Thompson M1A1 in Action – a review by G Man: You’re
up in the loft and the enemy is trying to get in. A hand grasping
an SMG comes around the door. You let them have it with a stinging
full auto burst. They can’t get the elevation because they’re
just guessing. They throw in a grenade, then another, but you
know you’re safe Airsoft doesn’t get much better than this.
soldiers come through the door, you’ve got the Thompson at the
patrol position. You shoot the first one with a controlled burst
and then switch to the other too late you realise that they
were on your side! Still, maybe next time they’ll be quicker
to identify themselves.
brief history of the Thompson: Created towards the end
of world war 1 the Thompson sub machine gun was envisaged as
a ‘broom’ to sweep clear enemy trenches.
Thompson achieved notoriety in the nineteen-twenties and thirties
as the favoured weapon of the gangster and also of the law enforcement
officer. This is of course the version with the pistol fore-grip
and the round drum magazine.
the start of world war two demand for the Thompson soared, initially
with the British army as an NCO’s weapon and for use with the
commandos and other special forces being established. In fact
the Thompson rattled a lot for clandestine use and could not
be fitted with a silencer.
America entered the war slowness and expense of production led
to a new design being introduced losing the fore-grip and utilising
a straight long box type magazine, this was the M1A1.
The Thompson combined a heavy slug with a respectable rate of
fire. In the Pacific campaign one of its most memorable traits
was its ability to neutralise enemy snipers in palm trees, in
fact its suitability for jungle warfare led to the Thompson
still being in use during the early Vietnam years.
Thompson hung on in Northern Ireland in occasional use by the
IRA and the Government until the early eighties.
TM Thompson M1A1: Pick it up, feel the weight, isn’t
this what air-soft is all about? The TM M1A1 has the weight
and heft of the original weapon. If you are a fan of metal guns
and you don’t want to go down the M16 or AK47 paths then this
is the weapon for you. Control layout couldn’t be simpler, a
twist knob for safety on/off, another for single shot or full
The hop-up adjustment is above the magwell. You need to adjust
the hop-up for two reasons, one, to ensure that the BB flies
straight and true from the barrel, two, because not adjusting
the hop up reduces the velocity. As an example this gun was
chronographed at 240fps, after adjusting the hop-up this rose
The magazine (standard) with 60 shots is fine for ammo’ limited
scenarios but you do need at least one hi-cap magazine, preferably
two for most games. The advantages are that you can change magazines
in the event of a jam and that the 400 round capacity allows
you the latitude to lay down suppressive fire and trigger responses
without running out of ammo.
the magazine is out the note of the gun changes to a flat ‘clack’
sound which you need to listen out for. The other obvious sign
is the lack of BB’s flying from the end of the barrel! This
can also mean that you’ve forgotten to wind up the clockwork
wheel at the bottom of the high-cap mag’. Don’t put inferior
quality BB’s through the gun, these are more likely to jam.
the standard mag’ for night battles where you can hand load
every third or fourth shot a tracer to take advantage of the
Marui tracer unit which is one of the few accessories that you
can realistically fit!
Battery: A large battery is in the stock, fully discharged beforehand
and then charged up this will last for a full days play. A battery
discharger is as good a buy as a spare battery with the bonus
that you can use it on other guns.
high proportion of metal in the gun makes it robust in the field.
are not likely to see a Thompson with gaffer tape around the
butt like an M16. The ‘wood’ on the butt and fore-grip is plastic
but you’d never know unless you touched it. You can guy a real
wood kit but the price is prohibitive.
gun is solidly built and will stay that way if you tighten the
Alan bolts which hold it together occasionally.
This is the disappointing bit for a lot of people. No sights,
lasers, silencers, bipods, maybe tracer unit. If you want accessories
how-about a Fairburn-Sykes commando dagger or a satchel full
To sum up a super gun, highly recommended. Where to
go from here? How about a gas blow-back model?^_^