@sweetmarias posted the above photo on Instagram. It shows a security guard in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, rocking a sweet Thompson submachine gun. The only African country to adopt the Tommy gun was Egypt and it the most likely source of the gun in the photo. Sudan lies between Egypt and Ethiopia, but such a volatile and unstable country would pose no problem for arms traffickers.

The security guard does not appear to have a magazine. The gun may just be for show/intimidation. I can’t imagine that .45 ACP is readily available in that part of Africa.

Thanks to Jason for sharing the link.



  • Alucard

    I was pretty sure the 1928 Thompson was the Tommy gun not the military model shown in the article.

    • Tom

      The Tommy Gun in the picture looks to be an M1 or M1A1 – charging handle is to the side rather than on top and no fins on the barrel.

      • Yeah, “Tommy Gun” is just a nickname for the weapon, not a particular model.

        Given the build, Tom’s right that it is either a late-model M1 or an M1A1. Muzzle, barrel, bolt handle, and rear sight fin guards are good indicators.

        I always love seeing these old workhorses still in the hands of folks who use them every day. It might be 70 years old, but that ol’ warhorse is still powerful and deadly.

  • Blake

    She’s purdy…

  • Burst

    “Cant imagine .45acp is available in Africa”

    Why wouldn’t it be? Security services probably have well-hewn channels for that sort of thing.

    • Grindstone50k

      I’ve seen a wide variety of arms in the hands of various photographs of people in Africa. From the ubiquitous AK to FALs, M14s, even a G36.
      I don’t see how .45 ACP would be so hard to come by in Ethiopia. It’s not like the US is the only source for .45 and there really isn’t any reason why it wouldn’t be available in Ethiopia.

    • Bal256

      I agree. Considering that there are still a bunch of Sturmgewehrs floating around I bet they have a source for everything.

  • rifleplumber

    That trench coat too…

    • guy

      looks like an old USGI issue, thick wool, very warm, i have one

  • Lance

    its not just America. M1A1s SMG also saw action in the 1990s in the Balkans. We gave Tito SMGs during and just after WW2. And so after his death they got mixed up the the various factions in the civil war.

    • kill

      Amen brother! One anecdote from the 90’s is a guy was guarding a bridge with a Thompson, but only had 1 or 2 rounds. When asked what he’d do when the enemy arrived, he said he’d run away.

    • iksnilol

      The Thompson is well liked in the Balkans. I know my aunt’s husband liked it very much due to being able to shoot through improvised body armor. Note: it shot through not because of the cartridge (.45 ACP is bad for penetration) but due to fast firerate and weight/shape which made it easy to control.

      • mememememememe

        marko perovich.. “Thompson” Croatian militia man and singer is named after his weapons.. you can see his songs on youtube..

        • iksnilol

          Marko Perković? Have heard about him. Classic Ustaša.

  • john huscio

    sanford knows how to keep the kids out of his junkyard……

    • LMAO! Please tell me other people under 30 get this.

      • Mr. Fahrenheit

        You big dummy!

  • RICH

    What was even worse than the Thompson smg that i missed fo $650 was one that a friend of mine had (still has). I waited almost 2 years to see his ‘BABY’ and started thinking it didn’t exist….. then one day he brought it up to the shop. He had a box all wrapped up in quilts & blankets….. looked like he was carrying a mummy. Well, after very cautiously unwrapping his ‘BABY’ I damn near passed out…… setting in the ‘ORIGINAL BOX’ was Joe’s BABY. A brand shiny new, in the factory box, 1921 Thompson smg !! All I could do was ‘pant’ and once again kick myself in the ass for passing up the shooter I SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT in ’74….. for $650 ! !

    • iksnilol

      If it makes you feel better: in ’74 650$ is the same as todays 3100$. But if I want to make you feel bad I should mention that 3100$ is way cheaper than the 20000$ that they want for Thompsons nowadays.

      But, it is in the past, you can’t change it so don’t beat yourself up over it. I have been down a similar road.

    • FalconMoose

      It WAS a baby, indeed!

  • RICH

    …. P.S. …… the ’21 was UNFIRED ! ! ! (sob, sob, sob…)

  • idahoguy101

    Were Thompson’s made in 9mm?

    • Kristophr

      No, but they did sell a few in .38 Super.

    • Scott P

      The closest comparable SMG in 9mm. to a Tommy Gun was the forgotten United Defense 42.

  • the ammo addict

    Someone get that man a magazine!

  • iksnilol

    Considering it is a Thompson, you don’t even need the ammo: You can just beat whatever aggressor you have to death with it.

    I am suggesting that Thompsons are a bit heavier than your average gun.