Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Past vs. current engineering

Tam's written a time or two on how much skilled machine work was used in making firearms in the past compared to how a lot are made now.  Reason I was reminded of that was that at the range this morning I was distracted by a couple of bursts of automatic fire.  Peeking around the partitions revealed a man firing an honest-to-Deity Thompson subgun.  1943 manufacture.

Yes, he let me fondle it, and put ten rounds through*.  If I could afford the regular conversion of that much money into noise, I'd buy one.  But to the point at hand: in the past I've had the opportunity to fire a Uzi and a couple of Ingram subguns, one of the latter in .45.  Compared to them, the Tommy is heavy.  That receiver is one big hunk of machined steel, making for the heart of a heavy firearm.

And that translates to money; big steel blank, lots of machining to turn it into a receiver, which involves a skilled machinist and machine time and cutters.  Thinking of making this sucker by the many-thousands during a war makes the adoption of the M3 very understandable.


Phelps said...

I've got access to a couple of Bridgeport mills now, and I've wondered more than once how much work would REALLY go into making something like that.

Firehand said...

With that equipment, quite doable I would think

Titan Mk6B said...

A family down the street had one of those. I was 10 or 12 and so was his son. The son and I would load up a bunch of rounds, stuff them in the round drum and go out to their property in the country and shoot it. His father never let us go more than the three shot burst. By the time the third shot went off the gun was pretty much pointed straight up. It's a lot of gun for someone so young to handle but was it ever fun.