We have another pretty cool machine gun today, thanks again to Steve Hill at Spotted Dog Firearms in Arizona. It’s an aerial Maxim gun, based on the 08/15 infantry Maxim. The 08/15 was a lightened version of the Standard 1908 Maxim used extensively by ground forces. This lighter version was equipped with a bipod and belt drum and intended for mobile use. The design immediately drew the notice of the German Luftwaffe, which adapted it for use on fighter aircraft.
The barrel jacket was heavily perforated (no need for cooling when the barrel is exposed to an aircraft’s slipstream), and several modifications were made to adapt it to use by a pilot. We’ll look at several of those in the video – but one element that is not on this particular gun is the firing mechanism. These guns used the first synchronizer (or interrupter) mechanism, which linked the aircraft’s prop shaft to the gun trigger. It would prevent the gun from firing when a prop blade was in the line of the muzzle. This allowed the guns to be mounted alongside the cockpit for easy manipulation and aiming in a single-seat aircraft.
This aircraft Maxim is fully transferrable and currently for sale by Spotted Dog Firearms in Cave Creek AZ. If you are interested in owning it yourself, please contact Steve Hill at 602-538-2769.