By Robert G. Segel
The 14th annual All Thompson Show & Shoot, in association with the Thompson Collectors Association (TCA), was held on August 12-13, 2005 at the Thompson Collectors Conference Center in Newark, Ohio. Established in 1990, the All Thompson Show and Shoot is a gathering of interested people devoted to the collecting, shooting and history of the famous Thompson submachine gun.
Friday Thompson Show
Over one hundred people registered to attend the show and twenty-five people exhibited their Thompsons and accessories on fifty display tables. The two-day event was extremely well organized with TCA members and guests arriving on Thursday and setting up their tables for the show on Friday, which opened at noon. The sheer number of Thompsons in their various models and configurations, and the variety of accessories, would make any Thompson enthusiast wide-eyed in wonder.
At one p.m. on Friday, Michael Sigillito and David Albert conducted a multimedia lecture series in the conference room of the Thompson Collectors Conference Center based upon their new book Thompson Manuals, Catalogs and Other Paper Items. The ninety-minute presentation was attended by over thirty-five people and was split into two parts. Mike Sigillito began by discussing the “golden age” of the Thompson era and the differing early editions of the Auto-Ordnance Corporation manuals, catalogues and other related Thompson paper items, including French and Swedish language manuals for the Model of 1928. David Albert followed with his presentation of wartime and post-war manuals, catalogues and other related Thompson paper items focusing on Marine, Army and Navy technical manuals, field manuals, base generated training manuals, Ordnance Supply Catalog Standard Nomenclature List (SNL), and Depot Level manuals. Foreign manuals discussed included the British and Indian Small Arms Training Manuals (SAT) and Czech manuals in the Serbian language. Also discussed were the different newer West Hurley and Kahr Arms catalogs and manuals.
Following the presentation, the TCA held a general membership meeting for their members and a meeting of their board of directors. Additionally, a mandatory safety meeting was held for all who were going to shoot on Saturday. Failure to receive a safety meeting attendance sticker on your badge disqualified you from participating in any of the shooting activities whether organized or open range time. Attendees circulated among the many displays and socialized until about nine p.m.
Saturday Thompson Shoot
Saturday was set aside for the Thompson shooting match at a beautiful outdoor Newark firearms range. Only Thompsons could be used for the two matches but anything could be used on the open line. The morning paper shoot began at eight a.m. and ran until noon with ten groups of five shooters shooting five events. The five events of the paper shoot were:
- 20 rounds, single shot, 50 yards, 30 seconds, single target.
- 20 rounds, full auto, 25 yards, 25 seconds, three targets.
- 20 rounds, full auto, 25 yards, 20 seconds, three targets.
- 20 rounds, full auto, 10 yards, 15 seconds, three targets.
- 20 rounds, full auto, 15 feet, 4 seconds, three targets.
Scores were calculated on the number of hits on the regulation man-target with notation of number of hits in the “INZ-zone” to ultimately determine tie breakers. The INZ-zone is the area of the target that encompasses the brain and spinal column.
The shoot was professionally conducted with a range officer assigned to each shooter on the firing line with strict adherence to range rules and commands. Safety was the number one priority and not a single violation occurred.
After a break for lunch, shooters had the option of participating in a pepper-popper shoot at a side range, or open time at the main range, or both if eliminated early from the pepper-popper challenge. The pepper-popper shoot was also well attended and consisted of two shooters competing against each other, each shooting at their own set of five steel reacting targets with a sixth and final steel reacting target. The two final sixth targets were set at an angle to each other so that as they fell, they would cross over each other so as to determine which target fell first and thus determine the winner in a tight race. Each shooter shot against another in a best of two-out-of-three heat. The loser was done and the winner went on to shoot against another winner until, finally, only one was left.
By three o’clock, everybody was pretty much done and tired and everyone went to their respective area hotel rooms to shower and clean up for the outdoor catered banquet back at the Thompson Collectors Conference Center later that evening.
The outdoor catered buffet banquet was attended by over eighty people and featured tenderloin medallions, baked chicken, baked potatoes with all the trimmings, vegetables, salad, and a wide assortment of delicious deserts. The winners of the day’s shooting events were announced and given awards for their achievement. The first place winner of the paper shoot was Jim Graham, scoring 97% out of the 100 rounds fired with 23 hits in the INZ-zone. The second place winner was Mike Wank, also scoring 97% with 9 hits in the INZ-zone. The winner of the pepper-popper event was Frank J. Cygler.
The All Thompson Show & Shoot is a well run, well operated organization of Thompson shooters, collectors and historians. All giving freely of information and exchanging of ideas and research. The attendees are a true cross section of Americana who have a common interest in Thompson submachine guns and a nicer group of people you could ever meet. Their meeting this year, in association with the new American Thompson Association, will mark the 15th annual All Thompson Show & Shoot and will again be held at the Thompson Collectors Conference Center in Newark, Ohio. This year’s event, scheduled for August 11-12, 2006, promises to be an exciting affair with many surprises as they celebrate their 15th anniversary of the show and shoot. Please contact The American Thompson Association if you require more information or are interested in attending the August event.
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