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Thread: Another candidate for the WTF category. (A thompson question)

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    Another candidate for the WTF category. (A thompson question)

    Last weekend I was at West Point's annual historic weapons shoot. About 125 other cadets and myself were able to check out, and fire, a lot of the most heavily used weapons in history.

    To make a long story short, they had a table with about 6 weapons on it for you to handle and check out behind the firing line. One of them was an old thompson with something on the barrel that I had never seen before.



    At a first glance, I thought it might be a suppressor of some type. However, after further inspection, I found this was not the case. The metal cylinder you see around the barrel unscrews quite easily, from around the outside of the barrel. I didn't take it off all the way, since we were specifically ordered not to disassemble the weapons, but it appeared as though there were threads towards the receiver end of the barrel that it was screwing off of.

    If you looked at it from the muzzle end, you could see the end of the barrel, which itself had threads, probably for a compensator or something similar. However, then end of this metal can ended, and was quite a bit bigger around than the barrel, so it could unscrew and slide off fairly easily.

    I have never seen anything like this on a weapon, and I have no idea what it actually is. My second guess is that it is a water-cooler of some type, to prevent barrel overheating, however, it seems like there is no way that the thing could contain water, and keep it around the barrel. So my final guess is that it is just a mass of metal to be used as a heat sink.

    So, I leave the question to you. Does anybody actually know what it is? Has anyone seen one of these before? And does anyone know how the thing works?

    Thanks a lot.

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    Shooting automatic weapons at school? That is one cool college.
    "I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves."
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    I'd think that it might have been a field expedient forearm/heat shield, however, it looks like the forearm has been relieved to clear the can and probably had a block installed so that it sits lower than a normal Thompson forearm.

    Could it be some sort of grenade launching unit?

    Was it heavy? it may have been meant to give the front end some more mass for controllability, although the Thompsons I've fired have all been extremely stable and controllable in FA.
    Last edited by carcass; 05-07-2004 at 09:39 PM.

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    It didnt seem to balance any differently than the one I shot later that day. It was slightly more front heavy, but not to the point where I think it would affect anything. The other one I shot was completely controllable.

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    The item of which you speak is the very rare red X attachment. Manufactured by the POOR WEB LINK Company.


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    If I had to guess, heat shield is the first thing that comes to mind...Especially if you were pinned down in battle for a while, that would be one HOT barrel.

    Otherwise, I have no idea =P

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    Try posting on the Tommy Gun boad at machinegunbooks.com.. That's where the Thompson gurus hang.. Someone will prob know better over there than us Uzi folk..

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    Re: Another candidate for the WTF category. (A thompson question)

    Originally posted by Sturmgeschutz
    I didn't take it off all the way, since we were specifically ordered not to disassemble the weapons,
    Since when do you follow orders?

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    I'll second the "expedient heat shield" opinion. The M1A1s had a smoothe barrel surface that didn't cool as effectively as the finned barrels and the addition of a heat shield would facilitate both burn prevention(to a degree) but also set up convection currents to draw in cooler air if the gun were held straight up or down or about any angle in between.

    So I'll take B. Thats my final answer

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    Big ass flash hider!

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    Opinions from the Thompson forums: http://www.machinegunbooks.com/forum...ST&f=3&t=2175&
    "I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves."
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    hmmm, looks like they don't let you read their forum at all unless you register.

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    I wanted to clarify something:

    I looked in the muzzle end and could tell that the "can" so to speak was empty, minus the barrel, and appeared to just be around the outside, connected similar to a free-float tube on an AR-15. Except of course from the picture, you can see it is attached to the barrel, not the receiver.

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    Originally posted by Vegas SMG
    Big ass flash hider!

    Behind the muzzle?

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    *consulting my magic8ball...

    It's a crude attempt to silence a captured Thompson by the Viet Cong.

    ...kinda sorta maybe!

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    Re: *consulting my magic8ball...

    Originally posted by stymie
    It's a crude attempt to silence a captured Thompson by the Viet Cong.

    ...kinda sorta maybe!
    Nah, they use bamboo filled with rice paper (a.k.a. jungle tampons).

    I'm betting it's a device for making tube waffles in the field. Pass the Mrs. Butterworth's, please. .

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    Maybe it's a safety device to capture the fragments from an A. O. barrel that's been retro fitted on the gun.

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    I would've guessed it was a port-firing rig, except for the reattached forearm.
    "I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves."
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    "Silencers, Snipers & Assassins"...

    Check out pages 40 & 41 of J. David Truby's book.

    It closely resembles an OSS co-axial design manufactured in England for the Thompson M1A1.

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