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  1. #1
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    Default So do you think this will make an Auto-Ordnance Thompson WORK??

    If I get into the whole story, this post will take all afternoon... Long story short, I bought a brand new, less than 6 month old from the factory M1927 Thompson-style boat anchor from Auto-Ordnance. Gun would not fire, would leave casings in the chamber, and stovepipe badly. Switched extractors, and that didn't fix it, and after one trip to the factory (where they only switched extractors and fired it once, despite my letter telling them I already did that and my request that they fire it more than once because that is often when the problem occurred) they finally sent me a new bolt, and the gun worked. Just long enough to let their year warranty expire. Now, the new bolt's extractor slot is cracking away, and soon, there will not be an extractor on the gun, nor will there be any provision to make there be one. Because the original bolt was the root of the problem, and because I do not want to give them 140$ for a new, and likely junk, bolt, I would like to get the old bolt functioning.

    The old bolt, like I said, caused the gun to leave casings in the chamber, stovepipe badly, AND interestingly enough, totally obliterate the primers when firing. We're talking being able to see daylight through the hole it punched in the primer. In addition, it would bend the extractor the opposite direction enough that it would nearly fall out sometimes.

    I have pulled the new bolt and compared it and its firing pin with the original, non-functioning bolt, and found two differences. The depth of the "cup" that composes the bolt face where the base of the casing rests is not milled as deep in the malfunctioning bolt. The difference is .034" and great enough that I was able to eyeball it and tell it was wrong. Put another way, the "good" bolt is milled .034" deeper. Also, the part of the bolt that stops the firing pin is .019" closer to the bolt face in the non-functioning bolt, allowing the firing pin to travel that much further.

    My question is, which is the worst problem? The extra .019" of firing pin travel, or the bolt face that is .034" more shallow?

    I suppose extra firing pin travel could knock the casing loose, causing jams that in turn could cause damage to the extractor, sometimes causing it to work loose from banging on live and spent cartridges.

    I also suppose the shallow bolt face may allow the bolt to slam cartridges in the chamber, causing extractor problems.

    I guess it could be both problems, too.

    I have a mill that I could bore the bolt face with, as well as tools that I could alter the firing pin with, but do you guys have any idea if one problem is worse than the other, or if it truly is a combination?
    Last edited by Garandomatic; 07-07-2009 at 02:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    wow, I am so happy that I have never taken the plunge on one of these......You'd think that a company could make one properly. What in the heck causes all of these malfunctions in them? Poor heat treating? I mean, bolts chipping and cracking?

    Sorry, I can't help you other then to say get an uzi instead. They run like swiss watches, and are great guns.

  3. #3
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    Default

    I have no idea as to your specific problem.
    However, if you machine the bolt face .034" deeper,
    won't it be true that the firing pin stop will need to be corrected that same
    amount, plus the original .019" ? I am not famiiar with the Thompsom bolt, but you will be allowing the case to move .034" closer to the pin, by altering the face. Yes ? Pin protrusion is important.

    Or have I confused the good and bad bolts, since at his point they are both bad ?

  4. #4
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    Default

    Here are a couple of pictures. First one shows the difference in bolt faces.

  5. #5
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    You're right, I would have to mess with a firing pin if I changed the original "baddest" bolt. I sorta thought of that, but I am glad you brought it in front of me or I may have neglected it.

    Second picture shows why the second, "good" bolt is not so good anymore.

    I tried to make sure I was as clear as I could be, but since both bolts are essentially junk, I can see how you'd get confused!
    Last edited by Garandomatic; 07-07-2009 at 02:35 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Something else to consider is, will machining that bolt face change the headspace.....

    As said I am not familiar with the Thompson.....


    Wait for someone else who knows these to speak up.


    Be careful

  7. #7
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    Default

    Also a good point to consider. I don't think it'd change it from the way the "good" bolt worked, as all other dimensions are the same, and I'd essentially only be matching the two bolts in that particular dimension. Question is, then, which one is the most correct?!?!?!?! AND, which one is the LEAST DANGEROUS!?!?!?!

    On the flip side of it, .034" seems like an excessive amount of difference to me to have in a part like this. I wonder what their tolerances are.

    I could also contact the factory, but since it took two months for them to make my gun work in the first place, not to mention trying to get ahold of ANYONE AT ALL at that company to talk to on the phone took almost a week at times during the six weeks they had my gun at their factory, I'd as soon try to fix it myself.

    If nothing comes from this, I do enjoy posting PROOF for the world to see that Auto-Ordnance makes JUNK.
    Last edited by Garandomatic; 07-07-2009 at 03:04 PM.

  8. #8
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    I would assume it is a combination of poor heat treating and the fact that their machinists are apparently illiterate. The result is a lack of parts interchangeability that brings to mind the kind of "slop" slave laborers put into Nazi munitions to cause them to malfunction.

  9. #9
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    Possibly they've changed the firing pin design, but on the older guns I'm familiar with, the firing pin does have "A" stop in the bolt, but the actual firing pin stop is the lower-front of the "dog leg" firing pin contacting the receiver just under the hole for the round front section of the bolt.

    If the design is the same, you can see the stopping action by removing the receiver and the springs and looking at the lower section of the firing pin. It should make contact with the receiver when the firing pin is moved forward.

  10. #10
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    Post

    I have the M1A1 version and I have never had a problem with mine. I suspect you just got the odd lemon. Check with a lawyer and see if you may have another avenue of pursuing this.
    What has our country become? More takers than givers.

  11. #11
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    I happen to know a few, even a judge... just might do that. The two firing pins in the bolts were identical too, I did check them. Sounds like the same part dfariswheel is describing...

    Hey RickyRacer, how many rounds have you fired through yours? I just wonder, for sake of a company that supposedly makes their stuff in the US, I'd like to believe I am just an unlucky one. Whole experience, including "customer service" has been pretty negative though.
    Last edited by Garandomatic; 07-07-2009 at 11:21 PM.

  12. #12
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    What the hell is wrong with American firearms manufacturers????


    I read this and just a minute ago I read how Military Gun supply passes the buck on a Wiselite PPSH-41 that doesn't work properly.

    It's like all honor or pride in workmanship is dead in this nation.

    Now this with the Thompson?

  13. #13
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    Post

    I have only fired a couple hundred rounds through it. I am glad I have not had to rely on their customer service up to this point. I also have one of their 45 pistols and I have had no problems with it either but I have only fired about 50 rounds through the pistol. Both the Thompson and 45 pistol are used for blanks in WW2 reenacting.
    What has our country become? More takers than givers.

  14. #14
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    amen on american worksmanship. And again, FOR 1200 BUCKS I EXPECT PERFECTION. Vector got it right with the uzi...For that matter, so did china. FRO QUITE A BIT LESS MONEY ORIGINALLY. So why can they not get it right?

    I decided after my experience with my A/O 1911A1 WWII park that I'd never own another of their products. And I convinced a friend to avoid a thompson.

  15. #15
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    I didn't want to mention this "rumor", but seems as though thompson copies are popular round my parts here and there have been some "issues" with some of the new ones, everything from won't cycle consistantly with any mag(those ordered with gun or those gunsmith modified to fit), or cracked wood parts new out of the box, to one that the bore may be oversized for some darned reason, all those buying the "premium model" with removeable buttstock, along with some "ah shucks and jiving" from the manufacturer, this is outrageous, I kind of was planning on somehow getting a ww2 style fixed battle sight copy to complement my other, somehow someday, not now.

    Man, I am glad as heck that I bought one of the early west hurley model 1927a1 less than 130 serial number, one of the first that were being made again in the early 70's, for $600 and three modified mags+plus one un-modified 20 rounder a couple years ago locally(I ended up buying nineteen unmodified 30 rounders for $6 each when tapco was clearancing these out). That little sucker had the loose el cheapo rear sight rivets that I had to tighten and green locktite in place(permanently) to stop rear sight base wiggle. I hear-tell from my previous posts that the newer ones with screw in rear sight screws weren't a perfect fix for the el cheapo rivets, I guess there has always been an issue with the semi auto copies of one type or another.
    Of course, on mine, it will feed all forms of .45acp, from completely flat tip to just anything tested, but I don't have a battle sight, it was obviously broken off long long ago, and I had to fix the rear sight ladder with a fine needle file to have deeper grooves lest I had to buy a whole new $44 rear sight assembly less the base. NEEDLESS TO SAY, I am totally thrilled to own mine with just its minor problem, if someone sells a high dollar rifle, for $1200 beans or so, or any rifle, it damn well sure better run or know why!
    I had a guy tell me that if he saw my rifle function like I said at the range that he'd give me $3000 for it and even go through a background check, since his thompson copy is back for the second time not running, I declined, fellow tried to give me his thompson copy for $300 trade in value and $2700 additional cash, it was one of the toughest "walk aways and declining" I've ever done, its hard to believe his thompson with removeable buttstock style unlike mine with non removeable buttstock style, won't or cannot function or be made to function, or that's the kind of stuff I used to believe before I had extensive problems with a century arms converted mas 49-56 .308 that has problems I couldn't make totally right! What gives? I still have his number, but I will not do without a working model of one of these, so he is SOL, uuuuvvvvvv course.
    Mine is accurate too, shooting at a slight downhill grading(not much), we were obliterating gallon water filled jugs at 300 meters, I could hunt with it seemingly.
    Last edited by AndGunsForAll; 07-08-2009 at 05:33 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default

    I got an AutoOrdnance 1927M1 in 1985 and had similar mechanical issues with it. Additionally, the front sight had to be cocked over at a 30 degree angle to make the gun shoot straight. I sent the gun back to West Hurley, NY a few times, under warranty. They eventually got it to fire reliably, but never did much about the sight alignment problem. Overall, their customer service was pretty good then. I sold the gun in 1993
    and eventually replaced it with a Marlin Camp Gun, which functions perfectly and is much more accurate.
    Pa Deuce

  17. #17
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    The rear sight, with one screw that rattled out and fell off after one magazine of rapid fire and the one or two holes with the threads that cracked out, that's the least of my worries. I'll either rivet it myself or have a good buddy of mine (fella can weld a pop can together) put in a couple small button welds in the screw holes with the TIG welder.

    There needs to be a class action lawsuit against these people.

  18. #18
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    Mine has a crack in the rear stock that I noticed VERY shortly after buying it, actually. Interesting.

    I sent AO a polite and non-accusatory email to try to get the correct dimensions from them. We'll see what I get in return...

  19. #19
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    Default

    Just wondering...will any of the WWII surplus 1928a1 bolts fix your problem ... they where made with the floating firing pin like the 1927 semi's the only part that makes a 1928a1 full auto is the selector I know the receivers are not interchangeable with the lowers..
    Or if your going to do a bunch of machining anyway why not machine a surplus 1928a1 bolt?... the metal is much better.
    Pete
    PS i have a west hurley 1927 that runs perfectly well i have had one problem with a poorly fitted surplus mag double feeding.. other than that it's been running fine for yrs and yrs

  20. #20
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    Default

    Wouldn't that be cool if I could just use a GI part... They'd have to change it though, gotta be too good to be true.

    You know, the funny thing with the mags for these... I bought a ton of old GI mags, including some of those old WWII Russian lend-lease jobbies, and used my dremel tool on them to raise the mag catch hole. Every last one worked absolutely perfect.

  21. #21
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    Won't work.
    George Numrich deliberately designed the semi-auto Thompson to NOT be able to take full auto parts. The receiver is different and a full-auto bolt simply won't fit or work.

    In any case, the 1921/28 bolt has a triangular hammer on the lower front of the bolt. When the bolt closes...it fires.
    Also, the 1921/28 bolt is very different than the semi-auto bolt.
    The semi-auto uses a highly modified M1-A1 bolt, but even it won't work in a semi-auto.

  22. #22
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    if this was my gun, I would have call AUTO-ORD. and send the gun back to them for repair or for a new one.

    I bought some guns that didn't perform like they were suppose to out of the box, and instead of sitting there trying to figure out why it didn't work and spending more money on parts to try and make it work, I called up the manufaturer sent the gun back, and they either repaired it or sent a replacement gun. I just don't understand why anyone would spend a lot of bucks on a firearm and it doesn't work, that they would throw more money into trying to make it work, when the soultion is send it back and have them fix it on their dime.
    Last edited by SfcRet; 07-09-2009 at 10:14 PM.

  23. #23
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    Like I said in the original post, it WON'T be their dime is the problem... They have a 12 month warranty, and I have had the gun for 2 1/2 years (and in the last 1 1/2 years I've shot it maybe 4 times... right around 1000 rounds through the gun total). It will be my dime no matter what route I take.

    I have also sent the gun to the factory where they totally disregarded the fact that they had already sent me an extractor to try, which didn't work, as well as my request that they shoot more than one round through it because the weapon rendered itself inoperable after one or two rounds with the first bolt. It would take me less than 5 minutes to swap extractors, they had my gun past their "it may take __________ weeks" time (either 6 or 8 weeks), and acted dumbstruck when I called asking if they had sent it. It arrived shortly after, kinda like it was stuck in a corner or buried under the rest of their junk that they had to warranty. After the guy wiped his butt with my report about what the gun is doing, all they did was swap extractors.

    Their customer service is OK when you can get ahold of them, I suppose, but that's another problem. They still have not responded to my email.

    A new bolt is at least $140, which I really would like to not have to pay, because from looking at two of them with gross differences in dimensions and one of them that is cracking (the GOOD bolt at that...), it is my opinion that their parts are junk. I already gave them almost $1200 for what amounts to junk, I would rather not give them $140 more for a part that is likely also JUNK.
    Last edited by Garandomatic; 07-10-2009 at 10:27 AM.

  24. #24
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    Default My AO Thompson Problems

    I bought one of the AO selective-fire Thompsons back in 1981. It was the biggest boat anchor that I had ever seen. I had a multitude of problems -- failure to feed, failure to fire, jamming, stove-piping, parts breaking, etc. After the gun made a few trips back to the Numrich factory to have nothing done, I totally stripped the gun until I had a barreled receiver and lower receiver. Took all the parts and sold them back to Numrich (I kept the wood.) I then bought a military parts kit and intsalled it in the gun and I have not had one problem since then. The military parts kit solved all of my problems.

    Bill
    Last edited by BigBoy99; 07-10-2009 at 10:45 PM.

  25. #25
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    Default I dont get it

    Where is the pride in workmanship that used to be an American "Thing". I feel that the use of inferior castings made of low-grade potmetal instead of being drop forged and properly heat treated is the reason for all the issues on these. Why can't they use bar stock like LRB or drop forge like Taurus? The military expected the real versions to be tough and dependable, hence SAE standard steels for each part. I once got an M1 Carbine trigger group from Numrich I assumed was a G.I. kit. It wasn't. Maybe a late Iver Johnson? That POS had a deforming hammer after like three hammer drops to test for function. Sounds like the garbage is Zinc instead of tool steel. A bolt is a high-stress part and should be made to withstand repeated slamming. A .45 ACP is really pussy for a rifle round and it's a good thing they(A.O.) don't make high powered rifles.

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