POTD: Less Lethal I Guess – 18-Round Thompson Birdshot Magazines


POTD: Less Lethal I Guess – 18-Round Thompson Birdshot Magazines

Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have a set of Thompson submachinegun magazines. These, however, are not just any Tommy gun stick magazines. They are 18-round Peters Thompson Birdshot magazines. In the mid-1920s the Peters ammunition company had the bright idea to market 45 birdshot ammunition for Thompson machineguns. These bullets used cardboard or paper wrapping around a set of birdshot pellets and were intended for riot control in factories and civil unrest at large. The Thompson birdshot bullets themselves were longer than your run-of-the-mill 45 acp ball ammunition. this meant that the Peters company also had to market 18-round magazines that were wide enough to contain the cartridges correctly.

“Marketed with an eye towards riot control and prison population management, the Peters-Thompson 45 Shot Cartridge loads a cardboard “pill” of 120 pellets of #8 birdshot into a double crimped 45 ACP casing. Though slightly larger than a standard 45 round, the only modification needed to run the Peters-Thompson through Thompson’s SMGs and Carbines was a special elongated magazine, two of which are included in this lot. Very similar in appearance to the standard magazine, the shot magazine is blued steel with the legend “PATENTED-AUG.-24-1920/FOR 18 SHOT CARTRIDGES/AUG.-24-1920-JAN.-11-1921″ stamped on the front.”

Thompson Birdshot

Lot 3557: Scarce Lot of Two 18-Round Peters-Thompson Birdshot Smg Magazine. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/71/3557/scarce-lot-of-two-18round-petersthompson-birdshot-smg-magazine.

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Writer | TheFirearmBlog Writer | AllOutdoor.com Instagram | sfsgunsmith Old soul, certified gunsmith, published author, avid firearm history learner, and appreciator of old and unique guns.

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