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