BFONG Blank Fire Full Auto M1A1 Thompson

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BFONG Blank Fire Full Auto M1A1 Thompson

Post by Av8er » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:20 am

Repost from the Weapons Forum. I just found out about this and thought I would share it since I have not seen any other posts. A full auto blank fire M1A1 Thompson is going into production after receiving ATF approval. It is being manufactured by Philadelphia Ordnance who also makes 80% receivers and blank fire barrels for adapting Auto Ordnance semi-Auto guns. The M1A1 does not use the SS Supply Room design used on their MP40, but is a true front fire, chambered for a special .45 blank cartridge. The best part is that it will be legal in all fifty States because it is a "non-gun." Better yet, it will have proprietary special magazines. The brilliant part is that standard Thompson magazines won't fit, and their proprietary magazines can't be used in any real gun, so they won't be restricted in States with large capacity magazine bands! Obviously, it won't be cheap, but it is a game changer for the reenacting community, particularly in States with Class III and large capacity magazine laws. Here is a link with more details:
http://www.machinegunboards.com/forums/ ... opic=20191
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Re: BFONG Blank Fire Full Auto M1A1 Thompson

Post by Av8er » Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:57 pm

UPDATE- After emailing Bob at Philadelphia Ordnance he wanted to clarify that the modified magazines for restricted States are still in the development stage. The "non-guns" he will initially be shipping are for free States that will use original Thompson 20 and 30 round magazines. Here is a video of the "non-gun" in action during a demonstration:
https://youtu.be/ltO-zE_fpHo
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Re: BFONG Blank Fire Full Auto M1A1 Thompson

Post by tsmgguy » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:44 pm

I purchased one of the Philadelphia Ordnance "pre-production" M1A1 Thompson blank firing submachine guns, and have had it for about two weeks now. It would be perfect for anyone who does WWII re-enacting or that lives in a location where Class 3 firearms ownership is prohibited, and would like to own a beautiful, 4140 steel reproduction. Most parts will interchange with original WWII guns except for the barrel, receiver, and bolt. Most other parts are of original WWII Savage or AOC production. So many of the details have been gotten just right, like the pinned and riveted sights, and the correct screw and bolt heads. It uses original 20- and 30 rd. stick magazines. Later versions of this gun will use specially made mags, for sale in states with magazine restrictions. Interestingly, the BATFE letter furnished with each gun refers to it both as a non-gun, and a machine gun. If you really appreciate firearms and 12 lbs. of steel and walnut floats your boat, then I can highly recommend this!
Last edited by tsmgguy on Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BFONG Blank Fire Full Auto M1A1 Thompson

Post by Av8er » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:57 pm

tsmgguy wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:44 pm
I purchased one of the Philadelphia Ordnance "pre-production" M1A1 Thompson blank firing submachine guns, and have had it for about two weeks now. It would be perfect for anyone who does WWII re-enacting or that lives in a location where Class 3 firearms ownership is prohibited, and would like to own a beautiful, all-steel reproduction. Most parts will interchange with original WWII guns except for the barrel, receiver, and bolt. Most other parts are of original WWII Savage or AOC production. So many of the details have been gotten just right, like the pinned and riveted sights, and the correct screw and bolt heads. It uses original 20- and 30 rd. stick magazines. Later versions of this gun will use specially made mags, for sale in states with magazine restrictions. Interestingly, the BATFE letter furnished with each gun refers to it both as a non-gun, and a machine gun. If you really appreciate firearms and 12 lbs. of steel and walnut floats your boat, then I can highly recommend this!
Thanks for the post. Can you tell me how long you were on the waiting list, or when you were placed on the waiting list? Also, any clarification on the blank ammunition? Bob told me the gun was designed so that you could not accidentally chamber a live round, but the blank ammunition is supposedly .45 caliber. Do you know if the blank ammo is actually a little undersized to maybe .43 or .44 to prevent chambering of live ammo? Any chance we can see some photos of you BFONG?
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Re: BFONG Blank Fire Full Auto M1A1 Thompson

Post by tsmgguy » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:24 pm

Av8er wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:57 pm
tsmgguy wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:44 pm
I purchased one of the Philadelphia Ordnance "pre-production" M1A1 Thompson blank firing submachine guns, and have had it for about two weeks now. It would be perfect for anyone who does WWII re-enacting or that lives in a location where Class 3 firearms ownership is prohibited, and would like to own a beautiful, all 4140 steel reproduction. Most parts will interchange with original WWII guns except for the barrel, receiver, and bolt. Most other parts are of original WWII Savage or AOC production. So many of the details have been gotten just right, like the pinned and riveted sights, and the correct screw and bolt heads. It uses original 20- and 30 rd. stick magazines. Later versions of this gun will use specially made mags, for sale in states with magazine restrictions. Interestingly, the BATFE letter furnished with each gun refers to it both as a non-gun, and a machine gun. If you really appreciate firearms and 12 lbs. of steel and walnut floats your boat, then I can highly recommend this!
Thanks for the post. Can you tell me how long you were on the waiting list, or when you were placed on the waiting list? Also, any clarification on the blank ammunition? Bob told me the gun was designed so that you could not accidentally chamber a live round, but the blank ammunition is supposedly .45 caliber. Do you know if the blank ammo is actually a little undersized to maybe .43 or .44 to prevent chambering of live ammo? Any chance we can see some photos of you BFONG?
Philadelphia Ordnance originally announced these guns in late 2016 on the machinegunboards forums. Forum members were invited reserve one of the pre-production guns, which I immediately did. No deposit was required. These were originally due out last February, but delivery slid to July. It was worth the wait! PO makes their own blank ammo in house using new Starline brass. It's still a .45 blank, but the cartridge rim is slightly undersized from that of the .45 ACP round. There's a correspondingly smaller pocket on the front of the bolt, where the firing pin is located. This prevents the firing of a standard .45 ball round. The reduction in rim diameter is not noticeable when you examine a blank round. The blanks fit the original magazines perfectly. Blanks are sold in boxes of 200 for .50 each, about the same as you'd pay at Atlantic Wall. The extractor is original NOS, as are all other internals, the wood, and the front sight. PO provides an original 20- or 30 rd. mag with each gun, customer's choice. The late WWII M3 sling that you see in the photos below is a repro from What Price Glory.
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Last edited by tsmgguy on Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:58 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: BFONG Blank Fire Full Auto M1A1 Thompson

Post by Av8er » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:36 pm

Fantastic! Thanks for all the information and for posting the awesome photos. You're right, Bob and his team did a fabulous job, a real game changer for the reenacting community!
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Re: BFONG Blank Fire Full Auto M1A1 Thompson

Post by Lee Bishop » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:31 pm

WOW. I'm going to have wipe off my keyboard from all the drool... :shock:
Av8er wrote:
Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:57 pm
Here is a video of the "non-gun" in action during a demonstration:
https://youtu.be/ltO-zE_fpHo
Thanks for posting that. It's the first video I've seen of this which shows the muzzle during firing.
Like many of you, I'd dearly want one of these and if they came out back when I did a lot of 'tactical' events, I would be saving up for one. But I mostly do just parades and display events now and most events we do wouldn't allow blank firing.
But man, that's is just SO cool, though...
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Re: BFONG Blank Fire Full Auto M1A1 Thompson

Post by Farrell Fox » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:40 pm

Are they going to put these into production?
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Re: BFONG Blank Fire Full Auto M1A1 Thompson

Post by tsmgguy » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:44 am

Farrell Fox wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:40 pm
Are they going to put these into production?
Apparently so, at least that's what's been announced. The guns delivered so far have been "pre-production" guns, with a large number of NOS WWII GI parts and everything else made in house. Don't know when the production guns will appear, or exactly how they'll differ, but it has been announced that they won't use original magazines, so that the guns can be sold in all 50 states and in locations with magazine bans.
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Re: BFONG Blank Fire Full Auto M1A1 Thompson

Post by tsmgguy » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:22 am

Here are a few photos of the blanks that Philadelphia Ordnance sells for their M1A1 blank gun.
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Re: BFONG Blank Fire Full Auto M1A1 Thompson

Post by nirvana » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:07 am

tsmgguy wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:44 am
Apparently so, at least that's what's been announced. The guns delivered so far have been "pre-production" guns, with a large number of NOS WWII GI parts and everything else made in house. Don't know when the production guns will appear, or exactly how they'll differ, but it has been announced that they won't use original magazines, so that the guns can be sold in all 50 states and in locations with magazine bans.
Proprietary magazines and ammunition? Hmm. That makes me a bit nervous, but its their show, not mine.
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Re: BFONG Blank Fire Full Auto M1A1 Thompson

Post by Av8er » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:10 pm

Update, Repost from the Weapons Forum.
In case anyone is interested here is an update on the Philadelphia Ordnance M1A1 Thompson. I was put on the waiting list back in early June. Bob from Philadelphia Ordnance just called me last week and said he had worked his way down to me on the list. He said that he had several people on the waiting list who had passed on getting a gun delivered. He also said that my Thompson is shipping tomorrow (really, I have the UPS tracking info). The gun is currently $2495 and the proprietary blanks come in boxes of 200 for $100 (50 cents per round). They are working on a blank round that will use an aluminum case rather than brass that will be cheaper, and they hope to have both types of blanks available in the future. He said that it actually took longer to develop the blank round than it did the gun. The blank is as loud as a .45 ACP ball round and the cyclic rate matches a real gun.

While I had Bob on the phone I tried to get as much current information as possible. He just produced guns 20 to 23. Right now production is very slow because he has to manufacture the major parts (receiver, barrel, and bolt) as well as put the guns together. Remember this project is only a part of his regular business. He is in the process of farming out the manufacture of the parts so that he can spend more time putting the guns together and doing function checks on the guns produced. One of the very first guns that he produced had a heat treatment issue with the bolt and it cracked along the extractor groove. It delayed his production so that he could ensure that the problem was resolved. He is hoping that production will increase significantly with the coming year. His website is also in need of update, but Bob said he didnt want to advertise the gun fully until he took care of his slow production and cleared up his waiting list.

I also asked about the proprietary magazines which will require expensive tooling and will take about four months to get into production after prototypes are approved. He hopes to have those available next Fall. Any guns that they are producing now can be modified to accept the proprietary magazine once they become available. For those who may not be familiar, the intent of the proprietary magazines is for States with magazine restrictions. Since they will only fit this Thompson non gun they will not be subject to restrictions based upon capacity.
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