The “Tommy Gun” is one of the most iconic firearms in American history. But what is it about the Thompson? Stephen Hunter, a bestselling novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for, of all things, the Washington Post, is a pretty serious and savvy gun guy, and he summed up much of the Thompson’s appeal in a March 22, 2004, article on the Exhibit at the National Firearms Museum.
In the days before America’s entry into World War II, there were doubts about the M1 Garand as a battle rifle. Seeing potential profit, Winchester developed its own rifle, the G30 and even a selective-fire gun called the WAR.
When the U.S. Army sought a sniping rifle based on the M1 Garand at the end of World War II, the M1C, with its offset scope, was delivered in small numbers. Never the best solution, the M1C performed adequately in post-war service and remains one of the most highly prized American military rifles.