Original Saving Private Ryan US WWII Resin Thompson M1A1 Prop Submachine Gun

Item Description

Original Item: This is a resin (heavy dense rubber or plastic) prop gun manufactured for the film Saving Private Ryan. Used during production of the film, these were produced in the hundreds and were a safe and inexpensive way to dress the set and to provide realistic looking camera ready prop weapons for background actors (extras!) These were sold in fairly large numbers after the release of the film but in the past 10 years have been difficult to find. When they original came to the market they were sold for $99 each!

This is a full size replica and the casting was good and detailed so many of the original markings such as serial numbers and proof marks are still visible. The example is offered in good condition but is missing a compensator and bolt charging handle. The only issue is These had added bolt handles that were glued in place and most lost them during and after filming.

Interestingly, IMA supplied many of the real Machine Guns, Edged Weapons and loads of other equipment for Saving Private Ryan which was released in 1998 and set the bar for the WW2 film genre.

The Thompson was used in World War II in the hands of Allied troops as a weapon for scouts, non-commissioned officers (corporal, sergeant, and higher), and patrol leaders, as well as commissioned officers, tank crewmen, and soldiers performing raids on German positions. In the European theater, the gun was widely utilized in British and Canadian commando units, as well as in the U.S. Army paratrooper and Ranger battalions, where it was issued more frequently than in line infantry units because of its high rate of fire and its stopping power, which made it very effective in the kinds of close combat these special operations troops were expected to undertake. Military Police were fond of it, as were paratroopers, who "borrowed" Thompsons from members of mortar squads for use on patrols behind enemy lines. The gun was prized by those lucky enough to get one and proved itself in the close street fighting that was encountered frequently during the invasion of France. A Swedish variant of the M1928A1, the Kulsprutepistol m/40 (submachine gun, model 40), served in the Swedish Army between 1940 and 1951. Through Lend-Lease, the Soviet Union also received the Thompson, but due to a shortage of appropriate ammunition, its use was not widespread.

In the Malayan Campaign, the Burma Campaign and the Pacific Theater, Lend-Lease issue Thompsons were used by the British Army, Indian Army, Australian Army infantry and other Commonwealth forces. They used the Thompson extensively in jungle patrols and ambushes, where it was prized for its firepower, though it was criticized for its hefty weight and poor reliability. Difficulties in supply eventually led to its replacement in Australian Army units in 1943 by other submachine guns such as the Owen and Austen. The Thompsons were then given to the Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Australian Navy. New Zealand commando forces initially used Thompsons but switched them for the more reliable, lighter, and more accurate Owen during the Solomon Islands and Guadalcanal campaigns. The U.S. Marines also used the Thompson as a limited-issue weapon, especially during their later island assaults. The Thompson was soon found to have limited effect in heavy jungle cover, where the low-velocity .45 bullet would not penetrate most small-diameter trees or protective armor vests. (In 1923, the Army had rejected the .45 Remington-Thompson, which had twice the energy of the .45 ACP). In the U.S. Army, many Pacific War jungle patrols were originally equipped with Thompsons in the early phases of the New Guinea and Guadalcanal campaigns, but soon began employing the BAR in its place as a point defense weapon.

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