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"Weight of a Thompson stock." Topic

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Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse20 May 2020 1:23 p.m. PST

Panting empress Vietnam radio man with a stockless Thompson.

And I'm curious, how much weight does that save. It of course makes it much smaller, as the Thompson had a decent stock. But how much weight did it save. The full size Thompson weights far more than an M16.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2020 2:59 p.m. PST

My guess would be maybe a pound to a pound and a half. ARVN took the stocks off to make them smaller. I think GIs did it for the cool factor.

Legion 420 May 2020 3:59 p.m. PST

Yes, the stock probably didn't weight that much. Long time since I held a Thompson !

The only advantage I can see to removing the stock, it would make it a little smaller. They are not that accurate anyway, but without a stock it would be even less, IMO.

Leadjunky20 May 2020 5:41 p.m. PST

But it allows you to carry another canteen or magazine.

Mark 120 May 2020 6:56 p.m. PST

More than a canteen or magazine, it allows you to carry the Thompson in the first place.

Think of it like a folding-stock weapon. M3 "Grease Gun", or M1A1 Carbine, or MP40 … These guns didn't have folding stocks to save weight, they had folding stocks to get the stock out of the way, so that they could be carried by guys who might have other jobs besides carrying a firearm.

If I was a radio operator, I would think my first job was to operate the radio. My gun would mostly be for mad-minute scenarios. I would want something that didn't get in the way, as 99% of the time it would only be an annoyance to me in my main job. But in the 1% of occasions when I might need it, having a firehose of a gun might not be a bad thing.

Could be wrong on that. But that's what seems more likely to me.

(aka: Mk 1)

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2020 9:18 p.m. PST

YouTube link

Not accurate? According to whom?

Thompson without stock is less than 6 pounds.
Thompson with stock is about 10 pounds or more depending on the version.


Unloaded M16 about 6 1/2 pounds, so Thompson is lighter, although with ammo about the same as an M16.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Legion 421 May 2020 2:46 p.m. PST

Not accurate? According to whom?
The average GI in many cases would just "spray & pray" ! evil grin Of course if you took the time to aim it you could hit something. Then like most SMGs because they use pistol rds. The range is limited …

And I'd still rather have an M16 ! grin

Mark 121 May 2020 6:21 p.m. PST

Thompson without stock is less than 6 pounds.
Thompson with stock is about 10 pounds or more depending on the version.

Thompson without stock is less than 6 pounds -- also depending on the version.

Be careful what you infer from current commercial products. A Thompson "pistol" is not just a Thompson without the butt stock. A pistol version has other modern non-military weight saving characteristics -- some components are of lighter materials, such as the aluminum receiver, which shaves 3 pounds off of the weight of an original steel receiver. And cutting the barrel down by 1/3 (from 16.5in to 10.5in) to make it qualify as a "pistol" also reduces weight.

Not to say that taking the stock off doesn't save some weight. It does. But I doubt that weight was the controlling issue. If it was, a lower-weight stock might well have been developed for such users. So far I've seen no indications of any pressure for such a variant.

(aka: Mk 1)

Uparmored In the TMP Dawghouse22 May 2020 1:56 a.m. PST

Some real knowledge in here. Respect to Bunkermeister and Mk1

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse22 May 2020 10:48 a.m. PST

I did find someone who sold stocks for Thompsons. Most didn't bother give the weight of the product. But one gave it as 1.1kg so 5kg Thompson becomes a 4kg Thompson. Or about 20% lighter. If that weight of the stock is close to the weight of the original stock.

Griefbringer24 May 2020 11:03 a.m. PST

I was under the impression that in Vietnam the Viet Cong knocked up some Thompson copies of their own in small workshops, and these were built from the start without the stock.

It is also interesting to note that in the 1920's and 30's most of the SMGs were designed with sturdy wooden stocks, but once the WWII had started many new designs went for the simple metal folding stock.

Legion 424 May 2020 10:27 p.m. PST

I know they were using MAT 49s left over from the French in the beginning of the US War. But I don't about them making Thompsons ?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP26 May 2020 9:35 a.m. PST

They did. I doubt if anyone knows how many were made in various workshops. The museum at West Point has North Vietnamese Thompson copy in their collection.

Legion 426 May 2020 10:26 a.m. PST

Didn't know that ! Thanks !

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP27 May 2020 6:16 a.m. PST

National Army Museum UK had a Chinese (nationalist) Thompson copy made during WWII for guerilla use. Very crude but probably worked. I am sure PRC would never even consider copying such a design these days……

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