Thompson Model 1928A1.45ACP sub-machine gun

This item is HIRE ONLY for use by a recognised Film, TV, Commercials or Theatre production company.




The Thompson is an American submachine gun, invented by General John T. Thompson, who founded the Auto Ordnance Company in 1916.

First called ‘The Annhilator I’, once the design was finalised in 1919, it was renamed the Thompson Sub Machine Gun, the first weapon to be named as an SMG.

Production commenced in 1921 and the Model 1921 was sold in small numbers to the US Postal  Inspection Service and to the US Marine Corps. Police sales followed with the Model 1928, but it became infamous during the Prohibition era.

It was a common sight in the media of the time, being used by Police officers, FBI agents and criminals. The Thompson was also known informally as the “Tommy Gun” or the “Chicago Piano”.  Film appearances often showed a ‘hit man’ pulling it out of an innocent looking viola case.

The Thompson was favored by soldiers, criminals, police and civilians alike for its ergonomics, compactness, large .45 ACP cartridge, reliability, and high volume of automatic fire, especially when the 50 or 100 round drum magazine was employed.

The M1928A1 entered mass production before the attack on Pearl Harbour, (Dec 7th, 1941). Changes included a horizontal forend, in place of the distinctive vertical foregrip  and a provision for a military sling. Despite new U.S. contracts for Lend-Lease shipments abroad to China, France, and the United Kingdom, only two factories supplied M1928A1 Thompsons during the early years of World War II.

Wartime production variants had a fixed rear sight without the triangular sight guard wings and a non-ribbed barrel both like that found on the later M1/M1A1 models.

In addition, the Soviet Union received M1928A1s, included as standard equipment with the M3 Light Tank, obtained through Lend-Lease. The weapons were never issued to the Red Army, however, because of a lack of .45 ACP ammunition on the Eastern Front, and were simply put in storage.

As of September 2006, limited numbers of these weapons have been re-imported from Russia to the United States and to Europe as disassembled “spare parts kits”.

Foxtrot has examples of both the earlier 1928A1, and the later wartime production Thompson M1.

Helpful Info

Regarding dates and period correctness, this item is appropriate for US and allied forces of WWII and in many other conflicts: Greek Civil war, Korea, Chinese Civil war 1948, Cuban Revolution, Vietnam war, Northern Ireland in the 70’s, the FBI used them until 1976, some were even reported as being used in the Bosnian war.

Example shown is a Model 1928A1 Thompson sub-machine gun in .45 ACP calibre. It features wooden furniture, a Cutts Compensator to prevent muzzle climb when firing and the metal parts are in a blued finish.