F1 submachine gun

The 9 mm F1 was a standard Australian submachine gun manufactured by the Lithgow Small Arms Factory [1]. Issued to Australian army troops in July of 1963, it replaced the Owen machine carbine. The F1 was retired in 1991 and replaced by the F88C Austeyr, an Australian-built version of the Steyr AUG Carbine with slight modifications. The F1 had a robust and simple design and proved useful in close-quarters fighting during the Vietnam War.

Design details

The F1 is a simple blowback design firing from an open bolt. It shares many design features with the British Sterling submachine gun. Unlike both the Sterling and its predecessor the Owen the F1 has a fixed wooden stock and pistol grip. A curved detachable box magazine is inserted in a magazine housing on top of the barrel. The butt-plate and pistol-grip are identical to those on the L1A1 SLR.

Problems occurred with the design of the F1, as its double-stack magazine (rounds side by side in the magazine) tended to spin the rounds as the bolt connected. This eroded the chamber into a bell shape, which increased the likelihood of jams.

Service history

In service 1963-1991
Used by Australia

Wars Vietnam War

Production history
Designed 1962
Manufacturer Lithgow Small Arms Factory
Produced July, 1963
Number built 400,000 +
Weight 3.7 kg (Empty)
4.30 kg (Loaded)
Length 714 mm
Barrel length 198 mm
Cartridge 9x19mm Parabellum
Action Blowback
Rate of fire 600-640 rounds/min
Effective range 150 m
Maximum range 100-200 m
Feed system 34-round magazine
Sights Iron sights


Military Guns