Thompson Model 1923 U.S. Trials Autorifle (Video)

   05.02.16

Thompson Model 1923 U.S. Trials Autorifle (Video)

With design beginning in 1919, this gun was in development for about a decade – based on a nonexistent notion which its inventor, a guy named Blish, humbly dubbed the Blish Principle.

In the words of Ian of Forgotten Weapons: “This sounds really good. Unfortunately, it’s not real.”

Turns out, it’s actually a delayed-blowback action – and because of that, the ammo actually has to be lubricated. Oiled felt pads on either side of the magazine would lube each cartridge as it passed through.

Like all rifles of its class, it was chambered for 30-06 and it competed with the Garand, which eventually was accepted and became the standard semi-automatic rifle of the U.S. military.

(Photo: Rock Island Auction Co.)
(Photo: Rock Island Auction Co.)

The receiver is a whopping 13.5 inches long, which makes it unwieldy and heavy.

(Photo: Rock Island Auction Co.)
(Photo: Rock Island Auction Co.)

It has an interesting-looking action, and I love the peep sight.

(Photo: Rock Island Auction Co.)
(Photo: Rock Island Auction Co.)

As you can see, this particular rifle was built by Colt. 12 is the serial number!

The arrow points to one of four felt oil pads in the magazine.
The arrow points to one of four felt oil pads in the magazine.

Ejection of empty cases was rather energetic – so much so that ejected shells would stick into nearby boards. Yeah… don’t think I want to be sitting next to this thing while it’s being fired.

Read More