The Thompson Submachine Gun

Part 5 of the "Phil Noir Series" featuring this classic firearm. As a continuation of November Film Noir Month, Phil Schreier, Senior Curator of the National Firearms Museum, joins John Popp to talk about "the gun that made the '20s roar" and the cartridge that started it all. The Thompson submachine gun, also known as the "Tommy Gun" or the "Chicago Typewriter," was developed by Colonel John T. Thompson who helped design the .45 round in the early 20th Century. The round was an improvement on the .38 and was designed for the 1911. Thompson began producing the submachine guns, so-called because they fired pistol ammunition, in 1919, and the Tommy Gun was the first successful American design of these types of firearms. One of the most classic "neo film noir" scenes featuring this gun is in the Coen Brothers' Millers Crossing starring Albert Finney. Originally aired on 12/10/2009.

Season 11