Manila, Philippines(+632) 721 7171 to 73


Opened on 8 June 1912, the factory initially manufactured SMLE III rifles (and bayonets thereof) for the Australian military during World War I. During World War II, production expanded to include Vickers machine gunsBren guns and, postwar, branched out into sporting goods (including civilian firearms and golf clubs), tools, sewing machines, (from the mid-1950s) the F1 submachine gunL1A1 SLRKAL1 general purpose infantry rifle prototypes and similar products.

The Lithgow Small Arms Factory was known to produce their single shot models 1A and 1B as well as their Model 12 repeater under the Slazenger brand during the 1960s. The factory was first “corporatised” as Australian Defence Industries by the Hawke Government, then later sold in 2006. ADI Lithgow is now owned by Thales Australia and continues to manufacture the F88 Austeyr rifle and F89 Minimicurrently used by the Australian military. As a separate entity, not owned or run by the current owners of the factory, the volunteer-run Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum is located at the front of the disused section of site and has a large collection of military and civilian firearms manufactured at the factory and elsewhere.


Milling section 1912

Engineer-Commander William Clarkson wrote in a report “The object to be aimed at in establishing a small arms factory is to produce a perfect arm at the least possible cost. This can only be attained by using automatic machines, attended by human beings working with almost automatic precision. … The only skilled labour required for the manufacture of small arms is that for straightening rifle barrels. The remainder of the work is done by boys tending automatic machinery.”

In 1907 Clarkson was sent by the Australian Government to investigate arms manufacture in the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States of America, and Canada. In November 1908, resulting from Clarkson’s report and subsequent specification, tenders were called for the supply of a complete plant for the manufacture of small arms and accoutrements. The rifle to be manufactured was the Short Magazine Lee-Enfield (SMLE), the standard military weapon of British and Empire forces.

Four serious offers were received. British firms Birmingham Small Arms Co and Archdale & Co both tendered over £100,000 and 2 ½ years delivery time. British machine tool company Greenwood & Batley submitted an offer of £69,000 with 2 years delivery, and with ties to England still strong, it was assumed by most that this offer was the logical choice. The 4th tender at a similar price to Greenwood & Batley, and shorter delivery time, was from American machine tool company Pratt & Whitney at Hartford, Connecticut.

Clarkson preferred the outstanding precision and modern machines of Pratt & Whitney who were not a firearms manufacturing company, but who made machine tools capable of producing any component requiring repetitive precision manufacture. Doubts were expressed that a rifle could be manufactured to British standards by any foreign machines. After tenders closed Clarkson was sent back to Pratt & Whitney for another look, which only convinced him that his earlier impressions were correct.

The Department of Defence agreed with Clarkson, and in a highly controversial decision at the time, in some eyes close to treason, Pratt & Whitney’s tender of £68,000 was accepted for the new Lithgow factory. Pratt & Whitney offered the quicker delivery time of 1 year; much less reliance on skilled tradesmen; lower production time and costs; and training for the new factory foremen in their Connecticut factory.




Thread Polymer Right Hand



  • 977-1007 mm (Polymer adjustable) 977 mm (Timber)
  • 3.1 kg (Polymer) 3.3 kg (Timber)
  • Proprietary, military grade steel, cold hammer forged. Medium varmint weight, target crowned. Coated in Cerakote™
  • 531 mm
  • 6 grooves 1 : 16” (406 mm) right hand twist
  • ½” x 20 UNF or ½” x 28 UNEF Right Hand
  • High tensile steel with recoil lug. Weaver bases. Coated in Cerakote™
  • Floated design with two sling studs, available in polymer, walnut and laminate
  • 325-345 mm (Polymer Adjustable) 345 mm (Timber)
  • Single stage 1.5 kg release
  • Two position, with indicator. Safety catch blocks the trigger
  • Removable, single stack box magazine, polymer construction. Compatible with CZ452/455 series.
  • 5 round magazines available