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Thompson accuracy?

Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by larousse1995, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. larousse1995

    larousse1995 Member

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    I know the Thompson SMG was an extremely powerful weapon (Daniel Inouye said he blew a German's foot off with one bullet) but how accurate was it? Despite the fact the the massive kickback effects accuracy, how far could you sight and peg a target at?
     
  2. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    I won't make any claims that a person could or should consider it as a "sniper" weapon, the sights for the M1929A1 were adjustable out to 600, yes 600 yards, and this was with the heavier bolt, and stiffer return spring which slowed the original rate of fire down from 1100 rounds per minute to about 600 rounds per which the military requested.

    Here is a description of the sight set-up on the tested model, the 1929A1.

    Foresight: blade.
    Back sight: adjustable slide on leaf graduated 50-600 yards.
    Open battle sight: (aperture in position with leaf lowered) sighted for 50 yards.

    From:

    Thompson Submachine Gun Data


    Now, as the M1A1 Thompson came to the fore, the round remained the same, the barrel length remained the same, but the sights were NOT the same as the "powers that be" realized that the range for that pistol round was just "silly" even though it could get there.

    The Thompson wasn't the "spray and pray" lead pump that other SMGs were.
     
  3. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    This seems to be reasonable. However, one must keep in mind that the Thompson used a pistol round, and natrually they have a much shorter range than rifle rounds.
     
  4. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    True enough, but here is a portion of an interesting report (Philip B. Sharpe review of the M1928A1 Thompson from 1929):

    "This .45 automatic pistol cartridge, in the arm designed for it, delivers about 810 foot per seconds velocity. In the 10 1/2-inch barreled Thompson it delivers about 925 f.p.s. Tests indicate that accuracy and penetration is quite respectable, even at the longer ranges. A single shot two feet from the muzzle, using the 230 grain bullet, tested on 3/4-inch yellow pine boards spaced one inch apart, ran through 6 3/4 boards. At 100 yards it would plough (sic) through six boards; at 200 yards through 5 1/4; at 300 yards, 4 1/2; at the 400 mark through four boards, and at 500 yards it could still stumble through 3 3/4 boards¾sufficient to cause very unpleasant sensations in the body of a recipient." [Page 1107]

    This indicates that the "pistol round" in the longer barrel of the Thompson made the range and accuracy of the same round a much different "ball of wax" than it was in the pistol for which it was designed.
     
  5. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    Oh yes. 9mm fired out of a SMG is very different form a pistol. LII body armor can defeat 9mm bullets fired from a pistol; only IIIA can take SMG rounds of the same caliber. Longer barrel gives more velocity.
     
  6. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    I think that 'accuracy' of WWII submachineguns is a moot point due to the blowback design and in the case of the Thompson, a very heavy bolt assembly flying back and forth.

    But rather than guess, I've turned to C Shore's contemporary book 'With British Snipers To The Reich' which contains his impressions of firing many weapons. He rates the absolute best aimed fire ( in well-trained hands ) as being 100yds from the Sten/MP40 and somewhat less from the Thompson.
     
  7. larousse1995

    larousse1995 Member

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    Stink 600 yards? I'd have a hard time spotting a target at that range, let alone adjust for wind, yadda yadda...
     
  8. Onthefield

    Onthefield Member

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    It's interesting... if you look up the Deadliest warrior episode you can see a former Italian mafia member shooting a Thompson and it kind of give you an idea of the accuracy. Although at close range, he did more then enough damage without aiming down the scope.
     
  9. phmohanad

    phmohanad Member

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    Hello Guys!
    Thompson's Accuracy as I noticed from Films &Reports is not very much good in medium &far Ranges!! (See Machines of War-Machine guns Report from National Geographic in Youtube = There is a lote of Talk about Thompson!)
     
  10. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    The reason the Thompson has a "low accuracy" is that the troops weren't trained to use the Thompson at 600 yards, they were trained to fire at medium to close range (less than 100 yards) and fire in short bursts to conserve ammo.
     
  11. larousse1995

    larousse1995 Member

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    Has anyone here fired a Thompson?
     
  12. phmohanad

    phmohanad Member

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    Sorry ,but Thompson has no more range than 200 Yards !!
    It uses 9mm or 45ACP (These are Pistol's Calibers!!)
     
  13. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    You really should read other posts before making claims in "SHOUT" form, bold type and Caps don't make them true!

    Here is a portion of an interesting report (Philip B. Sharpe review of the M1928A1 Thompson from 1929):

    "This .45 automatic pistol cartridge, in the arm designed for it, delivers about 810 foot per seconds velocity. In the 10 1/2-inch barreled Thompson it delivers about 925 f.p.s. Tests indicate that accuracy and penetration is quite respectable, even at the longer ranges. A single shot two feet from the muzzle, using the 230 grain bullet, tested on 3/4-inch yellow pine boards spaced one inch apart, ran through 6 3/4 boards. At 100 yards it would plough (sic) through six boards; at 200 yards through 5 1/4; at 300 yards, 4 1/2; at the 400 mark through four boards, and at 500 yards it could still stumble through 3 3/4 boards¾sufficient to cause very unpleasant sensations in the body of a recipient." [Page 1107]

    This certainly indicates that the "pistol round" in the longer barrel of the Thompson made the range and accuracy of the same round a much different "ball of wax" than it was in the pistol for which it was designed.
     
  14. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    Clint is right there is no need to yell and scream.
     
  15. MVHAGEY

    MVHAGEY Member

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    Obviously you don't understand physics very well. A bullet takes as long to hit the ground as it does to drop one from a stand still. FPS is what counts, not if it's fired from a pistol or rifle. If you have a pistol that fires at 3640 FPS it has the same range as a rifle caliber round such as a .223. You clearly underestimate the intelligence of the members of this forum too (We know they are pistol calibers!!).
     
  16. 9th Inf. Div.

    9th Inf. Div. Member

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    A semi-auto yes. At 100 yards the -average- solider would be extremely lucky to hit a human sized target in the middle of combat. On a target range, longer distance shots get easier. Firing auto in bursts was also used, in addition to saving ammo, because after 5 shots or more (depending on the shooter's strength) the barrel will climb and the solider is shooting into the sky.
    For better long range(well...med. range) accuracy using a full auto small caliber firearm, the M2 carbine would be a better choice. While it won't hit as hard (a 110gr bullet vs. a 165-230 gr bullet) the .30 Carbine round has a flatter trajectory and more velocity, 200+fps more, than the .45ACP which makes it able to hit it's target at a longer range. Recoil is also far more managable.
     
  17. larousse1995

    larousse1995 Member

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    I can imagine it would take some real strength to hold the barrel down, plus aim.
     
  18. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    The Cutts compensator was a great aid in that barrel climb problem, I believe it is covered in a post here I put up on the history of the Thompson. I'll look for a link to it if you like.

    Here is the link and a section for your perusal.

    The accuracy of the sub-machine gun is decidedly interesting. File records of the Auto-Ordnance firm indicate that in a Mann rest test fired at Hartford, Conn., May 2, 1921, the mean radius using a Remington Standard 230 grain bullet at 100 yards ran 1.89 inches. At 200 yards mean radius was 4.92 inches; at 300 yards 7.63 inches at 400 yards it increased to 18.31; while at 500 yards it jumped to 20.45 inches. Accordingly, one can assume that the accuracy of the more or less spent bullets is quite uncontrolled at the longer ranges. This writer suggests that the effective range of the weapon is under 300 yards.

    At 200 yards,, using the gun from the sitting position, I experienced no difficulty in placing deliberate fire in "killing" portions of the standard Colt Police Pistol "silhouette" target. It is safe to state that an officer could readily "get his man" at that range. which is well out of normal revolver range.

    Further factory figures of Mann rest tests fired at 200 yards on June 10, 1922, include six lots of ammunition, commercial and Government. One lot of war ammunition showed an extreme vertical deviation of 37.6 inches as compared with 18.04 inches average for the other five lots. Even with this poor lot included, the tests show an average extreme horizontal deviation of 15.9
    inches; extreme vertical average of 21.3 inches; and an average mean radius of 5.8 inches.
     
    Goto:

    http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/PSharpe1.html

    Remember, this was with the Cutts compensator installed, and not under combat conditions which would certainly make a difference.
     
  19. Thompson FTW

    Thompson FTW recruit

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    Thompson FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
     
  20. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    PS is it true that fatter bullets like the .45 are more likely to ricochet that other slim rifle bullets? I heard this somewhere but I don't know if there's any degree of truth to it...I think it all depends on the angle at which the bullet strikes the target that can determine a ricochet...
     

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