Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum
Showcasing Australia's industrial history in technical and human terms
The history of the Lithgow Small Arm Factory is about people - their aspirations, disappointments, and achievements, the economic and social hardships endured, the influence of our British heritage on Australia in the early 1900s, and sheer human stubborness. It is also about the introduction of new technologies into the emerging new nation. The Lithgow Factory was Australia's first high precision mass production facility.
This museum located on the original Small Arms Factory site houses a fascinating collection that showcases the industrial heritage of our nation, and the finest firearms display in the Southern Hemisphere. You may be surprised to recognise some of the diverse array of commercial items manufactured by the factory during the lean times.
A comprehensive display of machine guns, rifles, handguns and related items from around the world. Unique to this museum are Australian designed and produced experimental, prototype and pre-production weapons.
The historic collection of photographs and memorabilia reveal early to modern day production processes and the involvement of factory employees in the social, sporting and cultural events of Lithgow since 1912.
Non-military items manufactured during 80 years of precision engineering give an idea of the versatility of the factory and its workforce. Commercial production included sewing machines, sheep shearing handsets, hand cuffs, medical implants, and many other items.
In 2006 Ron Hayes donated his amazing handgun collection to the museum. Rarities in the Hayes Gallery include the Borchardt, Webley 1904, and the Persian Luger. Among the 800 varied handguns featured are a number of gold plated and hand-engraved presentation masterpieces.