Colt, C&R, 1921AC #7535
Offered for sale is an Auto-Ordnance Model of 1921AC Thompson Submachine Gun, serial number 7535, which was manufactured by Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company for Auto-Ordnance Corporation between 1/30/1922 and 1/31/1922.
Colt Thompson Serial #7535
This is one of the original 15,000 Colt Thompsons, which range in serial number from 41 to 15040. It is marked “Model of 1921.” and features a Cutts compensator, which makes it a “1921AC” configuration Thompson. All Colt Thompsons were originally manufactured in “1921A” configuration, without a compensator, but a $25 option to add a compensator became available a few years after introduction, resulting in the “AC” designation.
This particular Thompson was previously owned by the Portsmouth, Ohio Police Department in southern Ohio, and is listed in the late Gordon Herigstad’s book, “Colt Thompson Serial Numbers.” The receiver and the lower frame serial numbers match. The buttstock has the correct anchor marking on its nose, indicating it was manufactured by Remington for Colt. The rear grip, and the vertical foregrip are also original. The barrel looks good and original, and aligns properly on the index line. The internals appear original to the gun, including the 1921 style actuator. Anyone who purchases this Thompson should seriously consider acquiring a reproduction 1921 actuator to fire in the gun, along with some other spare internal parts, as original 1921 actuators can be fragile, are quite valuable, and difficult to find as spares.
This Thompson features patent dates, as well as a “JHB” inspector marking on the right side of the receiver to indicate inspection for Auto-Ordnance by Chief Inspector John H. Barrett.
This Thompson shows wear typical of a police department Colt, with various scratches, small rust freckles, and other patina on its original finish as a result of many years of police service. This is especially apparent on the pivot plate, where a screwdriver was used to disassemble the lower frame; again, a very typical point of condition encountered on police Thompsons, since they served as law enforcement tools. Regardless of its patina and imperfections, this Colt still wears a significant amount of its original blued finish. It has a small repair to the buttstock wood, just to the right of the buttstock release button. The buttstock release button has also been replaced by a button that Dan Block, a Thompson Submachine Gun gunsmith fabricated, since the button itself is a virtually unobtainable Colt Thompson spare part. It also has some rust on the buttplate, and bump marks on its wood furniture, which is pretty typical of a police Thompson that spent most of its life in a P.D. armory.
This particular Colt Thompson has some known provenance, having been originally sold by E.E. Richardson on 3/9/1929, which makes its history more interesting. Mr. Richardson was Auto-Ordnance’ top salesman, and when Auto-Ordnance made the decision to only sell through Federal Laboratories in the early 1930’s, he became a salesman for Fed Labs, selling Thompsons, and eventually Reising Submachine guns, among other law enforcement products. Much good historical information exists regarding E.E. Richardson, and can be read in William J. Helmer’s classic 1969 Thompson book, “The Gun That Made the Twenties Roar,” as well as Tracie L. Hill’s 2009 excellent work, “The Ultimate Thompson Book.” Perhaps this Thompson has some undocumented history with the Portsmouth P.D. that can be further determined. Individual PD Thompson history is something that many collectors have recently taken upon themselves to research, and this is a good candidate, since it served “On The Side of Law and Order.” Any collector or Thompson enthusiast would do well to add this Colt Thompson to their collection.
Price includes S&H and Insurance. Florida residents are subject to Florida Sales tax.