Research

At the museum

Other research



The Museum's research policy

We believe that research is an important part of a museum's function and that information should be made available. The Museum's research areas are available by appointment. Tuesdays and Thursdays are preferred, other times may be available by special appointment. We have had to introduce charges for research that requires time of our volunteers.

We ask that the researcher provides a copy of the results of their work to the Museum, be it a document, book, CD, DVD, whatever is produced as a result of the research.

Research may be performed by Museum Volunteers for those unable to get to the Museum. As the Museum is completely volunteer-run it can take some time to fill requests. Depending upon the amount of work required charges may be applied.

Intending researchers will need to print and complete a Research Request Form and send it back to us at least two weeks in advance via email, post or fax.

Research Request Form (requires Adobe Acrobat)


The John Wray Memorial Research Room

John Wray working on a maxim machine gun

John Wray, Founding member and Museum Custodian 2004 - 2009.

The John Wray Research Room was opened in 2010 to allow public access to the museum's extensive archives and library.

Our archives form a collection of National significance, and hold a comprehensive record of Lithgow SAF since its inception.

Included are documentation, drawings and cartoons, blueprints, photographs and data on the items and firearms produced, the manufacturing processes, management, the social and sporting aspects, the buildings and machinery, and changes in working practices and conditions over the years.

Research Room

Equipment in the research room includes photographic facilities, desktop and large format scanners, digital microscope, photocopier, laminator and a thermal binding machine. In order to recover costs there will be charges for photocopying, CD's, printing, laminating and binding.






The Armoury research facility

An extensive reference collection of reserve weapons is housed in the Museum Armoury. This collection is available to valid researchers by special appointment. Only in very special circumstances will a weapon be taken from the display areas for research, and this must be out of visitor hours.

All researchers allowed entry to the Armoury will be required to show a valid applicable firearms license and to sign the Armoury attendance book. The Museum reserves the right to refuse any person entry to the Armoury.

If you wish to apply for research please read our Research Policy if you haven't done so already and fill in a Research Request Form (requires Adobe Acrobat)

The Armoury is a secure area and tours of the Armoury are not normally available.


The Museum's rising sun display

Can you help?

Lithgow and Slazenger sporting rifle research

The Museum is carrying out research on the Lithgow Slazenger single shot and magazine bolt action .22 rifles. If you have a Lithgow or Slazenger single-shot (Model 1, 1A or 1B) or magazine repeating rifle (Model 12, Model 55, or Model 24 Hornet) or a Slazenger .410 shotgun we would appreciate an email with the following information about your rifle(s):

Single shot rifles

  1. the serial number
  2. The model (Model 1, 1A or 1B)
  3. If the serial number is higher than 200000, are the first two digits spaced apart from the rest of the number?
  4. Is the serial number hand-stamped (thicker and uneven numbering) or machine-stamped (thinner and even baseline)?
  5. Type of roundel in stock (large roundel with kangaroo motif and "Product of Lithgow SAF", or small roundel with "Slazenger SAF")
  6. Stock construction: one piece or two pieces glued together before machining?
  7. Any stamps or marks on the bottom of the barrel (with woodwork removed)
  8. Is the rear sight dovetailed or screwed to barrel?

Model 12 and Model 55 rifles

  1. the serial number
  2. The model (Model 12 or 55)
  3. Is the serial number hand-stamped (thicker and uneven numbering) or machine-stamped (thinner and even baseline)?
  4. Stock construction: one piece or two pieces glued together before machining?
  5. Any stamps or marks on the bottom of the barrel (with woodwork removed)
  6. Is there a serial number etched onto the bottom of the bolt?

Model 24 Hornet

  1. the serial number on the top of the barrel
  2. magazine capacity
  3. Has the charger guide been removed and is the model stamped on the remaining pad?
  4. Is the barrel marked "Slazenger"?
  5. Does the stock have a pistol grip?
  6. Is the butt-plate marked "Slazenger"?
  7. Is it fitted with dual extractors?
  8. The manufacturer and date of the original receiver (under bolt handle knob)
  9. Is the rear sight marked 1 to 4?
  10. Does it have chequering on the woodwork?
  11. Does it have a ramped foresight?

.410 Shotgun

  1. the serial number on the top of the barrel
  2. Has the charger guide been removed and is the model stamped on the remaining pad?
  3. Is the barrel marked "Slazenger"?
  4. Does the stock have a pistol grip?
  5. Is the butt-plate marked "Slazenger"?
  6. The manufacturer and date of the original receiver (under bolt handle knob)
  7. Does it have chequering on the woodwork?

We are currently working on a book about these rifles and your answers will greatly assist. Please let us know if you would like to be notified when the book is published.

Email Enquiries

Please check for answers on our website before emailing enquiries:

Enquiries about firearms

Please look here

Enquiries about Lithgow SAF commercial production

Please look here here

Enquiries about Factory history

Please look here

"The Lithgow Small Arms Factory and its People" by Tony Griffiths is a comprehensive history of the Factory, its people and its production over two volumes. It is available from the Museum Shop.

Enquiries about relatives who worked at SAF

The Museum has gained access to the employee records prior to 1943 and is currently digitising them.

Enquiries are answered as the records become available. Many enquiries can now be answered immediately, however as the Museum is volunteer run results may take some time.

For enquiries about a relative who worked at the Factory pre-1943 please email us with as much information as you can including your relative's full name, date of birth and the period they worked at the factory.

All other enquiries

please Email us.