Austen Mark I

     Notes:  In 1941, the Australians were faced with a lot of jungle fighting and no handy submachineguns.  They asked for help from the British, and they sent the Australians their Sten.  The Australians were not impressed.  They began to rework the Sten, mixing elements of captured MP-38s and MP-40s and the Sten, resulting in the Austen (AUSTralian stEN).  The Austen was never as reliable as the Owen, and the Australian Army preferred the Owen; however, for some reason, 20,000 Austens were still produced.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Austen Mk I

9mm Parabellum

3.98 kg

28

$300

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Austen Mk I

5

2

Nil

4/5

1

2

20

 

Lithgow F-1

    Notes:  By the 1960s, the Owen was getting a bit long in the tooth, and showing signs of aging.  Australian armorers decided to combine the best features of the Owen and Sterling into a single weapon.  In addition, to further reduce costs, the stock, bayonet, and pistol grip were the same used on the L-1A1s the Australians were already using as a battle rifle.  The resulting weapon was called the X-3, and copies were sent off to be combat tested by Australian SAS troopers fighting in Vietnam.  The X-3 performed quite well, the SAS gave their thumbs up, and the X-3 was type-standardized as the F-1.  It continued in service until the early 1990s, when it was replaced by the MP-5 and AUG.  The F-1 is still retained in reserve stocks.  The F-1 can use its own magazines, or magazines designed for the Canadian or British versions of the Sterling.

     Twilight 2000 Story: As with the Owen, the F-1 was pulled back out of reserve stocks; however, some Army troops levied later in the war were also equipped with the F-1. 

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

F-1

9mm Parabellum

3.26 kg

10, 34

$284

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

F-1

5

2

Nil

4

1

2

21

 

Owen

     Notes:  Evelyn Owen originally offered this design to the Australian Army in 1939 chambered in .22 Long Rifle caliber.  Of course, they were not very interested, so Owen changed the caliber to .32 ACP. The Army was still not interested.  Owen then changed the caliber to .38 Special; the cartridge had the necessary hitting power, but did not feed well in an automatic weapon (the resulting weapon jammed so much as to be nearly useless).  Then Owen changed the caliber again, to 9mm Parabellum, which was the magic bullet, so to speak.  Unfortunately, a shortage of machine tools held production to 2000 copies per month, until about 45,000 copies were made by 1945.  The US Army even wanted to purchase 60,000 Owens for use in the South Pacific, but the Australians were unable to comply with the request.  Three models of the Owen were made: the Mark I, with a folding metal stock; the Mark I Wooden Butt, which had a fixed wooden stock; and the Mark II, which was a simplified model that never went into production.  Though production ended in September of 1945, the Owen remained in use by the Australians until the mid-1960s and are still held in reserve stocks.

     The prototype versions are presented below, both for general interest and completeness.  It is doubtful that more than two of three of each actually exist, and these will almost certainly be in military museums.

      Twilight 2000 Story: The Owens were pulled out of reserve stocks and cleaned up for issue to territorial and militia shortly before the Indonesian invasion.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Owen Prototype I

.22 Long Rifle

3.12 kg

33

$204

Owen Prototype II

.32 ACP

3.44 kg

33

$267

Owen Prototype III

.38 Special

4.25 kg

33

$417

Owen Mk I

9mm Parabellum

3.71 kg

33

$322

Owen MkI Wooden Butt

9mm Parabellum

4.21 kg

33

$296

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Owen Prototype I

5

1

Nil

3/4

1

2

19

Owen Prototype II

5

1

Nil

3/4

1

2

34

Owen Prototype III

5

2

2-Nil

4/5

1

2

20

Owen Mk I

5

2

Nil

4/5

1

2

26

Owen Mk I Wooden Butt

5

2

Nil

5

1

2

26