Thompson Sub Machine Gun (1918-1944)

The first Thompson sub machine gun appeared in 1918. Designed as a trench fighting weapon it appeared too late for this role and became famous as a weapon of choice for gangsters for the next 20 years, although the US navy did use a small number of them. In 1940 the British Army decided that it needed large numbers of these weapons and a large order was placed. The Tommy gun was unique in that it used a form of retarded blowback operation and was the first gun to use a drum magazine, designed so that you could carry more ammunition when moving between trenches. Various versions were made during its production life, mostly simplified version for ease of wartime manufacture and maintenance, but when production halted in 1944 1,400,000 had been made.

Length - 32in; Weight - 10lb 9oz(4.82Kg); Magazine - 20 or 30 box; Cyclic rate - 700 rpm.

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How to cite this article: Dugdale-Pointon, TDP. (30 October 2000), Thompson Sub Machine Gun (1918-1944), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_tommygun.html

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