Before ordering a receiver, please call me at 310-457-6400 for last minute updates. Also, at this time, I am not accepting any paid orders..  If you want a receiver, call me and give me the following information only: 1) first name, 2) your best phone number and, 3) the 3 character model number of the receiver you want.  This information will be added to a production make list.  When I want a paid order from you, I will call the number you gave me.  In the meantime, monitor my DOUG'S BLOGS PAGE for progress news.  When it comes time to submit a final paid order, print out the "RECEIVER ORDER FORM" at the end of this website page, fill it out and mail it to me with a check.  Do not hesitate to call me with any questions as it is better to resolve all issues before rather than after.

The receiver pictured below is a Richardson Ultimax™.  This particular receiver is an early Colt style with optional (extra cost) square end actuator slot, early Colt markings and a serial number. The markings are shown highlighted with white paint stick.



I made my first Thompson receiver in 1957. I was working as a machinist while earning a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana campus. After graduating with a BSME, I went to work as an aerospace engineer in California but I never stopped working on the Thompson guns. It was my original intention to put the Thompson back into production. I formed the Universal Precision Corporation to do just that but never got beyond making half size Thompsons. They were featured in several magazine articles and occasionally appear at gun shows. It was Ronald Reagan who put an end to my dream by outlawing the sale of new-made machine guns to most everyone. However, that and the availability of parts kits opened the door to a demand for semi-finished receivers anyone could buy.


I do not use the term "80%" because it has no legal meaning nor does it accurately reflect the percentage of completion. It is another company's trade name. Nor do I use the term "dummy" which is usually used to refer to some cheap chunk of metal or plastic that simply provides a platform on which to attach a few gun parts. My Thompson receivers are made from steel bars having the same alloy, hardness and tensile strength used in the original guns. Also, the steel is stress relieved to prevent twisting during machining. This steel has alloying elements that make it easy to machine and produce a smooth finish. The bars are machined on fully automatic, computer controlled, machining centers. Computer controlled machining enables edge radii to completely follow the front end contours and to properly radius the 1921-1928A1 drum slots and magazine well edges. Every detail is given the utmost attention including such things normally overlooked like the ejection port bevel, lock ramp bevels on original configuration receivers and the timing of the ejector threads to assure proper wind-up of the ejector into the receiver. Centerline coordinate machining is used with one set-up for all four sides, edge radii and interior in order to eliminate tolerance and error commutations caused by changing set-ups and reference lines. The quality of these receivers exceeds the originals made by Colt, Savage or the real Auto-Ordnance Corporation (Bridgeport) or anyone else.  All Richardson receivers, except for the earliest ones, are trade marked with the letter "R" at the front of the receiver on the bottom of the grip mount slot for identification. This is important because receivers made by others have often been claimed to be Richardson receivers by resellers trying to maximize the price.


All Thompson Submachine Gun receivers are of one of two types. I call them "Type 2" and "Type M". Type 2 receivers are characterized by having a rectangular mid-area cross section and slots in the magazine well to accept a drum magazine. Original Thompson Models 1921, 1922, 1923, 1927, 1928 and 1928A1 are all Type 2 receivers and are dimensionally identical. For manufacturing purposes, I refer to these receivers as "Model 2A". Type M receivers are characterized by having a hat-shaped mid-area cross section and no provisions for a drum magazine. Original Thompson Models M1 and M1A1 are Type M receivers and are dimensionally identical. For manufacturing purposes, I refer to these receivers as "Model MA". I believe that by so identifying receivers by the total of their dimensions rather than by what model gun they become solely by the way they are marked, greatly simplifies things.  When you realize that a single receiver can be part of as many as 15 different gun models, it becomes clear that identifying a receiver solely by the total of its dimensions makes sense.  My use of "A" to designate my original configuration receivers is in keeping with "A" being used by the Auto-Ordnance Corporation to designate their original Thompson configuration starting in 1927. AOC never did come out with a "B" configuration as I have done as shown below.


After finally mastering the art of making original configuration (A) receivers, I turned my attention toward improving the design.  After all, the design is a hundred years old. Even so, the Thompson design is still, arguably, the best submachine gun ever designed.  Every submachine gun made today is based on one or more Thomson patents.  My approach to improving the gun was to maintain the appearance and functioning of the original gun while taking advantage of those hundred years of experience as well as new ideas, materials and manufacturing advances.  The result is that I now manufacture several receivers for the Thompson which are variations of the original "A" receivers. They are also categorized as Types 2 or M. These improved and special design receivers all feature, what I consider to be, improvements over the original designs. Those improvements include the frame rails being extended all the way to the rear end of the receiver for added strength, rounded corners on the extractor slot and provisions to enable the receiver to accept the Richardson Screw-On Grip Mount. That mount can be removed BEFORE the barrel is removed or installed which makes barreling much easier. I refer to my improved design receivers as "B" receivers. I also offer several receivers having special features in addition to the improvements.  I refer to those as "Special" receivers.


In the past I have offered receivers in three levels of completion: "Gun", "Display" and "Ultimax™". Gun receivers are fully functional Thompson Submachine Gun receivers. I used to make those for a movie prop shop under their license. The most notable one I made was the 1921 Dillinger gun for that movie. Because of changes in Government regulations, I can no longer make them without getting my own license. There is simply not enough demand for functional Thompson receivers to justify the expense and hassle involved. For years my "Display" receivers were very popular as semi-finished receivers because they were the best available. But, people kept asking for more and more of the detail work to be done, especially in the bolt channel area, so I came up with the Ultimax™ concept. I thought maybe 5% of my customers would be willing to pay the extra cost of the Ultimax™ receiver. I could not have been more wrong. After I introduced the Ultimax™, that was what everyone wanted. The extremely favorable response to the introduction of the Richardson Ultimax™ receiver has resulted in my decision to manufacture only Ultimax™ receivers starting with the 2017 production.


The Ultimax™ is a semi-finished receiver with every Thompson gun receiver machining operation completed or substantially completed. The front and back ends of the bolt channel are finished, including the expanded rear section of the 1921-1928A1 receivers that accommodates the oiler. The breech entry chamfer is finished. Lock ramps and bevels are finished as applicable. The ejection port bevel is finished. Sight fastener holes are threaded for special sight screws. Screws can be used while the receiver is configured as a display and later the threads can easily be drilled out and countersunk to accept original Thompson rivets. As an alternative, the screw fastening can be retained but care must be taken to grind off any screw intrusion into the bolt channel. The Ultimax™ is a complete and finished Thompson receiver except that there is a solid section in the middle of the bolt channel. Prior to Ultimax™, any machining operation in the bolt channel which could not be completed was not done at all. Those operations would be left for the person finishing the receiver. That required the finisher to make complicated calculations and set-ups in accordance with the manufacturing drawings. Ultimax™ changed all that by having every machining operation done at least partially. To do that, Ultimax™ introduced the concept of "interrupted cutter path machining". This means that a cut that normally starts at one end of the bolt channel and terminates at the other end will be started and stopped as it normally would be in a working Thompson receiver. It is only in the solid middle section that the cut has been "interrupted". This makes it very simple to determine what is missing and what needs to be done without the use of drawings or calculations. The width of the bolt channel is made slightly undersized to allow for a final finish cut to create smooth full length bolt channel side walls. No Ultimax™ receiver can accept a bolt because of the solid section left in the middle of the bolt channel and the narrower channel width.

Features common to all Ultimax™ receivers include the front pocketed portion of the bolt channel extended to the rear far enough to clear the bolt handle hole and slot. That allows the use of a new design Display Bolt Handle Kit which clamps anywhere along the bolt handle slot. The Display Bolt Handle can be positioned at the front or rear end of the slot in order to emulate "closed-bolt" or "cocked-bolt" handle positions. Provisions are also included to enable a new simplified design Display Pilot Kit to be fitted. All Ultimax™ receivers provide clearance so that the frame components can function normally. 

Those who have the license to finish a semi-finished receiver into a working gun will find the Ultimax™ to be the best receiver available for that purpose. All of the time consuming and difficult machining set-ups and operations have been eliminated or completed. Finishing the Ultimax™ receiver requires removing the solid middle section and finishing the side walls of the bolt channel. 1921 style receivers (Type 2) also require completing the side tracks or lightening slots. But what needs to be done is obvious since every interrupted cut starts and stops as it would normally. It is not necessary to analyze drawings to set cutter positions - just continue the interrupted cuts using the beginning and ending areas as guides. Those building a display gun with an Ultimax™ receiver have the added enjoyment of understanding how their "gun" was designed to work - it’s all there!

Only one cutter is required to finish a Type M Ultimax™ receiver. It is a 1/2"diameter, 4 flute, 1-3/8" cutting length, .031" corner radius, ALTiN coated, carbide end mill. Type 2 Ultimax™ receivers require the same cutter plus a special 1" diameter x 1/4" wide x .031" bottom corner radius, M42, ALTiN coated, long neck, T-slot cutter to cut the side slots. These are the recommended cutters and are special cutters custom made for Richardson. Therefore, they are offered on the TOOLS page of this website. Other types of cutters may be made to work if the recommended cutters are not available.


Model 2A (2AE or 2AS or 2AA): This is the original receiver as made by Colt, Savage and Auto-Ordnance from 1921 through 1944. All Colt and 1928 Savage receivers will be Model 2A because of the classic status of those guns. Early Colt-style with square end actuator slot, blued steel. (E), $935. Late style with round actuator slot end in blued steel (S), $885. Late style with round actuator slot end in natural aluminum (A) is only available on receivers marked as "1928 Savage", $905.

Model 2B (2BS or 2BA): This is the improved version of the Model 2A. The Model 2B receiver is my redesign of the 1921-1928A1 receivers. The pilot hole is sized like an M1 but remains in the 1921-1928A1 position. The actuator slot is positioned slightly rearward to eliminate the excessive handle slot opening. This receiver is designed to be finished to accept a 1921 or 1928 bolt/actuator/lock assembly but eliminates the oiler which, arguably, never really worked and severely weakened the receiver. A modified M1 pilot and modified M1 buffer or Richardson #2B Pilot and #2B Urethane Buffer are required. In my opinion, this creates the ultimate Type 2 gun because it has all the benefits of the 1921 lock/actuator mechanism with the ease of assembly of the M1 gun. This receiver is very strong. Blued steel (S), $845. Natural aluminum (A), $865.

Model 2M (2MS or 2MA): This receiver is identical to the Model 2B except that it is special in that it does not have lock ramps and the pilot hole is in the M1 position. It is designed to be fitted with the Richardson M2 Bolt Assembly or an M1 or M1A1 bolt fitted with a top mounted handle. It is meant for those who wish to make a Type 2 gun with a minimum of time and cost and the "slam fire" simplicity of the M1A1 bolt assembly. It was originally designed as a movie gun but its configuration has made it popular with re-enactors and shooters. Blued steel (S), $730. Natural aluminum (A), $750.


Model MA (MAS): This is the original receiver as made by Savage and Auto-Ordnance during WW2 for the U.S. Army. Blued steel (S), $685.

Model MB (MBS or MBA): This is the improved version of the Model MA. Blued steel (S), $665. Natural aluminum (A), $685.

Model M2 (M2S or M2A): The M2 is a special receiver. It is my redesign of the M1 and M1A1 receivers. The bolt handle slot is located on the top like the 1921 gun. The pilot hole is sized like an M1 and located in the M1 position. It uses a Richardson M2 Bolt Assembly or an M1 or M1A1 bolt fitted with a top mounted handle. The upper sides of the receiver are continued forward to the front end to produce a sleeker looking receiver. The nose of the receiver is relieved on the sides below the barrel area, similar to the nose profile on the 1911 Colt auto-pistol, to better match both horizontal forearms and vertical foregrips. It is available with the top side edges non-rounded in the rear sight area in order to accept a Lyman or Richardson adjustable rear sight ("Lyman flat"). I designed this receiver before the 1986 law which prohibited most people from acquiring new-made machine guns. It was designed to be made in large quantities from an extrusion in order to make it affordable to everyone. It is interchangeable with any Type M machine gun receiver. Blued steel (S), $665. Natural aluminum (A), $685. Add $50 for Lyman flat if desired.

Model M3 (M3S or M3A): This is a special receiver. It is identical to the Model MB except that the bolt handle is on the left side. Blued steel (S), $665. Natural aluminum (A), $685. 


                                                                                                                                                                                                              DISPLAY 2A, 2B, 2M & M2 BOLT HANDLE KIT $45                                                                          This is a new style display handle. It clamps any where along the receiver handle slot to emulate "closed bolt" or "cocked bolt" handle positions. Checkered knob. Blued steel.

DISPLAY MA, MB & M3 BOLT HANDLE KIT $30                                                                               This is a new style display handle. It clamps any where along the receiver handle slot to emulate "closed bolt" or "cocked bolt" handle positions. Blued steel.

DISPLAY 1921 PILOT KIT $15                                                                                                            This is a new style display pilot. Blued steel.

DISPLAY 1928 PILOT KIT $15                                                                                                             This is a new style display pilot. Blued steel.

DISPLAY 2B, 2M, MA, MB, M2 & M3 PILOT KIT $15                                                                        This is a new style display pilot. Blued steel.

SIGHT ATTACHING SCREWS $6                                                                                                        This is a set of 4 screws. These screws are a special size that fit only Ultimax™ receivers.

SIGHT ATTACHING BOLTS & NUTS $8                                                                                             This is a set of 4 bolts and nuts. These are a special size that fit in place of the rivets on a receiver drilled and countersunk for Thompson rivets. They enable a rear sight to be temporarily fastened to a receiver. The gun can not be fired with these fasteners in place.

SIGHT RIVETS $6                                                                                                                                 This is a set of 4. These are genuine Thompson rear sight rivets. They are not a standard size rivet. "Similar" and "close" are not acceptable for a Thompson.

WHITE PAINT STICK $4                                                                                                 Use to highlight the markings on steel receivers.

BLACK PAINT STICK $4                                                                                                Use to highlight the markings on aluminum receivers.

TANKER (S) $50                                                                                                             Any improved or special, steel, Type M receiver can be ordered as a "Tanker" model. "Tanker" adds provisions to the receiver to enable it to accept an UZI standard SMG folding stock. A special Richardson steel frame is required which is not yet available. A modified M1 frame can be used.

PARATROOPER (A) $50   Any improved or special, aluminum, Type M receiver can be ordered as a "Paratrooper" model. "Paratrooper" adds provisions to the receiver to enable it to accept an UZI standard SMG folding stock. A special Richardson aluminum frame is required which is not yet available.

V-BARREL THREADS $50     This option changes the barrel threads from the ridiculous .850'-10 square to .850"-20 V-threads. There is no engineering justification for using square threads on a Thompson barrel and many justifications for using V-threads. The problem is that standard barrels can not be used. When I make special barrels for my semi-auto gun, they will have V-threads.

3-FLAT BACK END ON TYPE 2 RECEIVERS $50  The back end design of a Type 2 receiver is extraordinarily weak. The 3-flat design of the M1 receiver makes a lot more sense. The only reason I did not include it in the improvements incorporated in the 2B and 2M receiver design was that it changed the appearance of the receiver. There would also be a mismatch between the Type 2 frame and the 3-flat back end on the receiver, although it would be mostly hidden.

RICHARDSON SCREW-ON GRIP MOUNT $65    The photo shows my Screw-On Grip Mount both mounted on a receiver (top photo) and unmounted (bottom photo). Note that the barrel is shown installed in both cases. That is the advantage of my design. The barrel does not have to be removed in order to remove the Grip Mount. In fact, the first thing to do when removing or installing a barrel is to remove the Screw-On Grip Mount from the receiver. This tremendously simplifies barreling and eliminates the force applied to the middle of the barrel by the standard TSMG grip mount during shooting. To use this Grip Mount, the receiver has to be specially made to accept it. All my improved and special receivers (2B, 2M, MB, M2 & M3) accept the Screw-On Grip Mount and will not accept a standard TSMG grip mount. A standard TSMG receiver can not be made to accept the Screw-On Grip


Receivers were originally roll marked. The characters were cut into the circumference of a wheel-like steel die. The die was then forced against the receiver and then rolled across it, pressing the characters into the receiver surface. Unlike a stamping die which is struck against a small area and produces a perfect one to one marking, the roll die pushes the material ahead of itself creating an impression that is slightly different than the die characters. Variances in the receiver material also contribute to a slight inconsistency. Even so, rolling markings is the standard method when large volumes are involved and the markings area is too large for stamping. Roll dies are expensive so unless the quantity of markings is substantial, it is not a cost effective method. Roll marking and especially stamping produces the best production markings. Other methods such as CNC engraving and laser marking do not produce high quality markings in steel. Since the Thompson markings are too large for stamping and roll dies are too expensive for the quantities involved, the only way to create really good markings is by pantograph hand engraving. Hand engraving enables the engraver to spend extra time on problem areas in order to produce a consistent depth of cut and appearance.


In my case, I commissioned artists to create digital markings files from enlarged photographs of the original markings as they appeared on the guns. Artists were employed because the original fonts used were no longer available.  That  meant that the characters had to be treated as artwork. To be acceptable, the digitized markings had to conform exactly to the original when overlaid on top of the original. The files were then loaded into a CNC engraving machine which created enlarged plastic patterns. The patterns are mounted on a pantograph engraving machine to guide the engraving cutter which is moved by the engraver. Although expensive and time consuming, this is the best and most cost effective method of applying the highest quality markings to my Thompson receivers. Other manufacturers of receivers do not feel that what I do is worth the cost and time. I do not want less than the best I can do. It is up to the receiver buyer to decide if I am right or not.   


"Production" serial number may be requested on non-Colt receivers which reflect the date of manufacture. In the example above, the number translates as 17 = year 2017, 05 = month of May and 14 = the fourteenth receiver made during the month.



1st Pattern 1921` Colt       $310                                                            1928 Savage (British)  $254

2nd Pattern 1921 Colt      $310                                                            WW2 U.S. 1928A1          $266

3rd Pattern 1921 Colt      $310                                                             M1                                          $150

4th Pattern 1921 Colt      $341                                                              M1A1                                     $150

1928 Colt                             $341                                                              Standard                              $75

Colt "NAVY"                      $346                                                               Serial number                    $45

1928A1 Colt                       $346







I originally filled the markings with an engravers paint stick in order to highlight the markings for inspection. If the markings were good, I removed the paint and shipped the receiver. When people saw the highlighted markings, they insisted that I not remove the paint because they liked the way the receiver looked. So now I leave the markings highlighted. If desired, the paint can be removed with a toothbrush and lacquer thinner. The white does brown out after a while because of the gun oil and, therefore, must be renewed periodically. Paint sticks are offered below.

Receiver prices do not include markings. Receivers may be ordered with no markings, standard markings or original style markings. Standard markings are available on all models of receivers and are the only marking available on Model 2M and M2 receivers. They appear in the following format example although the actual font is that found on guns made by Auto-Ordnance during WW2 and the model and serial number will be appropriate to the particular receiver:

              THOMPSON SUBMACHINE GUN                          





Original markings are the same as those rolled onto the receivers during manufacture. Colt markings are available only on Model 2A receivers. WW2 markings are available on "A" or "B" models. In the case of 1928A1, M1 and M1A1 markings on "B" receivers, the model will be shown as 1928B1 or MB to avoid confusion.

Serial numbers may be ordered with standard and original markings. They must be all digits in the original format.









1928 Savage Aluminum Receivers

In 1941 the Savage Arms Company manufactured a number of 1928 receivers in aluminum for the British.  Nothing came of it because the U.S. entered the war and took over all Thompson production.  These receivers are an authentic reproduction.  

M2 Receiver With M1 Style Rear End And Bolt Handle Slots On Top And Right Side

M3 Receiver Which Has The Bolt Handle Slot On The Left Side. 

M2 Receiver With M1 Rear End And Fitted With Richardson Display Bolt Handle Kit, Display Pilot Kit And Richardson Combo Rear Sight.

2S (Semi-Auto) Third Generation Receiver

1928 Savage Aluminum Receiver.  A Number Of  Guns With Aluminum Receivers And Frames And Plastic "Wood" Parts Were Made By Savage In 1941 For British Testing.

RIGHT SIDE 1928 Savage Aluminum Receiver.  A Number Of  Guns With Aluminum Receivers And Frames And Plastic "Wood" Parts Were Made By Savage In 1941 For British Testing






BELOW: 1928 Savage  Receiver

This receiver has the optional cost markings, serial number, Display Knurled 1928 Bolt Handle and Display 1928 Pilot.  The 1928 Savage is interesting because it is the only 1928 not made by modifying a 1921 and was used by the British Commonwealth countries and France.  It was always fitted with a vertical foregrip.  This is not a U.S. Army model.


TSMG parts kits generally consist of all parts of the gun except the receiver. Kits now being supplied often have no barrel or are provided with an inferior aftermarket barrel. However, unlike the other assemblies in the kits, the barrel assembly can not be readily disassembled. Even in the best condition, this assembly requires tools and skill to take it apart. Add 65 years, rust, powder residue and maybe a phosphate (Parkerizing) refinish without the barrel assembly having been taken apart, the task becomes more difficult. And because the grip mount can not be removed before the barrel has been unscrewed, gripping the barrel is difficult, The front sight or compensator must be removed from the barrel and re-installed because it will usually not end up in the vertical position once the barrel has been fitted to a new receiver. For those wishing to avoid all this work, I offer complete barreled receiver assemblies. I have discontinued using 3-piece grip mounts and am now only fitting 1-piece grip mounts or my Screw-On Grip Mounts, as applicable.  A receiver, grip mount and barrel must be ordered to create a complete barreled assembly. In the case of compensator or standard front sight, I do not pin either because I do not think it is necessary, the cost is increased significantly and pinning makes it much more difficult to replace the barrel in the future. Since I do no custom gun work, I will not fit your kit parts onto a receiver.

Prices for barreled receivers are simply the total of all the parts plus $50 labor.


Colt Receivers Fitted With 1921A Barrels And Richardson Early Style Compensators

1928 Savage Barreled Aluminum Receiver

This receiver is fitted with an early Savage type flat 1-piece ejector, Display Bolt Handle Kit and Display Pilot Kit.  Note that this is an Ultimax receiver which allows the bolt handle to be located any where along the bolt handle slot to simulate an open or closed bolt.

1921 Colt Barreled Receiver

The barreled receiver shown consists of a Richardson 1921 "Colt" receiver with 1st Pattern Colt markings, Richardson 1921 Barrel and Richardson 1921 Front Sight.  Only the grip mount is original. 

 Two WWII 1928A1 Ultimax Barreled Receivers 

MS (Semi-Auto) 3rd Generation Receiver Fitted With M1 TSMG Barrel And Front Sight And Richardson Screw-On Grip Mount


Early Colt Barreled Receiver Featuring Richardson 2AE 1921 Ultimax Receiver, 1st 1921 Pattern Markings, Colt-Style Ejector; Richardson Barrel, Sight, 1921 Display Bolt Handle & Pilot.



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