As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are temporarily closed. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time and will provide updates on our website and social media.

Model 1921AC Thompson Submachine Gun

Model 1921AC Thompson Submachine Gun

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Description (Brief)
The Thompson submachine gun was developed by Brig. Gen. John T. Thompson for use in the trenches during World War I, but the first models were not ready by war's end. It fired.45 ACP cartridges at about 850 rounds per minute. The model 1921AC, which came out in 1926, featured a Cutts Compensator, a muzzle brake, which helped prevent the muzzle from rising during automatic fire.
Object Name
submachine gun
machine gun, sub
Auto-Ordnance Corporation
Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company
place made
United States
overall: 35 in x 9 in x 1 7/8 in; 88.9 cm x 22.86 cm x 4.7625 cm
magazine: 2 1/4 in x 6 3/4 in; 5.715 cm x 17.145 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
serial number
See more items in
Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Military
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Note: Comment submission on our collection pages is temporarily unavailable. Please check back soon!

If you have a question or require a personal response, please visit our FAQ or contact page.