F1:This Weird Australian Machine Gun Was a Beast on the Battlefield

War Is Boring
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F1:This Weird Australian Machine Gun Was a Beast on the Battlefield

The Australian Army first issued the F1 submachine gun to its soldiers in April 1963 to replace the World War II-vintage Owen Gun.

Like the earlier Owen, the F1 had a top-mounted magazine — which lent itself to prone-firing and was more comfortable than more-conventional weapons were for troops to carry slung.

The F1 entered service alongside the Australian L1A1, and shared with that weapon a common trigger group and pistol grip as well as a butt plate, thus minimizing the additional unique parts the submachine gun required.

Australian Ordnance had begun searching for a replacement for the aging Owen Gun after the Korean War. The Owen had been quickly and cheaply produced during the World War II. It had been popular with Australian troops, but maintenance of the Owen Gun proved difficult — as each weapon had been hand-fitted to speed up production and some parts weren’t interchangeable.

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