In the early 1970's Auto Ordinance introduced, or I should say reintroduced, a semi-auto Thompson. I loved the very idea until I saw the long barrel that destroyed the lines of the classic weapon. At the time I didn't know about the Short Barreled Rifle option. I didn't have a chance to fire one of the semi auto Thompsons for years.
Not long ago I found a semi Thompson at a price I couldn't pass up and have to say, had I fired one of these in the 1970's I would have gotten it, no matter how long the barrel was. There was also a .22 version released at the same time. I remember thinking, if they have these, it won't take long for someone to come out with a semi-auto MP-40. I am amazed it took almost forth years for that to happen.
A couple of years ago lots of us were tickled to death to see there were plans to market a semi-auto MP-40 at long last. Perhaps there would be a .22 version. I was like a kid at Christmas as I searched for details. Then I discovered the price was between $2000.00 and $4000.00 depending on the source. The sales a realistic price could have fetched were reduced to a trickle. My visions of adding a firing MP-40, be it a semi, to the writers demo lineup vanished.
But there is joy tonight dear readers. Steve at The Firearms Blog announced early in the week that ATI is expecting to import a .22 version of the semi-auto MP-40 starting 2012. What they are going to do about barrel length is not clear at this writing.
I can only hope rather than pricing them out of reach they will offer this long overdue icon at a price that will give it a fighting chance in this market.