Australian 1944 Pattern Owen SMG Bayonet
Fullered knife blade with alkali blacking, steel hilt with muzzle ring, steel pommel with oil hole, wood scale grips. Brown leather scabbard with steel throat and chape pieces, the throat with a round frog stud.
The ricasso is stamped on one side with ‘MA / 1907 / 1’, and ‘3 5’. MA stands for Munitions Australia, 1907 was their pattern stamp (see below). ‘3 5’ is a date mark, indicating production in March 1945. The other side of the ricasso is stamped with ‘X OA’, and with a broad arrow War Department mark. OA is the mark of the Orange Factory, established in 1941 to increase Australia’s production capacity above what Lithgow could produce alone. The X may be an out-of-service mark. The scabbard leather is stamped with ‘MA53’, indicating production in 1953. The wood grips are stamped with ‘SLAZ.44’, indicating that they were produced in 1944 by the Slazenger company, better known for its sporting equipment.
The Owen was an Australian-designed and built submachine gun chambered in 9mm, the creation of home inventor Evelyn Owen. Over 40,000 Owens were made between 1942 and 1944, and while bulky for an SMG, its reliability in mud and sand exceeded the Sten and Thompson guns, making It a favourite of Australian troops. New Zealanders fighting in the Pacific even exchanged their Thompsons for Owens. It remained in service through the Korean and Vietnam wars. The bayonet designed for them was a shortened version of the British 1907 Pattern Lee Enfield bayonet. Some were converted from existing 1907s while others, like this one, were made as new. Exact numbers of Owen bayonets produced are unknown but some believe it to have been in the low thousands.
This example is in absolutely superb condition, perfect for collecting. The grips in particular are immaculate with only the tiniest dents and a rough-grained surface that has seen very little handling. There are some very small dents to the leather of the scabbard, but no significant wear to the blacked metal parts. I doubt this bayonet was ever issued.