Discussion:
Sears Tommy Gun
(too old to reply)
Bruce Withers
2004-04-02 09:56:41 UTC
Permalink
Is it really true that Thompson sub-machine guns were carried in the Sears
catalogue until 1933 when the 1934 gun control act outlawed full automatics?
If so, is there a web site that has a scanned version of the original Sears
catalogue page that shows the original ad? Love to see that.




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Dave
2004-04-03 10:57:43 UTC
Permalink
I don't know about Sears & Roebuck, but I would bet if you sent your
money to Auto Ordinance back then they would have sent a Thompson to
your home by parcel post! (You may have had to sign that you were
over 21 years of age and not a felon or mental incompetent, but
otherwise that was all it took back then.)
...
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Giovanni Lentini
2004-04-03 10:57:47 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 2 Apr 2004 09:56:41 +0000 (UTC), "Bruce Withers"
<***@4d.net> wrote:

#Is it really true that Thompson sub-machine guns were carried in the Sears
#catalogue until 1933 when the 1934 gun control act outlawed full automatics?
#If so, is there a web site that has a scanned version of the original Sears
#catalogue page that shows the original ad? Love to see that.


To the best of my knowledge this is incorrect as these weapons were
not a stock item... HOWEVER most hardware stores at the time did
sell guns and as there was no FFL licensing at the time it was quite
common for a person to go to a hardware store and order a
Thompson....

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Robert
2004-04-04 12:35:40 UTC
Permalink
Giovanni Lentini <***@rkba.net> wrote in message news:<c4m5bb$73n$***@grapevine.wam.umd.edu>...
# On Fri, 2 Apr 2004 09:56:41 +0000 (UTC), "Bruce Withers"
# <***@4d.net> wrote:
#
# #Is it really true that Thompson sub-machine guns were carried in the Sears
# #catalogue until 1933 when the 1934 gun control act outlawed full automatics?
# #If so, is there a web site that has a scanned version of the original Sears
# #catalogue page that shows the original ad? Love to see that.
#
#
# To the best of my knowledge this is incorrect as these weapons were
# not a stock item... HOWEVER most hardware stores at the time did
# sell guns and as there was no FFL licensing at the time it was quite
# common for a person to go to a hardware store and order a
# Thompson....

"Tale of the Gun" covering this aired a month or two ago. Thompson
could barely give the things away before they were popularized by
mobsters, and then they spent a lot of time trying to get things back
under control. Dealers had to sign an agreement to only sell the
Thompson to "reputable persons", but that didn't work out so well. My
recollection is that they eventually quit selling to the general
public soon after that. (<<all from fuzzy memory, but I think that's
the gist of it).
Eventually even military contracts couldn't help the company -
the whole story is pretty amazing, given the gun's eventual
popularity.


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WSG
2004-04-05 12:49:44 UTC
Permalink
"Giovanni Lentini" <***@rkba.net> wrote in message news:c4m5bb$73n$***@grapevine.wam.umd.edu...
# On Fri, 2 Apr 2004 09:56:41 +0000 (UTC), "Bruce Withers"
# <***@4d.net> wrote:
#
# #Is it really true that Thompson sub-machine guns were carried in the
Sears
# #catalogue until 1933 when the 1934 gun control act outlawed full
automatics?
# #If so, is there a web site that has a scanned version of the original
Sears
# #catalogue page that shows the original ad? Love to see that.
#
#
# To the best of my knowledge this is incorrect as these weapons were
# not a stock item... HOWEVER most hardware stores at the time did
# sell guns and as there was no FFL licensing at the time it was quite
# common for a person to go to a hardware store and order a
# Thompson....
#
# --


This is OT, but the '34 act didn't outlaw automatics but taxed and
registered them, as well as establishing some onerous requirements
for their acquisition and possession. Today that would probably be
described as sensible gun control by gun control proponents, who
ask why anyone would object to such registration and licensing of
guns. After all, we register dogs and cars, don't we?

One answer is to look at the number of full automatic weapons legally
owned in this country. How many of you can get your chief law
enforcement officer to sign off on it? Yes, a few of you can, but I'd
say on the whole the practical effect of the law has been the virtual
elimination of private ownership of automatic weapons.

Bill




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Dean Speir
2004-04-03 10:58:00 UTC
Permalink
Bruce Withers <***@4d.net> wants to know...

# Is it really true that Thompson sub-machine guns
# were carried in the Sears catalogue until 1933 when
# the 1934 gun control act outlawed full automatics?

<> There was no "1934 gun control act."

<> Nothing in 1934 "outlawed full automatics."

The National Firearms Act of 1934 was a taxation scheme intended to put
the cost of certain firearms beyond the financial reach of most
shooters.

----
- Dean Speir <***@thegunzone.com>
Formerly Famous Gunwriter / Gun Zone Maintainer
« =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= »
It's not a perfect world... it's why we _have_ guns!

The Gunperson's Authoritative Internet Information
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Joe Portale
2004-04-04 12:36:02 UTC
Permalink
In those days, it was the only way the feds could get around the Second
Amendment. Oh for the time when there were no activist judges, liberals
wackos and common sense gun laws.
...
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Foolauto
2004-04-04 12:36:00 UTC
Permalink
I know that this not directly related to 1934 Sears Tommy guns, but a friend of
mine who was a three tour Viet Nam Marine mobile artillary officer told me that
when we first became involved, the Viet Cong were ordering 12 gauge shotguns
from the Sears catalogue and they were getting them for around $69.95
delivered!



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John Oliver
2004-04-04 20:53:36 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 4 Apr 2004 12:36:00 +0000 (UTC), Foolauto wrote:
# I know that this not directly related to 1934 Sears Tommy guns, but a friend of
# mine who was a three tour Viet Nam Marine mobile artillary officer told me that
# when we first became involved, the Viet Cong were ordering 12 gauge shotguns
# from the Sears catalogue and they were getting them for around $69.95
# delivered!

How much was shipping? :-)
--
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TomB
2004-04-05 12:49:50 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 4 Apr 2004 20:53:36 +0000 (UTC), ***@john-oliver.net (John
Oliver) wrote:

#On Sun, 4 Apr 2004 12:36:00 +0000 (UTC), Foolauto wrote:
## I know that this not directly related to 1934 Sears Tommy guns, but a friend of
## mine who was a three tour Viet Nam Marine mobile artillary officer told me that
## when we first became involved, the Viet Cong were ordering 12 gauge shotguns
## from the Sears catalogue and they were getting them for around $69.95
## delivered!
#
#How much was shipping? :-)

And I'd sure like to see a copy of the Export Declaration.


TomB


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Guess Who?
2004-04-05 12:50:24 UTC
Permalink
Foolauto
Your buddy is telling you a "big windy" about the VC buying shotguns
from Sears. They don't sell guns "overseas", to any nations, that
we're having a war with...
What other sort of "War Stories", did he tell you?
That is one of the best "whoppers" I've ever heard!
Don



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Offbreed
2004-04-05 19:38:12 UTC
Permalink
Guess Who? wrote:

# Foolauto
# Your buddy is telling you a "big windy" about the VC buying shotguns
# from Sears. They don't sell guns "overseas", to any nations, that
# we're having a war with...
# What other sort of "War Stories", did he tell you?
# That is one of the best "whoppers" I've ever heard!

I don't know if they were getting the shotguns, but we were not
officially "at war" during the Vietnam era. "Officially" is what
counts for laws.

Also, reread the post: "when we first became involved, the Viet Cong
were ordering 12 gauge shotguns". Takes time for rules and laws to
change, and he did not mention how long that continued.



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John Oliver
2004-04-06 09:36:24 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 5 Apr 2004 19:38:12 +0000 (UTC), Offbreed wrote:
# Guess Who? wrote:
#
# # Foolauto
# # Your buddy is telling you a "big windy" about the VC buying shotguns
# # from Sears. They don't sell guns "overseas", to any nations, that
# # we're having a war with...
# # What other sort of "War Stories", did he tell you?
# # That is one of the best "whoppers" I've ever heard!
#
# I don't know if they were getting the shotguns, but we were not
# officially "at war" during the Vietnam era. "Officially" is what
# counts for laws.
#
# Also, reread the post: "when we first became involved, the Viet Cong
# were ordering 12 gauge shotguns". Takes time for rules and laws to
# change, and he did not mention how long that continued.

The first time a firefight between US advisors and VC was shown on the
evening news (1964?), what American would ship any kind of weapon to
Vietnam? I can't call bullshit, 'cause I wasn't there, but I do smell a
strong aroma in the air... :-)
--
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Bill VH
2004-04-07 10:11:13 UTC
Permalink
In article <c4ttmo$k87$***@grapevine.wam.umd.edu>, ***@john-oliver.net (John
Oliver) writes:

#
#The first time a firefight between US advisors and VC was shown on the
#evening news (1964?), what American would ship any kind of weapon to
#Vietnam? I can't call bullshit, 'cause I wasn't there, but I do smell a
#strong aroma in the air... :-)
#

Ever hear of Hanoi Jane ?

----------------Now I have to go dip my keyboard in Lysol
Bill Van Houten (USA Ret)

Thermopylae had it's messenger of defeat, COME AND GET THEM !
The Alamo had none.




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TomB
2004-04-06 09:36:43 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 5 Apr 2004 19:38:12 +0000 (UTC), Offbreed
<***@hotmail.com> wrote:

#Guess Who? wrote:
#
## Foolauto
## Your buddy is telling you a "big windy" about the VC buying shotguns
## from Sears. They don't sell guns "overseas", to any nations, that
## we're having a war with...
## What other sort of "War Stories", did he tell you?
## That is one of the best "whoppers" I've ever heard!
#
#I don't know if they were getting the shotguns, but we were not
#officially "at war" during the Vietnam era. "Officially" is what
#counts for laws.
#
#Also, reread the post: "when we first became involved, the Viet Cong
#were ordering 12 gauge shotguns". Takes time for rules and laws to
#change, and he did not mention how long that continued.

Everybody is just guessing here but the paperwork involved in becoming
a firearm importer or exporter, and the declarations involved in each
export, make me guess that this is simply what we would have called a
"sea story". That, of course, is aside from the details of payment,
which currency, domestic or foreign bank, etc., etc., etc.

I just don't think that Sears is, or was, a firearms exporter.

TomB


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This is a valid address
2004-04-07 10:10:54 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 6 Apr 2004 09:36:43 +0000 (UTC), TomB
<cagunnut-***@yahoo.com> wrote:

#Everybody is just guessing here but the paperwork involved in becoming
#a firearm importer or exporter, and the declarations involved in each
#export, make me guess that this is simply what we would have called a
#"sea story". That, of course, is aside from the details of payment,
#which currency, domestic or foreign bank, etc., etc., etc.
#
#I just don't think that Sears is, or was, a firearms exporter.

I don't know whether the gent's story is true or not, but let's
remember the time frame... prior to 1968, the difficulties currently
encountered with exporting/importing firearms did not exist.

Jim



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P. Allen
2004-04-07 23:54:52 UTC
Permalink
Would it be possible that the rules weren't as strict prior to the 1968 Gun
Control Act? I also wonder how true it is, kinda like the story of Henry
Ford selling engines to Germany which supposedly ended up in some of
Hitler's tanks.
...
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Craig D
2004-04-08 10:42:40 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 7 Apr 2004 23:54:52 +0000 (UTC), "P. Allen" <***@ntelos.net>
wrote:

#Would it be possible that the rules weren't as strict prior to the 1968 Gun
#Control Act? I also wonder how true it is, kinda like the story of Henry
#Ford selling engines to Germany which supposedly ended up in some of
#Hitler's tanks.

I thought Henry Ford was a known supporter of hitler?

Craig
Remove * to email.

On usenet I speak only for myself.


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Guess Who?
2004-04-06 09:37:31 UTC
Permalink
Offbreed
If you really want to believe that story, don't let a little
technicality get in the way, like, whether of not, it's a declared
war...
Which do you think Sears sent them to, Hanoi, or Saigon? How many
do you think were ordered, and what were they?
Don't let common sense, get in the way of good "story"......
Personally, I never saw a VC with a shotgun. Where would they get
the shells?
Don



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Offbreed
2004-04-07 10:11:33 UTC
Permalink
Guess Who? wrote:

# Offbreed
# If you really want to believe that story, don't let a little
# technicality get in the way, like, whether of not, it's a declared
# war...
# Which do you think Sears sent them to, Hanoi, or Saigon? How many
# do you think were ordered, and what were they?
# Don't let common sense, get in the way of good "story"......
# Personally, I never saw a VC with a shotgun. Where would they get
# the shells?

I see three issues here.

1) Did Sears export shotguns?

Probably not. Other people have made some valid points. Besides, there
were probably cheaper sources available.

2) Would US corporation have sent guns to the VC before the US was
involved?

HELL, YES!!! So long as it was legal or they were not likely to get
caught. A sale is a sale, and there wasn't nearly as much paperwork
back then regarding selling guns, or exporting them. Started about '64
and we did not have much by way of gun control laws until '68.

3) Would the VC use shotguns in the early years?

From what I've read, they used everything they could get their hands
on. Let's see, first involvement, lots of French still there, jungle,
hunting in jungle, lots of birds, Yup. They probably had shotguns and
ammo at the start, stolen from the French. Bought from Sears? Probably
not.

I remember the start of the Vietnam war, and Hanoi and Saigon were
just words to most of the US. We did not know then what we know now,
nor were there the same laws then.



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thumper
2004-04-07 10:11:47 UTC
Permalink
Guess Who? wrote:
# Offbreed
# If you really want to believe that story, don't let a little
# technicality get in the way, like, whether of not, it's a declared
# war...
# Which do you think Sears sent them to, Hanoi, or Saigon? How
# many do you think were ordered, and what were they?
# Don't let common sense, get in the way of good "story"......
# Personally, I never saw a VC with a shotgun. Where would they get
# the shells?
# Don

Umm, maybe Uncle Ho cranked them out with his Ponsness/Warren Duo-O-Matic
375C pehaps? ;-)




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ejstahl
2004-04-07 23:53:51 UTC
Permalink
"thumper" <***@magpage.com> wrote in message news:c50k53$t00$***@grapevine.wam.umd.edu...
# Guess Who? wrote:
# # Offbreed
# # If you really want to believe that story, don't let a little
# # technicality get in the way, like, whether of not, it's a declared
# # war...
# # Which do you think Sears sent them to, Hanoi, or Saigon? How
# # many do you think were ordered, and what were they?
# # Don't let common sense, get in the way of good "story"......
# # Personally, I never saw a VC with a shotgun. Where would they get
# # the shells?
# # Don
#
# Umm, maybe Uncle Ho cranked them out with his Ponsness/Warren Duo-O-Matic
# 375C pehaps? ;-)

Remember, during WWII Uncle Ho was our ally and we supplied his
troops...



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Charles Winters
2004-04-09 02:08:45 UTC
Permalink
Don't forget, the Viet Cong got involved right after the country was
partitioned in the late 1940s, long before the US recognized this as a real
war.

I recall a 1950s era Gun Digest with an article about Charles Atkins going
to South Viet Nam for a hunting expedition. While out in the field, he ran
across a squad of VC patrolling their territory. They took one look at
Atkins, sized him up as an American, and passed right on by, no problems.
Their enemy at the time was the South Vietnamese govt, not the US. Only
later did we decide to intervene, what a big mistake.

Now, in spite of all the grief, we're friends again. A US warship recently
made a port call at Ho Chi Mihn City. Lyndon Johnson must be spinning in
his grave. - CW


x "Guess Who?" <> wrote in message news:c4rkmg$j28$***@grapevine.wam.umd.edu...
# Foolauto
# Your buddy is telling you a "big windy" about the VC buying shotguns
# from Sears. They don't sell guns "overseas", to any nations, that
# we're having a war with...
# What other sort of "War Stories", did he tell you?
# That is one of the best "whoppers" I've ever heard!
# Don
x




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John Oliver
2004-04-09 11:34:31 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 9 Apr 2004 02:08:45 +0000 (UTC), Charles Winters wrote:
# Now, in spite of all the grief, we're friends again. A US warship recently
# made a port call at Ho Chi Mihn City. Lyndon Johnson must be spinning in
# his grave. - CW

I remember when relations between the US and Vietnam began warming up.
The Vietnamese wanted to establish business ties, etc. Some veterans
groups were screaming blue murder over it. My thought was, "Why? This
means we *won*." After all that fighting, after getting pulled out and
watching Vietnam collapse, we *won* 20 years later. After all, the
original reason we went in to Vietname was to fight the expansion of
Communism in Southeast Asia.
--
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indago
2004-04-09 11:34:58 UTC
Permalink
040408 2208 - Charles Winters posted:

# Don't forget, the Viet Cong got involved right after the country was
# partitioned in the late 1940s, long before the US recognized this as a real
# war.
#
# I recall a 1950s era Gun Digest with an article about Charles Atkins going
# to South Viet Nam for a hunting expedition. While out in the field, he ran
# across a squad of VC patrolling their territory. They took one look at
# Atkins, sized him up as an American, and passed right on by, no problems.
# Their enemy at the time was the South Vietnamese govt, not the US. Only
# later did we decide to intervene, what a big mistake.
#
# Now, in spite of all the grief, we're friends again. A US warship recently
# made a port call at Ho Chi Mihn City. Lyndon Johnson must be spinning in
# his grave. - CW
#
#

A few years back the Department of Defense sent some troops over there.
They said it was for defense purposes only. The troops were armed with an
"assault" rifle. The Department of Defense arms all of their troops with an
"assault" rifle. Maybe the Department of Defense would be more aptly named
Department of Assault.


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Joseph M. White
2004-04-13 11:26:01 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 9 Apr 2004 02:08:45 +0000 (UTC), "Charles Winters"
...
And in his stupidity, and utter disregard for our military, klinton
allowed a US warship to enter a Vietnamese port with the host country
flag flying ABOVE the American flag, a studied insult, perpetrated by
people obsessed with "face". Please don't forget, also, that part of
the impetus of that visit was hanoi john's adept "handling" of the
POW/MIA matter. For his reward, a cousin (Forbes) was given a large
deal as a realtor for Vietnam.


joe
...
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WSG
2004-04-05 12:49:45 UTC
Permalink
"Foolauto" <***@aol.com> wrote in message news:c4ovfg$der$***@grapevine.wam.umd.edu...
# I know that this not directly related to 1934 Sears Tommy guns, but a
friend of
# mine who was a three tour Viet Nam Marine mobile artillary officer told me
that
# when we first became involved, the Viet Cong were ordering 12 gauge
shotguns
# from the Sears catalogue and they were getting them for around $69.95
# delivered!
#

Don't know if that's true or not, but be wary of believing war stories from
vets.
We tend to have an over abundance of male bovine feces to sling.

Bill




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anony mous
2004-04-09 02:07:35 UTC
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The "Vietcong" connection doesn't hold water, but......

In 1965, when the Watts riot struck Los Angeles, two of the
Sears-Roebuck stores within the affected riot area feared that the
looters would become the "proud owners" of their rifles and shotguns.
Instead of having that happen, the store managers called the LAPD and
asked that their firearms AND ammo be picked up and USED by LAPD
officers....free gratis!
At the time, the LAPD could only field one shotgun per every 5 officers,
so the offer was accepted.

I was 18 years old when the Watts riot hit, and my family lived in
Westchester, which wasn't directly affected by the riot, but CLOSE to
it. I recall seeing several LAPD officers armed with "goose guns" while
on patrol.

In 1971, I became an LAPD officer, and worked with numerous "old timers"
who had seen action during the Watts riot. The Sears-Roebuck/LAPD
"deal" DID, in fact, take place, according to the officers that I worked
with. When the riot eventually subsided, the shotguns and rifles were
collected for a return to Sears- Roebuck, but they didn't want them
back!

By the way, the "official" death toll of the Watts riot was listed at
60+, but one of the "old timer" officers that I worked with said that he
PERSONALLY counted over 200 dead bodies which had been dumped at a
temporary morgue area of the 77th Street Division of the LAPD. He said
that the "official" count only consisted of people that they could
actually identify.



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t***@gmail.com
2016-11-25 13:01:24 UTC
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On Friday, April 2, 2004 at 4:56:41 AM UTC-5, Bruce Withers wrote:
# Is it really true that Thompson sub-machine guns were carried in the Sears
# catalogue until 1933 when the 1934 gun control act outlawed full automatics?
# If so, is there a web site that has a scanned version of the original Sears
# catalogue page that shows the original ad? Love to see that.
#

I remember seeing the ad in an old sears catalog, it costs something like $25.00 and
showed some guy on his front porch shooting at Indians raiding his farm.
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