an overall barrel/compensator length of
about 16.2". That cut about 2.3" off the N/K barrel/compensator
length. A TSMG barrel with compensator is 12-1/2" long.
For those people who insisted that the
compensator function, my SA Barrel was slotted to allow the gasses to
exit out the slots in the top of the compensator in the normal manner.
So, what happened to the SA
Barrel/Compensator? I discontinued it because it took too much time to
hand make only a few and there was not enough demand to justify mass
production. It may now be time to reconsider putting the SA
Barrel/Compensator into production. The picture is of an old
pre-manufacturing prototype part.
Catalogs (6 Apr 10): I finally
got the catalog master updated. This edition took longer than
normal because the new receiver policy affected many pages. It will
be next week before the new catalogs are printed and mailed.
Colt Buttstocks (6 Apr 10): I have
had to put the buttstock project on hold. I just don't have the time
for it that it was taking. So, it becomes a second tier project which
means it becomes a fill in available time effort.
2S/MS Drawing (3 Apr 10): I have
revised the 2S/MS drawing which can also be used for the 2MM and the
rear portion of the 2M2 receiver. It will be a week before it can be
posted because I have to get it reduced for scanning. The old
(incorrect) drawing with the correct dimension noted will be reposted in
the semi-auto section immediately.
Shop Receivers (2 Apr 10): I am very
concerned about the number of people who have ordered Shop receivers.
More often than not, people don't seem to understand that they can not
legally make a machine gun without a Class 2 machine gun manufacturing
I offer the
Shop receiver for those few people who do have a Class 2 license. No
one can legally make a machine gun without that license. It doesn't
matter if your friend has an FFL. It doesn't matter if you know someone
with a Class 2 license. If you don't have one, there is no point to
ordering a Shop receiver. You won't be able to make a Display gun with
it. You can make a Display receiver into a working gun if you someday
obtain a license. Personally, I don't care. Order a Shop receiver
and I'll send you one (eventually). I just don't want people to order
something that isn't exactly what they need.
Catalogs, Etc. (29 Mar 10): Trying to
get the receivers shipped got me behind on everything else like
catalogs, drawings, parts etc. I'm working on all that now but it will
take a while to catch up. Unfortunately, when I do am working on one
thing, everything else has to wait.
New Batch of Receivers (29 Mar 10): I
have already started on a new batch of receivers. I am looking forward
to being able to make them under my new policy which will enable me to
make receivers for inventory without getting myself completely bogged
down with the customer involvement that seems to be inherent whenever I
customize a receiver with special features like serial numbers which
require full payment before the receiver is finished.
Some people have complained that I should
put serial numbers on receivers ordered before the new policy, but it is
very likely that they would never get a receiver if I continue as I have
been doing. It would be different if I could get total cooperation but
that is apparently not possible.
I had one customer who called me 4
times after I reminded him that he had promised never to call me about
when he would get his receiver. His justification? He said that since
I had required full payment in advance for his customization, he had a
right to constant updates. What he did was to delay everyone's
receiver. Multiply this by all the receiver back orders I have and it
doesn't take a mathematician to figure out that it soon (like the
national debt) excludes all progress.
Receivers (29 Mar 10): Every receiver
in the current batch has been shipped, will be shipped tomorrow to those
persons I have been able to contact to confirm shipping arrangements or
will also be shipped tomorrow if my telephone call messages are returned
today so I can confirm shipping arrangements. Any that don't get sent
tomorrow will be held until such time as I can confirm the shipping
arrangements. I do not ship receivers until I am assured that the
address I have is correct and that someone will be available to receive
the package. No one needs be concerned that I have shipped a receiver
to them when they were on vacation or to the wrong address. No need to
call about that.
Receivers Ready For Shipping
10): This photo shows more barreled receivers ready for shipping. The
photos here and posted before are representative of different types of
receiver and barreled receivers in the current batch.
Two 1928A1 Barreled Shop Receivers
Receivers Shipped (24 Mar 10): I
shipped a bunch of receivers yesterday to those people I was able to
notify by phone that their receiver's) were being shipped. Made some
engraving corrections yesterday on other receivers. Today I will barrel
the last of the barreled receivers. That means that all the rest of the
receivers in the current batch will probably go out next week, but ONLY
after I have been able to notify each person. AGAIN & AGAIN & AGAIN,
there is absolutely no reason for anyone to contact me regarding a
receiver order unless they have changed their contact information or
want to change the receiver model ordered. I simply will not take the
time to respond to "do you still have my receiver order?" or "when will
I get my receiver?"
Receivers (22 Mar 10); Here are
some photos of receivers being shipped this week.
M1A1 Barreled Shop Receivers
1921 Colt Barreled Display Receivers
With Colt #1 Markings And Fitted With Display Bolt Handles & Pilots
M1A1 Display Receivers
Fitted with Display Bolt Handles & Pilots
1928A1 Display Receivers
Fitted With Display Bolt Handles & Pilots
Compensators (20 Mar 10): Work has
begun on making compensators. They will be the late Colt and WW2 type
(Model 1932). No completion date as yet. Biggest problem is making the
markings die. It will be the Cutts diamond/patent dates style.
Buttstock Attachments (20
Mar 10): The design was finalized today. The last change was an improved
spring arrangement and selection of the spring. The various styles of
buttstocks which will be fitted with the attachment are in work. My
attachments are not interchangeable with original Thompson attachments and
will be offered only ae part of the buttstocks I am making. The buttstocks
in work are 1921, 1923 and 1927 types. 1922 (with blued catch which can be
nickel plated for Colt applications) and 1928A1 (re-enforced) are styles
available surplus so there is no point in making them.
Catalogs (20 Mar 10): I have run out
of catalogs so it will be a week or two before I have a new edition
Back From Belize (19 Mar 10): Belize
isn't perfect but it sure beats the U.S. if you like sanity and rational
behavior. I don't have TV in Malibu so it isn't until I go to Belize
that I get to watch the U.S. Congress acting like a bunch of idiots.
Every time I go there and get a renewed look at the beach, coconut trees
and Caribbean Sea, I can't help but be awestruck at the beauty. It's
what you see on postcards. It sure gets my brain cleaned out. If you
want to see how normal people live, give a thought to renting Madalon's
beach front apartment (www.Bahialaguna.com).
2S Bolt Cavity Drawing (1 Mar
10): The drawing of how to finish the bolt cavity has been temporarily
removed from the Semi-Auto section due to an error in the dimensioning. In
my haste to get the old drawing modified and posted, I forgot to change the
back end of the bolt cavity. When I get back to California, Iíll make the
Belize (24 Feb 10): The surgery
turned out to still be painful makes it difficult for me to get around.
It slowed me down to the point I ran out of time before my trip to
Belize was upon me. So, I'll be in Belize for the next 3 weeks. Things
will just have to wait until I get back but I see no reason why the
receivers in the current batch won't be shipped before the end of
March. I'm sorry for the delay but I can only do so much.
1928 Urethane Buffers (22 Feb 10): I
found some buffers in the shop that I didn't remember having so those
back orders will be filled shortly.
Receivers (20 Feb 10): Engraving is
about half finished. The shop tells me they are working on them 10
hours a day. So, they should be ready for bluing next week. It doesn't
really matter because the 2 days I was told I would be sore after the
surgery is turning out to be 2 weeks of pain. Seems there were
complications beyond the normal. Lucky me!
Buttstocks (16 Feb 10): I received
yet another call looking for a straight-back (no drop) style of
buttstock. Interestingly, none of those people realized that they were
asking for a Model 1923 Buttstock. I didn't think that there was any
demand for the 1923 other than to recreate the 1923 gun. Of course, it
has been my plan to offer the 1923 buttstock as well as the 1921 and
1927 because those are not available or the cost is very high. That is
why I have been working (although not a priority) to produce the
buttstock attachment assembly which is the one part of the buttstock not
readily available. I will have all three of those buttstocks available
soon. I don't have a price yet but they will all be the same price.
So, if you are wanting one of those buttstocks, let me know.
Catalog Contents (14 Feb 10): It has
occurred to me that there are people who are younger than I whose only
perception of the world is what they find on the internet. This was
brought home to me recently when a person posted a comment on the
Machinegun Board in which he stated that "finally" someone had made a
pivot plate tool. He apparently did not know that I designed and
offered such a tool for many years. I couldn't figure out how any
Thompson fan could be so unaware of the multitude of Thompson products
that I offer.
It then struck me that it is because I
sell through a catalog rather than via the internet. It also seems
strange to me that the person has been waiting so long for someone to
offer a pivot plate tool rather that reimburse me for my $3 cost ($5
postpaid) of printing my catalog. I wonder how much that person would
have saved himself in both money and stress by having had my catalog.
After all, I do offer more Thompson
products than everyone else in the world combined. I, and most of my
customers, do not live on-line. I'd guess that half of my customers do
not even have ready access to the internet, so an on-line catalog would
not work for me. But, recognizing that these on-line only people do
exist, I have made a list of my Thompson products that are shown in the
catalog. The list will be posted near the beginning of this website
under the catalog information. That way, people will be able to know
what is in the catalog before ordering it. A secondary benefit is that
I will no longer have to answer endless questions about whether I offer
this item or that item. They say you can't teach an old Doug new
tricks. I think I just learned one.
Colt Levers (12 Feb 10): Now that the
actuator project is finished, the next back burner project moving up is
to make the Colt Safety and Rocker Pivot levers. Since it took 25 years
to finish the actuators, the levers probably will not get done
tomorrow. I always have some "back burner" projects to provide
something to think about.
Receivers (12 Feb 10): So much for my
plan to get the receivers from engraving today. I can barely get out of
bed after the hernia surgery Wednesday. I don't want to do that again.
It's no fun.
Actuators (10 Feb 10): See "New
Product" section for the "official" announcement. Actuator orders are
being filled from stock with no waiting. "What a concept!"
Receivers (8 Feb 10): All receivers
went into engraving today as I had planned. Wednesday I go in for a
hernia surgery. By the time I recover a bit from that the receiver
engraving should be finished. A receiver was destroyed the last time a
batch was in engraving. Let's hope that doesn't happen again.
2S Receiver Internals (8 Feb 10): I
have several orders for those parts but people will just have to be
patient on that until I get all the receivers in the current batch
shipped. Then, I'll try to find some time to get to that.
2S Drawing (8 Feb 10): I have posted
the 2S receiver drawing in the semi-auto section. This drawing shows
how to finish the 2S receiver into a working receiver. It also covers
the MS receiver. I hope to have better drawings available soon for all
my special receivers but for now this one will have to do. It can
also be used for the 2MM & M2 bolt cavities and the back end of the 2M2
Semi-Auto Bolt Cavity Drawing (6 Feb
10): I will post a drawing showing how to complete the bolt cavity of my
semi-auto receivers next week in the semi-auto section. This drawing
can also be used to complete the cavity on 2MM and M2 receivers and the
rear end of the bolt cavity on 2M2 receivers. The front portion of the
bolt cavity on 2M2 receivers is identical to the 1921/8 receivers.
2MM Shop Receiver
(SOLD)(6 Feb 10): Due to
a failure of a customer to pay, I have one 2MM receiver sitting on
the shelf with no back orders. I sure like the feeling of that. I wish
I had every model of receiver available on the shelf. Immediate
delivery! What a concept!
Receivers (6 Feb 10): All receivers
in the current batch requiring engraving will be at the engravers
Monday. They should be in Black oxide the following Monday and,
hopefully, I can start shipping at the end of that week and finish
shipping by the end of the following week. That is an estimate, not a
promise. I have already sent out requests for quotes on another ton of
receiver steel for the next batch. Naturally, the cost has gone up for
the steel as has everything else.
Receiver Finish (6 Feb 10): The only
complaints I have ever gotten about my receivers is about the finish. I
used to finish all my receivers the same. People with WW2 kits
complained that the finish on my receivers was too nice and made their
parts kits look really bad. The Colt people wanted a better finish.
So, now I do no extra finishing on the WW2 receivers. My "Colt"
receivers have a fine sanded finish similar to the Colts and that is why
I charge $20 extra for a "Colt" receiver which is, otherwise, identical
to a WW2 1928A1 receiver. It is necessary to have a better finish on
the "Colts" in order for the markings to look right and give them the
Receivers (5 Feb 10): According to my
records, I have no more back orders for 1921
Colt Shop with round end actuator slots,
2S, M2 or 2MM receivers after I send out the current batch to
those people who have been contacted for payment and have paid.
If anyone is waiting for those types of
receivers, he should call me at 310-457-6400. There are a few people
who I have been unable to contact for all types of receivers. Anyone
who has been waiting a LONG time and has changed their contact
information should also call.
If you haven't changed your
contact information or if you have and have told me about it, please
don't call. I am talking about old orders only.
Receiver Serial Numbers (5 Feb 10):
The reason why (Some people have asked.) I do not make space for serial
numbers on my non-original types of receivers (2MM, 2M2, 2S, MS & M2) is
that those receivers are intended to be made into guns by the buyers and
I assume the buyer will want to put their name, address and serial
number on the right side of the receiver.
Assigning Order Numbers (4 Feb 10): I
have had a number of responses about assigning order numbers. Everyone
seems to like the idea except me. People don't realize that 75% of the
receiver customers don't keep a copy of their order; 25% can't remember
what receiver model they ordered; 2% can't remember what name they
used. How are those people going to remember a number I give them??? I
think things will be ok with the new policy of not customizing receivers
which gets me out of the customer involvement during manufacture that
has so bogged me down.
Receivers (2 Feb 10): I was not happy
with the way the "Colts" finish came out. (I suppose it's just me and
everyone else would have liked it.) But I delayed things long enough to
get it right. So now I have a pile of receivers that I would be happy
to have any one of them for myself. Everything is done except for the
engraving which is not finished and then they go for black oxide.
Serial numbers are being put on this batch in spite of the risk to me.
I go into the hospital next week for
hernia surgery. I expect to restart shipping receivers the following
week. No receiver will be shipped without a confirming phone call so
don't call me about it.
Receiver Orders Identification (1 Feb
19): Several people have suggested that I assign numbers to receiver
orders in accordance with the date I receive the orders. I have thought
about doing that before but it was never practical. The current state
of the backlog and my new policy may now have made doing that make much
As I have worked out the details so far,
after assigning the position number I would tell the person placing the
order his number. From then on orders would be filed by number
regardless of type of receiver ordered. Then if the person changed the
type of receiver wanted, only that would be changed, not the position
number. Then, without naming customers, I could post deliveries by
number so that other people could more or less keep track of where the
are on the list.
it would be very easy for me to respond to someone asking about his
receiver order to say "What is your number?" and then tell him what the
last number shipped was.
When a 1928A1 Shop with lock ramps and bevels
(for example) receiver is finished and ready to ship, I would go to the
list and send the receiver to the next person on the list who was
waiting for that receiver.
Someone else who had ordered an M1 receiver
earlier would simply remain on the list until I had that type of
Of course, the nightmare that I know
would come are the calls "Would you please stop everything and look
through every order you have and tell me what my number is because I
lost it." And, of course, "I also don't remember what name I ordered it
under." I can't win.
As you can tell, I am desperately trying to
be responsive to people waiting for receivers and still get something
done. It is right now Sunday night at about 8 pm. I have just gone to
my house after working all day at the Malibu shop getting everything I
need for the receiver shop tomorrow.
I would have been able to get more done,
but 4 calls today required me to shut down to tell people that "No, I
did not promise you that you would be moved ahead of every one else."
"If I had shipped a receiver to you, I would have called you first."
"No, I am not going to make an exception for you and customize your
receiver." "No, I do not have time to look through hundreds of orders
to tell you what you ordered, you will have to check your own records."
Receiver Shipments (30 Jan 10): All
the receivers I sent out last week have been received. Maybe I made too
many receivers in this last batch because I find myself bogged down in
just trying to keep them sorted out. So I split them up.
Next week all "Colt" and M1 and M1A1
receivers go into engraving rather than waiting for them all.
I am also making a special effort to
put the serial numbers on them as requested since they were paid for in
advance and then the receivers were delayed.
This will be the last batch of receivers
with serial numbers. My plan for the future is to make fewer receivers
in each batch and they will all be the same in each batch so there will
be more of a continuing flow. The new policy is already working to
speed things up.
(28 Jan 10): All advance orders for 1921 actuators have been sent.
- Actuators (27 Jan 10): The 1921
actuators are finished, blued and ready to ship. I will probably get
them in the mail next week. This is the culmination of a 25 year
project, although only a secondary priority for the last 3 years.
Unless our time is valueless, this has been a money losing project.
Even so, it had to be done because so many people have been trying to
get replacement actuators for their Colt guns. Attempts by others to
make them has always resulted in failure to duplicate the Colts. It
became a challenge to do it correctly. I believe it has been
accomplished. I didn't make a lot of them and it is very unlikely that
I will ever make more. The price is $435 + $12 HIS. I will post a "New
Products" entry when I get a chance.
Buttstock Attachments (27 Jan 10):
I'm still tweaking the design in between receivers. Since special
length mounting bolts will be required, I decided to also change the
thread size. I did so because the #14-24 Thompson thread is such a rare
size and to prevent the special bolts from being confused with the
originals. That forces the decision that a complete kit will have to be
offered with the only original part in the kit being the spring. I did
modify one of the prototypes to make it fit a standard buttstock. It
fit better than the original and required so little modification that it
will be easy to offer that version. Who ever suggested that I offer an
attachment to fit standard buttstocks and got me thinking about it made
a valuable suggestion. I never considered it because the only
motivation I had for making the attachments was that I needed them for
the buttstocks we are making and I was not making them entirely in
accordance with the original drawings. People have often asked me why
A-O chose to use the #14-24 thread size which is such an oddball. The
answer is that #14-24 thread was very common in 1920 whereas many thread
sizes that are common today were not used back then. Today, it is
almost impossible to buy a #14-24 bolt or the taps and dies. That's why
I offer the taps and dies in my catalog.
Receivers (24 Jan 10): I was at the
shop from Friday afternoon until Sunday night. (Yes, I sometimes live
there.) I discovered that 3 receivers did not get lock ramps cut in. I
don't know how that happened.
Unfortunately, the automatic machining center
decided to quit. The CPU (Central Processing Unit) board failed and the
machine became brain dead. I called the repair man at 5pm Friday. By
7pm a new board had been installed and the machine working again.
(Fantastic service!) Fortunately, I have back ups of back ups because
the machine had to be completely reprogrammed. By noon Saturday, I had
reprogrammed the machine. By 3pm the missing lock ramps were all
I mention this as just one more example of
why I had to discontinue customizing receivers. I could have lost any
one of the 3 receivers if something had gone wrong in the ramps
machining cycle. Then I would have been caught between the rock and the
hard place, as they say, because every one of those receivers has been
fully paid for and the customers are waiting to receive them. In the
future, all receivers will be made for stock and no customers called
until they are ready to ship. Then it doesn't matter if I lose a
Actuators (24 Jan 10): The "R"
marking is being put on now. There is a little more clean-up to do
yet. They will probably be finished next week. They really look great!
Buttstock Attachments (24 Jan 10): I
guess I will have to offer a version that fits a standard Thompson
buttstock cavity since so many people have insisted that I sell the
attachment. It will still have most of the changes I made in the
version I will be fitting to buttstocks I make. I'm not sure whether
I'll just offer the attachment or all the parts as a kit. I'm busy with
receivers so this project only gets spare time now and then. Receivers
always get top priority but that doesn't stop me from thinking about
Buttstock Catch Button (21 Jan 10):
Over the years, I have received many requests for replacement buttons
for the 1921/8 buttstock attachment. There is nothing holding the
button on the catch other than a sometimes not-so-tight fit into the
hole on the catch. The button simply falls out occasionally and is
lost. In my opinion, the failure to provide a positive connection
between the button and the catch is a design flaw. The button is a very
simple part. The problem in making them is in forming the checkering on
the top of the button. It's not a big problem but unless there is a
reasonable demand for the buttons, it's just not economically viable to
invest in the tooling.
However, now that I am making buttstock
attachment assemblies, I have the tooling required to checker the top of
the buttons. Even though I changed the design of the button and catch
on my attachments so as to make it one piece to prevent the button from
I will also be making buttons to fit
original catches. Since they will be used to replace buttons that have
already fallen out, a new button made in accordance with the original
drawing would probably fall out as well. It's just a bad design.
Therefore, my current plan is to make the button without the shank and
use a spring pin to hold the button and catch together and also provide
the spring pilot. The kit will be priced at $15.
Anyone needed this item should go ahead and
order it and send me their catch. During development, I will install
the kit on their catch at no charge so I can be sure everything works
and future buyers will have no difficulty installing the kits.
Rain, Rain, Rain (20 Jan 10): It
would be impossible to work on receivers in Malibu in this weather.
Fortunately, I moved the last of the receiver machines from Malibu to
the "new" shop last Friday. So, I will be finishing more receivers
while it rains. This is just one more change to attack the receiver
Receivers Shipped (19Jan 10): 7
receivers were shipped today to individuals I had called. They should
have them by Friday. That's how it works. One week ago I had no idea
when the receivers would be shipped.
(15 Jan 10): The 1921
actuators are days away from being ready to ship. There was a small
problem with the checkering but that has been solved. I was also
concerned that my actuators would be used to defraud buyers by resellers
claiming they are original Colts. I can't tell the difference between
mine and the Colts so how is anyone else going to? For that reason, all
my actuators will be marked with a small "R" on the side.
The only real difference is that I made mine
from pre-hardened steel whereas Colt made theirs from soft steel and
then hardened them. It is more difficult to work with hardened steel,
especially if you are using 1920's cutters. Since I believe that the
reason so many Colt actuator knob "ears" break off is that the
heat treating after machining created microscopic surface cracks that,
through years of shooting stresses, finally broke through. I have
always recommended that any one shooting their Colt TSMG replace the
barrel, bolt and the actuator and lock those original parts away. What
is the value of a once $50,000 Colt with a bulged barrel, broken bolt
face feed lip or actuator with one "ear" missing? Now I offer all those
Also, for the person who has a 1928 and wants
to enjoy the shooting characteristics of the 1921, I offer all the parts
necessary to make the conversion.
(15 Jan 10): The
following photo shows a prototype of the 1921/28 Buttstock Attachment
being developed. I have no plans to offer this item as a separate part
because it is slightly different (I think improved) from the original
and will not fit into the standard buttstock pocket nor can the
individual parts be used to repair original attachments. The
improvements include the button being part of the strike bar so it can't
fall off, the front stock bolt not penetrating the surface so it can't
scratch the trigger housing, deeper fit into the buttstock wood to
increase strength, radiused side corners to make fitting it in the
buttstock better and a radiused bottom front end to also make it easier
to get a good fit to the wood. This attachment is being made to use
with the 1921, 1923 and 1927 buttstocks we are also making. Just
thought this might be of interest.
Receivers (15 Jan 10): I finished
rebuilding and setting up the feed ramp machine. Then I cut the feed
ramps on the receivers that were missing feed ramps. So now all
receivers in the current batch are finished machined. 7 are blued and
ready to ship. On Tuesday I did not know that the 7 would be finished
on Wednesday. That's why it is a waste of my time for people to call me
wanting to know when their receiver will be finished. I will be calling
those customers before shipping next week. The rest of the receivers
need to be deburred, engraved and blued.
Feed Ramp Fixture (13 Jan 10): This
fixture was damaged in the roof disaster. Today, I finished rebuilding
it and, of course, added a few improvements. I'll be at the shop for
the next couple of days. Hopefully, I'll be able to get the entire feed
ramp machine back into operation. That will enable me to finish the
machine work on the receivers that somehow slipped by me without the
feed ramps being done. That would bring me back to where I was at
mid-October before the roof disaster. I lost almost 3 months because of
that. I will finish up the current batch of receivers as quickly as
possible, get them sent out and then take a vacation south. Sounds too
good to be true.
Buck Stops Here (12 Jan 10): I have
received some messages defending me and/or apologizing for possibly
being one of the motivations for me changing my Receiver Policy and
causing disappointments to others especially after my last blog. If I
come off sounding angry, I'm not. Unhappy with someone, I'm not.
Frustrated, maybe, with my inability to produce receivers as quickly as
I would like. I am the one causing disappointment to others. I am very
distressed when I am unable to meet the expectations that I have, one
way or another, lead others to believe I can achieve. I have never told
anyone that I will deliver a receiver by a certain date unless it is
ready to ship. People hear what they want to hear. I understand that.
I post comments, good or bad, in the
"Customer Comments" section because
I believe customer comments say it better than I can. I use criticism
of me to highlight the problems, not to find fault with the messenger.
Sure, there are some people I can never make happy. To them or anyone
else, I give an immediate refund. All a person has to do is ask. No
one needs to justify it. In the particular case I cited in my last blog,
it is a shame the customer cancelled his receiver order at the last
minute. The current batch of receivers are the best ever and the
manufacturing went extremely well in spite of an unbelievable number of
unforeseen delays. I believe the customer who cancelled will regret his
decision, but so be it. Receivers will start to ship next week but that
doesn't mean all of them and, once again, I am incapable of giving a
completion date. I do contact everyone before shipping to make sure
they will be looking for the package.
My solution is not to blame others, but to
examine where my time is going and to eliminate anything that consumes
more time that the result is worth. My new Receiver Policy is a further
refinement towards eliminating confusion and better utilizing my time.
I am, actually, quite upbeat with the way things are going. But, I will
never be personally happy about receivers until they are on the shelf
and I can ship as soon as I get an order just as I have been able to
accomplish with most of my other products. It's a learning process. If
something isn't working, I try something else.
I appreciate the favorable responses I have
received on my various designs. This encourages me to do better. I
will never cut the quality. I may have to do fewer things. I may have
to change the way I do things. I appreciate thought out comments and
suggestions. Some of "my" best ideas I have gotten from others.
New Receiver Policy Comment
10): Understandably, some people are unhappy about my new policy which
applies to all receiver orders no manner when placed. I am talking
about the part that I will no longer customize receivers with special
markings like serial numbers. I can not predict when I will get a
receiver finished. The recent shop roof caving in and destroying one of
my machines with rain water
during a storm or my
developing a groin hernia for which I am trying to schedule surgery are
just two examples.
I received the following communication (which I posted under ("Customer
"Either send me my
receiver at once, or my money - all of it. If I donít get satisfaction
by the end of the month I will take legal action. Taking money and not
delivering the product is mail fraud, a Federal offense (apart from
being flat out sleazy). Iím out of
patience with you."
Now, let's assume for the
sake of illustration that this particular receiver (I haven't looked in
to it yet.) had been engraved with a special serial number but it was
not yet black oxided. And, maybe I noticed something about the receiver
that I wasn't happy with like, for instance, one of the sight screw hole
threads needed re-tapping. Then say I get a communication like that one
above. I want to comply and refund the customer's money
"at once", even at this last minute. But,
how can I? The receiver is not ready for shipment
and yet it
is customized to the point where I can not ship it to the next person on
the list. My solution, as stated in the "New Receiver Policy", is not
to create customized receivers.
Fortunately, in this
case, I had not put a serial number on the receiver, so I can both
refund the unhappy customer's money and make the next person on the list
happy by sending him the receiver.
Everyone is sort of happy
and I'm not so "sleazy".
I really hate being sleazy. Also,
you can see that asking for the balance of the money before I am ready
to ship, which is absolutely necessary if the receiver is customized for
a particular customer, seems to grant the customer new demanding rights
not possessed when only a deposit has been paid.
Again, my new policy
eliminates this time consuming problem. All-in-all, with my new policy,
I might actually get some receivers made. I really wish I could do
better, but there is still only one of me and so many hours in a day.
Shop (11 Jan 10): The big (10 hp)
compressor got hooked up to the abrasive blaster and die grinding bench
so now parts sent for black oxiding can be bead blasted more quickly and
receivers can be deburred without delays. The vibra-honing machine also
got set up in the shop so that should speed things up. This was all
equipment that was in Malibu which made use of it dependent on weather.
The big compressor was not in Malibu. There I had only a 5 hp
compressor which was too limiting. Some other improvements I'm making
should also speed up the receiver process. The feed ramp machine is
almost rebuilt. It should be back in service by this weekend. I expect
to ship a few receivers next week (don't call!)
Shop (2 Jan 10): All machines are up
and running. Feed ramp fixture is partly reinstalled on new machine.
Rest will be installed after further repair.
New Feed Ramp Machine (26 Dec 09):
The machine I acquired to take over machining the receiver feed ramps
turns out to be defective. Either the water damaged machine or the
replacement machine will have to be repaired before I can finish the
receivers. I don't know which would be easier or faster so I'm going to
work on both to cover all possibilities. I'm trying to get a repairman
to come in to do the work so I can keep working on other things.
Moving Locations (26 Dec 09): One of
the problems I have had to deal with is the weather in Malibu. I work
outside there much of the time but now that winter has come with cold
and rain, working outside becomes "ify". Therefore, all outside
machines and equipment have been moved into my re-roofed and expanded
shop. This primarily affects bead blasting, vibrahoning, deburring and
assembly operations. So now those operations have all been upgraded and
Shop Help (21 Dec 09): I have hired
part time help in the shop to work on re-establishing the feed ramp
machinery and to do those things that don't require me. I had hoped to
get help making the receivers but that doesn't seem like it is going to
Hernia (21 Dec 09): Just when I
didn't need more problems, I developed a hernia. It is painful and
slowing me down. I am waiting to have surgery.
American Thunder II Books
09); This book is now out of print. The publisher tells me that they
intend to wait 2 years to reprint it. Insane!
Semi-Auto (19 Dec 09): The Semi-Auto
section has been updated and redone. Those of you who are interested in
semi-auto should find the new section worth visiting.
(19 Dec 09): 1921 Actuators
are being finished. They really look good. The only difference between
mine and Colt's is that they heat treated theirs after machining which,
I believe, caused stress cracks leading to the ears breaking off. I
made mine from pre-heat treated stock to avoid that. These are the
first "Colt" actuators made since 1922. Others have tried but they
never got them right, especially the checkering. $435 + $12 HIS. I'm
sorry about the cost but they are very difficult to make and we did not
make a lot. As it is, we will loose money on these but I had to do it.
Pictures and more info to follow. Also have Colt actuator for sale @
Vertical Foregrips (19 Dec 09): We
are now scanning an original grip with our new 3D scanning machine.
That will be combined with the controlling dimensions on the original
drawing to produce the best "Colt" grips ever. This is another part
others try to make and never get right.
(19 Dec. 09);
There is a discussion going on www.MachineGunBoard.com about a 1921 barrel someone bought from
someone claiming it was one of mine. (Thanks for the flattery but no
thanks for applying my name to bad parts.) I never made the barrel. It
was obviously made by someone without engineering skills, trying to
reverse engineer the part without the original drawings and without an
understanding of the critical dimensions. This procedure always fails.
That's why I do not reproduce a part, I continue the manufacturing of
the part using the original drawings. I also know enough about the gun
to know what is critical. I am an engineer - not a machinist, although
I end up having to make most of the parts because no one ever seems able
to get it right. If someone claims they are making Thompson parts to
the original specifications, ask them where they got the original
drawing. If they say they don't have the drawing and are copying an
existing part, then they are not making their parts to the original
specifications because the original specifications can only come from
the original drawings.
(18 Dec 09): Every time I
pack for the SAR show in Phoenix, I swear it will be my last show. But
then I get there and get inspired by the people and displays and it
seems to bring me back to reality which is in short supply in
California. It turned out to be the best show I have ever attended.
You should have been there.
(19 Dec 09): While we were
at the show, the new roof got put on and then we had a big
rainstorm. The shop stayed dry so I guess the new roof is ok.
Tarps are now off the machines and I moved in a new machine to take
over making the receiver feed ramps. That is being set up now.
When ready, I will be able to finish the current batch of
receivers. I do not know how I missed putting in the feed ramps on
some of them but I just didn't notice that it hadn't been done.
Receiver Policy (19 Dec 09):
There is no way I will ever catch up on receiver back orders under
my previous policy of customizing the receivers. People will not
stop calling me to ask when they will get a receiver. No matter how
many times I have asked not to be called about that, it continues
with the only possible result that I get further behind. Therefore,
I have adopted a NEW POLICY which is posted under the new
section "RECEIVER POLICY & ORDER FORM". Please check it
out. From now on I will only ask for final payment when I have a
receiver finished, engraved and blued, ready to ship. The only way
to do that is to eliminate such things as serial numbers (including
numbers on the current batch) which cause a receiver to be special
to a certain customer. I'm sorry but I have been driven to this by
people who refuse to honor their commitment not to call me for
delivery dates. It makes me unhappy because I like my receivers as
finished as possible.
SAR Show (21 Nov 09): I will be at
the SAR gun show in Phoenix first weekend in December. If you want me
to bring anything special, let me know. I always try to relax and have
a good time at the show. It also gives me a chance to meet some of the
Thompson people that I only know by phone voice or letters which is
Stamped Rear Sights (21 Nov 09): My
stamping associate has completed the dies for making both the 1928/M1
(dog leg) and M1A1 (with side ears) stamped rear sights. Therefore,
these parts should be available soon.
Receiver Vises (6 Nov 09): Finally
got all the parts in so backordered vises will be shipped next week.
Receivers (3 Nov 09): The shop roof
failure that dumped water down on me virtually destroyed the feed ramp
cutting machine. Fortunately, all feed ramps were already cut on the
current batch of receivers so that won't directly affect those
receivers. I have a new machine coming at the end of this month to take
over feed ramps but there is still a lot of work changing over.
Everything is definitely slowed down because of the mess.
The good news is that a whole new roof is
being put on the building and I'm gaining more floor space. I'll
virtually have a new shop. I intend to move all receiver operations
into the expanded area to try to gain further efficiencies and to make
myself less vulnerable in Malibu where I have to work around the weather
outdoors. Unfortunately, there is still only me doing the work and I'm
feeling the handicaps of being 72.
When it rains, it pours. (24 Oct 09): Two
days of rain filled the inner roof of my shop which then collapsed under
the weight, dumping water right on top of one of my machines and
elsewhere. It's a mess. I just didn't need another problem at this
time. The shop is unusable. I don't know what kind of delay this is
going to cause.
Receiver Order Form (18 Oct 09):
Future editions of the catalog will include a receiver order form.
Catalogs being sent out now will have a form included. So many of my
customers (like me) are not of the computer generation so I think this
will help them.
Square End Actuator Slots (18 Oct
09); I finally got the special cutter I needed to make the early 1921
receiver actuator slots and have finished the setup. This means that
those people who have been waiting for that model receiver will be
getting theirs in the next batch. It seems that there is an increasing
interest in the early Colts. No one other than me makes all the
variations which is the good news but all this special stuff takes a lot
of time, which is the bad news.
Beware (18 Oct 09): BEWARE: I have received a number
of reports that receivers being resold are being claimed to have been
manufactured by me. This is flattering but if the receiver was not made
by me, the buyer is not getting what he thinks he paid for. So be
advised that all receivers (with only a very few exceptions) made by me
are marked with an ďRĒ on the bottom. Receivers made in 2008 and on
have the ďRĒ in the grip mount pocket. Earlier receivers had the ďRĒ in
the bolt area.
Receiver Order Form (14 Oct 09): I
have modified the form to make it better represent the current offering
of receivers. The major change is that I have combined 1921 and 1928
receivers to be one model of receiver as they really are. Whether I
finish a receiver as a "Colt" or WW2, it doesn't make any difference
during the machining stage and that is when I need to keep track of
quantities. Also, when I assign a receiver to a customer, I can assign
both "Colts" and WW2 in accordance with order dates without having to go
back and forth between two files.
The 1921 "Colt" with square actuator slot
is made differently from those with round end slots and so I consider it
to be a different model. I have also stopped adding the cost of the
special "Colt" surface finish to the basic receiver price and included
it as an option because some people may want a receiver with the square
end slot but not want the "Colt" surface finish or markings. Or they
might want the "Colt" surface finish and not want the "Colt" markings.
In all cases where "Colt" markings are ordered, the special "Colt"
surface finish must be ordered.
Since I file all receiver orders by model
as listed on the Receiver Order Form,
you must tell me what model you ordered
if you want me to find your order. Keeping a copy of
your receiver order would seem to me to be a given, yet people call me
about their receiver order and can't tell me what they ordered because
they didn't keep a copy of their order.
Receivers (10 Oct 09): I thought
getting the receivers made was difficult but it has turned out to be not
as difficult as assigning them to people on the list. For 6 weeks I
have been trying to get the receiver orders finalized and I still have
not got it finished. Some people changed their contact information
without notifying me. Some thought I had forgotten them. Some people
are hurting financially (thanks Obama) and have asked that I put them
off until the next batch.
So I have gone back to the list and
assigned their receivers to the next person in line which results in a
further delay. Then there are the last minute changes.
Fortunately, I can accommodate some
changes like adding the ramps & bevels and different markings. But I am
dismayed at the time it is taking to get everything finalized.
Then, I guess because of my poor
eyesight, some of the receivers did not get the barrel threads cut so I
have to go back and do that. All in all, though, I am pleased with the
progress I have made and expect to be able to turn out receivers faster
in the future. The most important thing to me is that people like what
I send to them. My goal is to get ahead of the orders so as to have
receivers on the shelf. This is still a hobby for me and I have limited
time available to spend on Thompson but I am taking steps to increase
that time. Even so, everything always takes longer than I anticipate.
Display Bolt Handles (22 Sep 09): It
seems that people have been using my bolt handles for all sorts of
things in spite of their being designed to fit only my Display
receivers. That's OK but I only made enough for my receivers and so I
My associate was
able to make them on his horizontal machining center (HMC) which is like
an automatic lathe, so now I have lots of them both 1921 style and 1928
style. The checkering is identical with the 1921 knob which I was able
to accomplish a while back as part of the tooling being developed for
the 1921 actuators. No one ever gets the checkering right. I defy
anyone to see a difference between the Colt checkering and my
checkering. My associate seems more motivated to finish the actuators
now that only the knobs are left to do and they are similar to the
Display bolt handle knobs just finished. The problem with the actuators
is more complicated because the actuator is difficult to hold.
Receivers (29 Aug 09): I spent the
entire day calling everyone who is supposed to get a receiver from the
current batch. Some people thought I had forgotten them. Others wanted
changes but had honored my request not to call me. I was able to
accommodate all changes requested. Since some people had changed their
minds several times while waiting, I saved lots of telephone time by
waiting to hear only about the final change when it mattered.
Receivers (28 Aug 09); Half the
receivers in the current batch have all machine work finished. Rest
will be done next week. Deburring, sanding, vibra-honing, engraving and
bluing follow. It is very unlikely that any receivers will be lost from
here on so I will be calling everyone on the list for a receiver in THIS
batch to finalize the orders.
Please don't call me about when you
will receive your receiver order because I don't know.
(21 Aug 09): The current
batch of receivers are coming along nicely but, because of other
demands, will not be finished this month as I had anticipated. They
will be shipped in September. Everything has gone very well with this
latest batch. The next batch will be done faster as all problems from
the shop move have been resolved. I actually have one 2MM receiver that
has not been reserved. (I always make a few of each type of receiver
with each batch so as to check out everything and make sure a change in
one type does not create a problem with other types.) So, if some one
wants a 2MM receiver, I will have one for almost immediate delivery.
What a concept!!
Barrel/Forearm Band (19 Aug 09): For
those purists who must have an original M1A1 Barrel/Forearm Band instead
of one made by me, I have a few originals @ $75.
Receivers (26 Jul 09): Things are
going extremely well. A new batch of receivers is nearing completion.
I will be calling 10 people to get confirmation on their specifications
because I have questions about 10 of the orders.
That does not mean that everyone needs
to start calling me or standing by their mail box. I just want to make
sure that there is no question about what THOSE people want.
Please don't call me about receiver ship dates.
Things are taking longer than I had
anticipated because of the shop move. A few of the cutter settings got
corrupted and I still can't find one fixture. If it isn't in Malibu,
I'll make a new one tomorrow. I did not remember that I had made a lot
of new gages before the shop move. They are really speeding things up
and making the receivers have even closer tolerances.
Putting in the lock ramps turned out to be
more difficult than I had realized but that is solved now. I can
understand why the Class II manufacturers were after me for so long to
offer that option. It's the one area of the receiver that creates the
most grief unless you are set up for it.
Colt Thompson Sale & Shipping Information
(21 Jul 09): I am now offering this information. For more details
refer to the new section in this website.
Who has Colt #4907? (14 Jul 09):
Please help me locate the owner of this gun. It came out of the Ft.
Worth Police Dept. and is now in private hands probably in Texas or
Oklahoma. This gun was reconfigured at Auto-Ordnance prior to
shipping. I need information regarding that reconfiguration if it is
still intact or if it has been returned to the original 1921
configuration, I would like to know about that. Any help would be
greatly appreciated. I would like the owner to call me at
310-457-6400. Confidentiality will be respected.
Latch Punch (4 Jul 09): A tool I
frequently use in the shop when making or working on Thompsons is a
Latch Punch. Besides driving out stuck latches, I use it for driving
out gage pins I use to dimensionally locate receivers. They have to be
driven out because they need to be a very tight fit in the receiver for
accuracy. Now, I'm offering this tool to everyone. See the ad in New
Products and the instructions in the Tool Instructions Section accessed
from the Home Page.
Bead Blast & Black Oxide Orders (26
Jun 09): I really dropped the ball on these orders. Out of sight - out
of mind, I guess. I really feel badly about not getting to these
orders. Anyway, all blasting has been done. Monday I'll take
everything to my black oxider. I should have everything shipped in a
week or so. When you haven't received a non-receiver order in 30 days
and not heard from me, it's time to get after me about it. I only get
cranky when someone calls and wants to know when they will receive their
receiver. Everyone who placed a receiver order promised they would not
ask and I don't know anyway.
M1 Top Mounted Bolt Handle Kit (25 Jun
09): I have decided to discontinue this product. This product was
mostly used by the movie people who like to use the M1 bolt firing pin
mechanism because they could adjust the "timing" of cartridge detonation
when using blanks. But it required the bolt handle slot to be
lengthened 1/10" because the top mounted bolt handle was further back
than the 21. Therefore, all TSMG receivers made by me that have a top
mounted bolt handle will have standard 21 style slots which will
simplify my receiver production. M1A1 Top Mounted Bolt Handle Kits and
bolts will still be available as before.
Detachable TSMG Buttstock Adaptor Kit
(25 Jun 09); This kit allows a 1921 or 1928 TSMG buttstock to be
properly fitted to an M1/M1A1/Kahr style trigger housing. It does
require a vertical milling machine and some skill to install it. Since
there is not enough room in my catalog to describe the installation, I
am posting the instructions in the Semi-Auto section of this website so
a person can determine whether he has the capability required before
Grip Mount Retainer Mounting Bolts (23
Jun 09): The bolts will now be part of the Receiver Vise and included
on all vises whether or not a Grip Mount Retainer is ordered with the
vise. The bolts were loose items that sometimes were forgotten to be be
shipped, so this solves that problem. Also, by including the bolts with
the vise, they will be screwed into the vise holes which has the benefit
of making sure there are no problems with the hole threads. People who
had ordered a vise before and later order a retainer will be provided
M1/M1A1 Trigger Housings (22 Jun 09):
I have a few stripped trigger housings available at $385 each plus $12
HIS per order in accordance with my normal terms. These are from my old
stash. They are in excellent condition except for pitting under the
grip which will not show when a grip is installed.
Shop (21 Jun 09): I installed a
shower in the shop so I can be there for several days at a time and save
driving time. Receivers are really going well. All the new gages and
fixtures I made last year are working out and saving time. It's really
hard to realize the hundreds of problems that had to be worked out over
the years when things are now going so smoothly. It's not that making
the receivers is so difficult. What is difficult is figuring out how to
make them at a low cost considering the volume.
Receivers (19 Jun 09): For those who
doubt that I really am making receivers, the picture shows some of those
currently being completed.
1921 Actuators (18 Jun
09): A recent e-mail referred to my associate who was making the
actuators as having quit. He never quit. He is still working on them.
I just gave up relying on his promises as to when they would be
finished. It's been next week every week now for over 2 years. This is
why I refuse to give promise dates. I'd rather not give a date than be
unreliable. The picture shows the actuators in their current state of
completion. The are beautiful. They will be the best 1921 actuators
ever made and will look like Colt's. So far I'd guess he has over a
thousand dollars in each one. He is a fanatic for perfection but a
horrible businessman. He promises they will be finished next week. Or
was that just a recording that repeats every week? I think I have heard
1928A1 Dummy Bolt Handles (17 Jun
09): I am sold out of these. I will make more soon. I make them to
fit my receivers and so I only make enough to fill that need.
Apparently, people are using my bolt handles on receivers not made by
me. My Display receivers are made to accept my bolt handles. To use
them on receivers not made by me requires machine work. I am flattered
that people like my bolt handles so much that they are willing to do the
extra work to fit them to other receivers. (I do not
provide instructions on how to modify receivers not made by me.) So,
I'll just make more next time.
Orders (15 Jun 09): I'm trying to get
all back orders shipped tomorrow (no receivers or black oxide). So far
I have 2 orders without addresses and 1 without a name. Of course,
there are no phone numbers or e-mail addresses. I'll put them aside and
wait for the customer to call complaining about how long he has been
waiting for his order. Why is this so difficult?
Black Oxide (15 Jun 09): The black
oxiding company that I used for years is gone. Seems that they rented
the building for the last 30 years and during that time some chemicals
found their way thru cracks in the cement floor to the soil below. The
EPA is apparently trying to drive all platers overseas. They fined the
company millions of $ and ordered clean up. The company was forced out
of business with a lot of jobs lost. The property was confiscated by
the Government resulting in the property owner losing a couple of
million $. The Government demolished a perfectly good building and
paved over the property and fenced it, probably at a cost of another
million $. All this because of a miniscule amount of chemicals in the
soil that would never have caused any problems. A lot of the business
went to China. Good going America! Finally, another area plater
was taken over by a man who does better work than his predecessors but he may
not make it because so much of the business has gone to China. I'm OK
for the present with him and will get the black oxiding backlog I have
shipped soon. There is no substitute for hot black oxidizing no matter
what claims are made to the contrary. (Black oxide is a type
of "bluing" and is what is what all current gun makers call "bluing".)
Forearm/Barrel Straps (29 Apr
09): I completely ran out of the initial manufacturing run of
these. I will be finishing up another batch in a few days. This
time we made 5 times the original amount so they should remain in
stock. This strap was fitted to most M1A1s I have seen and should
have been fitted to all of them. The exception is M1s that were
converted to M1A1s and still have the original 1-piece grip mounts
that were installed at the factory. Now that I have these straps,
they will be added to the complete M1A1 Display guns I offer as a
standard fitment. Because there was no source for these straps, I
was unable to fit them to my M1A1 guns. The new production straps
sell for $25. I don't want to call them reproductions because they
were made from the original drawings, not by copying an original
part which never really works.
I have a few originals for the purist available
@ $65. I got them 20 years ago when I was stripping a quantity of
M1A1 guns and have never seen them offered anywhere since.
Compensator Taps (29 Apr 09): I
have run out of the taps. Not to worry, I have ordered more. These
taps have to be specially made because the compensator thread is not
standard. These taps are usually used to clean up the treads on
compensators removed from guns before being reused. Naturally, the
cost of the new taps has gone up but I will absorb the increase
because I hate increasing prices and I did all the engineering work
Receivers (26 Apr 09): Due to
manufacturing sequence changes, I am able to include the breech entry
cutter clearance pocket on the top of the bolt cavity on all M1/M1A1 and
MS receivers that I make from now on and it will be a standard feature.
This will be a real help to those who will be finishing my receivers
into working machine guns with a Class II license.
Receivers (13 Apr 09); Production is
going extremely well. All the new fixtures, tools, programs and
organization is paying off. The 2009 receivers are the best ever. I
couldn't improve the quality over past ones made, but the the
manufacturing is going better and faster than before. All development
of configurations was done during the 2008 production so there is
nothing left to do now other than making receivers and catching up on
all the back orders. Tools and other products that I'm behind on are
being deburred and will be blued shortly and shipped soon.
Tracie Hill's new book (13 Apr 2009):
"The Ultimate Thompson Book" by Tracie Hill will be out later this
month. Deluxe edition with 872 pages @ $150 + $12 HIS flat rate
shipping so you can add other things you need from me.
Video (12 Apr 09): The price of the
Rim Fire video, "The Thompson Submachine Gun", has been reduced to $30
due to the decreased cost of producing DVDs over VHS tape. The VHS tape
version is no longer available. This is the only really good Thompson
video available and comes with a 4 page critique written by me to
correct the few errors in the video.
(31 Mar 09): 2009 receiver
full production has officially begun.
Assembly Pins (28 Mar 09): These have
been redesigned, retooled and refixtured in order to meet the demand and
are now back in stock.
My Response on Machine Gun
Boards.Com Regarding Receiver Delivery (14 Mar 09): It is quite
obvious that Mr. XXXXX is unhappy with me or at least with the way I manage
my life. Iím sure most everyone believes they can run my life better than I
can and maybe they can. But, regardless, I will continue to muddle along
doing things my way. Iím told I donít know how to run a business. I think I
do but I never claimed to be running a business. If I were running a
business with employees, I would have to charge $1500 for a receiver. As it
is, I charge less for a ďColt ď receiver than Colt did and they made a lot
more than I have and I believe mine are better quality than Coltís.
Iím 72 years old. I donít need or want a job. I work on Thompsons when I
have time because I enjoy it. If what I do appeals to some people, then they
can benefit from what I do. If not, our paths need not cross. I ask for a
$100 deposit on a receiver just to make sure the person is serious, but then
more is sent, apparently assuming that more creates preferential treatment.
It doesnít. I state that I am years behind and yet two months after
ordering, the customer wants to know why he hasnít gotten a receiver. I
refuse to give a ship date because there are too many variables in my
situation. Even so, people seem to create ship dates on their own. I ask
people not to call me about ship dates, yet I sometimes lose whole shop days
answering the telephone about ship dates. No one has ever complained about
what I do. Complaints are about what I do not do that the complainer wants
me to do even though I never said I would do. In the 60+ years I have been
making Thompson parts (I made my first receiver in 1957.), I have never had
an item returned for dissatisfaction.
I have experienced some severe setbacks. I lost of my vision and it has
never totally recovered. I have back problems that limit how much time I can
spend on my feet. Age creates other health problems. Then I lost the shop
with virtually no notice. Maybe I should have quit at any one of those
times, but I like doing it. The back log on receivers distresses me but Iíve
caught up on most everything else. I have finally gotten my catalog redone
cover to cover so as to only feature what I will be delivering. I am not
adding any new products unless I partner with someone who does the work. I
am finishing up the products I had in development. Publishing my new book on
Thompson models was a work in progress that had been ongoing for years. I
believe that is the one book Thompson enthusiasts should have if they have
no other. Iím trying to finish up the workshop manual. I feel obligated to
pass on as much Thompson info as I can. I am simplifying and automating all
of my products in order to be as efficient as possible. I try to make people
understand that I donít make a receiver for a customer. I make a lot and
then determine where they should go. I try to post updates on my website
www.ThompsonSMG.com when I can but that takes time.
There is no way I can make Mr. XXXXX happy and further delay will only make
things worse. Mr. XXXXX should have simply asked for a refund rather than
waste my time publicly commenting on this on the board. To avoid more
unhappiness, I have cancelled his order and issued a refund. People should
know that not one person has ever lost a penny trusting me.
Barrel/Forearm Reinforcing Bands (14
Mar 09): The response to this new item has been interesting since I
recently announced that it's now available. Apparently, people gave up
trying to find these and are now a bit surprised that I have them
available. We are going to lose money on these but my associate made
the stamping dies when there wasn't much else to do. I'm going to add
the band to all M1A1s I make in the future because it is a worthwhile
fitment. I can't prove one way or the other whether they were fitted at
the factory during later M1A1 production but it seems reasonable that
they would have been.
Receivers (13 Mar 09): When I lost
the shop and had to move without much notice, I didn't have time to
properly close down the receiver production. As a result, initial
restart up has disclosed some corruption of the cutter settings in the
computers which control the automatic machines. Fortunately, I make so
many notes that, other than some extra time, I should have everything
restored soon. I'm also taking steps to ensure that receiver production
will go much more quickly in the future such as having totally dedicated
cutters and tool holders and fixtures that will only be used for
receivers and will be ready to go at any time. It's hard to believe
that I started out making receivers one at a time on a manual milling
machine in my garage. Now it takes about 30,000 individual computer
commands to make a single receiver model and I have to do all the
programming. (Have I become a geek?)
Grip Mount Levers (13 Mar 09): They
are now back in stock. The popularity of that item caught me a little
bit unprepared. I design things like that because I need them. I got
tired of using a claw hammer to pry the grip mount away from the barrel
to change barrels but I didn't realize that it would become a popular
Barrel/Forearm Reinforcing Band
Assembly (3 Mar 09); My barrel bands are now finished and are
included in the New Product Section
Inventory (22 Feb 09):
Receiver Wrenches and M1/M1A1 Bolt to 1921/28 Receiver Adaptor Pilots are
back in stock. Barrel Vises are almost finished. Universal Barrel Wrenches
are now starting manufacture.
Strap (28 Jan 09): I got a phone call from someone who had purchased
one of these straps. It was an aftermarket product obviously made by
reverse engineering an
original (or guessing?) and, of course, it didn't fit. This call reminded
me that the strap was one of the items I had intended to manufacture but
just had to put it aside because of a lack of time. I resurrected the
project and discussed it with my stamping associate to determine if we could
make it at a reasonable cost. While I was gone, he went ahead and made the
dies. I don't know what we will be selling them for but I'm sure we will
lose money on the project which is why I didn't pursue it vigorously
originally. Ours is made in accordance with the original manufacturing
drawing which I have and will, therefore, be like the original. (What a
concept!) More on this later.
(4 Jan 09): I have received reports of semi-finished receivers being resold
or offered for sale which are claimed to have been made by me. I appreciate
that people think my receivers are the best available and so the claim that
I made the receiver enhances its value. But there are two problems caused by
this. Firstly, is the fraud involved in taking advantage of the buyerís
ignorance. And secondly, is the injury caused to me by my being associated
with a lesser quality receiver than I make. Except for some rare exceptions,
every receiver I have ever made is engraved with an ďRĒ on the bottom,
either in the bolt cavity area or in the grip mount pocket. Receivers made
in 2008 and on have the ďRĒ in the grip mount pocket. In every case when I
have received a call to confirm that I made a particular receiver being
falsely claimed to be one of mine, there was no ďRĒ. I will include a note
about this in my next catalog description of my receivers.
Receiver Wrenches (26 Dec
08): The bodies got made in the new shop. They are made to a new design
but work exactly as before. I already had the rest of the parts. I have
to do a black oxide run so that will finish the wrenches and get some old
orders shipped. Unfortunately, I am barely able to function because of my
broken back, so everything is moving at a crawl. I'm going to convalesce in
Belize with Madalon until
January 21 so nothing more will get done until I get back.
Shop (11 Dec 08): All machines are
installed, hooked up to power and leveled. Production has resumed.
Models Book (08 Dec 08): I managed
to get my new book finished just in time for the SAR show. I am
quite pleased with the way it turned out. I have already been told
by some advanced collectors that they didn't know some of the models
shown in my Models book existed or how the models and accessories
related to each other. I think this book will become the
for identifying Thompson models just as my Drum book and Box
Magazine book have become the standard reference for the mags. I
know it's true because everyone who has written about mags since my
books were published has copied from them. Some don't even bother
to use their own words, they just copy verbatim. I guess I should
be flattered but it would be nice if I were given credit as the
SAR Show (8 Dec 08): Another great
event. Best show in the West. It was nice to meet some of you people
Dec 08): My friend and inspiration, Tom Nelson of gun book writing
fame, showed off his newest import Thompson "replica" guns. Check out the
ad sheet under "Collector's Armoury Thompsons" on this website.
Polston Semi-Auto (8 Dec 08): Tim
Polston was with us at SAR with his latest version of his semi-auto
design. It was better and simpler and easier to make. Bob Bower
(Philadelphia Ordnance) has partnered with Polston and will be
making the guns. This is a good arrangement. I will provide
technical help but I won't otherwise be involved.
Models Book (1 Dec 08): I have just
finished writing my models book. I am very excited about this because I
have been trying to finish it for years. Even after a lifetime of
and trying to sort it all out, there always seemed to be one more
unanswered question. I believe I now understand all the
"production" (even if they only made one or even none) models and the
fitments to the guns and have sorted out what Auto-Ordnance was doing
even though a lot of their literature is misleading or confusing. This
book is not technical as most of my writings are. I have
basically reached this point by re-engineering and
the Thompson guns, parts and accessories. I have done this in order to
be able to duplicate every model Auto-Ordnance wanted to make. "If you
can't make it, you don't understand it." This is a book that both the
beginning Thompson enthusiast as well as the "know-it-all" will benefit
from. I couldn't have written this book even a year ago. Anyone
planning to buy a Thompson gun should read this book first. If you want
a copy, the price is $16 + $6 HIS. Add $3 if you need a catalog.
2100 McReynolds Road, Malibu CA 90265. (310-457-6400)
New Shop (26 Nov 08): Machines were
hooked up to electricity and air and started up today.
Kahr Trigger Housing Wanted
(23 Nov 08): I'm going to build a working semi-auto pistol with one of my
2SP receivers. So if anyone has a complete Kahr trigger housing assembly
for sale or trade, let me know.
SAR (17 Nov 08): The SAR
gun show in Phoenix during the first weekend in Dec. is a must for all of
you who can manage to attend. I will be there as will Gordon Herigstad, Tim
Polston (SA Ordnance), Bob Bower (Philadelphia Ordnance) and the usual
suspects all together. Polston has informed me that he has joined with
Bower to manufacture his semi-auto Thompson. They are finalizing the design
to ready the gun for production. At the last SAR, I had suggested to Bower
that he seriously consider getting involved with Polston on this project. I
think that the Polston/Bower combination will work. Polston says they want
to talk to me at the show about getting involved, but the only part of it
that I am interested in is supplying special upscale receivers for his gun
as I have done in the past. Those of you who are interested in the Polston
gun will have a great opportunity to find out everything about it.
Semi-Auto Receivers (12 Nov 08): I am
now offering a pistol version of my semi-auto receivers for those who
want to fit a Thompson SMG barrel (10-1/2") and not register the gun as
a "short barreled rifle". Refer to the Semi-Auto section of this
website for updated details of my semi-auto receivers.
Referrals (12 Nov 08): I am often
asked who can work on my Thompson SMG or who will help me finish my
Richardson semi-auto receiver or build a semi-auto for me or do other
custom work. Years ago, I started a list of such people but when I was
forced to stop making receivers, it all went by the wayside. Now that
I'm up and running again, maybe it's time to restart that list. So, if
you do that sort of work and are interested in referrals, send your
information to me by letter or E-mail.
New Shop (6 Nov 08): The machines had
to be relocated which was done today. What a job! Those things are
really heavy. But they are in their permanent locations now ready to be
hooked up to the electrical and air and then leveled.
Ordering (7 Nov 08): I just got a
letter from Mr. D accusing me of being rude. If I gave that impression,
I apologize. I never intended to be rude and there is never a call for
it. This blog is not intended to be a criticism of Mr. D. His order
and the problems that followed from it are the problem and is not
singularly Mr. D. So my intention here is to try to clarify the
situation so that I am able to give the best service possible to every
one including Mr. D.
The problems with Mr. D's order were two: 1)
No matter how many times we say that this website is not a catalog and
orders can not be placed from this website, people still try.
Inevitably, this results in problems with the order. No one is required
to have a catalog to place an order. But it has been my experience from
what people have told me that if they had had one of my catalogs from
the beginning, they would have saved many times the cost of the catalog
in wasted time and money trying to find Thompson items that are in the
catalog. I have said I don't have time to recite the catalog to
callers. However, there is no problem calling me to ask if I have a
particular item and the price and shipping.
2) The second problem is that there is
inadequate contact information given in the order. I open the mail,
check the orders and, if there is a problem, I immediately telephone or
FAX or e-mail. If there is only an address, the order goes into a
separate file for me to write letters when I get a chance, which may
take a couple of weeks, and then drop the letter off at the Post Office
which may not be for 2 more weeks.
It takes very little to insure that I am able
to give the best service, but give me a little break --- please.
Grip Mount Retainers (21 Oct 08):
I found enough parts to make several Grip Mount Retainers so orders
including them will be sent out and I have a few extras.
WW2 Compensator Pins, Grip Mount
Retainers & Receiver Wrenches (21 Oct 08): Orders that include
these items are delayed because of the shop move.
American Gunsmith Magazine
(20 Oct 08): An article featuring my barrel tools is reproduced on this
website under the heading "American Gunsmith Magazine Article". It seems
that Thompson popularity is beginning to be recognized by the rest of the
New Stuff (10 Oct 08): I
have added three new "Dear Doug" items and Trigger Housing
Assembly Pins Instructions in the Tool Instructions section. When ever I
add or change something, I will put the alert in this Blog section because
people have told me they check the Blogs regularly. So by my mentioning an
update, those who are interested can go straight to the update without
having to check the entire website for changes.
Catalog #62 (30 Sep 08):
Catalog #62 is available now. I am very pleased to have finally gotten all
the receiver configurations documented. The semi-auto page is now updated
to show the 2S and MS
receiver components. Except for the complete guns section, the entire
catalog has been updated. I am not in a position to offer the complete guns
at this time and when I do, I will probably only offer 1928 (& 21) Savage,
1928A1, M1 and M1A1. Unless I can put the "Colt" trigger housings back into
production, I will be unable to build "Colt" guns. M2 receivers are "Shop"
type only so display guns can not be built on those receivers. Therefore,
even if I do offer the guns again, there will be only four types. I have
kept the gun pages in the catalog primarily for information. Probably, on
the next edition of the catalog, I will revise those pages and delete the
2M Receiver Nomenclature (7 Sep 08):
To further simplify receiver names and because it looks nicer when
engraved on the receivers, I've decided to call my 2M receiver which is
designed to use either a 1921 bolt assembly or 1928 bolt assembly, the
decided to call the 2M receiver designed to use either an M1 bolt
assembly or M1A1 bolt assembly, the model 2MM. I'm spending time
working this out because I believe that once people understand exactly
what these receivers offer, they will become very popular. I now have
all my receiver configurations finalized (at least for now) so the next
effort in the office will be to revise the markings section of my
catalog then the guns section.
Nomenclature (27 Aug 08): I have
decided to simplify the names I have given to some of my receivers to
avoid confusion. From now on I'm changing 192M to 2M and 192S to 2S.
That's what I have always called them anyway. So whenever you see 192M
or 2M, they are the same. Whenever you see 192S or 2S, they are the
same. Does that simplify things or just make it more complicated???
The good news is that my receiver production has really come together.
All I need now is a new shop location and some time.
Semi-Auto Receiver Internals (26 Aug 08):
Check the Semi -Auto Information section for picture.
Shop Homelessness (25 Aug 08):
Hopefully I will have a new facility soon for making receivers. My
associate who was providing me with a work area sold his business and
retired leaving me shop homeless. It will probably work out better than
before but moving and resetting up is not easy and consumes a lot of time
which I don't have any to spare. Just when I thought I had solved all the
problems and would soon catch up on making receivers, this happens. "It's
2S & MS Receivers Components (25 Aug 08): I
have finally determined the recoil spring specifications for my 2S & MS
semi-auto receivers. That enabled me to complete the design of the
Recoil Springs Pilots & Plate and the modifications necessary to a Kahr
bolt so it all works. Now I will work on getting that page in my
catalog updated and get some parts made.
Display Bolt Handles & Pilots (16 Aug
08): I get many orders for my Display Bolt Handle & Pilot kits from
people who intend to fit them to receivers not made by me. That is OK
but don't ask me for installation drawings. All my Display receivers
are made to accept my Display Bolt Handles & Pilots. Other than a
screwdriver, there is no special installation required and so I don't
have any installation drawings.
Shop Homelessness (12 Aug 08): It
seems that the shop is homeless no longer. Today I made arrangements
for a new facility that will be larger than the old one. But, machines
have to be moved and reset up. So, receiver production can not restart
for at least a month during the transition.
Catalog Error (11 Aug 08): Page 17 in
Catalog #61 was printed twice. The first one is an old version. The
second Page 17 is the correct one. (It's always something!)
Headspace Plug Gage (9 Aug 08): I now have a
good supply of these so back orders will be shipped next week.
Orders Shipped (30 Jul
08): Every order was shipped today except receivers, Headspace Gages and
- Colt City (27 Jul 08): 2008
Signature Receiver (26 Jul 08): If
anything could be called my signature product, it has to be the 1921
Colt receiver with round actuator slot and 1st pattern markings. Check
out the pictures in the Receiver section.
Grip Mounts (26Jul 08): Some
people have reported problems with grip mounts not fitting or
fitting too loose. I too have experienced problems with grip
mounts. When I build up a barreled receiver, I have the luxury of
finding a nice fitting grip mount in my supply of them. But I began
to notice that they varied so much from one another that I decided
to check them out against the original manufacturing
specifications. I was appalled at the number of grip mounts I
encountered that were not within specifications. The grip mount
seems to be the most poorly manufactured part in the whole gun.
Unless I start manufacturing grip mounts, we are stuck with making
do with what we have.
Actuators (26 Jul 08): I
give up. There is no hope that my associate will finish the actuators any
time soon if at all. Unless I make them, they probably won't get made.
Every time I rely on someone else, it turns into a disaster.
Phone Numbers (24 Jul 08): Please,
please include your phone number with any correspondence that you send
me even if you have given it to me before. Each order stands alone. I
have no way of looking up someone. I am not nearly as smart as you
think I am (but I'm a lot better looking than I appear).
Orders Shipped (23 Jul 08): All
non-receiver orders not including catalogs and/or Headspace Plug Gages
and refunds, etc. were sent yesterday. I ran out of catalogs and won't
have more until next week. The next chance I get, I will make Headspace
Gage Plugs and get all those orders shipped.
Receiver Order Categorizing
(21 Jul 08): I now file all receiver orders by type not by customer. If
you contact me about your receiver order, I need to know what you ordered in
order to find the information. Model, Display or Shop and for "Colts"
whether round or square end actuator slot.
Blogs (21 July 08): I've had several
people call and say the first thing they go to when they turn on their
computer is this section. That is a bit humbling and overwhelming. The
problem is that I can only do so much. I put the priority on producing
parts but I do understand that no news tends to be interpreted as bad
news. Some of the Customer Comments support the theme that I need to
trying to eliminate as much none essential stuff from my life as
possible in order to do what I really want to do. I'm completely out of
catalogs again, have a new product to post, trying to finish up the
selection of the parts necessary for my semi-auto receivers, clear up
all the questions on the last batch of receivers sent out before I left,
finish up some barreled receivers for the movie prop shop and post some
pictures of some of the receivers just finished.
Of course, moving the shop is just a small
Customer Comments (20 Jul 08):
Check out the new section. I was told I have to have customer comments to
be part of the e-market. Good or bad, I'll post them. But they have to be
about my service or my products, not third hand or about other people.
(19 Jul 08): I
have returned to the U.S. from Belize. People think it was a vacation. I
worked 16 hours a day every day. Got a lot done but got back to find out
that the shop where I make the receivers is being vacated and I have to
leave. It's always something. So I'm shut down until I can find a new
place. Apparently, there was no big mix-up in all the receivers I sent out
which is a miracle considering the pandemonium here at time trying to leave.
Receiver Shipments (30 Jun
08): I shipped every receiver and barreled receiver order that I had
requested full payment for and other miscellaneous orders which did not
include Headspace Gaging Plugs on Monday June 23 before I left for home in
Belize that night.
I was only able to call a few people before I left to tell them that their
receiver had been shipped. They should all have arrived by now. Apparently,
there were no problems since I have not heard of any. Please do not keep
asking me when I will ship a particular receiver. I donít know. If I havenít
asked for full payment, donít be looking for a receiver in the mail. I canít
do better than Iím doing.
Comments (30 Jun 08): Iím told
that I need a customer comment section to bring me into the world of
internet marketing. So, Iím pulling comments and responses out of my files
and will post the good as well as the bad. If there is anything you want to
say about my products or services to others, this is your chance. The
postings will be limited to 1 or 2 sentences and will not include names
other than the names people call me.
Bolt Handle Slots (23Jun08): All bolt
handle slots on my receivers are completely finished. When the receiver
bolt cavity is finished, the thin section at the bottom of the bolt
handle slot disappears. I have gone back and forth as to whether to
leave the thin section at the bottom of the slot. On this last batch of
receivers, sometimes I left the section and sometimes I didn't. It can
be easily removed by the buyer if desired. However, I have decided to
completely remove the section on all future receivers. If the buyer
does not like being able to see into the inside of the receiver, a piece
of black tape on the inside can be used to block the opening. I think
that will give people the option of either style of appearance. It will
also make all receivers slightly easier to finish.
Marked Receivers (23Jun08): After
bluing, I fill the markings with white lacquer. I do this in order to
double check the correctness of the markings and to make it easier for
me to identify and re-unite the receiver with the order. I used to
remove the white filler with lacquer thinner and a tooth brush before
shipping. When people found out that I was doing that, the universal
request was that I leave the markings highlighted. So now I ship all
marked receivers with the markings filled. I make no attempt to make
the highlighting perfect, but it usually looks very nice. The buyer can
remove the lacquer or touch it up as desired. Lacquer Stick is listed
in my catalog. Many people also fill the markings on their trigger
housings as well. It does make for a very attractive display.
Savage 1928 (22Jun08):
There seems to be some misunderstanding about this gun. This gun was only
made for the British. Therefore, if you specify 1928 Savage markings, you
will be getting a British gun. I'll put a note on this in my catalog. I
assumed people were doing their homework before ordering a receiver but
apparently not as many people ordered this marking thinking it was on
U.S.Army guns. If I ever get my new book on Thompson models finished, this
info will be readily available.
Receiver Shipments (22Jun08): All
remaining receivers in the current batch will be shipped tomorrow by
Priority Mail. There is one receiver I need help identifying. It is a
28 S/N S-414540. If that is yours let me know. If that's the only
screwup, it will be a miracle after all the problems I have had trying
to re-establish production and get people to finalize their orders.
There are still people who can not yet tell me what they want. (I think
they are the same ones who want to know when their receiver will be
shipped.) This has been a real learning experience for me in
establishing receiver configurations, writing the new programs, making
all the new fixtures and gages and figuring out how to handle the
orders. I'm going home to Belize tomorrow and won't be back until July
15. When I get back, regular production will start.
Receivers (12 Jun 08): Engraved
Receivers won't be blued until Tuesday next week.
Receiver Delivery Dates (10 Jun 08):
I get a lot of heat because I will not give a delivery date for my
receivers. I don't give a date because I don't know. I would rather
say I don't know than to falsely create a delivery date. When I have a
near complete receiver and believe I can ship within 30 days, I advise
Calling me to repeatedly ask when a
receiver will be finished is a waste of my time. About the 3rd time I'm
asked, I wait for an opportunity during the conversation, such as a
statement that "I wouldn't have ordered if I had known it would take so
long." to establish a firm delivery date - for their cancellation
I had 2 people recently who had ordered
"Colt" receivers which I cancelled. One had only waited 6 months. They
wanted to get to the head of the list by paying extra or some other
tactic. I said to get to the head of the list they had to wait the
longest. I don't know where they think they are now going to get a
"Colt" receiver, but it won't be from me. I can't do more than I'm
doing, so don't waste my time by asking. Watch this website. If I have
anything to say - I will say it here.
Partnering (10 Jun 08): 7 times I
have tried to partner with people in order to get quality Thompson parts
made because I don't have the time. In each case, I have wasted my time
because my partner ends up failing to do the job while endlessly
misleading me and, in turn, those people that I have lead to believe the
job will get done. Therefore, things like the 1921 actuators and FBI
cases will no longer be offered. No longer will I rely on promises made
Receiver Shipping Dates (6 Jun 08):
Stop worrying. I will e-mail or phone everyone when their receiver has
been shipped. All engraving will be finished on Monday. Black oxide
will be finished by Thursday. Shipping the following week if everything
M2 Receivers (1 Jun 08): I tried to
simplify things by discontinuing my M2 receiver design and blending some
of its features with the M1/M1A1 Shop receiver. Apparently, I upset two
groups: 1) Those that wanted a pure M1/M1A1 and 2) Those that
loved my original M2 design. Therefore, I am resurrecting the original
M2 design and offering the M1/M1A1 receivers without any M2 options.
Here is the new catalog M2 description:
The M2 receiver is how an M1/M1A1 receiver
would look if I (or perhaps Colt) had designed it. The bolt handle slot
is located on top like the 1921/1928 receiver and uses the same modified
M1 or M1A1 bolts as the 192M. The trigger housing rail walls are
extended to the back like the 192M. Side radii are dimensioned to
properly blend together and match the trigger housing. The upper sides
are continued forward to the front end to produce a sleeker looking
receiver. The nose of the receiver is relieved on the sides below the
barrel area to better match both horizontal and vertical foregrips. It
is available with two styles of rear ends: 1) The standard M1 shape to
match M1/M1A1 trigger housings and 2) an optional 1921 shape to match
1921/8 trigger housings. It is also available with the top rear edges
non-radiused to accept a Lyman adjustable rear sight. This receiver is
interchangeable with any TSMG receiver. It is available in both
ďDisplayôĒ and ďShopôĒ versions.
Receiver Questions (31 May 08): Here
are the answers to a few questions I have been getting:
receivers are shipped by Priority U.S. Mail which gives 2-3 day
2) Besides being made in accordance with the
original drawings and inspected and checked several times, every
receiver has had an original barrel and trigger housing and, when
applicable, an original drum magazine installed as a final check before
3) I'm not perfect. If I made a mistake, I
will fix or replace the receiver.
4) All receivers are made from the same steel
alloy used during WW2, heat treated to the original specifications and
stress relieved so that they won't twist during subsequent machining
5) All receivers, regardless of the
configuration, can be made into working guns. But you can not make a
machine gun without a license and you can not make a semi-auto from a
machine gun receiver.
Receiver Deliveries (30 May 08): I
guess I will have to be more careful about my choice of words because
people seem to want to read more into what I say than I actually said.
Case in point: I called people and told them that I had a receiver for
them and they needed to send the balance due. I did not say the
receiver was ready to ship but that is what people want to hear.
Anyway, what I do is notify a person when
I have identified a receiver that is the type they want and has all the
machine work done. It still has to be finished, engraved and blued. If
the receiver is a custom one, I ask for full payment before I start. If
it is a standard one, I ask for $100 deposit. If it is to be engraved
with any custom markings including a serial number, I ask for full
payment before it is engraved.
Receiver Progress (29 May 08): The
plain (unmarked) receivers in the current batch came back from the black
oxider today. Tomorrow I'll sort them out and pack for shipping next
week when I go to town again.
Receiver Progress (27 May 08): I
spent the entire 3- day Memorial Day weekend holidays trying to sort out
the current batch of receivers for engraving. I'm sure I have made a
mistake even though I went over it again and again. Anyway, all
receivers requiring engraving are at the engravers for about a week.
Those that were not ordered with markings are at the black oxiders.
Resurrecting all the pattern masters I had and doing some updating
marked another milestone of accomplishment. Those people I had told
would not have "U.S.PROPERTY" put on their receivers now have it. This
represents the end of my recovery of the receiver production I was
forced to abandon in 2004.
Receiver Demands (25 May 08): I had a
couple of people demand that I send them their receivers right away or
refund their money. I immediately wrote them refund checks. I can not
do more than I am doing. If someone thinks such a demand will have any
result other than getting them a refund, they are sadly mistaken. I
hope they find someone else who will or can do what I do. At least I
don't have to be concerned about getting their receiver orders filled
any more and others who have been waiting will move up the list to take
"U.S.PROPERTY" Marking on M1 & M1A1
Receivers (26 May 08):
The master pattern
for "U.S.PROPERTY" got made. So, that marking is now available.
Receivers Shipping (25 May 08): I
thought I would be shipping plain (not marked) receivers on Tuesday but
as luck would have it the black oxide shop did not do a good job so all
will have to be redone. I thought I would be able to do the engraving
on marked receivers last week but I am still trying to get the orders
straightened out. Putting "U.S.Property" on British contract receivers,
Colt markings on M1s, M1A1 markings on 1928s, serial numbers that don't
make sense, etc. are wasting a lot of my time. Seems like the fact that
I offer so much is working against me but I want to do it right. Once I
get this batch shipped, I will be able to start regular production. It
irritates me that the machines are sitting idle (I can hear them crying
out "feed me" [steel]) but I can only do one thing at a time and office
work is killing me.
Receiver Markings (10 May 08): I have
decided not to offer "U.S. PROPERTY" or "TOMMY GUN" or Numrich markings
on receivers. I just simply do not have the time needed at this time to
make the master patterns required. Most guns did not have those
markings so it becomes too much of a special configuration to justify
the wait involved for me to do it. Unless I standardize more on the
receivers, I will not ever catch up.
Receiver Milestone (7 May 08): The
first finished receiver was shipped today. It has been 4 years since
the last one was shipped and many thought it would never happen again.
I also had my doubts.
Receiver Finished (5 May
08): Calls went out all day today advising people that their receivers were
nearing completion. I make these calls within 30 days of the ship date.
This is the first batch that was done during the pre-production phase.
There is every configuration, even some I will never make again. They were
allocated in accordance with what was available in order of order date.
What that means is that some people got receivers before others who
had waited longer, usually because not every marking style was
available. From now on things will be a lot more organized because all the
configuration and manufacturing development has been done. I didn't know
until just before I made the call that that person would be getting a
receiver so don't call me and ask me when yours will be ready because I
don't know and I won't spend the time to try to do the research to make a
Receiver Deliveries (28 Apr 08):
Receivers will start shipping in May. Even though I remain far behind,
the rate at which I am catching up is improving rapidly. Things have
come a long way since my death and/or permanent blindness were announced
(by others) on the internet.
Semi-Autos (24 Apr 08): For some reason I
keep getting phone calls from people wanting to order a machine gun
receiver which they intend to finish as a semi-auto. I just don't have
the time to go over this again and again. I thought I had made it clear
in my various postings that it is not possible to do that. Assuming
that the problem is that people aren't finding everything I have to say
about this, I have established a new section on this website where
everything I have to say about semi-autos will be located. I hope this
will be helpful.- -Click on this link for Semi-Auto Information:
Kingman Show & Shoot (22 Apr 08): The
only thing that would have made it better is if you had been there.
Check out the pictures. Those girls are deadly with their Thompsons.
Back Orders (17 Apr 08): I apparently
created some confusion when I said all the old back orders that I could
decipher had been shipped. This has nothing to do with receivers. If
you have sent me the Receiver Order Form there is nothing more for you
to do. Please don't call me about receiver delivery. I can't be on the
phone and make receivers. If you need help with other things, call.
Back Orders (11 Apr 08): Today I
finally got every old back order shipped that I could decipher. It is
unbelievable to me that people would send orders without a name,
address, telephone number and/or e-mail address or send an order that is
incomprehensible. I've done the best I can. If you think you ordered
something from me a long time ago and haven't received it in a week,
call me @ 310-457-6400. There are orders here I simply can not read or
contact the customer.
On Line Ordering (8 Apr 08): You may have
noticed that all information enabling ordering from this web site has
been stripped. The reason is that I sell from the Catalog, not from
this website. I have repeatedly said that I do not have time to read
the Catalog to people and yet, people still try to order from this
website without having a Catalog. That always ends up costing more of
my time. PayPal and foreign orders also cost a lot of extra time, so
they are gone as well. All my time is spent trying to catch up with all
the old orders so this is one more step to conserve time. Please enjoy
this website for its intended purpose - information only.
Receiver Orders Finalization (6 Apr
08): I'm now going through all the receiver orders to get the remaining
orders that have not been finalized on the Receiver Order Form into the
production scheduling. It is not easy. Missing or incorrect contact
information is causing a lot of trouble. I'm phoning, e-mailing and, if
all else fails, sending out postcards. So, if you haven't finalized
your order with me or you have changed your contact info, please call me
at 310-457-6400. If you have a friend that may have an order with me
who does not have a computer, please contact him and let him know that
this needs to be done.
Receivers & Back Orders (5 April 08):
All near finished receivers have been sent out for extractor slots. I
had hoped to have built my own machine for cutting the slots to do the
work myself which would save time. But rather than hold up the receivers
while I finish the machine, I decided to go ahead and have someone else
do it. I need to get this first batch of receivers shipped as soon as
possible. After the slotting is done, there is some last machining to
do and then finishing and engraving. I'm using the waiting time to
modify a fixture and make a new gage to check the lock ramp
positioning. I'm also finishing up some parts that will enable me to
fill all the remaining parts back orders next week.
I should have finished receivers to
show at the Kingman Show & Shoot although they will not be for sale
because they will go to those who have been waiting. I realize that it
seems to take forever, but I have come a long way toward getting caught
up. As soon as the present batch of receivers has been shipped, I will
be making batches of one type of receiver at a time which will speed
things up. The receivers really look good so I hope everyone will feel
the wait was worth it. It seems like every day someone calls me to
complain about a receiver they got from someone else and wanting me to
fix it. Of course, I don't work on receivers not made by me. But at
least no one will be calling someone else to fix my receivers and that's
what is most important to me.
Kingman Show & Shoot (5 April 08): If
you are trying to decide whether or not to show up, I encourage you to
be there. I don't shoot because of my eyesight problems, but I really
enjoy being there and visiting with all the hardcore Thompson people.
Sign up to shoot or just show up. You will not regret it. We all have
a really good time. I always seem to end up fixing guns, evaluating
(technically not price) guns, answering questions, etc.
Receivers (21 Mar 08): There has been
a change in the first batch of receiver types to be shipped. They will
all be Colts with lock ramps and markings, M1A1s with markings, 192Ms,
192Ss and M2s. After that, production will be in batches of
approximately 20 of a configuration.
Receivers (16 Mar 08): I have made
every configuration of receivers I offer and have proven out all the
programs, fixtures, cutters and gages. Therefore, I have terminated
starting new receivers and will be spending my time finishing up the
pile of receivers I have. I do not know what I have or the numbers but
there are many 1928A1s with lock ramps and M1A1s, all with markings,
plus other types (no Colts).
Once I get the these finished and sent
out, I will resume starting more receivers and will be making batches of
the same type.
At that time I will attempt to determine
approximate delivery dates. It is a shame I have to stop one thing to
do another, but there is still only one of me and I am wearing out.
- Receiver Length Gage
(12 Mar 08): Many
people seem to be fascinated by the process involved in the manufacture of
receivers so here is another aspect of it. The photo shows a receiver
mounted in the overall length gage. The indicator gives a direct reading to
.0005" of the deviation of the length of a receiver from the nominal design
dimension. This is critical because the head spacing and location of the
1921/8 lock ramps depend on the front end of the receiver being located
correctly. Making receivers is not difficult. Making receivers to exact
specifications is. It may take me longer, but I don't cut corners.
Actuators (3 Mar 08): Unbelievable but
true. My associate is actually getting them done. The most beautiful
1921 actuators I have ever seen. It justifies all the effort I spent
getting the tooling made to make the "Colt" checkering exactly right.
No completion date but I did have to order another load of steel for
them since the first material I provided was used up. Just like
receivers, you don't make one and then another one. You make a whole
bunch at once.
Receiver Lock Ramps (27
Feb 08): Manufacturing includes the machines that do the work, cutters that
the machines use to remove metal to make the part, programs that tell the
machines where to cut and fixtures that hold the part in place in the
machines. When the machine has made the part, gages are used to determine
if the part was made in accordance with the drawing. This photo shows the
gage used to check the location of the lock ramps in relation to the front
face of the receiver.
Thompson Technical Books (27 Feb 08):
All three volumes of Thompson Technical are sold out. TT1 is being
reprinted and so will be available. People keep asking about TT2 & 3,
TT2 will never be reprinted. TT3 was not finished when I started having
eye problems and remains unfinished. At the same time we switched
to using word processing. TT1 was written as a stand alone book, but
was changed to Volume 1 of TT when additional volumes were in the
works. There is a lot of good information in TT1 and the masters are
finished, so I will continue to offer that book. There is a lot of good
information in TT2 & 3 as well but the masters are not ready to use. It
is my intention (if I ever get caught up) to rewrite all the TT volumes
as well as some new books that are in development.
Receiver Production (15
Feb 08): Apparently, people still do not understand that I do not buy a
piece of steel and then make one receiver for a particular person. I make a
lot of this kind of receiver and then a lot of that kind of receiver, etc.
which is precisely what I'm doing.
When a batch of receivers gets
finished, I then look into the production order file to find the earliest
order for what ever I have available to ship.
Regarding that, I am still trying
to get all the old orders finalized on the Receiver Order Form. So if you
haven't done that, you need to call me at 310-457-6400 to get it done. The
Form was removed from the website because people were trying to use the Form
to place new receiver orders in spite of me repeatedly stating that the
website is not a Catalog.
Do not even try to order a
receiver without the Catalog information because I will not take time away
from receiver production to read the Catalog to someone. There is just too
much information about receivers and Thompson's in general in the Catalog.
Also, please do not ask me when
your receiver will be shipped because I don't know.
I still do this as a hobby and can not predict when I can work on receivers
or how long things take. It's unfortunate that I was out of commission for
so long but I am catching up. I can tell you that the receivers I am making
now surpass anything I have made in the past. I am extremely pleased with
the way they are turning out.
Custom Gun Work (6 Feb 08): Although
my catalog clearly states that I do no custom gun work other than a
re-black oxide service, people persist in trying to get me to assemble
their parts on one of my receivers. Again, I do no custom gun work.
I am simply not set up to handle that. I don't have the time to
provide personalized service. I would have to charge more to assemble
your parts than I charge to supply the parts. If you feel that you can
not install your barrel, grip mount and front sight/compensator
yourself, then order a barreled receiver. If there are people who would
like to do this kind of work, let me know and I will post their contact
Barrel Prices (6 Feb 08): There is a
growing barrel shortage since the Government has stopped the importation
of Thompson barrels. New made barrels are being offered but they are of
poor quality. My original stock of barrels has been exhausted.
Therefore, inquire as to the current price of barrels before ordering.
Barreled Receivers (6 Feb 08): The
price for a barreled receiver is the sum of the parts prices plus $50
labor. Grip mounts are $45 for the one-piece 1921-M1 and $25 for the
three-piece M1A1. Grip mounts are not
M2 Receivers (15 Jan 08): All new M2
receivers will be made with an M1 external configuration. It is just
too expensive to continue the original M2 shape on a low volume basis.
I originally designed the M2 shape before the 1986 restrictions against
new made machine guns went into effect and stopped my plans to
manufacture new Thompsons in quantity.
This means that the only difference now between an
M2 receiver and an M1 receiver will be that the trigger housing rails on
the M2 will continue all the way to the back as before which is the same
way I make the rails on my 192M, 192S and MS receivers. This is how the
M1 should have been made in the first place but WW2 production used as
much of the 1928A1 fixtures and tooling as possible and so the 1928
style rails (which were necessary for the oiler) was carried over into
My M2/192M,192S and MS rails creates
a better and stronger receiver without changing the outside appearance.
(M2 style rails can be modified to be M1 style.) M2s will continue to
have the top mounted bolt handle as standard but the M1 style side bolt
handle slot in lieu of the top slot and the breach entry chamfering
cutter clearance, which is necessary with the side bolt handle
slot, will be optional at no extra charge.
I will continue to offer the optional 1921
style rear end shape and Lyman sight flat as before. For those people
who want an absolutely authentic M1/M1A1 Display gun, my M1/M1A1 Display
receiver should be ordered.
For those who intend to make a shooting
M1/M1A1 gun, I recommend ordering an M2 receiver with the M1 side bolt
handle slot. I will continue to offer M1 Shop receivers but I believe
the M2 is the better way to go. The shooting gallery people will
particularly benefit from this recommendation since they have been
experiencing receiver failures with standard original M1 & M1A1 guns
after a lot of use.
Drawings (2 Jan 08): I offer copies of most
of the Thompson drawings at $20 each postpaid. They are full size up to
11" x 17" or reduced to that size. I offer the receiver & trigger
housing manufacturing drawings at full size for $35 per set of 2 sheets,
assembly drawings for 1928, M1 & M1A1 guns at full size for $25 per set
of 2 sheets for each gun, and magazine assembly drawings at full size
for $30 per set of 3 sheets which includes all the magazine types plus
If you want the
other drawings you need to refer to the assembly drawings to determine
the drawing (same as part) number and order by drawing number and
description. All parts also have additional material, heat treatment
and finish drawings. Don't worry about that as I will note that
information on the part drawing as a courtesy. If an item is an
assembly that is not field strippable, there will be an assembly drawing
but you won't be able to find the number from the gun or magazine
assembly drawings. If an assembly has a subassembly within, you will
also not be able to find that number from the assembly drawings. For
those drawings, include payment and I will be able to locate those
drawings from the other drawing numbers ordered. Drawings are filed by
drawing number and should be ordered by drawing number and description.
If you want me to research the drawing numbers from the descriptions, I
charge an extra $20 to do that for a reasonable number of searches.
There are hundreds and maybe thousands of Thompson drawings and I have
most all of them.
Start with the full size assembly
drawings and go from there. I offer these drawings in hopes that if
someone is going to make a Thompson part, that at least they have the
information to do it properly. If someone offers new made Thompson
parts and I ask to what drawing number they were made and they tell me
they don't actually have the original drawing then I say then you are
not making Thompson parts - just more junk.
FBI Cases (29 Dec 07): If there is enough
demand, I may be offering really nice reproductions of the FBI gun
cases. These will not replace my "Super-Shooter" cases which are not
reproductions of the FBI cases. Since there seems to be a great demand
for Colt gun reproductions it would seem to follow that there would be a
demand for authentic cases. Eventually, I would like to offer complete
"Colt" guns like I used to do. Supplying them in "FBI" cases would seem
like the finishing touch especially now that the "FBI" cleaning rods,
metal parts boxes & components are available.
Telephoning (23 Dec 07): I sure have learned
a lot about leaving messages. Here is my suggestion: Give your name and
number at the beginning of your message. Remember that although you
have heard your number a million times, the person receiving your
message has probably never heard it so speak slowly and distinctly. I
try to return every call but sometimes I give up after being unable to
understand the number. I don't want people to think I don't return
calls but sometimes it is impossible. Probably 10% of the messages I
get have unintelligible numbers.
(10 Dec 07): I do the best I
can to decipher orders sent by people who seem to care so little about
their orders that they make it impossible for me to contact them.
Normally, I do not mention names so as to guard people's privacy, but
because I have been unable to contact the following, I am asking that
anyone who knows the following people to ask them to call me:
1) Robert Ywona of New York
It really helps to give me enough information
so that I can contact you if you place an order. You would not believe
the number of orders I get that are so badly done that it is a miracle
that I am able to fill them at all.
Receiver Bluing & Deletions (17 Nov 07): All
my receivers are blued (black oxide). When they reach the point of
being blued, the steel is so clean, rusting begins immediately if the
surface is not protected. Therefore, I do not ship receivers in the
white because that takes more time, greasing and special handling. And
why would anyone want a receiver in the white unless they were going to
plate it? A really nice Colt and my receivers look very similar. And,
no one knows what the color of a new Colt looked like 86 years ago.
Other deletions also cost more money. To not drill a hole requires
programming time and special handling. If you want a hole deleted, I
can do it, but you will end up paying more.
Back Orders (17 Nov 07): All old
non-receiver back orders have been shipped with only a few exceptions.
If you have not received your order and have not gotten any information
from me, let me know. There are some orders lacking enough information
or are so illegible that I can not figure them out.
Receiver Production (8 Nov 07):
I am absolutely ecstatic. Yesterday the first receiver since January 2004
was completed. It is a 1928 Display with lock ramps & bevels. I don't know
if anyone else includes extractor slots on their receivers, but I have
always included the slot as a standard feature. But, cutting the extractor
slot was always a problem because it meant subcontracting the work out,
sometimes took up to a month and occasionally ended up with receivers being
destroyed because the set up was botched. So I re-engineered the slot
procedure, designed new cutters and made new fixtures that literally make it
impossible to screw up. It took a couple of minor fixes to the cutters but
yesterday the first receiver extractor slots were cut using the new
procedure. This means I now have complete control over the time it takes to
make a receiver because I'm no longer having to rely on complicated outside
help. So, it's done. I'm now ready to start full production. I have to
concede that I totally underestimated what it would take to resume
production after a 4 year shut down. But, I saw no sense in doing less than
the best that the time, new types of cutters being available and my own
increase in technical capability would allow. I also had to remake about
half the existing fixtures and make many more new ones. Also, people were
wanting new things like the lock ramps and a "Shop" type receiver to be
offered. But, it's done and full production is starting.
Receiver Order Finalization ( 7 Nov 07):
Complete failure! Do not e-mail me anymore
about receiver orders. I simply do not have the time to go
back and forth trying to get the information I need. I either spend my
time making receivers or spend the time on e-mails.
I am scrapping all e-mail info sent on this. I thought I could
speed up receiver deliveries but the opposite has happened. I will
continue to make receivers for inventory and telephone people in
accordance with their order date when I think I have what is wanted and
resolve the details of the order at that time. In the mean time I
suggest reviewing the catalog and the info I have posted on the website
and these blogs in order to finalize your order.
Receiver Orders Finalization (6 Nov 07):
It seems that most everyone has changes to their orders. That's
OK, but you have to know what you want. Refer to the catalog for
options. I do not have time to recite the catalog. I will be
happy to answer questions that are not covered in the catalog.
Here is what must be addressed:
1) Type of receiver
(Display or Shop) Do not order a Shop receiver if you intend to assemble
a parts kit on the receiver for display.)
2) Model of
(21/28, 192M, M1/M1A1, M2, 192S, MS) (None of these receivers can be
used for a Polston semi- auto. That requires a
special Polston receiver.)
A) Marked or unmarked &
B) Serial number to be
included with markings or not (& if so what number)
C) Lock ramps & bevels
(21 & 28 only)
D) Bolt handle &
Pilot kits installed (Display receivers only)
E) Square or round end
actuator slot (21 receivers only)
Receiver Orders Finalization
(4 Nov 07): I now need to know everyone's final order. A number
of receivers are nearing completion as part of the pre-production
manufacturing effort. There is a variety except there are
no 21/28 Shop and all 21/28 receivers have lock
ramps & bevels. Call me at 310-457-6400 or e-mail me
email@example.com if there
are any changes to your original order.
is not a maintained address or for general Thompson communication.
Bolt Handles (29 Oct 07): All
configurations of bolt handles have been made. The 21 & 28 dummy bolt
handles for the display receivers have been changed to have a smooth
straight shank. Older Richardson receivers must be modified (most anyone
can do it) to accept the new style handles. The old screw in design is no
Bolt Handles (25 Oct 07): I finally got all
the bolt handles made. I redesigned the 1921 & 1928 Display (dummy)
bolt handles to eliminate the threaded shank in favor of a straight
smooth shank in order to standardize all bolt handle shanks at 9/32"
diameter. That should reduce the time it takes to make them. Of
course, that required a change in my Display tm receiver design.
Hopefully, I will never get so far behind again.
Ordering & Catalog Items (25 Oct
07): I have found that at least 50% of my customers do not have a
computer. That is why I do not have an internet catalog.
I do not have the time to maintain both an internet catalog and a
print catalog. I also don't have time to recite the catalog to
those who don't want to have one. So, if an item is not
specifically described and priced in the website and you do not have
a catalog, please don't try to order by asking if I have this or
that and will I please describe everything and list the prices. I
am trying to catch up on the receivers and do not want to take
valuable time from that effort. That is not to say that I won't try
to clarify something that may be confusing or try to help solve a
particular Thompson problem someone might have. Thanks for
22 Oct 07: I now have finished all pilots.
As soon as they are blued, I will be able to get out all the old pilots
and buffers back orders. I have now started making all the bolt
handles. I will catch up soon with everything except receivers which
take longer but are being made now as well.
Receivers (7 Oct 07): More
problems solved. Now twenty (20) receivers are in process.
Actuators (7 Oct 07): We finally
got the knob checkering as close to Colt as is probably possible. No one has
ever gotten it right before so I am quite pleased. That was the big problem
with the actuator. Maybe we can now make some real progress.
Receivers (3 Oct 07): We are now going through the
files and creating a summary list of people who have receivers on order,
receiver type and date of order. I want to make sure that receivers are sent
out in accordance with the order date as much as possible.
doesnít mean that everyone needs to call me or write me- -(please donít). No
receiver will be sent out without me calling the person in advance to
confirm all aspects of the order so as to incorporate any changes desired.
The effort right now is to make receivers for inventory.
Receivers (2 Oct 07): The first 1928 ďDisplay (tm)Ē receiver was completed
today except for the extractor slot. It included the lock ramps & bevels. It
disclosed a few manufacturing problems which I am fixing now. I am also
trying to revise my method of cutting the extractor slot in order to be able
to do that in house as well. The problem is that if I am ever to catch up,
everything must be as efficient as possible. I am extremely pleased with the
receiver made. It really looks good. I know people have been waiting a long
time so it is important to me that everyone ends up feeling that the wait
was worth it.
Polston Semi-auto Thompson (17 Set 07): Tim
Polston tells me they are in the process of contracting with someone to
manufacture his design but that he intends to reserve the right to make
a few himself.
Whereas I am not interested in becoming a
gun manufacturer or being involved in large quantities of any thing, I
am interested in supplying "Shop" style receivers to those who want to
have a special Polston gun. The idea being that I would supply the
receiver ready for finishing to the owner of a parts kit and that person
would send it on to Polston for finishing. I have already made the
first Polston receiver production sample.
Don't bother contacting Polston at this
time because he does not have a shop capable of doing this or the
manufacturing license yet. I will keep you posted.
Receiver Categories (16 Sep 07): I have
become increasingly aware that there are two basic types of receiver
buyers that I deal with. There is the person who wants to assemble a
Thompson for display that is absolutely authentic, is as complete as
legally allowed, takes all parts of a parts kit (except the bolt group
which can not be fitted to a display gun) without any further fitting or
machine work and can be completed into a working gun with the proper
Even if the
person never intends to make the gun work, the satisfaction of having a
gun that good makes the cost acceptable as opposed to using an aluminum
or low grade steel receiver which can never be anything more. For that
person I offer my standard "Display (tm)" receiver.
However, there is a growing demand
for receivers that are intended to be finished with the proper approvals
for a full-auto and semi-auto receivers. These receivers don't need
some of the features that my "Display (tm)" receivers have such
lightening holes to yield the original gun weight, clearance to enable
the trigger housing components to function and provisions for a dummy
pilot and bolt handle. Therefore, I have decided to offer a new
category of receivers which, for lack of a better name (suggestions?), I
will call "Shop" receivers.
These receivers will have every Thompson
feature as my "Display (tm)" receivers have but none of the extra
features necessary to create a ready to go display gun without further
work. I will offer the standard Thompson models of 1921-1928A1 and M1 &
M1A1 as both "Display" and "Shop" models but all others will be offered
only as "Shop" models. The cost of the "Shop" receivers will be about
$50 less than the "Display" receivers. Everything I have published
heretofore about the "Display" receivers stands. Check "New Products" for for "Shop" Receivers.
Receivers (12 Sep 07): There seems
to be a great deal of misunderstanding as to what my production
policy is. I get inquiries like "Have you ordered the steel
for my receiver?" or "Do I have time to alter my order?" Let me
try to explain how I approach receiver making. First there is
all the product engineering to determine the configuration of
the various receivers. That has been done except that there
will always be slight changes to make the receivers meet more of
the needs of the user.
Just today I made a change in the
bolt handle slot design for the semi-automatic N/K style
receivers to eliminate a machine cut that heretofore would have
had to be done buy the user. A small thing but a better product
for the user.
Then there is the manufacturing
engineering. That develops the whole production process.
Machines, fixtures, cutters, programs, materials, etc.- -
everything it takes to turn the receiver designs into finished
products. That has been done but, again, changes go on
forever. Yesterday I revised 3 of the cutters to speed things
Then the actual process of turning
steel material into finished receivers begins. That is where I
am now. The first receiver in the process shows up problem
areas in the manufacturing cycle. Even if it makes it all the
way through to become a finished receiver, it is slow. Maybe it
doesn't make it. Whenever things go wrong, another is started.
Right now 6 receivers are making their way thru the cycle. I'm
hoping that this weekend at least one receiver will have made
it. After that it goes fairly fast.
But no receiver is made to fill an
order. All receivers are made for inventory. Eventually, I
will be able to ship from inventory the day I receive an order.
So what happens is that I will continue to make receivers.
Since I have to send them out for things I am not equipped to
do, I have to have enough receivers to send out at one time to
make the cost of the outside work reasonable.
So just because I have finished
with a bunch of receivers doesn't mean they are ready to ship.
When I have receivers ready to ship I will call people who have
ordered the type of receivers I have available to confirm their
order and shipping information.
If there is something special
about the receiver ordered such as serial number or marking,
before I do the special work on a finished standard receiver, I
will call the customer to confirm the details.
My point is that I do not and can
not, buy a piece of steel and then work on a particular order.
If I call you and tell you that I
have the two 1928A1 receivers you ordered and you tell me you
changed your mind and now want two 1921s and one M1A1, or now
you want the lock ramps, it doesn't make any difference to me.
If I have what you want,
I'll send it, if not, I'll call you when I have what you now
want. It just doesn't make any difference. Naturally, those
who have waited the longest, get priority.
What I don't need are endless
calls and e-mails which only slow me down. Thank you for your
understanding and patience.
Receiver Tools (12 Sep 07): Apparently, cutting the lock
ramps is too difficult for most people, which I can understand.
Probably, most machinists would have a problem with it
considering the trigonometric calculations involved. So I don't
think I will offer the special cutter for that. However, the
basic cutters for finishing the rest of the bolt cavity may be
of interest to the do-it-yourselfers. The most important,
expensive and hard to find is the 1/4" wide staggered tooth x
1-1/2" diameter TIN coated long shank cutter used in forming the
1921/8 bolt cavity roof. I can supply that one for $175 which
is less than the listed price. Because the original guns are so
expensive, the new phenomena of making your own with a
manufacturing license is growing and therefore, creating a
demand for more tooling, etc. but I don't know how great that
demand will become and so I don't know what to try to offer.
- Receivers (9 Sep 07): The first receiver
with a Lock Ramp got made today. I sweated blood over this. They said
it couldn't be done or if it could, I would never do it. It was a lot
more involved than I anticipated. I guess that is why there was
virtually no interest in me supplying the special cutters for the
do-it-yourselfers. So it looks like this option will be a go.
- Actuators (9 Sep 07): No one has ever
been able to figure out how Colt checkered the actuator handles. That
has been one of the problems in making them. I think we figured it
out. I find it fascinating to try to regress my thinking back to the
1920 environment. They did amazing things back then with virtually no
sophisticated tools. Now we have the tools but we don't have the
- Receivers (3 Sept 07): (Naysayers
repent!) Steel was delivered Friday and already several receivers are
half finished. It will be slow building up production but receivers are
Receivers (August 29, 2007): Sometimes every
thing goes right and so it was today. All fixtures worked out fine and
are on the machines and zeroed in. It looks like the lock ramp milling
setup is a complete success.
Receiver Fixtures (27 Aug 07):
Unbelieveable! I stayed off the phone for the most part and got lucky.
Theoretically, all fixtures necessary to restart receiver manufacturing have
been made or refurbished. I was going to work on the fixtures as I needed
them, but decided to go for broke and get everything ready to go at once.
Unless there is an error some where, everything is ready to go.
- Lock Ramp Milling Cutter (27 Aug 07): I
recalculated the cutter requirements and have concluded that the special
cutter I was planning to use will not work. I am going to have to have
a very special cutter made. This won't cause a delay but I am wondering
if I should offer the cutters as a special Thompson tool for those
people who want to make their own receiver or finish a display receiver
or is everyone who wants the lock ramp waiting for me to do it?
(Remember that to finish a TSMG receiver requires a license but to make
a Polston semi-auto receiver, which uses the lock, does not.) If there
is any demand for a special lock ramp milling cutter, please let me
know. The price would be about $175. I suppose I could also offer a
special cutter set-up gage which would position the cutter in the
receiver as well.
Aug. 25, 2007
Receiver Lock Ramp: Today I finished
the milling fixture necessary to cut the lock ramps into the sides
of the receiver. Since I already finished the setup gages and
special cutters, I now have everything I need to cut the ramps.
There is still no guarantee that I will offer this option as some
unforeseen problem may appear, but at this time it sure seems to be
probable. This is also the last thing I needed before final machine
setup to start making receivers. Cutting the ramps is a goal I have
had for a long time so I find it exciting to be this close.
Receiver Production: I still have to
make a new feed ramp milling fixture because the one I have is the
oldest fixture I have for making receivers and it is worn out.
However, since that goes on a machine of its own, I do not have to
have it to start basic receiver production. However, I may be able
to make the new one this weekend if I stay off the phone and nothing
Criticism: I have been told that
maybe I don't need to be so concerned about details and quality and
should be more concerned about getting some receivers made because
people have waited so long. My answer is that there are others who
make receivers and not everyone needs what I do. I am the first to
tell someone that if they don't need what I do, then by all means,
save some money and get a receiver quicker by ordering from someone
else. For those of you who want a receiver better than Colt, Savage
or Auto-Ordnance (Bridgeport) and more complete than any
other available, I'm sorry to have to inform you that you are stuck
with me. I wish I could get more done faster but I do the best I
August 23, 2007
- According to my records, I have sent out
every back order that does not involve receivers or bolt handles. If
anyone disagrees with this, please let me know.
- Ring Style Front Sight Drivers are back in