Colt Model 1923 Thompson rifle

Colt Model 1923 Thompson rifle

A few years after the Great War the United States began accepting submissions for semi-automatic rifle designs to replace the standard issue M1903 bolt-action. Numerous designers threw their hat into the ring result in a bevy of interesting rifles from top designers: Hatcher-Bang, Vickers-Berthier, Garand, and, those from Thompson.

Colt Thompson auto rifle

The Thompson design from Auto-Ordnance Company was already being produced by Colt in the Thompson submachine guns (aka “Tommy guns”). With those same partnerships in place, Auto-Ordnance submitted their “auto-rifle” to the trials in 1921. The rifles were ruled out quickly, but the Chief of the Ordnance Department purchased 20 of the rifles in 1922 on his own authority. This rifle is one of those 20.

Colt Auto-Ordnance Thompson rifle

With so few ever produced and their intimate tie to U.S. long gun history, these historic arms bring lofty gun prices for any collector fortunate enough to own one. The example shown above, one of the 20 purchased, sold in May 2016 for $54,625, and prototype of that design sold in September 2018 for $63,250.


Thompson’s .30-06 1923 Autorifle

This is a Model 1923 Thompson Autoloading Rifle, one of a batch of 20 made by Colt for US military testing in 1924. The system is designed on the same basic Blish principle as the Thompsons submachine gun; the idea that two sliding surfaces will lock solidly together under enough pressure, and not begin to slide until the pressure drops below a certain level. In reality, both guns are simply delayed blowback, and the rifle (in .30-06) suffered from very high extraction pressures. So high, that ejected cases were reportedly sticking in a wood board at the 1924 trial.
Feed system:
Infantry rifle: 5-round fixed magazine or 20-round detachable box magazine depending on version
Light machine gun: 20-round detachable box magazine


Dude Am I bring criticized for how I do my suggestions?Oh god whatever man

no, sigh i am just showing i saw your post but that my gun is different
no exposed barrel and different magazine
different guns despite how identical the name is, just covering my ass


I see dude sry my bad

big fan of your work, no problem