Umarex Thompson M1A1 Part 6

Umarex Thompson M1A1 Part 6

Outfitting for the field

By Dennis Adler

A gun by itself is all it needs be to perform its function. Everything else just makes it easier. Holsters and cartridge belts, magazine pouches, accessory bags, all were developed to make guns easier to handle in the field, and on the battlefield they were all the more important. The more complex the weapon, like a submachine gun, the more support gear it needed. The Thompson M1A1 needed several essential pieces to make it most serviceable in combat, beginning with a sling to shoulder the weapon and on occasion add support for firing by wrapping one’s arm in the sling. Guns with magazines needed a place for extra magazines, extra cartridges, and the military had multiple designs for M1A1 magazine pouches and other belt carried accessory pouches; the U.S. Military Musette bag – a 20th century version of the frontier era “possibles bag” held whatever else might be needed from small accessories and extra ammo to maps and tools, rations, a wool cap, and other small gear. And of course, a soldier needed a belt to carry a holstered sidearm and spare ammo or magazines (depending upon the type of handgun). Most of the items mentioned were manufactured for the U.S. military by various companies during WWII.

Every good CO2 rifle needs accessories and the M1A1 is very good indeed and there are a lot of excellent reproduction WWII accessories made for the Thompson by World War Supply, including the Thompson Kerr sling (the one essential for the CO2 subgun), the Thompson 3-cell magazine pouch (far left with the Thompson CO2 BB magazine sticking out…it fist perfectly), as well as accessories for the M1911A1 CO2 pistol, including a correct WWII era M1936 cotton webbing pistol belt, U.S. 1911 cotton webbing dual magazine pouch, and JT&L marked U.S. M1916 leather holster for the 1911A1. There are also various supply pouches and the US Military Musette Bag M1936 (background).
This photo of U.S. Marines armed with the M1A1 during operation on Okinawa shows many of the same accessories made today. The Marine a left has the 3-cell magazine pouch on his left hip, the cotton webbing pistol belt, M1A1 sling, and is carrying his M1911 in a shoulder holster. World War supply has these as well.

The reproductions sold by World War Supply are marked JT&L, followed by the date of the item’s design (though not actual date of manufacture). These items are authentically reproduced and some of them are also sold by Pyramyd Air. The rest are readily available from World War Supply’s online store, and those made for the Thompson M1A1, as well as the M1911A1, are featured here.

The Thompson Kerr sling is the one accessory I found beneficial to shooting accuracy with the CO2 powered M1A1.

Build a Custom Airgun

They are all comparatively affordable to the cost of the Umarex Thompson M1A1, so adding these extras will increase their usefulness (especially the sling, M1936 pistol belt and Thompson 3-cell magazine carrier, if you purchase spare M1A1 mags).

If you don’t end up liking the box the M1A1 will come in, and you want something WWII correct, this fleece lined canvas case will fit the M1A1 (with magazine removed) as well as the CO2 powered M1 Carbine made by Air Venturi and Springfield Armory.
World War Supply also sells a WWII Thompson SMG canvas case.

The final tests, full auto at 21 feet and 10 yards

To make the most of the M1A1’s performance I started this test with fresh CO2 in the magazine, an IPSC cardboard silhouette target 21 feet downrange, and fired the first 30 rounds of .177 caliber Umarex Precision steel BBs from the shoulder (using the sling for added support) into a group measuring 3.25 inches around the center of the A-Zone. The black circled hits are individual shots from the three sets of multiple bursts I fired, and total 15, meaning the remaining 15 hits are confined to two large sets of multiple hit groups plus two smaller sets of two hits. That would put between six to eight shots as a group fired on full auto inside 0.375 inches. It is the entire 30-round spread at just over 3 inches that really makes the case for the M1A1’s accuracy even on full auto.

Using the sling to help the support arm, from 21 feet on full auto I put 30 rounds into 3.25 inches with multiple overlapping hits; the individual hits are circled, the rest are 2 or more hits in the same spot.

Knowing that the next 30 shots will be on depleting CO2, I was not expecting as good a group from 10 yards, especially with the added distance. I shot kneeling with the support arm through the sling and rested on my knee, and to my surprise I put 30 shots just inside 3.187 inches with one tight group of no less than seven hits measuring 0.5 inches, another 5-shot group in a long vertical cut at 0.625 inches, only 11 shots out of 30 as single hits, and all hits on or within 1.5 inches of the punch dot A in the A-Zone of the IPSC target.

The Thompson doesn’t disappoint even at 10 yards shooting 30 rounds from a kneeling position into just over 3-inches into the center of the IPSC target’s A-Zone with multiple tight or overlapping hits.

As I wrote early on in this review, the Umarex Thompson M1A1 does not disappoint!


As something of a postscript to the M1A1 tests, I shot out an entire CO2 magazine to see total shot count and I ran out of effective velocity at around 131 shots including two 30-round mags on full auto. This target at 10 yards out was shot with the last 90 rounds fired semi-auto off the shoulder (using the sling for the support arm), and most hit in the same area until the entire section of the target (just a little over the size of a quarter) was blown completely away.

1 thought on “Umarex Thompson M1A1 Part 6”

  1. One thing I have learned over the years, shooting accessories greatly enhance the quality of the shooting experience. In Cowboy shooting , garb, hats, scabbards , special cartridge belts made fir more fun shooting . These Thompson accessories provide for better shooting , especially the sling. To avoid beating up the Airgun, the case is s great investment , and for realistic reloading with spare mags, the mag case. Paired with some cargo type khaki pants and an Od green shirt, fantasy time. There are now enough military replicas, select fire and handguns to use these airguns and accessories in action Airgun matches

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