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Listed under:  Society  >  Citizenship  >  Politics  >  Public administration  >  National security  >  Armed forces  >  Military equipment  >  Weapons  >  Firearms

Armstrong Mitchell Gatling gun, 1884

This is an Armstrong Mitchell Gatling gun. The gun consists of ten barrels within a brass jacket and is mounted in a yoke towards the rear of the barrel allowing for vertical adjustment. A semicircular blade beneath the pivot point maintains the alignment during movement. There is a wooden handle at the rear that is used ...


Gunflint, c1880

This is a stone gunflint, a piece of stone used inside a flintlock firearm to ignite the gunpowder. The gunflint was uncovered in an archaeological dig of the area known as 'Little Lon', Melbourne, in 2003. It does not appear to have been used.


Mollie Bodman and another woman hunting in grasstree scrub, St Margaret Island, c1910

This is a black-and-white photograph of two women hunting in a landscape of trees and grasstree scrub on St Margaret Island, about 1910. One of the women, Mollie Bodman, is holding a gun. The image is a digital scan of the original photograph.

Moving Image

Creating music from guns

Discover why an artist makes musical instruments from guns as we take a look at Mexican artist Pedro Reyes's exhibition 'Disarm' at NGV International, the National Gallery of Victoria. Reyes has, with the help of local artisans, constructed instruments using parts from weapons confiscated by the Mexican government.


Shooting practice, Northern Territory, early 1940s

This is a black-and-white photograph of six uniformed Australian soldiers in a bush setting, probably taken in the Northern Territory in the early 1940s. One soldier is lying on the ground with a .303 Lee Enfield rifle resting on a fallen tree. He is looking into the gun sights, as if ready to fire, apparently as part of ...


Machine gun training in the Tiwi Islands, 1944

This is a black-and-white photograph, taken in 1944, of an Aboriginal man practising the use of a machine gun at Milikapiti, on the north coast of Melville Island, one of the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory. The man is lying flat on a sandy beach looking into the sights of the weapon, which is mounted on a bipod. ...


Major Sir Thomas Mitchell's duelling pistols, 1851

This is a matching cased pair of French .50-calibre duelling pistols. Each pistol is rifled and has a percussion lock. The pistols feature carved fluted walnut butts and there is foliate carving to the forestock. The octagonal barrel is heavily etched and engraved around the muzzle, lock and trigger guard.


First Contact, 1983: 'Guns and pigs'

This clip shows two Australian brothers, the Leahys, demonstrating the power of guns for the first time to people in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the 1930s. The clip includes archival black-and-white photographs and Michael Leahy's film footage of the newcomers killing a pig to convey the fearsomeness ...


'The exploits of the 'Emden'', 1928

This still image is from the 1928 film 'The exploits of the ''Emden'''. This image shows naval ratings (non-commissioned sailors) manning the gun on the Australian battle cruiser 'HMAS Sydney', which sank the German cruiser 'Emden' near the Cocos Islands in 1914. The image has been signed with the words 'Remembrance of ...


Australian gunners in action

This is an excerpt from a silent documentary made in 1915, entitled 'World War I: Australian troops in the Middle East and France'. This excerpt shows Australian gunners in action, probably in the Sinai Desert. A cloud of dust is visible in the distance, perhaps indicating the presence of Turkish troops.


'Shooting breakers?'

This is a black-and-white recruitment poster for the Australian Imperial Force captioned, 'Are you shooting breakers when YOU SHOULD BE BEHIND A GUN?'. The poster shows a photograph of a soldier lying on the ground shooting a Bren light machine gun. Behind him is a sketch of a man shooting a wave on a surfboard in a similar ...


Bomb site in Darwin, 1942

This is a black-and-white photograph of a group of six Australian soldiers at a bomb site in Darwin, Northern Territory, in 1942. The actual location in Darwin is unidentified. A sign in the foreground says 'DANGER LIVE BOMB', and one of the men is crouching or standing in what could be a bomb crater.


War dance in 1851

This is a watercolour painting created by the military artist Captain T J Grant in 1851. The image shows a Mäori woman holding a mere pounamu (greenstone hand weapon) and leading six male Mäori warriors in a war dance. The first male warrior holds a tewhatewha (a close combat weapon around 2 metres long); the second, fourth ...


Ben Hall's revolver

This is a Colt 1849 Pocket Model revolver used by the Australian bushranger Ben Hall. It is a .31 calibre, five-shot revolver with a 5-inch (12.7-centimetre) barrel and was probably made in late 1855. The initials 'BH' have been carved into the gun handle. The revolver itself forms part of the collection of the National ...


Soldiers learning to use rifles, 1953

This is a black-and-white photograph of eight soldiers dressed in fatigues and metal helmets, lined up in a half-kneeling position, being taught by a sergeant how to load and fire their rifles. Another group of soldiers is being trained in the background.


Mäori weapons taken at Te Ranga, 1864

This is an ink watercolour by Lieutenant Horatio Robley entitled 'Mäori arms taken at Te Ranga 21 June 1864', which appeared in 'The Illustrated London News' of September 1864. It shows weapons captured after the British victory over Ngäi Te Rangi (a Mäori tribe) at Te Ranga on 21 June 1864. The weapons are numbered and ...


Owen submachine gun

This is a colour photograph of an Owen submachine gun, invented in 1941 by Evelyn Owen (1915-49). The complete gun (at right) is accompanied by a cutaway version. The complete gun has a bayonet lying beside its muzzle and an ammunition magazine protruding at right angles from the top of it. The stock and handgrips are made ...


Räwiri Püaha's gun

This is a 'superimposed-load' or 'four-hammer' double-barrelled shotgun. Known as 'Koatariini', it belonged to Räwiri Kïngi Püaha, a chief of the Mäori tribe Ngäti Toa Rangatira. The butt of the shotgun is made from walnut. The barrel and trigger are made from steel and brass, and are attached to the rest of the gun with ...


Jim Flemming recalls filming an attack mission in South Korea, 2007

This is an edited sound recording of former Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Air Vice-Marshal Jim Flemming describing an unusual operation to film an air attack mission in the Korean War for use in a 1950 episode of a 'Cinesound Review' newsreel. Flemming describes how a camera was specially fitted under the wing of a ...


Milt Cottee describes RAAF air attacks in the Korean War, 2007

This is an edited sound recording of former Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Group Captain Milt Cottee describing attack missions in single-seater Mustang planes such as those he piloted in the Korean War (1950-53). Cottee outlines the range of weapons carried and the types of targets they were used against. He also gives ...