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M2 Oiler

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David Albert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote David Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 04 2021 at 9:28pm
Originally posted by David Albert David Albert wrote:

Originally posted by jackp1028 jackp1028 wrote:

So, does that mean that the rectangular M1928 Thompson oiler is an "M1" oiler since the round M1 Thompson oiler is an "M2" oiler? I am so confused!!!??

The short (and also correct) answer is "No."

I received the same inquiry from New2brass via PM, and I sent him a longer answer, which he may post here. If he doesn't post it, I will do so later.

David Albert

Dan asked me to go ahead and post my longer answer. Here's some background that I think will offer some perspective.

It must be understood that the Thompson oilers come from two different eras of item designation. The oiler for the M1 Carbine originated in the later designation era. It had no connection to the earlier era, which was approximately pre-1929.

When the Thompson was adopted in 1928, major items were still referred to with an "M" prefix to an adoption date, i.e. "M1928." I believe it was in the 1930's that the year designation was superseded by the M1, M2, M3 designation. It may have even been 1929. The exact date escapes me, but I can't think of any items with designations later than "M1928."

If I were asked why the original oiler was not given a designation, I would answer the question with two possible answers, which are both opinions.

Opinion #1 is that the oiler was not considered a major item. This is evidenced by many other items, such as internal parts, magazines, and drums that were not given designations.

Opinion #2 is that the oiler, and many other Thompson items originated from private offerings in Auto-Ordnance catalogs, and were not originally designed or procured through government contracts. They existed as stock with Colt manufactured Thompson Submachine Guns that Auto-Ordnance had contracted for on speculation of commercial success. The government was not involved in the original design of the Thompson Submachine Gun. It was originally an unsuccessful commercial venture.

The original Thompson oiler was not designated "M1." I looked through 5 different SNL-A32's that I have for the Thompson, the first one being from 1936, and the original, rectangular oiler was simply referred to as "Oiler, Submachine Gun." That makes sense, since it was the only submachine gun the U.S. had ever adopted at that time.

After the M1 Thompson was introduced in 1942, SNL A32 listed both Thompson oilers. It referred to the earlier oiler as "Oiler, submachine gun, cal. .45." It referred to the new, round oiler as "Oiler, submachine gun, cal. .45, M2." In 1942, the Thompson oiler was apparently considered a major item, at least to whatever threshold was necessary to receive the "M2" designation. I believe they gave it the M2 designation since it was the second style of submachine gun oiler in use. Again, they did not designate the earlier oiler as "M1." If it had received a designation, it would have been designated as an "M1928 Oiler." Neither of these two designations were given.

That's kind of a long answer, but hopefully if you go back and read through this thread again, it will make more sense.

David Albert
NRA Life Member
Past Pres., The American Thompson Association
Amer. Society of Arms Collectors
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Author - The Many Firearm Designs of Eugene Reising
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jackp1028 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 04 2021 at 9:40pm
Thank you David. This thread has been fun and I have learned a lot. Dan always comes up with challenging "fun stuff".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 05 2021 at 3:29pm
@ David, Thank you, the Thompson stuff is not in my wheelhouse. The M2 had me scratching my head and thought several people would have jumped on the Hyde M2.

The double size was a surprise to me. The carbine oiler has been criticized as not having enough capacity.

@ Jack, thank you, but we have to thank Louis Losi for his many submissions over the years.
There is always something to be learned.

GotSNLB28 hit it on the head as to the SNL number as to what it was.
Group A was Automatic weapons, small mortars, carts, light artillery.
Group B Revolvers, pistols, shotguns, arms chests, rocket launchers
For those that are interested in the SNL system groups

Page 147 of Riesch’s 7th edition shows an illustration of oiler drawing.  Part number is C-64364.
War Baby II, page 578 confirms that part number C-64364 was changed “later” to 5564364.
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Louis Losi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Louis Losi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 10 2021 at 12:19pm
The use of the letter M in model designation began on July 1, 1925, so items such as the Model 1928 Thompson submachine gun and the Model 1942 Johnson rifle were never adopted by the Ordnance Department but procured, or adopted, by individual branches of the military such as the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps. The Model 1928 TSMG and Model 1942 Johnson rifle are the manufacturers' commercial designations. Had the Ordnance Department adopted the '28 Thompson, it's designation would have been M1 and the WWII manufactured Thompson would have been designated M2. Obviously the M2 SMG and M3 SMG would have become M3 and M4. Had the Ordnance Department adopted the 1942 Johnson rifle, it's designation would have been M2 following the 1936 M1 rifle designation.
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