Volunteer Enterprises Commando, Made in Knoxville, TN

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I’ve known since I was a kid that the Volunteer Enterprises Commando was made in Knoxville. I didn’t know where in Knoxville until I saw the cover of the owner’s manual. Clinton Highway, PO Box 12198.

Does anyone have any idea where on Clinton Highway that might have been?

UPDATE: Micheal Silence at the Knoxville News-Sentinel was kind enough to link this post. One of his readers, Rick Forman, wrote: “I don’t know the exact address but they were made in Claxton in a steel building across from Old State Cir. next to Bull Run Rd. My brother worked there for a while in the early 70′s.” *

Based on that information I found this satellite image at Google Maps. The next time I’m out Clinton Highway I’ll pop in some of those buildings. I’m betting someone knows which one was formerly Volunteer Enterprises.

* NOTE FOR Y’ALL WHAT AIN’T FROM AROUND HERE – Claxton is an area on Clinton Highway. It’s either a community or possibly a town that was annexed by Knoxville (I’m a little unclear on that point, so if you know, don’t be bashful about posting in comments). There are many parts of Knoxville, like Bearden, that were once cities unto themselves before being annexed as Knoxville grew, and which retain parts of their original identities.

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213 Responses to Volunteer Enterprises Commando, Made in Knoxville, TN

  1. triticale says:

    And if they do, hopefully they will be glad to volunteer the information.

  2. Les Jones says:

    They will if they’re enterprising.

  3. triticale says:

    And then you can incorporate their answer in this post.

  4. Les Jones says:

    And if they don’t volunteer the information I might get PO’d and box them.

  5. Stoney says:

    I have seen and held one of these guns. They seem to have real nice fit and finish, as I recall. If I can locate the gent who owns it, I’ll send you some pictures.

  6. Sam says:

    I have had the fortune of having a volunteer thompson. It is not a commando, it is supposedly a prototype. The Receiver is round, not square, the bolt has no charging handle, you have to reach into the chamber area and pull the bolt back by hand, pretty easy to do. The serial number starts with EXP, Experimental?

  7. tom says:

    I have a Voluteer Mark 45. I am trying to locate a manual. If anyone can help or point me in the right direction I would appreciate the help.

  8. lilhustler says:

    I just purchased a volunteer arms commando 45 with two 30rd clips for $300.This rifle is awesome!Does anyone have or know where i can buy a forearm pistol grip for this?Also i no that the M3 mags work in theses guns if you use a dremel and grind a half moon shape in the mag retaining hole.

  9. lilhustler says:

    I just purchased a volunteer arms commando 45 with two 30rd clips for $300.This rifle is awesome!Does anyone have or know where i can buy a forearm pistol grip for this?Also i no that the M3 mags work in theses guns if you use a dremel and grind a half moon shape in the mag retaining hole.

  10. Mike says:

    I have spare manual to send if anyone wants one. Also have a vertical pistol grip and stock for sale. The grip is plastic, and has been painted, but paint will remove easily. The stock is woood, in good shape, but does not fit my M5. apparently there was modification as to mounts on different models. I am looking for a sling that will fit my M5. Anyone try to buy one? Would appreciate any help. Incidently, Numrich has mags for 19.95 for the .45 cal. They also need a slight half moon on top of original retaining hole. Work great

  11. Ryan says:

    Does any one know where I may be able to find one of these guns? Or a little more about the history of it?

  12. Pingback: I Miss Triticale | Les Jones

  13. Bob K says:

    I have a couple of sten 30 round clips and the weapon does not feed correctly, I get a lot of jams, is there anything I can do to make them feed better? Are there any better clips available?

  14. Jerry Gibbs says:

    Uhmmm,I have an uncle who used to run a gunshop. He was a local rep for the co. I haven’t seen him in at least a couple of years. But, I can remember sitting in the floor, and watching him put one of these things together. Then, we went out and ho’ed the ‘baccer. ‘Baccer was big, back then.

    Little Jerry
    (lmao)
    (snicker,snort)

  15. TJ says:

    They were in a metal building on the left past bull run road out clinton hwy.The building is yellow in a right hand curve. I worked for Overnite transportation and we would make pickups and del there.

  16. Phil says:

    I recently bought a “Commando Mark I”, in .30 cal with a fixed shoulder stock and two hand grips. The stock is aluminum. The receiver was made by Plainfield and the barrel is unmarked. Anyone have or know where I can find a manual for this?
    Thanks.
    Phil

  17. Tim says:

    so you’re the one that bought that , the only part of your volunteer enterprises m1 that is actually made by volunteer enterprises is the stock , volunteer enterprises made 3 different kinds of stocks for the m1

    the commando I which is what you have

    the commando II which didn’t have a butt stock

    and the commando IV which was basically the same as the commando I but with a detachable butt stock .

    so as far as a manual you just need a plainfield m1 manual .

    if anyone is interested I’ve made a web site dedicated to the Volunteer Commando line full of any information I could find online , it can be seen at http://www.freewebs.com/grungebag/

  18. Tony A. says:

    I used a sling from a ak47, or a sks rifle, it fits my MARK III perfect it attached to the original sling loops with a spring like connector that came with the sling.

  19. phil says:

    Hi all-
    I just bought a MKIII to go along with my MKI. I noticed on the other board a post by BOBBY ROWE on December 05, 2008….”Anyone need a tear down of the Commando Mark III APC .45 i will be glad to E-mail one to you free of charge. Also have a copy of the book that came with the gun and will E-mail it also free to you.”
    I would sure like to have this info. Anyone know who Bobby is and how to get ahold of him???
    Thanks.

  20. ed .s says:

    can anyone help me locate a firing pin for my commando mark3

  21. ed .s says:

    does anybody know where i can buy a firing pin for my commando mark3….

  22. Stcik says:

    My old owners manual vies the address of Voulunteer Enterprises, Inc. as p.o. Box 12198 Clinton Hwy. Knoxville, Tenn. 37912

  23. Stcik says:

    Sam,

    Sounds like you have an old American Eagle circa 1968 or so. It operates more like an M-3 greasegun than the Commandos. BTW they can be made full auto with a bit of file work on the sear.

  24. Les Jones says:

    “BTW they can be made full auto with a bit of file work on the sear.”

    Another way to say that is “You can have your life ruined and spend years in federal prison with a little file work on the sear.” Don’t do it.

    Les Jones´s last blog post..Rumor of a Nikon D40/D60 replacement: the D5000

  25. CajunTim says:

    I recently acquired one of these with no stock at all. If anyone can point me in the direction of a stock I would be grateful. I am also in need of mags for this. If anyone has anything that would be helpful to a new owner of these please contact me.

    Thank you

    dacajuntimATyahoo.com

  26. phil says:

    If any of you are interested in the background of the patent number you see on the side of your Volunteer Commando carbine check out this site. You may have to cut and paste…maybe not…hope it works for you…
    Phil

    http://www.google.com/patents?id=tUMwAAAAEBAJ&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=patent+3695143&source=bl&ots=XAZvXsQK2K&sig=SsvaPyjEfWBz9SVNXGB3Ffz03g8&hl=en&ei=if2hSZB9pNQwpf6IxQs&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result#PPA1,M1

  27. Les Jones says:

    That’s neat. Thanks!

  28. Brian says:

    I resently saw a Commando mark 45 with stainless barrel.What years was this made. Whats the value?

  29. Les Jones says:

    Interesting. Was it definitely stainless? I know that at some point there were models (not sure if it was the Mark 45 or another model) that had the option of hard chrome or nickel-plating.

  30. Brian says:

    It looks maybe more like a gray satin finish. Maybe nickel.Let me know what you think. What kind of value? Thanks

  31. Pingback: Patent for Volunteer Enterprises Commando firing mechanism by Lee Frix | Les Jones

  32. phil says:

    Is it this one on Gun Broker?
    Auction # 123547867

  33. Brian says:

    No: this is a locally owned gun.I was just trying to find out a little info on it and maybe its value.I saw the GB one,that seems like a fair price,or not?

  34. phil says:

    To me that’s high. But then again, others on this board may have different opinions.

  35. Brian says:

    Im not real familar with these guns or ther values but sure wouldnt mine finding a deal on one.

  36. Dan Muscato says:

    I own a Volunteer Enterprise Commando Mark III 45 cal Tommy Gun. I purchased it years ago and have fired maybe 200 rounds from it. It has two 10 round clips and one 30 round clip. Can’t say I have any complaints of it. But I don’t have an owners manual for it and would like to find one. If anyone can be of help it would be deeply appreciated.

  37. wsps1990 says:

    I’ve been looking at two of these Mark III’s in the local area.One is fully operational and over priced at $595.00. The other is missing the bolt and the buttstock. That dealer’s looking for $200.00 and with cash would probably be very amenable to seeing it “go away”. There’s a local gun show here on March 7th. Are the parts from different models interchangeable? If these are worth the time, I’ll look for a used one at the show and get the parts gun for less than $200.00. Any constructive opinions on this?

  38. Fritz says:

    What is a Volunteer Arms Commando MkIII in stone mint condition with both grips and mag in the original box going for nowadays? Thanks

    Fritz

  39. Brian says:

    What was the last year of production on these guns?

  40. Dan says:

    To the best of my knowledge production stopped in the late 90′s

  41. phil says:

    Hey Dan-
    I found a MKIII owners manual a while ago somewhere online. It’s not much…only five pages long. Reply with your email address and I’ll send you the pdf.
    Phil

  42. CajunTim says:

    So I purchased a stock for mine as it didnt have one when I got it. Anyways it came with nothing but wood. No hardware no but plate or whatever it is called. Anyone know where I can get these part for it at? Or what size screws I need to attach it to the receiver?

    Thanks

  43. Dan says:

    Brian,
    I found this posting at http://txwzk.blogspot.com/2005/01/tennessee-volunteer-arms-commando-mk.html.
    “Volunteer Enterprises manufactured the Commando Mark III Carbine in Knoxville, Tennessee, from 1969 to 1976. These semiauto blowback weapons look very much like the 1928 Thompson submachine gun. After 1978 Volunteer Enterprises became Commando Arms. In 98 percent condition, your Tommy Gun lookalike should command $500.”

  44. Dan says:

    Brian & Fritz,
    I found this posting at http://txwzk.blogspot.com/2005/01/tennessee-volunteer-arms-commando-mk.html.
    “Volunteer Enterprises manufactured the Commando Mark III Carbine in Knoxville, Tennessee, from 1969 to 1976. These semiauto blowback weapons look very much like the 1928 Thompson submachine gun. After 1978 Volunteer Enterprises became Commando Arms. In 98 percent condition, your Tommy Gun lookalike should command $500.”

  45. Rick says:

    Im looking for parts for the Volunteer Arms Commanod. Specifically the firing pin and vertical fore grip.

  46. Neil Carico says:

    I have a Commando 45 which is a 45 cal.made by Volunteer Enterprises shooting 45 auto ammo.The serial number is 61793.It has the military Thompson stock and butt plate.I have 2 clips holding 30.The barrel and receiver appear to be chrome or nickel.I had fired the Thompson 45 in the service.Of course it was full automatic and would climb if the trigger was held too long.I would sell but haven’t advertised.

  47. Brian says:

    I wouls be interested in talking with you. You can reach me at 810-338-8482

  48. Ray says:

    I have a neighbor who has a mark III commando, he needs a sear for the weapon, he bought it used and the previous owner had tried to file the sear down and screwed it up. Do you know who sells them or would a thompson sear work in the weapon?

  49. Brian says:

    Just stopped at a local gun shop. He has a Commando MarkIV.The barrel and reciever is chrome.The guy behind the counter claimed they produce a handful of these that were chrome.Any truth to this?It came from a estate sale and the owner claimed this as fact.

  50. Rick says:

    I just purchased a Commando Mark 45 w/pistol grip. I am looking for a manual or copy of a manual. I see Dan listed that he owns one with 10 rounds magazines. That would be interesting to find one magazine. The one I purchased has a 30 round magazine. Any help with locating a manual would be appreciated.
    [email protected]

  51. Dan says:

    Keep your eyes open at gun shows. I have seen and purchased some ten and thirty round 45cal clips there and they all work flawlessly.

  52. phil says:

    Hey Rick-
    Check out auction #8715007 at Auctionarms.com. It closes on 3/29.
    Phil

  53. JERRY says:

    WHERE CAN I FIND MAGAZINES/CLIPS THAT WILL WORK IN A COMMANDO MARK 45?

  54. Rickie says:

    I need a firing pin or damage non-firing gun for parts.

  55. Les Jones says:

    Jerry: the Mark 45 uses Thompson submachinegun magazines. They go for $30 or so. Do a Google search. HTH.

  56. christian says:

    Looking for magazine for the volunteer commando… Have aquired a rifle thru a friend and the clips are missing need clips to check function of weapon anyone have any answers for me it would be greately appreciated

  57. stick says:

    I don’t know about your commando but mine uses old M-3 grease gun clips which are totally different from a 1928 Thompson clip. Mine had a reciever “boot” that the clip slips in to whereas a Thompson does not (have the boot). The picture at the top of this thread is the same as the little flyer which came with the weapon that I had and also thows the “boot”{ where the clip is inserted into.

  58. pjc says:

    Need to know if the barrel on a mark 45 has the same thread pattern as a GI barrel.
    Thanks

  59. ALT says:

    I have a Volunteer Commando Mark III with 2-30 round magazines that I’m thinking about selling. If someone would like to make me an offer it might help me to decide what to do. It’s in very nice condition and I can email pictures. Email me at [email protected], I’m in the Orlando area. Make sure you put Commando in the subject box so I don’t delete.

  60. dan says:

    know someone with commando mk lll,#03177. was it used in vietnam. supposed to have been, never heard of it myself. fairly good condition. how are the prices on these, and are they still legal,

  61. Rick says:

    I am looking to buy a used Commano, not working.

  62. Rick says:

    dan, I doubt that any commandos were used in Vietnam. Perhaps a orignal Thompson leftover from post WWII

  63. Dan Muscato says:

    I can assure you Commando’s were not used in Vietnam. Commando’s could not sustain the heavy use for combat action.

  64. dan says:

    i’m about to go shooting with the mklll. what was it’s purpose if not for war!. a 3000 serial # is pretty low. does that help the price any. i would like to buy it but don’t have any idea for how much. any input would be helpful. thanks

  65. Dan Muscato says:

    What your willing to oay is how much it is worth. But, collectors value, maybe $700.00 in todays market.

  66. Rick says:

    The purpose, if you look at its old ads, is to replicate a Thompson. But it isnt a military grade, it is a recreation grade. There are many war-style firearms that are made substandard to military specs, but are use for recreation

  67. Walt Suita says:

    I’ve seen and handled both the Volunteer and the Auto Ordnance (made by the original maker)models. It’s kind of the difference between the local prom queen and Miss Texas, er, Tenessee. The heft and construction of the A/O say “combat weapon”.They should engrave on the buttstock, “when empty, impact this side toward enemy.” Just my $.02

  68. Rick says:

    Im still lokking for parts or one to buy

  69. Hank says:

    I obtain Mark 45 and I need drawings on the trigger/action or complete break down. Plus where can I find parts for this firearm?

  70. Hank says:

    I have a Mark 45 and I need drawings on the trigger/action or complete break down. Plus where can I find parts for this firearm?

  71. Hank says:

    I have a Mark 45 and I need drawings on the trigger/action or complete break down. Plus where can I find parts for this firearm? Is there another firearm which use basic design, please advise.

  72. Rick says:

    Hank,

    Parts are hard to find for these guns.

    Do you want to sell yours?

  73. Rick says:

    Dan… Check your email

  74. Bob says:

    I Have a Mark 111 45 Cal. In Good Condition Would Like to Know what Its worth Maybe Gonna Sell Needs Clip

  75. Rick says:

    Bob,

    Mark III’s have been going for 400-500

    Dont get caught in that misconception because something isnt easy to find that its value goes up.

    The quality of on these guns, brand new, were poor.

    They were cheap substitutes because original Thompsons were expensive.

  76. Rick says:

    Mike,

    Finding mags are easy, finding parts is hard.

    You and I have too options;

    Either sell our guns to someone needing parts.

    Or seek another one.

  77. patrick thompson says:

    does anyone know of how to disassemble the mk 45 commando? Or have a spare manual? My father-in-law purchaced it july 26th in Waco tx at a gun show. have fired it since and I am trying to clean it. any help would be appreciated. Thanks

  78. RICK says:

    It does not have to be disassembled in any hard fashion. Renove the back butt plate on the receiver with a allen screw driver, and remove the bolt, spring. Clean any area reachable with standard cleaning rods.

  79. mike says:

    Rick
    thank you for the reply.If anyone wants to buy mine let me know. It is in 70 percent condition.the only thing wrong with it is the extractor and i have 2 mags for it.

  80. patrick thompson says:

    thanks rick , i’ll tell my father-in-law today!

  81. RICK says:

    Ok, it will not be a issue for me to buy another one. After all, what I need is a firing pin for the one I currently own. Mine is in great condition, minus the pin.

    This said, buying another would have me remove its pin, and get it duplicated, thus in the long run, I’ll own two.

    I am not really looking to own two, but it will be a perk.

    My brother is a firearms dealer, as such, I am aware of potential value of firearms.

    In short, I am looking for a fair deal on one.

  82. Rick says:

    Roy, email on the way.

  83. Troy Dishner says:

    I’m looking for a front sight for a commando mark III

  84. shaun says:

    hi i have recently bought a commando mark III just wonderin if any one had any info on how to clean it as i dont have a manual

  85. ruger says:

    will the mark iii accept a thompson [round] drum magazine?

  86. Rick says:

    No ruger, it will not. The Mark III is a spin off reproduction and only uses M3-Grease gun mags.

  87. Phil says:

    Marty- check your email…

  88. Brian says:

    Local gun shop has a Mark v forsale.Its the nickel plated version. Asking 500.00.It is in excellent condition.

  89. Rick says:

    Brian, I wasnt aware that Volunteer Arms had a “nickel plated version”. Obviously, this is someone’s method to personalize and/or bring up visual accent for value sake. I, for one, do not like anything pertaining to firearms, nickel plated. There are too many negatives upon this.

    Lastly, would this gun shop also be a pawn shop and/or sell many used guns?

  90. Brian says:

    This gun is at a local gun shop/party store,no pawn shop.This is the third nickel or chrome plate Mark V I ve seen.I thought they were factory produced.Maybe not. Brian

  91. Rick says:

    As I had said, I think this is an attempt to bring value from a different appearance on after market. The history of the gun was to be manufactured and sold much cheaper than original Thompsons. In those days, nickel plating was expensive in comparison to have this done and thus going against the ideals of manufacture-cheap made-cheap sold.

  92. Brian says:

    Go to post: Neil Carico dated 3/16/09, he mentions a nickel plated Commando.I”LL say it one more time,I have no idea if these were factory or not I”M just saying I”ve seen three different ones.Maybe someone that knows the true history can shed some light on this subject.

  93. Glenn says:

    I just bought one and I got the original hard padded case and 2 mags with it. Paid 449.00
    I am also looking for a manualI have figured out how to pull apart, I just want one to put with the gun. Mine shoots good and getting better as I get it cleaner and lube it.

  94. Rick says:

    True history-the company did not sell nickel-plated models.

  95. robert says:

    My Mk lll will take MAC-10 mags, but only the ones with the semi-circular mag catch. I found 4 them easily and cheap at a gun show. A gun dealer raped me…he charged me 150 bucks b4 I found the other 4. I thought I had no choice b4 hand. I have a total of 6 mags and the manual.

  96. Rick says:

    Technically, there is no such thing as “Mac-10 Mags” The Mac 10 was patterned to accept M3 grease gun mags. This is because there is a huge government surplus circulating

  97. Rick says:

    Also, some M3 grease gun mags have to be cut-modified so that the mag catch will function.

  98. Tom says:

    Located a magazine for a good friend who has a Commando MK3. Numrich (E-Gun Parts) item #198850C. He was tired of having a single shot. When he gets it, one of us will post on how it works.

    Tom

  99. Terry McWilliams says:

    I have two Volunter Commando Mark 45 with sn# 34XXX with I think 3 mags. One has a wooden forend while the other has a pistol grip.

  100. mike says:

    where can i get parts for this gun

  101. Rick says:

    Mike, If you had paid a little attention several messages back, parts for these are hard to come by. One is better of either finding another one or getting rid of a broken one.

  102. Pawel says:

    I’m looking for a receiver for a mark v. also looking for a plastic piece that goes inside it. it’s a flat square piece that goes ove the little arm that hits the fireing pin. anybody knows where i could get those?

  103. Rick says:

    Pawel, as I stated to Mike, parts for these are hard to come by. The gun was made cheap and the manufacturer had closed. Because of this, there aren’t any spare parts to be had. Usually, people will dispose of this gun, once they find out parts and repairs are out of reach. It is better to sell it non working than to find parts.

  104. Terry McWilliams says:

    I might considrr selling my two Commando 45′s. Both shoot ok and they have a few dings on the wood. One has the pistol grip with wooden stock and the other has a wooden forend with a wooden stock. I got these is the mid 70′s. I think I have 3 30 round magazines. If anyone wants pictures email me at [email protected]. Make me an offer that I can’t refuse and they could both be yours. I have shot both of these guns and they work good.

  105. Rick says:

    Terry, email on the way.

  106. Dan M says:

    I’ve got a Volunteer Enterprises Commando Mark III 45 Cal. Semi-Auto Tommy gun for sale. I bought it many years ago ,but am getting up in age and am now looking to unload my arsenal.
    It comes with sling, one 5 round & three 15 round magazines, and leather carrying case, all in very good condition. Asking $500.00

  107. Rick says:

    Thanks, but no thanks Dan M, I have seen these go for as little as $300 at gun shows and pawn shops

    Unless you are willing to go down a little.

  108. Arlie says:

    Those guys that sell them for 300 dollars either don’t know what they have or the guns are in bad condition. Here’s a link of a company that still makes the same Tommy Gun Replica and it sells for $1369.00 http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct646.aspx

  109. Walt says:

    Arlie, Dan & Rick,

    Just want to add my $.50. The Volunteers are kind of a neat, funky gun. I remember seeing them advertised brand new in the 80′s for around $400.00. I didn’t see one in hand until about a year or so ago. Heavy, simple, and on a late Saturday night,as tight as Sandra Bullock in a pair of jeans. I’ve seen the parts guns range from $175 to excellent shape models right after the ’08 election going for $500. I started subscribing to this forum about then for the best information on this firearm.
    Then there are the Auto Ordnance / Thompsons made by parent company Kahr Arms. The Thompsons are made to the original Thompson specs. and are every bit the modern day version carbine / pistol versions of the past. They’re heavy, simple and made out of forged steel and hard wood about 50 miles east of Smith & Wesson, 70 miles north of Colt,90 miles south of Ruger and about 150 miles southeast of DPMS and Walther US. I think you get the idea.The fit, finish and reliability is military grade. You’re absolutely right, they go for $1000 and up -even the used ones.
    I can tell you this– I was at the range two weeks ago with the other EBR’s (Evil Black Rifles), there was a young gal commanding a fair amount of attention and detering range safety when somebody came in with an AO “Tommy” gun. All eyes went on that firearm when he started cranking out rounds one after another.Everyone wanted to try it.
    Bottom line is that the Volunteer is and always was a price leader and a pretty decent analog, but it’s out of production with no parts supply other than a parts gun. It loses a fair amount of value there alone. The AO Thompson has been around for almost a century, parts are readily available and although it serves a special market, the value remains high. Any bad guy may see your AR vs. an AK and may try his luck, but a .45 cal trenchbroom is just plain ol’school.
    Walt

  110. Rick says:

    Arlie. There is a difference upon a well made copy, using the same design (under direction or sold by the original manufacturer) and a cheap one using a total different design.

    A lot of guns sold which are cheap made, may fetch a particular price. Just because someone is asking such a ridiculous price, doesnt mean they would get it. Unless from some mis-informed schmoo

  111. Rick says:

    Arlie, what you had posted and that link thereof, is NOT the same gun we are talking about here. The gun of this blog-site-discussion is THE Volunteers Arms copy.

    Sorry, You are NOT comparing apples to apples

  112. Stick14 says:

    Joe, If memory serves me correctly you should be able to use any M-3 grease gun clip. There should still be a lot around at most gun shows.

    Mike

  113. Dan says:

    Nonetheless, it’s still for sale and am asking $500.00 or B/O.

  114. Dan says:

    Incidentally, a a Volunteer Enterprise Commando Mark III recently sold at Coawn’s Auction for over $1000,00. and another at icollector.com sold for over $800.00. Mine is in much better condition and am offering much more than what these semi’s sold for.

  115. Rick says:

    Dan, I think someone got ripped off on both accounts. You are only stating this to try and add value to a cheap, hard to find parts, gun.

  116. Steve says:

    Would a vertical forehand grip from a Thompson 1928M1 fit on a Volunteer Enterprise Commando Mark III?

  117. Rick says:

    Steve, I dont think this would work. What must be remembered is that these guns were to be cheap replicas of the Thompson. They were to look like the originals, but the design is far off.

    “….original Thompson vertical front grips DO NOT fit due to the angle of the hole drilled in them . You can get them somewhat close , but they sit at an angle and just don’t look right because on the Commando it has to mount to the partially finned sleeve that sits on the barrel instead of being mounted to a rail under a finned barrel like on the Thompson \”

    Source:

    http://www.freewebs.com/grungebag/manualsandinfo.htm

  118. Rick says:

    Walt. Yes the Thompson, be it an original (which I include the current AO-Khar) and/or the Volunteer Arms Commando, have a nostalgic look of the days when it was known by the late 20′s to 40′s simply as the “Tommy”.

    It started the original “drive by” shootings of “spray and pray”

    It does turn some heads and the .45 ammo is price reasonable still.

  119. Phil says:

    I sent you a copy of the owners manual.
    I personally have not come across the type of problem you describe.
    I can recommend my gunsmith, Jul, at Field and Range Target Service…he’s taken care of my 3 volunteers and owns one (a MK III) himself. Check out his website at http://www.fieldandrangetargetservice.com

  120. CRAIG says:

    Great to find others who own these guns. I have had my MK III for about 16 years. But recently it seems that the bolt return spring is loosing it’s juice and causing some loading jams. Has anyone replaced one and knows where I could get one?

    Thanks

  121. Rick says:

    Craig. If you had read a few messages back, parts are hard to find for this gun. If you know someone at a fabrication or machine shop would be your best method

  122. Donnie says:

    The Cammando was made on Southerland Ave. in Knoxville. I drove a Coke Cola truck at the time and personally watched them assemble the gun and put them on UPS truck as fast as they could assemble them. UPS keep a truck at the site at all times. UPS was located just down the street on Sutherland Ave. at that time.

  123. Rick says:

    Donnie,

    Awesome.

    Whate year was this.

    UPS was down the street with a fleet of brown trucks servicing the area

  124. Rick says:

    Donnie,

    That was cool. What year was this?

  125. Phil says:

    Casey-
    Check your email…
    Phil

  126. Casey Heard says:

    thank you Phil

  127. Rick says:

    Casey,

    Are you interested in selling it “as is”?

  128. Terry McWilliams says:

    I have two Volunteer Commando Mark 45 with sn# 34XXX with I think 2 mags. One has a wooden forend while the other has a pistol grip. Somebody make me an offer that I can’t refuse. They both shoot and function properly. I just don’t have a use for them.

  129. Casey Heard says:

    rick

    no I’d realy like to get it fixed & keep. but if anything changs I’ll let you know
    casey

  130. Phil says:

    Terry-
    Got an email address I can contact you?
    Phil

  131. Casey Heard says:

    would any one happen to have an extra magazine for the mark III, I think that is what is causing mine to jam, it looks like it is one that has been modified to to fit & do not fit quite right. so if any one is selling one I’d like to buy it. thanks Casey

  132. Rick says:

    Casey,

    As per many posts back, these guns do not have “their own” magazines. They were designed to use the Army Surplus M3 “grease gun mags” seen at many gun shows. (BTW, these are the same mags that older MAC-10s/11s used)

    You can try gun shows or serach internet suppliers for “M3 Mags”

    Some may have to be modified to fit.

    As for jamming, it could be several other reasons;

    * The mag has a weak spring, it will cause feeding problems (no real way to find out other than firing)

    * The type of ammo being used

    * Improper cleaning or no cleaning

    * The guns were made cheap, they will have wear and tear problems

  133. Casey Heard says:

    Rick

    thanks for the inf.I’ll see what I can do

  134. Garry Jr says:

    First let me introduce myself my name is Garry I am an 8 yr Army veteran.Disabled.I love Harleys,guns,dogs and women pretty much in that order lol. Just traded for a Volunteer Commando V .45acp shot it a few times it jammed a few rounds but I think a good cleaning and a little tweaking on the mag it will b ok.As well as I remember it appears to be a grease gun mag, carried one in the army. Like it pretty good so far kind of a funky neat little gun

  135. Rick says:

    Garry, what did you trade for it?

  136. red says:

    just traded for mark v same pat# as a mark 45 wondering if made by volunteer or one of the other company names that took over or any other info

  137. Casey Heard says:

    I’m thinking about selling my mark III commando, I have not gotten it to fire right, but I did get 2 30 round clips for it today & thought I might try it out on wensday if I do not sell it first. it does have a few problems such as a crack in the pot metle between the two screws that hold the but stock on, when it’s bolted together it’s not real noticeable. The reason for the sell is that my wife found a shotgun she realy would like to have, so I told her if we can clear 275$ for this mark III she can buy her new gun. if you interested e-mail me at [email protected] ask for Casey

  138. Greg Kohl says:

    I have a Mark III with a Pat pending on the reciever. Ant ideas to what it for pat # is3695143 with the s/n 21612 any ideas? thanks

  139. Rick says:

    Greg,

    The subject of what anything is worth really depends on what a buyer is “willing” to spend.

    That said, Volunteer Mark(s) really do not fetch that much in comparison to AutoOrdinance’s Thompson originals.

    You could take your gun to a gun show and see what anyone may desire to purchase it for.

  140. Greg Kohl says:

    I bought mine in 80 actualy it was given to me from another pilot ireally enjoyed shooting it then so i let my brother inlaw keep it for safe keeping cause he had a safe well he thought havinging it was 99% of the law oh well its fun to hav it back it still shoots so smooth what a fun gun Greg

  141. keath morgan says:

    have a commando mark 45 need an ejector can anyone help?

  142. Rick says:

    Keath, as it had been stated in past messages, parts for these guns are hard to find. Once they get broken, it is better to sell it as a “parts gun”.

  143. Greg Kohl says:

    Rick can you tell me what the pat pend on the clip ricever is for? thanks again greg

  144. Phil says:

    Greg-
    Read my February 22, 2009 post above….

  145. Greg Kohl says:

    thanks Phil im never gettin rid of this gun as theysay till they pry it from these cold dead hands thanks again greg

  146. Bill Barron says:

    I bought a nickel plated 9mm commando at a police auction in 1991. It had no buttstock but I modified one from a Thompson to fit. Years later I shot the rifle and found it had been modified to fire full auto only. I immediately tore it down and made a new sear to restore it to semi-auto. I had heard that the company had troubles with the BATF because the gun was easily converted to full auto. I still drag it out and shoot it occasionally. It functions well despite the sten mags.

  147. Rick says:

    Bill, it was not that the company had troubles with the BATF, because these guns were not that easy to convert in comparison to the early MACs and InterTec.

    Saying that you bought it from a police auction, may have had much to do with that particular model firing full auto (and being nickel plated). This couod have been done (FA & Nickel) in an attempt to try and get a police sales contract. In other words, a sales model

    Bottom line, the company went out of business because they could not compete with a cheap knock off against the larger companies with better quality and reputation.

  148. Kevin says:

    I bought Casey’s Mk III that wasn’t working. Needs a firing pin, & a tig repair on the lower. I would like to buy some parts guns to make one function well. After that I might explore options of reproducing some parts. It’s obvious there’s a need! If anyone has a parts gun with a GOOD firing pin e-mail me, [email protected]. Thanks.

  149. Rick says:

    Kevin, Im afraid you are out of luck. Parts for these guns are extremely hard to find, esp the firing pin. Which I have been searching for the gun I own. You should never buy this gun non-working and you should have read all of the past memo-notes-posts about it.

    Sorry, but it looks like you are stuck with a large paper weight, unless you seel it for parts.

  150. Taylor says:

    Where I live, if we can’t find a part, we just pay someone to make them. Needless to say, it might cost you 200 bucks to have a firing pin made, but that shouldn’t make a difference if the rest of the gun looks good and if you make decent money anyway, what the heck is a couple hundred bucks if you’re getting what you want with it.

  151. Kevin says:

    RIck, If a man made it I can re-make it. Be watching for pins for sale. That’ll be me.

  152. Kevin says:

    Taylor, It would make it MUCH easier if I have one to get measuremments from. Making from scratch is tough with no scaleable prints or anything.

  153. Clint says:

    I would be greatful if anyone could e-mail me a copy of the Comando 45 manual. and thanks to everyone who has posted thier info.

  154. Clint says:

    I think, with as many Volunteer Owners maybe we should have an owners club? Let me know what you think.

    Clint

  155. Roy West says:

    Clint, Go to http:grungebag.webs.com/manualsandinfo.htm Has every thing you need I hope. Does anyone out there in WWW land know of a reliable gunsmith in SE Ky area, I can take mine too to get it checked out, Has some tuneup problems, Not cocking when charging handle pulled back. Would like it to operate properly. Roy

  156. Rick says:

    Kevin. If you have the means and talent to fabricate, please post finish products and details.

    Taylor, 200 bucks for a part to a gun such as this is ridiculous

    I saw a whole gun on sale at a show for $300 (seller would have taken $250)

  157. Kevin says:

    Rick, If you find me a working Commando III & I buy it I’ll give you $50 referral/finders fee.

  158. Rick says:

    Kevin, what are you willing to spend?

    Also, do you want it to use to re-manufacture parts?

  159. Rick says:

    kEVIN-GUNBROKER.COM

  160. Kevin says:

    Rick, I think an abused III that functions correctly should be $400+ your $50+ shpg. $25+ my FFL $20+ tx$24= $520 is enough. Yes, re-making parts would be a possibility. Also, I LIVE on Gun Broker, Auction Arms, Guns America, Cheaper Than Dirt, & MGO (Mich. Gun Owners) KV

  161. Terry McWilliams says:

    I thought I had both my Commando’s sold but the guy never came up with the money. Both shoot, however one has a crack in the reciever but could be fixed.

  162. Kevin says:

    I just purchased a few guns from a friend’s estate, couldn’t pass deal! Stretching thin for Dec. How much each? Mine’s broke where the stock bolts too.

  163. Rick says:

    Kevin, I havent seen you on those sites. Are you sure you are lic=ving on them? Do you have a couch on these/

  164. Kevin says:

    Rick,I have Dury’s, Sportsmans Supply, B.K Arms, and several others on my speed dial. Look at their sales volumes. I guess I should have said I spend a few hours a day on these sites. That would be an accurate statement. Couch?

  165. Joel says:

    Anybody got a weaver quik-point mounted on their Mark 45 that came as accessory?

  166. Rick says:

    My previous post before yours was meant as a joke. You said ” you lived on these sites”

    Im still looking for a firing pin to get my gun working again. (My firing pin broke)

    The rest o my gun is in prime condition

  167. Kevin says:

    Rick, No problem. That pin is a 2 piece pin. I believe it’s punched, rolled, hardened, then the tip is installed. I’m looking to make a 1 pc. machined, or turned pin,& catch welded on type. I have to get a working gun to get a good pin to copy, or a broken gun with a good pin. Someone else recently said upon charging, their gun wasn’t cocking, sounds like another pin. I am serious about these, I just have to check liability so someone doesn’t shoot someone else and sue me for making gun parts. KV

  168. Rick says:

    Kevin, I have searched many sources for parts to these guns. I found every part out there available. So far, I haven’t located the firing pin. It is like you said, two piece fashioned. The way it was produced, it is a weak part.

    The study-search has me to believe, that the firing pins break, thus people either make-shift one, ruining the gun further, or discard the entire gun, knowing it cant be repaired.

    I used to see these guns for sale at gun shows or via gun sale sites. Nowadays, I havent spotted them. It was my intention to buy a working gun, and have the firing pin duplicated at a machine shop in order to repair the broken one. Thus having me own two working. I really have no desire to own two.

    Dan had one for sale, I dont know if he is still selling it;

    Dan Muscato
    July 17, 2009

    I’d be interested in selling mine. If you’d like to get in touch email me at: [email protected]

  169. Rick says:

    Kevin, the liability of making a part is no issue. As with anything manufactured, you can have a disclaimer attached before the sale.

    Making a minor gun part has less of a liability issue than building a whole gun and selling it to the public.

    I had a bud that was maching aluminum lowers for AR 15s.

    The only issue he had, was the feds required him to get a manufacture stamp and serialised-registered each part.

    This bud, also machined recreational vehicle parts.

    Sadly, my bud is no longer around or at that machine shop.

  170. Jeremy says:

    I have a commando Mark III I acquired back in Texas. I have since moved to Northeast Tennessee. My gun shoots fine but I had problems with the original clips. I found several clips at gunshows that work flawlessly, and I found out that if there is ANYTHING you need, want or any question you have about the Volunteer Arms Commando’s contact Coal Creek Armory in Knoxville TN. They have extencive experience with these weapons.

    10737 Dutchtown Road
    Knoxville, TN 37932
    (865) 966-4545
    Open Weekdays 10am-9pm; Sat 10am-7pm

  171. Rickj says:

    Jeremy, thanks for the info link. Technically, these guns use magazines, not clips. They were design to use the M3 grease gun mags, which there is a huge surplus.

  172. juan roque says:

    I am trying to find a 300 rnd clip, for my commando mark lll tommy gun. Does anyone know where i could find one in the pasadena,houston tx area.Maybe even a 200 rnd clip.

  173. Kevin says:

    He’s all yours Rick!

  174. Kevin says:

    Thank you Jeremy for the Coal Creek heads up. I talked to the owner, he’s going to hook me up on a complete firing assy. so I can tool up for possible firing pins. We’ll see! Very nice people!

  175. rick says:

    Thanks Kev :)

    Juan there is no such thing as a 300rd clip.

    Look on the internet for “M3 grease gun mags for sale” in your browser

  176. Kevin says:

    Somebody lookin’ to start a war or what??? Juan if you’re making yours full auto, you might just want to check the Federal penalties first. It’s a BIG no no! It could result in a “FREE AMERICAN PROSTATE CHECK” Besides 45′s are expensive. Have fun, be safe.

  177. Rick says:

    Kevin, looks like someone is under educated about firearms. The mention of “200″ or “300″ rd ‘clips is a dead givaway

  178. Herb says:

    Just picked up a mint Manchester Arms pistol version of the Commando, this one had one thirty round thompson mag, anyone got an idea of what this firearm is worth? I have never seen one before, was at a gun show, when this guy came in, sold it to me for 200 bucks. I have owned a couple of the Volunteer Enterprises, one I bought back in the mid 70s, firing pin broke on that one as well, the sear on the pin broke off. back then I was able to get a new pin. Any info on the Manchester value would be appreciated

  179. gator45 says:

    I had posted on grungebags site about if anyone knew what manufacture dates went with what serial #’s. I realize there liable to change with volunteers buy out before they closed… any help appreciated

  180. Kevin says:

    Hey Rick! I got one!! I bought a Mk45 which are (hopefully) the same firing components as the MkIII. I found it on Guns America, it should be here Wed. By Thursday I’ll be looking for materials to make pins! Within a couple weeks I may have some (after testing). Talk soon, KV

  181. Herb says:

    Kevin, if that does not work, I may have a broken MKIII firing pin, it was all there, with the exception of the sear that broke off. I am not sure if I still have it or not, would have to see HERB

  182. Kevin says:

    Thanks Herb! I think I’m OK. My seller guaranteed it is a low rd. count gun that IS in working condition. I’m sure I read the internals are the same, & I have a Mk III here. I’ll keep all posted, KV.

  183. Rick says:

    Herb, that is the problem with most of the firing pins. Broken sear piece.

    Kevin, I am waiting for those newly manufactured ones.

    MY GUN IS IN PRIME SHAPE LESS FIRING PIN.

    However, I am looking for a wooden foregrip/stock-though

  184. Kevin says:

    Rick, I saw on the net a guy took Thompson furniture which IS available,re-drilled (angles) of existing holes and they work. I just saw Thompson butt stocks at the last gun show I went to $12! Going to another one next week, I’ll look for forward stocks. KV

  185. Rick says:

    kev, Yes. I dont see with slight mods, a foregrip will work.

    Im still in need of a firing pin

  186. Kevin says:

    Well Friends, I found another one! Just won a Mk III in good working condition from Auction Arms $350. I’m picking up 2 today. I bought a Mk45 off Guns America also. I am going to attempt to make some parts kits in the near future, but it will take some experiment & testing time. I’m going to possibly have some spring kits and small parts kits. With some (or a lot of) help from Bob (GM/AC Engineer) this may happen in the next few months. I have some cool old ad pics for the Mk 45 but I don’t know how to attatch them so I’ll add the link to the gun that has them. http://www.auctionarms.com/search/displayitem.cfm?itemnum=10096036 You have to copy/paste into browser. Sorry, still learning P.C. KV

  187. Kevin says:

    PS Hey, the link works! It didn’t change colors till after I posted it! Have a great day everyone! KV

  188. Craig says:

    Gun Jamming – I seen some posts about gun jamming problems and I have had the same thing happening and think I found my issues.

    I bought some 30rd mags a while back and found one operated great and the others had problems from time to time. What I found was 2 issues we effecting the jamming. First was the height the mag would insert into the chamber. Although the difference was small it had an effect on the loading of the rounds.

    Second, and more profound, was the angle the different mags were holding the rounds. By adjusting the gap at the top of the mag I decreased the angle of insertion which caused the jamming to stop.

    Hope this helps

    Craig

  189. Kevin says:

    Hey Craig, Yep that appears to be the fix on the Grease Gun mags. MkIII? Kev.

  190. Kevin says:

    For the rest of you that are interested. After acquiring 5 of these things and dissecting them, we have 3 flawless shooters. 1 Mk III, 2 Mk 45s. All have the same firing pins. We are looking at different metals, heat treating, and assembly approaches. Bob (the brains) has that part covered while I’m working to find the machine shop and supplies to keep costs affordable. Bob might even make spring kits possible! We’ll keep you posted. KV.

  191. Rick says:

    Stop teasing….I can hardly wait

  192. Pete says:

    All
    I have a list of parts for sale from a Commando mark 45.

    Complete bolt assembly with main spring $150

    complete trigger assembly $150-this was slightly modified externally to look more like a thompson.

    real wood forgrip (handguard) with hardware $40

    real wood buttstock with hardware $50

    Original manual $30

    rear site $15

    cutts compensator / front site with allen screw $10

    1st I’ll take it gets it. please provide email address in reply.
    Thanks
    P

  193. Rick says:

    The only thing I have interest in is the firomg pin

  194. Eddie says:

    I have parts for this gun. text me at 423-351-3891

  195. Eddie says:

    I have a like new in factory box with sales paper commando mini which is the hard to find pistol model.Also have like 6 mags.I cna email pics tried to post them here ..

  196. Pete says:

    Guys
    I am selling the rest of the parts I have for the commando Mark 45 as a set

    Complete bolt assembly with main spring

    complete trigger assembly $150-this was slightly cosmetically modified externally to look more like a thompson.

    real wood forgrip (handguard) with hardware

    rear site
    all above for $100 and shipping. I also have

    Original manual

    cutts compensator / front site with allen screw

    which are on hold until I hear from kevin.
    Thanks