Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rare indeed, only two prototypes of this Auto-Ordnance/Thompson experimental SMG, were made.

The weapon was designed/developed in late 1941/early 1942 based on the request from the US Army for industry to develop a standardized 45 ACP SMG, as a replacement/substitute for the Thompson M1928 SMG.

It competed against several other SMG designs namely the Marlin M2 and the General Motors/Inland Div., M3 Grease Gun. All were developed with the intent of being a low-cost war expedient weapon intending to reducing the numerous parts and machining operations that were used in the Thompson.

As we all know this design did not win out against the General Motors/Inland Div. designed M3 Grease gun. It was noted in the report that this example had several stoppages and malfunctions as well as a small stress crack at the tail end of the trigger housing, all of which helped contribute to it being eliminated.

This gun is very unique in that it was developed along the same lines as the British STEN submachine gun in that it uses a straight tube receiver with a round machined bolt. It still used some of the M1 Thompson type parts such as the non-finned barrel, 20 shot "stick" magazine and front sight. (pictured w/o magazine)
It does have a completely unique full length one piece walnut stock with a fixed vertical pistol grip and top handguard.
The actual receiver and barrel groups are held in the stock by two wing-bolts that served as simple take down mechanism. I assume this to be for ease of testing only.

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