M43 Salakari: A Dynamic Assault Mount for the Finnish Maxim

The Finnish military depended heavily on Maxim machine guns until the 1960s, first using ones captured from the Russians and later starting production at Tikkakoski in the 1930s. One of the difficulties of the Maxim, however, was its mount. Based on DWM commercial mounts, the Finnish Maxim tripod was very heavy and cumbersome to move. For highly mobile assault troops, something different was needed.

In 1943, Lieutenant Lauri Salakari developed this particular lightweight mount, which was tested and put into limited production. Mass production was intended, but the Continuation War ended before that could be put in place, and in total just 213 of them were made. They were quite popular at the front, as they cut some 50 pounds form the weight of a Maxim, and allowed much more dynamic use of the gun. One hundred actually remained in Finnish Defense Forces official inventory until he 1980s, when the last ones were scrapped.


  1. Did anyone ever identify the musical instrument hanging on the wall near the right of the screen?

    • Xylophone for a military marching band. The lyre-like external frame allows it to be carried and played vertically.

      • I think there is a proper name for it. In a previous video’s comments, somebody said it might have a German origin.

        • There are other names for the damn things, but this is why I said it was a “glockenspiel”:


          They can also be called a “marching bell lyre”:


          I *think* the one in Ian’s background is maybe a Soviet version, likely captured war booty from one of the naive and foolish units that invaded Finland during the Winter War? I could see some bemused Finn cleaning up after one of the Motti battles, finding that thing, and going “WTF? What the hell is this, and why on earth did some crazed Communist commander think it needed to come along with the invasion force…?”.

          And, considering all the specialized winter warfare gear that they didn’t bring along…? Yeah, I’d have grabbed that as an ironic trophy to keep, too. Probably try to identify, too–You find something like that out in the field, absent the context of “marching band”, first thing you’re probably going to be asking yourself? Would likely be: “What the hell is this? Some kind of secret weapon…? An instrument of torture…?”.

          There were a couple of things we found in Iraq like that which became similar mysteries. There was a whole container of “WTF?” that we had, which was confiscated from the troops after the fighting, and also found out in the countryside during the aftermath. 101st Airborne’s divisional historian couldn’t make the slightest sense out of some of it, whatsoever. I think we wound up shipping that whole mess back to the Iraqi government in Baghdad without ever figuring out what a lot of it was.

    • I’d think that someone cut their Suomi SMG down the way they like to do with Mosin-Nagant rifles to make the so-called “Obrez” versions for illicit activities, making them easier to conceal.

      Might-maybe have been done by someone in a tank or other vehicle, to make it easier to use through a firing port? Maybe? Dunno… I wonder if Ian is going to tell us more–I don’t see any sign of a folding stock, soooo… I’d bet money “Unauthorized as hell field modification”.

      • “(…)someone in a tank(…)”
        There existed tank version of SUOMI sub-machine gun
        but this is official variant. Although few were procured
        Only few dozen tank-version of Suomi M/31 were made before Winter War and those were the only ones ever made.
        and remained official weapon of Finnish forces until 1980s
        These rare weapons remained included to official Finnish Defence Forces weaponry until 1980’s

    • That’s the ‘Bunker Model – Korsu’. They had the short pistol grip stock and a different barrel shroud with a flattened muzzle end. Ian should do a review on that one with test firing of course.


      A specialized bunker version was also produced in very small numbers (a total of 500 built) in 1941, the barrel shroud end of which was thinner and flattened to allow firing through the narrow ports of defensive bunkers.[10] This version had no shoulder stock and was equipped with a pistol grip.

  2. His head’s cut off by the top of the screen, but 5 will get you 10 that the guy in the framed photo is Mannerheim.

  3. Why do I get the feeling that some stupid schmuck is going tobogganing with this gun, firing like crazy and screaming at the top of his lungs while sliding downhill?

  4. “Light Maxim” – definition of an oxymoron

    Isn’t a Vickers the ultimate evolution of the Maxim?

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