Today’s Chicago Typewriter


Today’s Chicago Typewriter

You’ll show your age if you actually know what a Chicago Typewriter was. For the uninformed or forgetful, the Chicago Typewriter name came about for the Thompson submachine gun chambered for the awesome 45 ACP using round drum magazines. (The military version only used straight magazines, but the gangsters loved the drum roll magazines.)

You may recall some old gangster movies like the Valentine’s Day Massacre when the mobster Al Capone took out a rival mob the “Bugs” Moran gang on February 14, 1929 by mowing down seven members at one time. They likely used the M1928 Thompson “Trench Broom” or as the civilians called them the “Tommy Gun.” The Chicago Typewriter was pounding away that day.

Fast forward to today when fully-automatic weapons are highly controlled by the BATF, only allowing ownership with a special license and the purchase of a stamp tax. What would be the equivalent of a Windy City Smith-Corona, Royal, or Olivetti among current firearm offerings?

A lot of firearms come to mind to fill this bill. I would have to imagine the very first on the list would be the venerable AK-47, perhaps the most prolific rifle in the world. Easy to add next would be the AR-15 and its many derivatives. Both of these rifles are serving militaries all around the globe and are harbored in many a civilian closet as well.

A friend suggested the German Heckler and Koch MP5 series. Certainly fully capable of dispensing ample firepower to quell any uprising, the MP5 is widely used by law enforcement and special agencies. The MP5 though is not widely used among everyday shooters as far as I know, but it would still fit the role quite well.

The Israeli Uzi and Mini-Uzi were quite popular for a while in America even in a semi-auto format. However, they became so costly to purchase that not many are widely used by the average guy on the street or at the range. Still a viable option.

Here is a long list of a few more options, the M1 Garand, the M1 Carbine, the M1A (M-14 semi-auto), the FN-FAL, the HK-91/93, the Galil, the Austrian AUG, British Bullpup designs, the SIG 551, SIG MPX Series, the Finnish Valmet, Daewoo, Beretta CX4 Storm, FN SCAR, Kel-Tec RFB or Sub-2000, Kriss Vector, PTR 91, and likely some others. If this were not enough choices, you could always order an Auto Ordnance 1927 Thompson remake.

Some of these use cartridges with power well above the Thompson’s .45 ACP, but all would be fully capable of typing out another story in lieu of the original Chicago Typewriter.

Avatar Author ID 67 - 1959450925

Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

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