M1A1 Thompson or M1928 Thompson

So I thought about asking a lot of friends of which variant of the Thompson they prefer, but I thought it would be easier to post it on the forums and see what people think. For those who don't know the difference, the M1A1 Thompson is the variant of the Thompson that was made in WW2 for the Military, and it is sometimes referred to as the "Commando", because of the 30 round magazine and the bolt and ejection port relocated to the right side of the gun instead of the top, like the M1928. The M1928, as the name says, was created in 1928, and this is the more famous "Tommy Gun" that people refer it to. It has notible differences than it's successor, the M1A1. The bolt and ejection port is located on top of the gun, and instead of having fixed sights like the M1A1, the rear sight post is on the bolt of the gun, so as you shoot, the sight moves back and forward. Another difference is that the M1928 generally used 20 round magazines, and sometimes 50 round drums, while the M1A1 used mostly 30 round or 20 round magazines. Another specialty of the M1928 is that it had the possibility to have a forward grip and a Cutts Compensator on the muzzle, as well as it had different size barrels. Personally, I've always been a fan of the M1A1 Thompson, mostly because of it's looks and the 30 round magazine, but I have many friends who prefer the M1928. Post your preference, if any, and state some reasons why if you'd like.

M1A1 Thompson
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M1928 Thompson
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  • M1A1...

    Looks much more elegant to me...

  • edited July 2016

    I would prefer the M1A1, since its the newer variant and its more reliable, because It would not jam as much as the M1928 would. M1928 was mostly used by the Marines in the pacific, they had older weapons in the beginning of the war for example in Guadalcanal, only a few had M1 garands whilst the rest had Springfields and M1928 Thompsons.

  • A lot of Thompsons were also lend-leased to the British, and there are many pictures of British soldiers in Africa early war with M1928s. They did however get M1A1s eventually, although I believe they used both variants extensively throughout the war.

  • m1a1. More accuracy because the sight does not move as you shoot it. Also m1928 is very ugly compared to the m1a1 IMO...

    Although in reality thompsons were pretty bulky. I've held some and luckily I have long arms to accommodate for it. Prone is very awkward too.

  • I prefer the "Churchill special"
    enter image description here

  • @"2Lt. Bergstrom" said:
    I prefer the "Churchill special"

    Got that as a poster hanging next to me :D

  • M1A1 with the M1928 muzzle brake for me, thank you!

  • I guess that for combat purposes, the M1A1 would be far better suited. Yet if it was just because of the looks, I'd go for the M1928.

  • edited July 2016

    the m1928 thompson's sights were not attached to the bolt, the bolt handle did stick out on top of the gun though, so it had a notch in the middle so the user would be able to use the sights. Early versions of the m1928 had a simple post as pictured below (you can also clearly see it in the picture the OP posted), later versions would have a adjustable rear sight, much like a BAR (you can clearly see this in the picture with Churchill holding it), this was later simplified to a fixed sight for the m1a1 to reduce production time and cost.

    picture of the m1928 thompson where the rear sight is clearly visible

  • I'm lucky enough to own a 1928A1 (1970s version), and both it and the M1A1 have their advantages. The M1A1 weighs slightly less and was easier and cheaper to produce. Both can accept 20 and 30 round mags, but only the M1928s can accept the drums (which are finicky and heavy!)

    The 1928 usually has a Lyman adjustable sight, but it's not very practical for a pistol-caliber gun. Both eject to the right, but the M1A1 has the bolt actuator moved to the right, making it slightly slower to cock for right-handed shooters, because the easiest way to cock it would be to use your right hand, taking it off the grip. With the 1928, you cock it with your left, keeping your right on the grip- saves a split second.

    The butt-stock on the 1928 slides off with the press of a button but that has little application for an infantryman. The cutts compensator and cooling fins are probably the best features, although deemed unnecessary by the Ordnance Board. Both are dead sexy, in different ways, IMHO. Both are very heavy, especially compared with a M1 Carbine.

    The book 'American Thunder II: The Military Thompson Submachine Guns' by Iannamico has a lot of great info.

  • All hail the grease gun

    enter image description here

  • Dont know about the differences between those but my grandpa shot with this during his military service years in the dutch army. Told me they jammed like hell but were amazing. Like them both.

  • I prefer the M1A1. Looks so much better.

  • My favourite version of the Thompson. (look closely it's there)

    enter image description here

  • M1A1 for military, M1928 or M1921 for Mafia purposes.

  • I like the look of the M1A1. Much more attractive to the eyes.

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