The decision to build its own arms industry was the result of the complicated situation in which the Second Polish Republic found itself after World War I. The resurgent state fought wars on almost all of its borders. It also had to face a massive Bolshevik invasion. In these battles, the hastily formed Polish army immediately needed huge amounts of rifles and ammunition. The first units of the Polish Army, formed in 1918, were equipped with weapons from the resources left by the invaders, i.e. Austrian, Russian and German. In contrast, the nearly 80,000-strong “Blue Army” that arrived in the country in 1919 was armed with French weapons. When, in the autumn of 1920, the Polish Army numbered about 900,000 soldiers, it was equipped with rifles of several dozen different models, designs and calibres. This caused huge problems, e.g. with ammunition supply, but also made the army dependent on foreign supplies. Under these circumstances, the idea of building our own arms industry and unifying the small arms used by the Polish Army was born.
The decision to build a state arms industry was made by the Economic Committee of the Council of Ministers on April 29, 1922. That same year, the Ministry of Military Affairs approved a proposal to locate the new plants in the so-called safety triangle. This map also included Radom as a place where a modern arms factory was planned to be built.
The advantages of Radom, which determined the choice of the city for the site of the new armament plant, were:
– location on the route from Warsaw to Kraków and the railroad line from Dęblin to Dąbrowa Górnicza,
– the existence of numerous metal works, foundries and the city power plant,
– the operation of many vocational schools ready to train a technical workforce,
– human resources due to population density and high unemployment rate.
The site chosen for the plant was the former Mariackie farm, located on the railroad line near the station and siding. Work at the design stage and project implementation was led by Andrzej Dowkontt, engineer, the first director of the State Weapons Factory in Radom, and his deputy, Lt. Col. (ppłk) Stanisław Siczek. Work on the construction of the plant began in 1923, and by 1925 the plant began production.
Since 1924, the plant began to be equipped with machinery for the manufacture of weapons. Most of them came from the German rifle factory in Gdańsk, which was taken over by the Polish authorities. This factory produced reliable German Mausers. Taking over the equipment for their production and technological documentation decided that the Mauser system rifle was chosen to be the basic rifle of the Polish Army, and its production was to be handled, among others, by the Radom factory.
Initially, only the initial phase of rifle production took place in Radom, which was completed at the Rifle Factory in Warsaw, but already in 1927 the Radom Weapons Factory launched the full production line of Mauser rifle model 98 and handed over the first batch of 10,000 pieces to the army.
In 1927, the consolidation of the arms industry led to the creation of a consortium under the name State Weaponry Works (Państwowe Wytwórnie Uzbrojenia) in Warsaw. It was formed by several armaments plants, including the Radom Weapons Factory, which from now on was called the State Arms Factory (Państwowa Fabryka Broni) in Radom.
The name change went hand in hand with changes in the Radom plant’s management positions. Since 1927 the director of the Weapons Factory in Radom was engineer Kazimierz Ołdakowski.