The evolution of the mighty, mighty Owen
In the darkest days of WWII, 24-year-old Pvt. Evelyn Ernest Owen, with 2/17 Battalion of the Australian Army, from Wollongong, New South Wales, submitted a homemade gun he made to the Army for testing.
His handy burp gun used a gramophone spring, was chambered in .22 rimfire, and was rejected.
But he kept working on the design, and, in full production by 1943, proved one of the most popular of WWII submachine guns– at least in Commonwealth service in the Pacific.
More in my column at Guns.com.