Australian Owen MK 1 Machine Gun Bayonet
- Product Code: EWSK-1374-SOLD
- Availability: Out Of Stock
The Owen Sub Machine Gun was the only Australian designed sub machine gun to see use during the Second World War. Evelyn Owen designed the gun in 1939 and some 50,000 of the guns were produced by Lysaght’s Works and the Lithgow Small Arms Factory between 1941 and 1945. The gun was a simple blow back design, chambered for 9mm and much like the British Sten fired from an open bolt. The gun had a unique top mounted magazine that relied upon gravity to enhance reliable feeding. During the Australian military testing, against the Sten and Thompson sub machine guns, only the Owen would still function after being submersed in mud and sand. It was this reliability that endeared it to the Australian troops who carried it. Like most sub machine guns, the Owen was not designed to accept a bayonet. However, during 1943 the Australians experimented with the idea of adding a bayonet, and subsequently decided to do so. The bayonet that they chose was based upon the standard British Pattern 1907 bayonet that was in use at that time on the SMLE rifles of the infantry. In August of 1944 the new Owen Mk 1 bayonet was adopted and the pattern was sealed. It retained the same hilt and grip pattern of the P-1907, but utilized a 10” blade instead of the 17” blade of the P-1907 bayonet. The World War II era bayonets were produced at the Orange Arsenal in Australia, and are marked “OA”, while the post-World War II version manufactured in 1953 was produced at Lithgow and is marked “MA”. Another World War II variant of the Owen bayonet was the Mk 1 /1, which was made by cutting down existing P-1907 (No 1) bayonets. On these Owen bayonets the 17” No 1 blade was cut down to 8”. Both bayonets used the same scabbard. Various contractors manufactured parts used in the bayonets, including Slazenger who made the wooden grip panels and Mangrovite Belting, who made the leather scabbard bodies. Only 19,000 Owen bayonets were produced during World War II, making it one of the rarer allied bayonets from that war to find today.
This is an EXCELLENT condition example of a World War II production Owen Mk 1 bayonet and scabbard. The bayonet is clearly marked on the obverse ricasso with a (BROAD ARROW) / X OA. The Broad Arrow is the Australian military ownership and acceptance mark, the “X” is the bend test mark, and the “OA” stands for Orange Arsenal. The reverse ricasso is marked: MA / 1907 / 1, the pattern reference to the Lithgow P-1907 (No 1) bayonet that this is based upon, and is dated below that mark 4 45, or April 1945. The top of the pommel cap is marked with the OA mark, below the mortise. The left grip panel has a faint SLAZ 44 stamp, indicating that the grips were made by Slazenger in 1944, and the right grip appears to be unmarked. The face oft eh scabbard throat and drag are both marked OA, and the reverse of the scabbard is stamped MANGROVITE below the seam and with a (BROAD ARROW) / B above the seam. The bayonet retains about 80%+ of its original dull, blackened finish (similar to Parkerizing), with most of the loss at the tip and along the edges near the spine. Most of this finish loss appears to be from insertion and removal from the scabbard. The cross guard and muzzle ring retain about 50%+ of their original dull military blued finish and pommel cap retains about 80%+. Again, most of the finish loss appears to be from normal handling and wear. The bayonet locking mechanism function smoothly and correctly, and is mechanically excellent. The bayonet scabbard is in EXCELLENT condition as well. The leather retains nearly all of its original finish, as do the mounts, which are finished with the same dull black finish as the bayonet blade. The scabbard body is practically new, and the mounts show only some minor scuffing and handling wear.
Overall this is a really wonderful condition example of a scarce World War II era Australian bayonet that is rather difficult to find. This will be a great addition to your collection of Second World War edged weapons, especially if you have an interest in the war in the Pacific.SOLD