CA Legal Thompson guns coming soon

Kahr Arms has partnered with LAN World to introduce Auto Ordnance’s Thompson style rifles to California. To make them CA legal a Bullet Button device will be fitted by LAN World and they will only be supplied with 10 round magazines. The Bullet Button prevents the magazine removal without a tool (which in this case is a bullet tip). Even a 10 round drum mag will be available!

The standard non-CA compliant rifle

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • The bullet button has made a lot of firearms legal in CA that would have otherwise not made it past the CA-DOJ assault weapons ban. Hopefully the AO Thompson is a hit and worth their time to provide a product to the folks in CA… you can’t imagine how difficult CA makes it to sell and ship firearms into CA.

  • John Callahan

    I think thats the same system as the .416 Barret

  • Sian

    I’m not sure why anyone bothers, California and Illin Chicago are so Anti-gun it’s just to a point where it’s ridiculous , and one has to go through crazy nonsensical gyrations (see in regards to cosmetics and grips and magazines to be allowed.

    I suppose that someone should be pushing the limits to show how crazy and useless these laws are, but jeez.

  • Actually they greatly simplified our CA sales and shipping…we just don’t do it!

  • scurvy

    DO WANT!

    Though I wonder how big the bullet button will be. I’m guessing that it will be one of the standard rifle sized Raddlocks. I can’t imagine that a pistol bullet would count as a “tool.” I think most people’s pinky would be smaller than a .45 bullet.

  • Tahoe

    Funny that the Bullet Button “prevents the magazine removal without a tool (which in this case is a bullet tip)”. The tip of a .45 ACP bullet is about the size of a finger anyway, so it’s basically an annoying mag release–but sshhh, don’t tell California that!

  • gunslinger

    i’m confused. can you load the firearm with the mag attached? if not you need a “tool” aka a bullet tip to remove the mag?

    cali doesn’t want removable mag rifles? can someone school me on the issues at hand here?


  • Jim

    Will any of this be necessary once the McDonald decision takes full effect?

  • B Woodman

    The non-CA version would make a great home defense weapon. Pistol caliber round, short barrel, shilouette recognized throughout the US, what’s NOT to like about it.

  • Maxpwr

    They’ll be banning this loophole firearm eventually.

  • DippyPower

    This is for gunslinger.
    In California you can not have a center fire rifle with a removable magazine and evil features. These evil features are collapsible stocks (this is any stock that moves), pistol grips, forward grips, etc. If you build rifle with a fixed magazine you can have almost all the evil features you want. As far as the law is concerned if it takes a tool to remove the magazine it is considered fixed. has a flow chart detailing what is and what is not an assualt weapon in California.

  • AK™


    Reason #312,607 why California sucks.

    Glad I live in a “red” state.

  • El Duderino

    Glad I don’t live in CA. I love single stack pistols, but my “black” rifles have to hold 20+. You CA folks can have all of the Saigas, 10-shot Tommy guns, etc…

  • Squidpuppy

    I have a near pristine 1927A1 from 1984 built in West Hurley by the original Auto Ordnance; well before they were bought by Kahr. I live in CA. When I got it, it had a jerry-rigged magazine lockdown that was simply a threaded headless hex pin running through the mag release, screwed into the rear grip. The problem there was every time you dealt with it to load the magazine, you were essentially “manufacturing” an assault rifle; so, bad.

    Went to my local gunsmith and had him retro-fit a “bullet button” into it. He used an AR buffer detent & spring set into a drilled out well in the rear grip. The buffer detent pin head fits perfectly in through the central hole of the standard Thompson mag release – almost like it was designed for it.

    I suspect this is what LAN World does; Atlantic Firearms too. With proper tools, took my guy under 30 minutes. The trick is the depth of the well, the strength of the spring, and pin head alignment. He’d done it before some years back for a fellow who then claimed he did it himself, and posted it on the web. Like, that never happens…

    You can’t use a .45 ACP cartridge to depress the button; the bullet head is too large. But a .223 or 5.56 works fine; so does a ball-point pen – just don’t expect to use the pen after that. If it’s done right, you can’t use a finger to depress the buffer detent and jigger the mag release. If you can, that’s no good.

    When I got it, it had a standard mil-surp 30 round stick mag with a riveted pin to prevent loading more than 10 rounds. I also now have a 10 round drum, and a few extra 10 round shorty mags. I don’t see how you could finagle a single round into the magazine from an open bolt; there just ain’t enough room, I don’t care how tiny or nimbler yer fingers are. Prolly not a real bright idea to begin with.

    Anyway, my Tommy shoots like a dream. The amount of solid steel and walnut on the thing makes touching off .45 ACP feel like plinking with a .22 rifle. And it’s plenty accurate at 100 yards. I put a straight fore stock on mine, and it makes all the difference for sight picture and recovery. Yeah, it’s semi-auto, but folks; it’s a Tommy. Pull it out at the range and people take notice. I can shoot it at my local indoor pistol range too, which is nice. It’s just plain fun. I highly recommend them!

  • Nadnerbus

    DippyPower explained that right. Cal law considers any gun that needs a tool to release the magazine (note: not to insert) is considered a fixed magazine weapon. After that is established, the evil feature part of the legislation doesn not apply.

    This became an option after the part of the law that named all AR15 and AK “series” rifles as banned was struck down by the court as too vague. The manufacturer and model type must be named on a list to be banned. As such, there were plenty of non named manufactures out there, especially for AR lowers, allowing one to build whatever type of AR or AK they wanted with such an “off list” lower as long as the magazine is fixed and is equal to or less than ten rounds. The same can be said of any center fire semi auto out there, including the Thompson replicas.

    And to those who commented, it is ridiculous to jump through these hoops in California, but it is a damn sight better than the previous alternative. And for any gun company that takes the time and trouble to provide for the beleaguered gun owners of this state, I have the utmost respect and appreciation. If the gun grabbers win here, they will be coming to your state next. Better to fight them here and now.

  • Don

    Honestly, with a gimped magazine release and a long barrel it’s not even worth owning.

    If gun enthusiasts stop buying this loophole stuff then it will put a whole lot more pressure on the manufacturers to put a whole lot more pressure on politicians to make gun laws which are less moronic.

    When you buy this stuff you take all the pressure off the manufacturers to lobby. At 600$ a glock they could certainly afford to put more money in the fight. From a business perspective it is a perfect situation that all us little people fight the fight to loosen up legislation out of our own pocket while still buying their gimpy loophole guns for inflated prices (which they can charge due the the same moronic laws which create a fear of scarcity that we all fall for).


  • CY

    Makes sense to me. Huge population of potential customers on the left coast. Nice to see that Californians can get cool stuff and comply with Kalifornia’s law.

  • Nadnerbus

    I would also add that most of these “bullet button” type magazine locks are reversible upon reaching a free state. I am not sure if the Thompson referenced here is the same, but my off list fixed magazine AR can be reversed to a standard mag release outside of California with just a modified screw driver.