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9mm Owen Sub-Machine Carbine

The 9mm Owen Sub-Machine Carbine (OMC)

Lance Corporal Warren Gosney carrying the Owen Sub-Machine Gun
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 rifles.

Design: 1939
 Place of origin: Australia
 Number Built: 50,000
 Weight: 4.21Kg (9.37Lb)
 Length: 806 mm (32 in)
 Barrel Length: 247mm (9.75 in)
 Cartridge: 9 mm Parabellum
 Calibre: 9 mm
 Action: Blowback
 Rate of Fire: 700 round/Min
 Muzzle Velocity: 420m/sec (1250 ft/sec)
 Feed System: 32 round detachable box magazine