[SHOT 2018] Kahr Teases Tactical Thompson Carbine

    If you’re one of those people who think the Thompson submachine gun never should have gone away, then Kahr Arms (Auto Ordnance) has the gun for you. Displayed at their booth at the 2018 SHOT Show is a Thompson different than any of the other semiauto Thompson recreations in their catalog. Decked out in black tactical furniture, and featuring a unique railed receiver, this weapon is a Thompson updated for the 21st Century.

    Does such a thing even make sense? Well, who cares, if it’s cool it’s cool, right! Speaking with Kahr representatives, the “Tactical Thompson” is just a prototype intended to gauge public interest in the concept at the SHOT Show, rather than the harbinger of a new production rifle line from the company. The weapon has a 16″ barrel, and – if it does enter production – it will reportedly will use different drum magazines than the 1928 Thompson reproductions currently being made by Kahr.

    The receiver is a totally new unit vs. the previous Auto Ordnance Thompsons, and appears to be machined from billet or a casting. Integral to the upper receiver is a 1913 Picatinny rail, which mates up with the railed M-LOK handguard. The rifle’s barrel nut is also compatible with the AR-15 aftermarket. Although the prototype’s furniture was attached via adapters to the Thompson’s existing architecture, a production version would probably more seamlessly blend those components together.

    Like all Thompsons, the Tactical Thompson is heavy – it felt like it was approximately 10-11 pounds in this configuration, although I was not provided with actual weight figures by Kahr.

    As a quite hefty feeling .45 ACP semiautomatic carbine, this seems to be one of those products that will live or die on cool factor alone. So what do you think? Is the Tactical Thompson awesome, or stupid? Let us know in the comments!

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]


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