Above: L/Cpl. Warren Gosney C Company 5RAR
carrying the 9 mm Owen Sub Machine Carbine.
The Owen was the only
Australian-designed service firearm of WWII.
Evelyn Owen, an inventor from Wollongong,
was 24 in July 1939 when he presented his
prototype "Machine Carbine" to ordnance
officers at the Victoria Barracks in Sydney.
Although somewhat bulky the Owen rapidly
became very popular due to its reliability.
It was so successful that it was ordered by
the US and New Zealand. The Owen was used in
front-line service in the Korean and Vietnam
Wars. It remained a standard weapon of the
Australian Army until the early 1960s, 1RAR,
5RAR and 6RAR on their first tours carried
the weapon to Vietnam when it was finally
declared to be unsuitable and was replaced
with the American M15 and M16 automatic
Place of origin:
Number Built: 50,000
Weight: 4.21Kg (9.37Lb)
Length: 806 mm (32 in)
Barrel Length: 247mm
Cartridge: 9 mm
Calibre: 9 mm
Rate of Fire: 700
420m/sec (1250 ft/sec)
Feed System: 32 round
detachable box magazine