Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum

Overview

In 1906 the Australian Government decided Australia should be independent from Britain for her defence needs. The Lithgow Small Arms Factory commenced production in 1912.

This museum, situated in the grounds of the Small Arms Factory, celebrates the rich history of Australia's first high precision mass production facility and its people.

Over its years of operation, Lithgow SAF accumulated a collection of military small arms from all over the world to use as a technical library. These and the Factory's own production firearms form the basis of a comprehensive display of rifles, sub-machine guns and ordnance.

To keep this vital factory going between wars, an amazing array of commercial products were manufactured. The Factory saved the floundering Australian wool Industry during the 1930s by manufacturing parts for shearing handsets, eliminating the need to import expensive English equipment.

In 2007, collector Ron Hayes donated a magnificent handgun collection. The diversity in the Ron Hayes Gallery has fascinated even those without a particular interest in firearms. From duelling flintlocks from the early 1800s, to ladies muff pistols, to hand engraved masterpieces, this is a magnificent collection.

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