In 1916, the Auto-Ordnance Corporation was created to fulfill John T. Thompson’s vision of modern arms. In 1919, Thompson released Is first model of the “submachine gun,” known as the Thompson Model 1919. Several versions followed but the model numbered M1921 became the most famous gun of the Prohibition Era: “The Tommy Gun”. It was used by those on both sides of the law and came with several nicknames: “Chopper”, “Chicago Typewriter”, and the “Chicago Piano”.
The US Navy, after conducting its own tests, asked that its rate of fire be reduced to 700 rounds per minute and the vertical foregrip be eliminated for its own use which became the Model1928. During WWII, Thompson manufactured 1.4 million submachine guns for the U.S. Military. Several Allied countries enlisted the use of the Thompson, including the United Kingdom and France. The M1A1 was also used throughout the Korean War, and the early stages of the Vietnam conflict.