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Kahr Auto-Ordnance Thompson "machine" gun

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by CunningPlan, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. CunningPlan

    CunningPlan Vancouver New Member

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    Hey everybody,

    I was looking, okay drooling, over the Kahr Auto-Ordnance Thompson .45 "machine" gun, but I was wondering if anyone had any experience with it. I have done a bit of research on the item in question and I have only managed to try it once. Can anyone verify, confirm, or counterpoint any of the following from their experience:

    1. Some people have complained it is prone to jamming a LOT. The one time I tried it out at as a range rental I had the same problem. The gun jammed almost every other shot! However, this could have been because the rental had not been cleaned and maintained, or was using a non-manufacturer brand parts. I'm not sure on this (it was awhile ago).

    2. Many of the complaints I have seen about the jamming may have been also from failing to clean and maintain said firearm properly, or using non-standard magazines, or using ammo that the manufacturer does NOT recommend.

    3. I've seen a couple of reviews that were quite dated and only a few more recent ones that claimed that the newer more recent models that have been made no longer have any of the issues that older reviewers complained about.

    4. The bolt is often lamented about for being extremely difficult to pull back. My one time experience held this to be true. Once again, it may have not been cleaned properly in a long time for all I know as it was a rental.

    Anyone know if it would be a recommended buy or not. I'm mostly in it for the looks, fun to shoot, and accuracy of the gun (when it did work the one time I rented it the firearm was great!). I just don't want to drop the $ if it's going to be just as bad as my rental experience however. Seriously, unjamming every other bullet on a very tough to slide back bolt is a freaking pain in the you-know-what, and kills all the fun out of having it.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. CharonPDX

    CharonPDX Portland, OR Active Member

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    A friend has the semi-auto version, with both a 'stick' and a drum magazine. His is fairly reliable, a *LOT* more reliable than his Calico.
     
  3. pattonclan

    pattonclan Tillamook Oregon Active Member

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    I have done some research as well because I was in the same boat as well. Of all the guns I own I always wanted a Tommy gun. the only thing I found out that I wanted to stay away from is the aluminum receiver. get the steel. The only other thing is if you can find the ones made before Khar bought out Auto Ordnance and are made in West Hurley NY. are supposed to be better and more desirable. I did find and get one and had no problem with it. but I would still get a Khar if it had steel receiver. A dirty gun and cheap ammo could cause problems. after running a box of wolf 45acp threw some of my guns I spent 4 times more to clean it than with any ammo and after 20 rounds threw my pistols I would have malfunctions.
     
  4. 19 Adam

    19 Adam rural Clackamas County, Oregon Active Member

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    Good info.

    I also have always wanted a Tommy Gun. We had a couple at work that I took to the range an shot once and it was a great experience. The originals are very very heavy and because of that the do not really kick. I would spend the money to buy one of the originals if I should win the lottery any time soon
     
  5. techiej

    techiej vancouver, wa Active Member

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    We have one (semi) and it runs great. Cleaning is no more of an issue than any other rifle/carbine. Very little recoil.

    To get the best reliability so you want fairly "warm" ball ammo (we reload our own). With over 1,000 rounds fired, have had maybe 3 jams, all of which appeared to be due to the bullet jacket catching while being fed form the drum. As an FYI, the stick is more reliable and easier to engage into the Tommy. You also need to make sure that you wind the drum correctly or it will either not feed properly or you can break the spring in the drum.

    Is it hard to pull back the bolt...yes it is. There are some replacement spring kits out there that are supposed to make it much easier but we haven't bothered. If you shoot with one other person it is easy as part of the problem is the weight/size of the gun while trying to pull the bolt back. With 2 people one can hold the gun and the other can push (rather than pull) the bolt which makes it much easier.

    As an aside, this is what also makes the drum harder to use as it doesn't lock open on empty like the stick.

    It is a VERY fun gun and at up to 50 yards a tack driver.
     
  6. cookie

    cookie THE SOCIALIST STATE OF KALI - FORNIA Well-Known Member

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    A real select fire would be great to own . I have shot a semi auto 16" barrel Thompson and IMO blah.
     
  7. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    Go with the steel receiver!

    It's a very heavy rifle, heavy bolt etc. Kahr is making a fine replica these days! It needs to have heavy springs in it! Don't shoot cheap steel cased ammo thru it and they will run flawlessly. Clean it every 1000 rounds, and you won't have any problems.

    The only problem Ive had with mine was shooting the cheap steel, I had an extractor pull out cuz the steel cases were sticking in the chamber. Slipped it back in and staked it in place and no more problems.

    I would not hesitate to buy another one.