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Spitfire Submachine Gun

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Admin    40

Spitfire Submachine Gun

Caliber: 45 ACP caliber
Magazines: U.S. M3 grease gun magazines

Often described as the 'poor man's Thompson'.

spitfire.jpg

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Admin    40

No, it was an inexpensive early-1960's attempt at a Thompson lookalike. The Spitfire's were orignially manufactured as a semiauto, fired from an open bolt, and many were converted to full auto legally.

The Spitfires were common in Central America and used by the Mexican police in the mid-1960's. The Spitfire's were nicknamed the "Apache".

A distant cousin of the Spitfire is the "Volunteer" .45 semiauto carbine.

Note: You may see semi-auto Spitfires at gun shows for sale. The BATF had considered these the be machine guns a long time ago. If you buy one, it would be a felony to have as they are unregistered by the BATF.

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Do you know what's different about the Volunteer?  I've seen a few for sale at gunsamerica and gunbroker.

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Yes! It may be a poor mans Thompson, But it is still fun to shoot and that's what it was really designed to do. Use surplus ammo and plink away they originally sold for $119. and Came with a life time warranty, a first back then! LOL.

I shoot mine in local subgun competitions in Florida and have been going to Knob Creek for the past 4 fall shoots, in October 2004. I placed 13th in OpenBolt with optics. I have been improving every year. I have made a few modifications to the Spitfire to help it function better in competition. the addition of a feed ramp a full auto only trigger, and an extended and ambidexterous mag release, Most importantly is that I dropped in a complete Greasgun Bolt. The weak link in these firearms is the Extractor it is spring steel and it does not take the fullauto pounding. But the M3or M3A1 Bolt drops right in and with the battle tested design all extraction problems are solved. The only down side to this is that there is a 3/4 inch gap at the back of the bolt and receiver tube, so watch your fingers!

Semi Auto Eagle's, Spitfire's and Volunteer's are legal to own. IF, the bolts that mount the barrel, receiver and frame are welded over to cover the screwdriver slot or the hex head. So the can't be tampered with. Should the firearm require repairs you may disassemble the firearm, But it must be resealed afterwards. So say the letter response from ATF I wrote them years ago.

Well actually the pecking order is that: The Eagle Carbine was first produced in the early to mid 60's. How many they produced or what caused them to to go out of business I don't know as of yet!

The Spitfire came next and it was a 95% copy of the Eagle.

Subtle changes were the extractor a flat style as opposed to the eagles which has a crescent shape clip to attach it to the bolt.

The ejector, on the Eagle it is an extension of the disconnecter on the Spitfire there is a separate tang welded to the bottom of the receiver tube which protrudes up into the channel under the bolt.

The front site is different using cast aluminum and the end of the barrel is turned down to a smaller diameter, where the Eagle has a machined front site (probably from another surplus firearm) and the barrel is untouched.

Last the vertical hand grip both are aluminum but the Spitfire's has a more smoother finish and is slightly smaller, more Thompson looking.

The Apache was another firearm altogether it was simular in appearance but redesigned to be more Thompson like. That being instead of the round receiver it used a square receiver simular in design to the Thompson and used the Thompson magazines. And now fired closed bolt.

The early Volunteer Carbine was a 95% copy of the Spitfire. The safety which was now a cross bolt design that did not allow the sear to get jammed when firing. Also offered was your choice of stock styles, Vertical or Horizontal and in WOOD! This is significant in the fact that after firing a few mags the aluminum foregrip or heat sink as I call it gets too hot to hold. Thompson wood to be exact, to go along with the 1927 rear stock, which they all used.

Later the redesigned the firearm into the Volunteer Carbine III which took it design from the Apache.

From there it morphed into the Commando mark 45 and mark 9, Also in its last manufacture at Manchester Arms.

I have seen the Spitfire in 2 movies one a foreign film, Commando Federallies, set in Mexico a hostage/ ransom type movie. I think only because I don't speak spanish, I just happen to be channel surfing and saw the Spitfire in action!

The other has George Kennedy Staring in it And I have No idea what it id called I caught the last 10 minutes of the movie a gun battle in the Arizona/Nevada desert current to the late 60's, early to mid 70's?

Spitfire Carbine full auto

Spitfire Carbine semi auto

Volunteer Carbine semi auto

Eagle Carbine semi auto

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grayfox    7

Thanks for the info and welcome to the forum!

I,ll be doing some shooting on the line this year at Knob Creek (thanks to Len from Historic arms). Hope to see you there.. ok>

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Thanks for the Welcome!

Always nice to find a Forum as extensive and diverse and this. Keep up the good work everyone!

I will be going in October for sure our group Tactical Firearms Academy shoots the AR match, Subgun match and the Jungle Walk. There are 8 of us wearing matching dark blue shirts with neon yellow lettering. You cant miss us!

Are you giong to be on the main line shooting........................................

How cool is that! Have fun! :c)l:

Spitfire Carbine full auto

Spitfire Carbine semi auto

Volunteer Carbine semi auto

Eagle Carbine semi auto

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10X Shooter    0

I am new to this forum and am interested in the old topic of the Spitfire Carbine. I have inherited one of these firearms, it is registered with BATFE and transfered to me. Upon cycling the bolt, the whole system "locked up". I took down the mechanism and am not sure whether it has been tampered with or just is such a poor design that it is not functioning. I have some experience in the gunsmithing area but this firearm is rather strange. Does anyone out there have a diagram of the mechanism and the parts that are required for its proper function? I would be interested in any and all information since the firearm is registered as a fully automatic, I trust it could be rebuilt to do so. I am more interested in having it "as manufactured", however, since my real desire is to sell it, if possible. I am not sure of the rules that govern that, either, since I am thinking it cannot be passed on to my heirs but will be seized by the Fed on my death. I have more to learn about that aspect of the firearm but the ability to shoot it, return it to shooting status, is where I am at right now. I have noted that one requires no less than two hands to reassemble it but with some order of assembly and resolve, it can be done successfully. Any help, or information, on the parts layout and function, perhaps a "blow-up" of the system is out there. Thanks in advance to any and all that reply.

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Admin    40

Here is a recent carbine the came up for sale at $4500

Originally manufactured in Phoenix, Arizona in the 1960s as a semi automatic carbine. This Spitfire was registered in the 1968 amnesty and modified to to full automatic. It is a stout, robust submachine gun with heavy duty parts. It uses the very well built U.S. M3 grease gun magazines which are readily available.

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Spitfire Manufacturing Co., Phoenix, Ariz

They are not know for the superb workmanship or their collectible status I am afraid.

Another view

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Here is the IRS ruling which made the Spitfire into a submachine gun.

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Spitfire_SD    0

Hello 10X Shooter,

Glad to see another Spitfire out there and I would love to help you make it function.

I might have a little knowledge in that area. I am also Mrspitfiresubgun in the previous post but could not remember my password to get back into the system, So I reregistered. I just came back from the Knob Creek Subgun match in October and placed 8th in the Open Bolt with Optics category. I have had my Spitfire since 1987 and have run the gamut of problems and come up with solutions. On my blog space I have chronicled these items along with pics and literature including PDF file you can download containing my original warranty, sales brochure and breakdown and cleaning " manual ". You have to register and I must approve you. It costs nothing and I do not ask for any personal info. Just my way of keeping spanners out.

Visit My Website filled with Spitfire info and pics

Spitfire 70 rnd mag dump Suppressed

Michael

Spitfire_SD

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Vegas SMG    0

Michael; I missed meeting you when I was at Malabar for the 2005~2006 New Year's Classic match. I'm sitting here looking at the trophy for my 2nd place finish, (that only means I was the first guy to lose!), and I can't say enough great things about all the great guys and gals down there. In fact, it was that trip that cost me big money after I heard and saw the KGB L34A1s and had Andy build one for me.

I still keep up with your match results and I spoke to Todd just last week. I KNOW you're the go-to-guy on the Spitfire, and I'm, delighted to run into you over here and see you're spreading your knowledge!

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Spitfire_SD    0

Hello Vegas SMG,

I remember you coming out here! We were in different squads, Sorry I didn't get to say hi then. Coming in at " first loser " when ANDY is shooting sucks. But a very good standard to srtive to beat and it does happen once in a while. Andy has the mojo with the L34A1. And KGB builds some exceptional firearms.

Yeah, what can I say I love my Spitfire and would like to see more of them out there at matches competing for trophies and money! Besides you cant touch the knockdown power of the .45ACP

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Vegas SMG    0
Besides you cant touch the knockdown power of the .45ACP
For years, I've watched grease guns, Thompsons, Reisings, etc. knock down metal poppers with great authority, while steel plates hit with 9mm simply do a very slow death fall. Steel poppers go down hard with one shot using .45acp. Unless you've seen this caliber in action at a subgun match, few realize the real advantage a .45acp has over 9mm in knock down power.

You're 110% correct about Andy, but his force is very strong with most any subgun... it's not limited to using the L34A1.

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k_d135    0

Mines pretty, still don't know if this was some limited edition or made all fancy by the original owner. Never jammed never misfired, most fun I've had shooting a gun.

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k_d135    0
Welcome!

That's BIG PIMPIN'! Transferable subgun or semi auto?

Actually it is semi auto but open bolt. It fits in a loophole as this is the Mark II not named or manufactured by the makers of the Spitfire. Where the ATF actually requires the Spitfire to be registered as class three this gun is not listed (yet almost identical). Supposedly this gun still needs the bolts which gain access to the internals to be welded over, but I'm not to worried about that.

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Click    0
Actually it is semi auto but open bolt. It fits in a loophole as this is the Mark II not named or manufactured by the makers of the Spitfire. Where the ATF actually requires the Spitfire to be registered as class three this gun is not listed (yet almost identical). Supposedly this gun still needs the bolts which gain access to the internals to be welded over, but I'm not to worried about that.

I have a little experience with this model gun, but would like to find out more about it.

Does anybody know if there's any published breakdown manuals available for it?

Do 9mm accessories (barrels, etc) exist?

Are the buttstocks really interchangeable with Thompsons?

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k_d135    0
I have a little experience with this model gun, but would like to find out more about it.

Does anybody know if there's any published breakdown manuals available for it?

Do 9mm accessories (barrels, etc) exist?

Are the buttstocks really interchangeable with Thompsons?

Actually I've seen the manual on a yahoo group concerning this gun I could possibly scrounge up. Not sure about the 9mm although on the side of my guns receiver it does say 45acp/9mm for its caliber. As far as I know the stocks are from a 1927 surplus of Thompson stocks. For the most part information/accessories for this gun are very hard to come by.

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ettoys    0

A friend of mine has what I have identified as a Spitfire Eagle Carbine from the pics posted on this forum. He is having trouble with it feeding from the clip. The round wants to lodge sideways in the chamber, it has a stamped feedramp which isn't much of a ramp. I am mainly a bolt action guy so any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance

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