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Excellent Colt Thompson Model 1921 Submachine Gun Documented to Folsom State Prison, Class III/NFA C&R Fully Transferable Machine Gun, with Accessories - Serial no. 5402, 45 ACP
cal., 10 1/2 inch fluted bbl., blue finish, walnut stock. One of the most famous submachine guns in the world, the Thompson SMG rates as one of the truly signature American weapons. Along with its proud service from World War II up to Vietnam, the Thompson was sought out by both law enforcement
and lawbreakers during the “Public Enemy” era of American history, used by some of America’s most notorious gangsters and the cops trying to take them down. Per the records in Herigstad’s “Colt Thompson Submachine Gun” (page 564), this Thompson was part of a six-piece order from Folsom State Prison in California, with shipment on November 25th, 1929. Established in 1880, Folsom was both one of the first maximum security prisons in the United States, housing prisoners such as Hell’s Angels chief Sonny Barger, psychedelic drug advocate Timothy Leary, infamous murderer Charles Manson, and actor Danny Trejo. While notorious in California as a very hard prison, it reached greater national prominence through the work of Johnny Cash, first with his well known 1955 song “Folsom Prison Blues” and then with his 1968 album “At Folsom Prison”, which was recorded at a pair of live performances at Folsom Prison. The records further note a transfer to “Fonters (California Institute for Men), Fonters, California” on an unrecorded date; research shows no record of that facility, though it may be referencing the California Institution for Men at Chino, another well known California prison. It would later be transferred to noted dealer J. Curtis Earl in 1976, and then the collection of William Vincent in 1980. It is noted in the records that sometime between its transfer to Earl in ‘76 and a sale at this auction house in 2010 the item was given DEWAT treatment and later reactivated, though examination shows no obvious symptoms of more traditional DEWAT work; it is possible that a less
of the procedure are available. This Thompson exhibits excellent, factory quality polished blue finish, with a blade front sight on the unmarked Cutts-style compensator, flip-up Lyman rear sight, proper witness marks on the finned barrel and receiver, and the circled “JHB” inspectors mark of Major
John Barret directly behind the ejection port. The trigger housing is numbered to match the receiver, with knurled controls, and the internals are proper 1921 pattern with the large spring
and spring guide, articulated firing pin, brass Blish lock, and felt pad oiler. Fitted with a pair of pistol grips and a quick-detach buttstock, the latter stamped with an “anchor” and holding a nickel finished oiler in the butttrap. The gun is complete with two 50-round “L” drum magazines (one Seymour, one Auto Ordnance) Company, four 20-round stick magazines, three 30-round stick magazines, one canvas case for the drum magazine, an envelope from the Auto Ordnance Company containing an original Thompson 1921 handbook and company letter, an original Auto Ordnance sales brochure, an Army technical manual dated October 1942, a steel cleaning rod, and a modern made FBI style carrying case.
CONDITION: Excellent with 97% plus factory quality blue finish, showing mild edge wear, minor thinning on the compensator, and spotting inside the barrel flutes. The stock and pistol grips are also excellent with a few light handling marks. The accessories are all very fine to excellent, with one damaged latch on the case. Mechanically excellent. NOTE: This weapon is a National Firearms Act (NFA), fully transferable Class 3, which is registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (BATFE) that is classified as a “Curios or Relic” as defined in 27 CFR, 478.11. These weapons are still subject to the provisions of 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 and 27 CFR part 478.
Estimate: 50,000 - 75,000
354 sophisticated deactivation method was used, like simple plugging of the barrel, but no specific records

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