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Violin cases and mobster's guns?

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The Shambles 03 Nov 04 - 02:52 AM
The Shambles 03 Nov 04 - 03:03 AM
beardedbruce 03 Nov 04 - 03:07 AM
Wilfried Schaum 03 Nov 04 - 03:21 AM
Dave Bryant 03 Nov 04 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,banjoman 03 Nov 04 - 06:58 AM
Dave Bryant 03 Nov 04 - 08:36 AM
JohnInKansas 03 Nov 04 - 11:20 AM
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Subject: Violin cases and mobster's guns?
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 02:52 AM

The idea that 1930's gangsters carried around machine guns in violin cases is firmly set in our minds - but is there any evidence for this?

On a practical note - would a 1930's machine-gun actually fit inside a violin case?


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Subject: RE: Violin cases and mobster's guns?
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 03:03 AM

Some photo 'evidence' on this site, seems to suggest that fitting the 'Chicago Typewriter' into violin cases may be a problem.......

http://members.fortunecity.com/moran9/id84.htm


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Subject: RE: Violin cases and mobster's guns?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 03:07 AM

Shambles

The site you give shows it in the case, about 3/4 down the page.


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Subject: RE: Violin cases and mobster's guns?
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 03:21 AM

Note the difference: machine guns are to big for a violin case; they also need 2 gunners. Gunner 1 is actually shooting, gunner 2 carries and feeds the ammo belts.
The "Chicago Typewriter" is a submachine gun, or machine pistol as we call it over here.


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Subject: RE: Violin cases and mobster's guns?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 06:54 AM

The last photo HERE shows a stripped down Thompson and circular magazine, all fitted inside a violin (or it might be viola) case. On the other hand if a gangster knew much about music/musicians, they might not want to be seen carrying a viola case.


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Subject: RE: Violin cases and mobster's guns?
From: GUEST,banjoman
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 06:58 AM

I heard somewhere that there were only ever three Tommy Guns in Chicago during the prohibition period & these were passed from hitman to hitman as required. If this is the case, the could all have fitted in a Cello or Double Bass case.


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Subject: RE: Violin cases and mobster's guns?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 08:36 AM

I could just imagine the conversation, "Hey Luigi could I have the Tommy Gun tonight - I need to shoot your Boss".


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Subject: RE: Violin cases and mobster's guns?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 11:20 AM

The "Thompson" was still fairly widely kept "in stock" by police departments across the US in the '60s, but I've never heard of one being actually used by police since the '30s or very early '40s. The advent of "selectable fire" weapons with much better accuracy as current military arms has probably made it more of a conversation piece than a useful tool.

It's probably a good thing that the M3A1 Grease Gun didn't come along until after the prohibition era, since you could hide one of them in a large coat pocket - if you wore a heavy coat.

Although it "looks deadly" and has many associated legends, the "Tommy" wasn't really a very good gun (common opinion). Also, it cost the US Army about $350 to buy one in the early 1940s, and they could only be made in a fully equipped "gun factory." The M3A1 went for $14 - $16 then, and were largely made by Singer - the sewing machine guys - (among others) in that era.

John


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