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Kao Kan firing his gun.

The Thompson submachine gun or tommy gun is a recoil operated submachine gun commonly used by police, soldiers, as well as mobsters and other criminals primarily throughout the 1920s and early '30s. It was standard-issue to US troops during World War II and the early years of the Cold War, up to 1957.



A Russian soldier in a US disguise stands guard with a Thompson M1A1 at Hangar 51.

In 1920, Indiana Jones and Eliot Ness were ambushed by several mobsters when they were discovered intruding a warehouse. One of the gunmen was using a Thompson.

The archaeologist encountered M1928 tommy guns in China in 1935 wielded by members of the Black Dragon Triad and used one of the weapons himself while he and Wu Han chased after a car carrying the kidnapped Mei Ying. Men in the service of Lao Che, including Lao's favorite son, Kao Kan were armed with tommy guns at Club Obi Wan later in the year.

In 1957, Soviet Special Forces soldiers disguised as U.S. Army servicemen used a military variant, the Thompson M1928A1, when looking for the New Mexico specimen at Hangar 51. Indiana Jones, who the Russians had captured to assist them, would later whip one away from one unlucky soldier for his companion, Mac as he armed himself. Mac would then turn his gun on his former friend, revealing himself to be a traitor. However, when Jones dropped his weapon to the ground it fired a shot into the group of soldiers and the archaeologist used the distraction to make his escape.

Behind the scenes[]

The M1928 thompson was introduced in 1928 was used primarily by gangsters and other criminals throughout the 1920s and 1930s.

The Thompson M1A1 was the primary submachine gun of US forces in World War II, and would remain in service until 1971.



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