Bill Smallwood, Gun Smith, is building an original 1928 Al submarine gun. This 45 caliber gun called the Thompson is an American submachine gun, aka Tommy Gun”, “Trench Broom”, “Trench Sweeper”, “Chicago Typewriter”, “Chicago Piano”, “Chicago Style”, “Chicago Organ Grinder” or “The Chopper.”
20 years in the industry, Smallwood works at Range 702 in Las Vegas. Jim who builds equipment on site, the range grill, concealed weapons classes and the 25 shooting lanes in part is what makes 702 the largest indoor shooting facility in Nevada. Smallwood is not a clock watcher as his garage mimics the machinery in the back-shop. He says, “I have the same setup at home.” Mechanically inclined he has also been an electrician for 20 years, built racecars and was part of the team that constructed the City Center in Las Vegas, which has been titled one of the largest environmental achievements in the world.
As an expert working at Range 702 one of his projects is the Al submarine gun. “You can write your name with this gun, that’s why they call it the typewriter,” he said. He goes back into the vaulted room and pulls out a 50 caliber anti-aircraft gun and talks about the phase of each piece he’s working on.
For the Israeli Uzi “I just have to get flat metal and put dimples in to keep the receiver rigid,” he says. It will only take him a couple days to build. The Uzi was one of the first weapons to use a telescoping bolt design. This allows the magazine to be housed in the pistol grip for a shorter weapon. The Uzi is used as a persoanl defense weapon by rear-echelon troops, officers, artillery troops and tankers and frontline weapon by elite light infantry assault forces. Next in line is the DPMS 308, “I’m changing the block-out so the sites will line up perfectly,” he says. The “kid” helps out Smallwood points to Nowak. Zeno Nowak inspects the alignment, yet he is no amateur, he started out in the family business. He has 7+ years of experience at their sister company CMF or Center Mass Firestorm.
Smallwood and Nowak are part of the backbone at the The Range 702, where you can have a blast shooting off a couple rounds! And women get free range time on Tuesdays.