LYSAGHT PK OWEN

LYSAGHT PK OWEN

It took some before the Australians realized that they were going to receive no STEN guns from the British, as the British army wanted all that could be produced. After much procrastination, the decision was made to adopt the OWEN gun (designed by Lady Evelyn Owen, improved by Gerard Warrel, and manufactured byLYSAGHT PK NEWCASTLE WORKS PTY. LTD, on a patent of 22/7/1941 ) but even then they were not sure what calibre. Consequently the first trials batches were produced in four calibres before the universal 9-mm was adopted. The OWEN gun can be easily recognized by the magazine, which points vertically upwards over the tubular gun body. This odd-seeming arrangement was apparently chosen for no other reason than it worked, and it must be said that it worked very well to the extent that once the Australian soldiers got their hands on the type they preferred it to all others. The rest of the gun was fairly conventional and very robust to the point where it seemed to be able to take all manner of punishment and withstood being dropped in mud, dust water and just about anything else. As production increased various changes were introduced to the design. The first fins around the barrel were removed and some changes were made to the butt, which could be found in versions with just a wire skeleton, an all-wood design, and one version that was half-outline and half wood. One feature of the OWEN that was unique to it, apart from the overhead magazine, was that the barrel could be quickly removed for changing. Exactly why this feature was incorporated is uncertain, for it would have taken a long period of firing for the barrel to become unusably hot, but the feature was retained through the design life of the weapon. Another odd point regarding the OWEN was that once in service they were often painted in camouflage schemes to suit the local terrain. For the Australian army (and the OWEN was used by no other forces) that meant the hot and sweaty jungles of New Guinea, where the Australian soldiers found the OWEN ideal for the close-quarter combat that the jungles enforced. It was true that the OWEN was rather heavier than most comparable models but the forward-mounted grip and the pistol grip made it easy to handle. The top-mounted magazine had one slight disadvantage for the firer as the magazine position meant that the sights had to be off-set to the right side of the body, an awkward arrangement but one that mattered little once the weapon was used in action for, like most sub-machine guns, the Owen was almost always fired from the hip. The production of the OWEN started in 1941 and ended in 1944. --- TECHNICAL SPECS: CALIBER: 9x19mm-Parabellum CAPACITY: Up to 33 rounds TOTAL LENGHT: 813 mm BARREL LENGHT: 260 mm WEIGHT: 2,41 Kgs RIFLING: 7 grooves, RH ROF: 700 Rounds Per Minute

Submitted by: PIERANGELO TENDAS