Australia can Produce Military Weapons.

Australia possesses the capability, ingenuity, and expertise to manufacture defence equipment, including a domestically produced service rifle, asserts local firearms designer Ron Owen. Based in Gympie and holding a firearms dealer license, Owen is credited with designing the Genesis One straight-pull rifle, purportedly the first rifle designed and manufactured in Queensland in the past 25 years.

The rifle, available in .223, 6.5mm, or .308 chamberings, was developed and produced by Enfield Arms in Queensland in 2023, targeting the recreational hunting and target shooting market. Owen advocates for Australia’s potential to support the domestic production of service rifles and other defence equipment as a strategic imperative.

“We possess the necessary capability, and we always have,” Owen stated. “We have the determination, creativity, and expertise to create anything. The output during World War II demonstrates our potential. However, bureaucratic restrictions hinder our progress.”

“Australia could swiftly manufacture its own firearms within six months if it chose to,” Owen continued. “We could emulate Switzerland, well-equipped and formidable, deterring any potential adversaries. Yet, the decision rests with political entities.”

Owen highlighted Australia’s history of successful domestic military equipment innovation, citing the renowned 9mm Owen submachine gun, designed by Evelyn Owen of Wollongong in 1938. Despite initial rejection by the Australian Army, the design was later adopted and produced in significant quantities for use in conflicts such as Korea, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

Despite past inquiries from the Department of Defence and the Australian Army regarding the creation of a domestic anti-material rifle, progress has been impeded. Owen recounted an instance where a contract for such a rifle was cancelled by the Ministry of Defence in 2023, despite prior interest and visits from defence experts.

Numerous companies, including Oceania Precision, Wedgetail Industries, Eureka Gun Company, Southern Cross Small Arms, and Warwick Firearms Australia, are striving to gain a larger share of Australia’s firearms market, typically dominated by established American and other international brands.

In a bid to advance domestic development efforts, Owen has announced the Straight Pull Challenge 2024, inviting manufacturers to compete in showcasing the nations best domestically produced straight-pull rifle. The competition involves a four-round shooting contest against targets at various distances, aiming to promote the adoption of Australian-made firearms in competitive shooting.

“Never before has Australia seen such a variety of locally manufactured firearm options, particularly in the straight-pull, pump, and lever-release styles,” Owen remarked. “However, these rifles have yet to gain traction in Australian competitive shooting. This event aims to showcase the products of all Australian firearm manufacturers and integrate them into the future of Australian competition shooting.”


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