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Airsoft Version of the Thompson Submachine Gun from the M1921 to the M1A1

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

Greetings everyone, We will be conveying our insights on the Thompson airsoft gun today.


This article will provide an overview of the history of the Thompson SMG, specifically the Thompson M1928, and a comparison of the performance and specs of the different brands. It is hoped that this will assist readers in identifying the Airsoft Thompson or Tommy Gun that meets their needs for a reenactment event or collection. The Thompson 1928 submachine gun was first created by US Army brigadier general John T. Thompson during the period of World War I. It was developed with trench warfare in mind, but it did not make it to the battlefield in time.



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General John T. Thompson with an M1921 Thompson(Wikipedia)


The Thompson Submachine Gun, often referred to as the Tommy Gun, had gained notoriety before its military adoption due to the Chicago gang wars of the 1920s-30s. Both sides were known to utilize the weapon, with its drum magazine and vertical foregrip, or "pistol grip" becoming its iconic image.

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FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover Aiming a Thompson Submachine Gun(New York Daily News Archive)



In the period before the Second World War, only a limited amount of Thompson SMG, including the Thompson M1928, were distributed to US troops during the Banana war. However, with the rise of conflict in both Asia and Europe, the Thompson 1928 SMG became widely adopted by the US armed forces as they prepared for the upcoming war.


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At the Second Army Maneuvers in Louisiana, Sgt. Andrew Favors of the Hqs. Troop 9th Cavalry was photographed with a Thompson M1928 submachine gun, on August 30th, 1941. (NARA)



Under the Lend-Lease Act, the Thompson Submachine Gun, also known as the Tommy Gun, was provided to Allied forces. Therefore, it can be observed that the British Commonwealth, Free French, Chinese, and other Allied troops employed it in different parts of the globe during the war.


At a March 1944 inspection of US invasion forces, Winston Churchill and General Dwight D Eisenhower, the Allied Supreme Commander, were both observed to be wielding Thompson submachine guns. (IWM)



The US military continued to deploy the Thompson M1928 throughout the conflict. This was the first version of the weapon, also known as the Thompson 1928, to be extensively employed by American forces. Right before the Pearl Harbor attack, production of the M1928A1 ramped up. The pistol grip was removed and swapped for a horizontal forend, and a sling could be attached without the need of drilling and screwing a swivel.


The Commandos Marins of the 1st BFMC, a Free French Naval unit, received a warm welcome when they arrived in Normandy with an M1928A1 on D-Day. This particular M1928A1 was made during wartime and had a L sight and British stock. (IWM)



In February of 1942, the US military answered a request to simplify their production process in order to reduce costs and increase speed. The L sight took the place of the flip-up adjustable Lyman rear sight, and the friction lock design of the M1921 and M1928 was changed to a simpler blowback operation. Additionally, the charging handle was moved to the side of the gun and the receiver became thinner. The drum mag slots were removed and the firing rate was reduced from 1500 to 600-700 RPM. This new specification was standardized in April 1942 and issued in 1943 as the M1 Thompson Airsoft.


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On May 18th, 1945, two members of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines were pushing forward on Wana Ridge. In the photograph, one of the Marines is holding an M1 rifle with a bent L-sight and an M1907 sling. (NARA)



In October 1942, the airsoft Thompson M1A1 was standardized, taking only half the time to produce and at a much lower cost than the M1928A1. The main distinction between these two weapons was the bolt: the M1 had a floating firing pin and hammer, while the M1A1's firing pin was machined into the face of the bolt, thus eliminating the need for additional parts. The M1A1 Thompson airsoft also featured a sight protecting wing and a reinforced lock on the stock to make the gun more sturdy. It was used until the end of WWII, when it was supplanted by the M3 Grease gun. However, some US forces in Asia still employed the Thompson while stationed in China, Japan, and Korea, which could be seen during the Korean War. Some of these guns were then recaptured by the US after being given to China and taken by communist forces.


Throughout WWII and afterwards, the Thompson SMG was often given out as second-hand stock and was thus seen in multiple conflicts, such as the Greek Civil War, Arab-Israeli War, Indonesian War of Independence, Cuban Revolution, Vietnam War (used by some US forces and given to South Vietnam), and even the Yugoslavian Civil War. Additionally, during the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, some lend-lease Thompsons were found in use and some were even discovered as new old stock in a warehouse.


Discussing airsoft, it is worth noting that the first modern Thompson M1A1 airsoft SMG was created by the Japanese in the late 90s and early 00s. Not to be confused with the earlier BB toy gun, which was not full size and did not resemble a genuine airsoft Thompson 1928. Here, I will only focus on more recent airsoft Thompson submachine guns and compare their characteristics, such as quality, cost, historical accuracy and price-performance ratio. To remain impartial, I will not compare them to real guns, model guns, airguns or cap guns, such as the MGC m1928, but only to other air soft tommy guns.



 

Airsoft M1928 Thompson:

The Thompson model M1928 was introduced in 1928 and quickly became a popular model of submachine gun. It was a reliable and easy to use firearm that saw service during World War II in the hands of American soldiers. It featured a high rate of fire and was lightweight enough to be carried with ease.


1. Mafia M1928 GBB

Mafia M1928, airsoft, airsoft.com, swit, what is airsoft, what is hop up airsoft?
www.switairsoft.com | M1928

The Mafioso Thompson M1928 Airsoft GBB SMG, a realistic toy Thompson machine gun, can be found on the Swit Airsoft website. This product features a full metal body with a realistic weight and feel, as well as a functional charging handle and a working bolt catch. It also comes with a realistic recoil system that adds to the realism of the gun.


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www.switairsoft.com

WWII original horizontal forend


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www.switairsoft.com

WWII British handgrip and stock


Quality: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(9/10)

Cost: ✰✰(2/10)

Historical Accuracy: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(9/10)

PP:✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(7/10)





2. King Arms EBB.

The King Arms M1928 Chicago EBB Airsoft SMG, a popular electric SMG, is available on the SwitAirsoft website. This particular airsoft gun is modeled after the wildly popular M1928 Chicago, and is sure to be a hit with airsoft enthusiasts. It has a realistic look and feel, and features electric blowback action that adds an extra layer of realism. So if you're looking for an airsoft gun that looks and feels like the real thing, this is the one for you!King Arms had developed their own GBB around ten years before when they were still in Hong Kong. But they had never been on the production line. On the other hand, they upgraded their old m1928 AEG and converted it into EBB. It can use drum mag which was designed for Marui, Snow Wolf and KA AEG and recreate the classic drum mag mafia or WWII outfit.

However, EBB durability is not as good as standard AEG. Suggest removing it if you want to use it for airsoft game rather than reenactment or collection.

This Thompson is produced under license.


King Arms EBB. www.switairsoft.com, airsoft, airsoft.com, swit, what is airsoft, what is hop up airsoft?
King Arms EBB. www.switairsoft.com, airsoft, airsoft.com, swit, what is airsoft, what is hop up airsoft?

Quality: ✰✰✰✰✰✰(6/10)

Cost: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(7/10)

Historical Accuracy: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(9/10)

PP:✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(7/10)


Currently out of stock




3. King Arms M1928 AEG,

The version we've just spoken about features a side handle, M1A1 receiver, and stock which could be composed of either wood or plastic - please remember to note this before ordering. This is an old airsoft design combining M1A1 pieces, meant for airsoft and collection only and not suitable for reenactment. Additionally, a silver chrome version of this design is also available.

King Arms M1928 AEG, www.switairsoft.com, airsoft, airsoft.com, swit, what is airsoft, what is hop up airsoft?
King Arms M1928 AEG, www.switairsoft.com, airsoft, airsoft.com, swit, what is airsoft, what is hop up airsoft?

Quality: ✰✰✰✰✰✰(6/10)

Cost: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(7/10)

Historical Accuracy: ✰✰✰✰(4/10)

PP:✰✰✰✰✰✰(6/10)



4. CYMA M1928 AEG

The design is similar to the previous version of KA. It's not as high quality as KA, but CYMA provides an affordable price and reasonable durability. If it were to break, it's easy to just get a new one which is a great way to save money and time for repairs.


 CYMA M1928 AEG, www.switairsoft.com, airsoft, airsoft.com, swit, what is airsoft, what is hop up airsoft?
CYMA M1928 AEG, www.switairsoft.com, airsoft, airsoft.com, swit, what is airsoft, what is hop up airsoft?


Quality: ✰✰✰✰✰(5/10)

Cost: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(7/10)

Historical Accuracy: ✰✰✰✰(4/10)

PP:✰✰✰✰✰(5/10)


Also not available currently



 

Airsoft M1A1 Thompson:


5. WE M1A1 GBB

You won't find a better M1A1 Thompson GBB, also known as a fake tommy gun, anywhere else. It has been crafted from top-notch metal and wood, and it is compatible with both 20 and 30 round magazines. The stock can be removed without the gun losing any of its function, because it follows the standard specifications. You can source a variety of upgrade kits with ease. Additionally, the GBB system provides a far superior experience than an AEG. The open bolt design has been incredibly faithfully replicated. We still have this gun in stock, and we offer two different upgrade versions, making it perfect for airsoft, reenactment, and collecting.



Lv 2, upgraded with real wood, steel outer barrel and better internal barrel


Quality: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(9/10)

Cost: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(7/10)

Historical Accuracy: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(9/10)

PP:✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(8/10)



The Cybergun M1A1 Thompson GBB with RA-Tech steel outer barrel, also known as the cybergun tompson, is a product offered by Swit Airsoft. It is equipped with a steel outer barrel, making it a durable and long-lasting piece of equipment. This gun is perfect for airsoft lovers who want to get a realistic experience in the field.


Lv 1, Standard upgraded with steel outer barrel and better internal barrel


Quality: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(9/10)

Cost: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(8/10)

Historical Accuracy: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(9/10)

PP:✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(8/10)




If you are good at modifying, convert it into an M1 is possible.


6. Marui M1A1 AEG

Marui is a first-rate airsoft manufacturer. Their M1A1 is one of the top models they offer. The craftsmanship is flawless, and if you upgrade the box, barrel, and mid-cap mag, it can be used as a light machine gun. An ideal item for both collectors and airsoft gamers. We may not offer it, but we absolutely advise you to purchase it if you have the chance.


A picture depicting a beautiful scene can be seen in the below image. Filled with a 720x540 resolution, the photograph is of high quality and shows a stunning sight.



Quality: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(9/10)

Cost: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(8/10)

Historical Accuracy: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(8/10)

PP:✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(8/10)



7. Snow Wolf and CYMA M1A1 AEG

The two brands have a comparable level of quality and sturdiness. The system used by Marui is similar, however, the materials used are slightly lower in quality. The price of the product can make up for the difference in material. If it breaks, a replacement can be procured.



Quality: ✰✰✰✰(4/10)

Cost: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(9/10)

Historical Accuracy: ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(7/10)

PP:✰✰✰✰✰✰✰(7/10)




 

Sling for Thompson smg


Using a sling, a type of weapon, has been around since ancient times. It consists of a Y-shaped frame with a pouch in the middle that is connected to two straps. The straps are then used to hurl a projectile with great force. This tool has been used to hunt animals and in some cases, even as a weapon in war.


At the outset of WWII, the M1928 utilized the M1907 sling; however, it was subsequently swapped out with a shortened version.


On the battlegrounds of WWI, the Kerr Sling was ubiquitously employed, and the M1923 sling was often connected with it. Meanwhile, British and Commonwealth troops preferred the Lee Enfield sling.


Be mindful that many Chinese replicas of the Kerr sling are inaccurately marked with a US logo. The original Kerr slings did NOT have any stamps. We offer the correct version here and this is an ideal way to acquire a new sling without paying for costly shipping.

We appreciate you taking the time to view our content!


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Thanks for watching!



1 Comment


j.sanders
j.sanders
Sep 17, 2023

Very useful😉 information

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