Thompson Submachine Gun / Marine Corps Colonel Cutts (compensator) Signed Letter
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Thompson Submachine Gun / Marine Corps Colonel Cutts (compensator) Signed Letter:
- U. S. MARINE CORPS Colonel R. M. Cutts SIGNED LETTER -- Extensive Commentary on “Tommy Gun” EJECTOR Performance -- COLONEL Cutts INVENTED the “CUTTS COMPENSATOR” -
SUPERB CONTENT typed-letter SIGNED by U. S. Marine Corps COLONEL Richard M. Cutts, with EXCELLENT Thompson submachine gun commentary - referencing 50 round drums, extensive commentary on ejector performance and the slowed-down Thompson, the NEW M1 Garand, demonstrating the sub for the U. S. Aircraft Armament Division, and a mention of the Cavalry Machine Rifle. Colonel Cutts was the inventor of the “Cutts Compensator”, a muzzle brake used on the Thompson Submachine Gun to reduce muzzle climb.
Letter is two separate pages in length and dated December 27th 1927, on “Office of Naval Operations / Memorandum” letterhead. It is addressed to Colonel Thompson of the AUTO ORDNANCE CORPORATION - the manufacturer of the Thompson “Sub”. The “Auto-Ord Corp” was founded in 1916 by Brigadier General John Taliaferro Thompson in order to develop and produce the Thompson Submachine Gun.
The letter reads in FULL - “I am enclosing herewith a list of the property of the Autoordco, which I have packed for shipment, and will get off as soon as I can get an expressman to call, the list is self explanatory. On going over this list I think that I have included one more 50 drum than you furnished me. I am quite sure that I had a 50 drum which I got from Bleasedale, and which is on charge to him. If this is the case from your records will you send me one of the new drums in exchange, Bleasedales original drum would be of no use to me anyhow as it was. I received the new guns but have not as yet been able to try them out, and may not be able this week. I have have one point which I wish you would present to the General. I notice that you have gone back to the original square shoulder ejector. It is quite possible that you have fired with the new slow down, with perfect ejection results using the old ejector, this means nothing however unless, with the new slow down the angle ejector gave failures. The fact remains that with certain wedge conditions and cartridges, the old square shoulder ejector give a very HEAVY percentage of failures, and the worst sort of stoppages, ones which require a ram rod to clear. These circumstances may be considered to recour in service, wedge wear, dirt, low power cartridges, will when they create the same low recoil powers as now exists with the old slowdown, cause ejection failures. Take the slow down guns I am returning, put in the square shoulder ejector and fire them with low power ammunition and see what you get in ejection failures. These failures were eliminated with the angle ejector. The angle ejector takes care of a situation which CAN happen in service due to the causes mentioned, even with the new slow down. I of course do not know how your firings came out, but from a logical view point, I believe the angle ejector is indicated, UNLESS with the new slow down, and heavier operating balance, they cause, failures. WHEN the gun is in it's best operating condition. A dynamic study of the forces involved and their application indicates that the angle ejector is the best, though possibly not the angle on the ones we submitted when applied to the new slow down. If the square shoulder ejector operates perfectly with the new slow down it is ONLY because the operating balance is, greater, and when wedge wear, dirt, gum and low powered ammunition reduces the operating balance to that near the old slow down, your factor of safety is gone, and failures to eject, and for ending of shells will happen, which as I have said before is the worst jam you can have, and many thousand percent worse than an operating failure. I have been wondering since I read the article in the A & N Register on the semi automatics, if there has not been a deliberate smoke screen surrounding the new Garand. My information that it was a .30 came from someone who is in direct contact with Maj Hatcher, and working with him on some other stuff. The A.N. Reg. article says that it is a .276, I have heard rumors of the smaller caliber. It is quite possible that both are being worked on, and if one does not work out the other will be produced. I fired last week with the .50 mounted on a fuselage for the Navy Air Force and the results were fine. I also took the opportunity to demonstrate the sub, for their Aircraft Armament Div. They were much impressed with the firings of both. I will have one more firing this year on the Cavalry machine rifle, and will work the sub in again on this as a supporting arm. The active season is about over here now and the line of indicated procedure is to consolidate as far as possible the positions which have been secured. By the way what ever happened to the Coast Guard Stuff, if you want to you may use that report on them, it's all in the family as it were. With best wishes for the New Year, Cordially, R. M. Cutts” (SIGNED) “By the way that enlargement can be done in much better detail, it is not so good as it is”.
In the lower right corner of page ONE is a hand-written notation, in pencil, which reads – “Copy sent Gen. T. (General John Thompson) + Mr Goll”. George E. Goll was the longest serving employee of Auto-Ordnance, beginning as General Thompson’s chauffeur, and he ended up becoming the President of the Auto-Ordnance Division of Maguire Industries during WWII.
Colonel Cutts was actively working behind the scenes with Auto Ord to help promote future sales and create additional demand for the tommy gun as he would receive a royalty on EACH of the Cutts Compensators that were equipped on the Thompson Submachine Gun. These ongoing activities included getting an audience before the various U.S. service branches to showcase the effectiveness of the Thompson in live firings, bouncing sales ideas off Auto Ord, and passing on potential sales leads.
The signature / autograph of COLONEL Cutts is VERY SCARCE, as he died at the relatively young age of 56.
RICHARD MALCOLM CUTTS (1878 - 1934) was a soldier-inventor and the son of Lieutenant Commander Richard M. Cutts, USN. Cutts himself was an Ensign in the U.S. Navy during the Spanish American War, and became a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in July of 1899. Cutts was promoted to Captain in 1900, Major in 1903, Lieutenant Colonel in 1916, and finally Colonel in 1922. He was in the Philippines in 1903, Cuba in 1912, Honolulu in 1915, and served in World War I – on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet. From 1922 to 1924, Cutts was Commandant of the Santo Domingo National Army and later headed the First Brigade in Haiti, earning five campaign medals for his service. He was assigned to the Naval War College in 1931. Colonel Cutts was also responsible for inventing the Cutts Compensator, a device that lessened the muzzle rise on the Thompson Submachine Gun and other firearms. The Cutts Compensator was adopted by the U.S. Government and several other nations. He was recommended for promotion to Brigadier General, but ill health prevented this advancement. Cutts is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. CONDITION: letter is two-pages in length (on two separate sheets of paper) and EACH page measures about 7 7/8 x 12 3/8 inches in size. Letter is in fine overall condition with some light toning and horizontal folds on both pages. There are also two file punch holes along the top of the two pages and some small edge tears or minor loss of paper along the bottom of each (see scans). The signature / autograph of Richard Malcolm Cutts is guaranteed authentic. Winning buyer to pay $10 for shipping, postage & INSURANCE. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. PLEASE READ: we ship everything INSURED (thru the USPS) with a value over $50. This helps us know that the item you took the time to purchase arrived safely. We have not had a package turn up lost in over 25 years, though one package went rogue about 15 years ago but eventually turned up. Packages are shipped out within 1 – 3 business days, but typically the next day. Please understand, we do not make any money on shipping costs, but rather run a deficit over the course of a year. Most people don’t realize that and paypal deduct a total of 13% from my stated shipping charges (leaving me 87% of that amount for actual postage + insurance). Everything we sell is packaged with the utmost care. Please read my response over the last 20 years. The comments are often – the best packaging I have ever seen, “bullet proof” packaging, etc.