The Garrison Petawawa Military Museums partnered with the 2 Service Battalion Weapons Technicians to refurbish some of their old guns. Corporal Michael Leonard explains the process to 4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa Personnel Services (4 CDSB Petawawa Pers Svcs) Commander Lieutenant Colonel Darcy Wright and 4 CDSB Petawawa Pers Svcs Regimental Sergeant Major Master Warrant Officer Kim Pyke. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Museum guns restored by 2 Svc Bn Weapons Techs
By Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post
Posted on Thursday December 6, 2018
Garrison Petawawa Military Museums’ collection of forgotten guns was refurbished by a carefully selected group of 2 Service Battalion Weapons Technicians.
Led by Corporal (Cpl) Michael Leonard, the five soldiers were chosen not only for their talent, but also their passion for history. Each gun, from the large Thompson submachine gun to the small German Luger pistol was carefully restored to maintain the authenticity and integrity of each piece.
They will later be displayed for public view.
These guns vary in age from World War II era to more recent models.
“A lot of these weapons you will find still in service today,” said 4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa Personnel Services (4 CDSB Petawawa Pers Svcs) Commander Lieutenant Colonel (LCol) Darcy Wright. “People are using this, or variations of these weapons that are almost exactly the same.”
He was very pleased with the success of the initiative, presenting coins to each member of the team.
“Your demand to do this warms my heart,” said LCol Wright. “This is spectacular. You did a great job.”
Some of the weapons have not been held for decades and were in poor condition - until the team got their hands on them.
“At the time, there was no hope of them ever working again and they’ve been restored to either a fully serviceable firing condition or, at the very minimum, return to a cock-and-click deactivation so they can still be manipulated,” said Cpl Leonard.
The vast majority of the guns were brought back to optimal condition. This not only preserves the history of the weaponry but also allows for their usage. There is a possibility they will be taken out in the field, shot and filmed, and the video later put on display in the museum.
“This is a piece of living history here,” said Cpl Leonard. “You pick up a weapon and it tells you a story.”
It was a dream come true for many involved who went into the trade because of their passion for firearms and their love of historical pieces, understanding just how important it is to preserve these guns.
“It is a very unique privilege for us to be able to do an undertaking like this,” said Cpl Leonard.
Collections Manager Seana Jones hopes to see more partnerships between other units at Garrison Petawawa and the museum.
“I am bursting with pride with the work they have done,” she said. “It is absolutely incredible.
“These gentlemen have managed to take away the rust, keeping the integrity of the weapon intact and they are absolutely outstanding,” she added.