Auto-Ordnance Bridgeport Model M1 Thompson .45acp Pre May Dealer Sample Submachine Gun
This Chester County Armory sale listing is for a factory original Auto-Ordnance Bridgeport Model M1 Thompson .45acp Pre May Dealer Sample Only submachine gun.
Made by Auto-Ordnance Corporation while in Bridgeport, CT, this Pre-May Only Dealer Sample submachine gun is a WWII wartime production model M1 Thompson. This M1 model is not encountered as often made by the Auto-Ordnance, themselves, as the vast majority of early M1 models prior to the switchover to M1A1 models were made by Savage Arms under contract for Auto-Ordnance. Based on its serial number of 205070, this weapon was made by Auto-Ordnance during 1942. It was likely originally made strictly for the US military contract, and later re-imported into the US by Inter-American of Sacramento, CA sometime after the 1968 Gun Control Act. Interestingly enough, this model does not have a US Property marking behind the rear sight, meaning it was not likely intended for part of the US’s Lend-Lease Program, as the US Property designation was required to conform to rules regarding that program. One of those rules included a US Property marking on the firearm.
The model is marked on the left side of the receiver from the factory as “THOMPSON SUBMACHINE GUN CALIBER .45 M1” and sports period and serial number production correct M1 features. These features include the original M1 bolt with a floating firing pin that does not protrude to fire until the bolt is in battery, no cross bolt on the rear stock, and the late production pin style safety and selector levers. The lower trigger group also notes no serial number on trigger guard and a protected rear sight, both are features which are consistent with late production Bridgeport M1’s. The trigger group also notes the engraving of “FULL AUTO” on a single line, which is consistent with Bridgeport-produced Auto-Ordnance models. Savage M1’s noted two lines of print for the full auto designation. The round GEG inspection stamp, along with the FJA stamp are visible, but faded, indicating that the model was likely refinished at some point.
Overall, this weapon is in fantastic operational and cosmetic condition. The receiver is in excellent physical condition, with no dents, gouges, cracks, malformations, etc., and only minor handling and usage marks. The M1 bolt and internals are outstanding, with only limited wear markings noted. The lower receiver to upper receiver fit is very tight and solid. The fire control group is clean and intact. The bore and chamber remain bright and shiny with clean rifling. The ears of the rear sight protectors note some minor edge wear and small bends from physical use.
Cosmetically, this weapon is also in excellent overall condition for a firearm of its age, with only minor use and handling marks and light surface scratches noted in the receiver parkerization. The finish of the barrel remains strong and shiny, with only minor handling marks of note on the top of the barrel. The front sight notes some physical wear in the finish. The wooden stock, pistol grip, and forearm are all solid, with no cracks, chips, or concerns, and only minor scratches and surface indentations noted in the wood.
This model runs flawlessly with SAAMI spec ammunition. Purchase of this transferable submachine gun will include one original parkerized Auto-Ordnance 20rd box magazine that is also Bridgeport, CT production marked.
This model is currently on an eForm-capable Form 3 that lists “Imported NFA Firearm” as the manufacturer and “M1A1” as the model. The marking of re-imported M1 models as M1A1 on the importation forms was a commonly-seen occurrence by the Inter-American Company. This is a Pre-May Dealer Sample model only.