From 1887 onward, the gun Hiram Maxim was producing was what he called the World Standard. He had finally perfected the machine gun design to his satisfaction in 1887 and with this design in hand he began to aggressively market it to the world’s militaries. One immediate complication was the ongoing shift from large caliber […]
One of the relatively few successful competitors to the Maxim in the early days of the heavy machine gun was the Col Model 1895 (aka, the Potato Digger). When it was adopted by the US in 1895, one of the elements in its favor was its light weight – just 35 pounds (not including mount). […]
When we last left Hiram Maxim, he had perfected his very first machine gun – the world’s first practical machine gun, really. However, while his gun worked well, it was not yet a design which was suitable for military acceptance. It was too large, too complex, and too expensive. If he wanted the gun to […]
I am going to start an intermittent series of posts on the various different types of Maxim machine guns over the next few months – there are a whole slew of them, and I have good photos of a bunch of different variants. Hopefully it will be a good reference for both production history and […]
One of the early potential competitors to the Maxim gun was the Austro-Hungarian Salvator-Dormus machine gun. Designed by Austrians Grand Duke Karl Salvator and Colonel von Dormus, is was first patented in 1888, although it has come to be known as the model 1893 because this was when the Austro-Hungarian Navy adopted it. Also known […]
Hiram Maxim with his initial 1884 prototype machine gun
Not actually a photo, but a good likeness of both Maxim and his first working machine gun. That lever on the side is to set the rate of fire, and one of these is still on display at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.
I have been really enjoying The Great War series on YouTube (a rolling weekly account of what happened in WWI this week 100 years ago), so I figured I ought to take advantage of an opportunity to look at several WWI heavy machine guns side by side. This is a video to give some […]
As someone who is very interested in the practical handling of old firearms, the idea of gun museums leaves me a bit conflicted. On the one hand, I am absolutely in favor of guns being preserved for posterity, and there is no better environment for that than a museum. On the other hand, once guns […]
All he’s missing is a cupholder
German MG08 Maxim in antiaircraft mounting, at some point during WWI. Note the spider sights mounted halfway down the jacket, and the belt reel. Those reels allowed the guns to reliably feed at all manner of odd angles – much better than having a long belt hanging down […]
From Vesamatti, a Finnish gunsmith student who reads the site, we have this neat video of a few older Finnish Army machine guns. The KP-31, KP-44, Sten, KVKK, and DP-27. Not guns we get all that much exposure to here in the US (except for the Sten…) – thanks Vesamatti!
Another video pointed out […]