Fakes & replicas

I’ve considerably extended my web article on this, here: quarryhs.co.uk/fakes_and_replicas.htm

Lots of examples of ones I’ve had made for my collection.

Tony - Beautiful replica cartridges. I can’t imagine the time, effort and skill involved in producing these replicas! Yourself and Mr. Mick Wilkinson do beautiful work!


Your skill is apparent, and I agree that there are appropriate places for replicas in collections, and fakes are different animals altogether. These are very well made replicas that you should be proud of, and have obviously invested considerable time into.

There is a grey line, though, that exists between replicas and fakes. We are only the temporary caretakers of these items of our fascination. Others will own them in the future. Yours may be fairly obvious, but others may not.

I want to take the opportunity to say that its very possible that some of what we consider replicas today can be presented as originals in the future, or under circumstances less reputable than originally conceived today. Your cartridges will probably never be mistaken for the real thing, but then again, maybe they might.

I’m posting this to evoke thought on the subject as it relates to reproduction ammunition items. The subject of reproduction items in the firearms genre is one that I’ve trumpeted in recent years. My main focus has been with documenting and driving reproduction marking standards amongst the Thompson Submachine Gun collector community. We have seen a few issues crop up with fakes of various types affecting our collecting circle. As a result, I presented a lecture on the subject in 2010 at the annual meeting of The American Thompson Association, and we adopted a reproduction standard that I wrote. I’m under no illusion that it can prevent every well intended reproduction, or falsely intended fake, but it has made a difference in a few instances to date. I made the lecture available via free pdf download from my website, in the hope that as many as possible will see it, and consider the effects that reproduction items can have on firearm related collections. The WWII German collecting genre has been seriously damaged by fakes, and the U.S. Military firearm genre has a worsening affliction at the moment.

I post this for general awareness, and academic discussion as it relates to the ammunition collecting genre. It may be something that IAA wants to consider.

Here is a link to the lecture I presented:

sturmgewehr.com/dalbert/TATA … 202010.pdf

Here is the text of the Reproduction Item Standard adopted by The American Thompson Association:

The American Thompson Association (TATA) Reproduction Thompson Item Standard

The American Thompson Association is a group of collectors dedicated to preserving the history, collecting, and promoting the safe operation of legal Thompson Submachine Guns. The club has a responsibility to future collectors, and recognizes that many artifacts and accessories associated with the Thompson are reproduced, or have been reproduced in the past. As a result, TATA assumes a stewardship role for future collectors, who, upon encountering reproduction items now and in the future, may not be able to reasonably determine their originality. This can have the effect of reducing collector value of original specimens, as well as present unintended (or intended) ethical issues among the Thompson collector community.
The American Thompson Association adopts a standard consisting of marking any new Thompson Submachine Gun reproduction items with a name or other distinguishable identifying mark that indicate the manufacturing entity, and at least the year of manufacture. The marking should be easily visible, and made in a manner that the item can be readily identifiable as a reproduction, such as die stamping in metal, firmly stamped wood markings, readily accessible publisher marks inside the front page of a paper item, permanently painted markings on canvas material, or other reasonable and permanent marking method. (An example for stock markings is to mark such items under the buttplate, and on top of the grip, as these are already standard methods, and will not detract cosmetically from their presentation on a Thompson.)

TATA members must comply to the standard, and any reproduction item made by a member after notification of the adoption of the new standard in the club newsletter should be marked according to the TATA reproduction marking standard. (Failure to do so could effect membership status)

Method of Introduction for Acceptance:

Items may be presented to the TATA Board by members or non-members (via live sample, or high resolution (300dpi or better) photo or scan that details the product effectively) for inclusion on an online list that details them for public access. (This list currently resides in a pinned post at the top of the Thompson board at Machinegunboards.com) Items are presented to the TATA Board via e-mail to the TATA President or Vice President, who will convene the board online via e-mail or telephone within 60 days of receipt of a request for inclusion. A list consisting of 3 categories of Thompson reproduction items will be maintained:

A. New reproduction Thompson items that conform to TATA marking standard, to include known manufacturer information.
B. Existing reproduction items that conform to TATA marking standard, to include known manufacturer information.
C. Reproduction Thompson items that do not conform to TATA marking standard, to include known manufacturer information.

At a later time to be determined, once greater experience has been gained with managing a marking standard, TATA will present their standard to the NRA as a potential best practice. The standard may also be introduced to other NRA affiliated collector organizations who might want to adopt a similar standard. (End of standard)

David Albert

Discussions of Fakes/Replicas/Reproductions/Restorations are the politics and religion of collecting. Most of us prefer not to go there.



Thanks for your comments, gentlemen, but I take none of the credit for the quality of the work - I just commissioned them and provided the illustrations, measurements and paint finishes of the rounds I wanted making.

I am well aware of the problems around fakes, and refer to these in the article. Since the rounds which have been made for me are lathe-turned in one piece from solid aluminium and do not feature any primer pockets I don’t think that there is any risk of anyone thinking they are genuine.