New Auto-Ordnance Thompson Barrel Length


For the new year, Auto-Ordnance will begin selling a Thompson carbine with a shorter length. The new gun drops the barrel length from 18″ to 16.5″ by using a sub-16″ barrel and permanently attaching a Cutts compensator. The overall length is 39″.

The new gun, designated T1-14, is based on the original Thompson submachine gun. It is chambered in .45 ACP and comes with a single 20-round stick magazine. The rifle has a polished American Walnut stock and weighs in at 12.5 pounds. Auto-Ordnance fits a blade sight out front and an adjustable sight in the rear. The suggested retail price of this new gun is $1,461.

A second new version of the Thompson also has the shortened barrel, but the buttstock is detachable. This gun runs $1,910. It also comes with a single 20-round magazine.

Auto-Ordnance manufactures a variety of reproduction guns from the World War II era. These include the Thompson, 1911 and M1 Carbine. Some of the guns are pretty close reproductions (such as this budget priced 1911) while a few (like this gold Thompson) are a little crazier. The company also made a modern folding stock version of the M1 Carbine, though I prefer original wood stock.

Auto-Ordnance is owned by Kahr Arms and is a part of the Kahr Firearms Group.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • Mugsy

    Nothing quite like the old Chicago piano…

  • Chris

    Anyone else think a wood bump fire stock for this would be awesome

    • RICH


    • Joe

      Rather see a version with a binary trigger.

    • taofledermaus

      And a bunch of flashlights, lasers and duracoted coyote sage brown?

  • Griz

    I wish the law had never changed in 1986. Can I ask why with a MSRP of almost $2000 it only comes with one magazine?

    • Rock or Something

      The original M1921, the first model available to the public, came with one 20 round magazine and cost $200. But in today’s purchasing power, it’s about $2,652. Granted, the original ones were fully auto, but it seems the price is on par with today’s prices.

    • Tom

      Technology has moved on since the days of the Chicago Typewriter. To make one now takes a lot of work and material, plus its always going to be a niche product so that effect the price too. In short Its not an unreasonable price for such a gun and that it comes with a magazine at all should be seen as a bonus.

      You could of course make a cheaper version with modern materials that looked like a Thompson but international was another creature but who would want that?

  • JumpIf NotZero

    … I’ve always kind of wondered why no one has made a Thompson integral suppressed gun/barrel. It seems like a great gun for it.

    Maybe because somehow they’re pulling $2000 for a simple blowback gun as is.

    • nobody

      What, is the Thompson not heavy enough for you that you need more stuff slapped on it? They already weigh almost 11 lbs unloaded.

    • iksnilol

      Wouldn’t a Mac-10 be better?

      I mean it would do the same only be shorter and about half a ton lighter.

      Or the M3 grease gun? I think they made an integral version in the Philipines.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    My father said he carried one of these in Vietnam for a time but got tired of humping the ammo.

    • RICH

      It’s the ‘forunner of the SMG’ ! The most collectabile and most wanted SMG of all ! ! It was great that your dad got to lug one around in ‘Nam. It was a great ‘BRUSH CLEANER’ in the jungle.

  • RICH

    I REALLY LIKE MY 1928A1 WITH THE 10.5″ BARREL ! ! !

  • Tom Currie

    Shortening the barrel on THIS gun will result in a slight increase in muzzle velocity (with most .45ACP ammo). Unfortunately the ideal barrel length (for max MV) requires a $200 tax stamp, but this should be a nice improvement in both appearance and performance.

    • Kurt Akemann

      Excuse me for the question, but it is generally the rule that longer barrels lead to higher muzzle velocities, as the propellant gases have more time to work on the projectile.

      What is different in this case?

      • Tom Currie

        The velocity of a bullet increases as long as the pressure of the expanding gas is sufficient to overcome the drag of the bullet moving along the rifling through the barrel. The ideal barrel length for maximum velocity of any particular load would be the length where all the powder had burned and the pressure has been used up just as the bullet reaches the muzzle. For “rifle” rounds, generally a longer barrel will yield increased velocity — within any reasonable barrel length. For “pistol” rounds you have a different situation — the normal load for a “pistol” round is designed to burn all the powder in the first few inches of bullet travel. For example, in .45ACP most loads are optimized for about a 5″ barrel. Firing the same load from a 3″ barrel will give you extra muzzle flash from the unburned powder burning outside the barrel — and, of course, less muzzle velocity because not all the powder was used to drive the bullet. As you increase the barrel length, eventually you reach a point where all the powder has burned. Beyond that point, the gas pressure in the barrel decreases. For a short distance past that the bullet is still being pushed faster and the MV continues to increase but not as much. Once the gas pressure decreases below the pressure needed to overcome the resistance of the bullet moving through the barrel, the bullet begins slowing.

        The exact ideal barrel length depends on the exact load and on the barrel itself, so the ideal length would vary slightly due to many factors. For a typical standard pressure .45ACP load, the ideal barrel length quite a bit longer than the ‘standard’ 5″ barrel of a typical 1911, but still less than 16″

        I don’t remember the exact numbers, but a while ago I read an article in a gun magazine where they started with a standard semi-auto Thompson intending to build an SBR approximating the original design. They trimmed the barrel 1″ at a time checking the MV for each length. As I recall, they got the best MV at about 14″ barrel length with the load they were using.

        • Kurt Akemann

          Thank you for the through explanation.

  • Taofledermaus

    Definitely cool. Beats the hell out of a crappy .22 import version.

  • LazyReader

    Naaah, Ya see boys

  • John

    I know it’s iconic. But simply swapping out the wood furniture with polymer easily results in losing a couple of pounds, minimum.