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My Owen Guns


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#1 woodsy

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 04:35 PM

The top gun is a very tidy example of a 1942 Mark 1 which was recovered from Papua New Guinea, and also an example of the Aussie WW2 magazine pouch. The second gun is a Mark 2/3 (a post-war modification) and was used by the NZSAS in the Malayan Emergency in the late'50's The original sling (Sten), correct bayonet, and an example of the wooden Mk III butt are also shown.
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Edited by woodsy, 05 November 2011 - 04:39 PM.

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#2 Mike-Tornado Technologies

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 10:35 PM

Woodsy,

Is the pouch dated? The only pouches I've seen in that form were Malaya Korean War/Vitenam issue, so this pouch would be very interesting.

Your Mark 2/3 Owen, is it "FTR" marked just in front of the bolt safety? Does it have "MA/" and then a date markings.
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#3 woodsy

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 01:49 AM

Yes, you are right about the pouch, now that I have had a closer look. It is stamped in 4 lines under the flap in black ink (badly smudged) what appears to read;

M.IX
1966
unreadable
D^D

The Mk 2/3 is stamped infront of the bolt safety;

^
11/48/R

and has MA on the safety retaining flanges. The barrel is stamped 3 49 on the left rear and MA 49 on the right. The serial number matches the gun, so it was either a rebarrel or the conversion was not completed until '49. The gun has been renumbered during the conversion and all major parts have the same 4 digit number. There is no FTR stamp anywhere but the original Mk I/43 has been struck out and Mk 2/3 applied.

I bought this gun from the NZ Army Museum in the 1990's without a bolt, and a couple of years ago two bolts came up at auction. I bought the first one offered and when I got home was amazed to find it was the matching number! You have to win one now and then!
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#4 Mike-Tornado Technologies

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 08:02 PM

Yes, you are right about the pouch, now that I have had a closer look. It is stamped in 4 lines under the flap in black ink (badly smudged) what appears to read;

M.IX
1966
unreadable
D^D


Even though it's a Vietnam era pouch it's still very rare, as the Owens were replace with the F1 SMG not long after entering the Vietnam war, though they were in use with reserve units well into the 70's. The F1 pouch looks almost identical, but the pouch holes are curved.

The Mk 2/3 is stamped infront of the bolt safety;

^
11/48/R

and has MA on the safety retaining flanges. The barrel is stamped 3 49 on the left rear and MA 49 on the right. The serial number matches the gun, so it was either a rebarrel or the conversion was not completed until '49. The gun has been renumbered during the conversion and all major parts have the same 4 digit number. There is no FTR stamp anywhere but the original Mk I/43 has been struck out and Mk 2/3 applied.


Looks like all the parts are Lithgow manufacture (MA stamp), but the rebuilding may have been done in New Zealand? I'm assuming the 11/48/R is a NZ rebuild stamp, I have never seen that before. That been said, most all Owens I've examined that were FTR'd weren't done until the 50's.
When rebuilt, at least when done by Lithgow the original barrel was replaced on all guns I have seen. Note that the front site is adjustable, it has a bayonet lug, and there will be a peen mark on the receiver, just to the right of the barrel release. This was to make the barrel fit tight, as original guns had the barrels hand fit during manufacture.
Grips were also replaced with ones made from a darker Bakelite, and they were varnished with a "Japan black". Receivers were parkerized and in most cases painted black. The usual stock was the spare metal and wood stock that you show in the photo. Does the stock that is on it have a matching serial number to the gun?

I bought this gun from the NZ Army Museum in the 1990's without a bolt, and a couple of years ago two bolts came up at auction. I bought the first one offered and when I got home was amazed to find it was the matching number! You have to win one now and then!


I love it when that happens! I managed to do that with a barrel on a rare MKII trials gun!
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#5 woodsy

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 11:31 PM

Thanks for your comments Mike. I have an F1 pouch (but no gun!) but it is made of a totally different material. I am fairly sure that the 2/3 conversion was done in Oz as NZ never had Owens on issue. The SAS were supplied with them and a variety of other guns (shotguns, M2 Carbines, etc) in Malaya, and the NZSAS was (and is) a fairly small unit. Being good Kiwis however, they bought as much stuff home with them as possible! The marking on the 2/3 are very neatly done with purpose-made stamps, which would not have been the case if they had been NZ converted, and our SAS was only formed in the 1950's. The NZ Army only used Stens and Thompsons until the Sterlings arrived in 1959.
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#6 TSMGguy

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:21 PM

Very sweet indeed, and almost completely unknown here in the US. Thanks for posting.
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#7 21 smoker

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 09:06 PM

I just finished rebuilding one and test fired last weekend....I am surprised at the weight, they do run pretty smooth. Does anyone know of some magazines for sale or trade? I know that`s a long shot....


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#8 Mongo

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 12:10 AM

I have a few of the F1 pouches and have used it for my Swedish K mags since I like the way they fit and pull out easily.


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#9 Mike-Tornado Technologies

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 12:28 AM

I just finished rebuilding one and test fired last weekend....I am surprised at the weight, they do run pretty smooth. Does anyone know of some magazines for sale or trade? I know that`s a long shot....

 

I have magazines, how many do you need? I have original parts as well, but generally don't like to let them go, unless someone is desperate.


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#10 21 smoker

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 09:35 AM

Mike let me know what you need for the mags...


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