German-Capture 1910 Russian Maxim in 8×57

This is a very interesting WW1 heavy machine gun. It is a Russian M1910 Maxim that was repaired at some point using the brass jacket from a 1905 Russian Maxim. This may have been done by Russians or buy Germans, as the gun was also captured by German forces at some point and refitted to use German 8x57mm ammunition. We can see the changes made to do this – the “S” marking on the top cover to indicate 8mm, the changes to the feed block and the fitting of a German MG08 lock as well as a German optics mounting bracket. The mount, however, is a very rare WW1 pattern Russian Sokolov mount with both wheels and tripod legs. These tripods would be simplified after the war to remove the legs, and finding a WW1-pattern example intact is quite difficult today.


  1. I heard that some Maxim guns are still at the front in Ukraine. They’ve been given some modern accessories but they are basically unchanged on the insides.

    Back to this gun, and my best guess is that a 1910 gun was given a surplus 1905 cooling jacket lying around for no good reason or that lots of broken guns were salvaged for parts. Logistics of the Imperial Russian Army left much to admire.

  2. “refitted to use German 8x57mm ammunition”
    One of factors leading to commercial success of Maxim machine gun was that there was not need of deep rework to get other cartridge to work properly – which allowed its selling to different countries, without need of having numerous machines used only for 1 given cartridge. Apparently it also means that even already produced examples might be relatively easily reworked to use other cartridges.

    In fact Russian Empire tested firstly Maxim machine guns chambered for 10,67 mm Berdan black-powder rifle cartridge according to

    • Didn’t our humble host own a 7,62*54R barrel for his Vickers gun? His by now sold Vickers was a kitbash of various parts already IIRC.

  3. What is the purpose of the disc on the muzzle booster? I have always wondered if it is a bullet deflector to protect the gun. Anyone know?

    • Muzzle flash is pretty distracting, so the disc is used to keep the flash out of the gunner’s vision.

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