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November 24, 2003

Maxim P0rn, part Deux.

Greetings once again, Gun P0rn fans! Today we extend the discussion of Max the Maxim by showing off his accessories, the usually overlooked area of collecting firearms.

Nothing makes a bureaucrat happier than to increase the soldier's load. And boy, were Russians good at it! Loading up, I mean. Not that they have a lock on it. Take a look at US light infantry on the march.

Let's start with Max's nice leather handbag shall we?. Well, okay, it's his gunner's actually. But when it comes to things like this, we should consider the gunner to be Max's personal assistant. Isn't this just precious? This is the Finnish version. The Russians preferred a nice canvas and leather number.

That's just so special! So, what does the good personal assistant carry around with him? Well, let's go check!

So, he carries this stuff, obviously!

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We have to have our tongs! How else can we get the damn brass that fails to go out the ejection port and gums up the works? Then, we need that list, so we can make sure we always have all our fiddly bits. Quit straining your eyes - unless you can read finnish, of course. Then, in that nice little line of fitted pockets we have the cleaning brush, ruptured cartridge extractor, the missing punch, cleaning jag (for use with a cleaning patch), and the not-missing punch.

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Stepping away a bit, we see the oil can and the brass thingy is a spare nut for the water hose. Under the spout of the oil can we see the handle of the combination tool (of which more later), and what looks like a brass rod is in fact a special tool, used in conjunction with the ruptured cartridge extractor, for getting into the breech of the gun and removing cartridges that failed to extract due to the head pulling away.

In the tin laying open in the corner, you have spare firing pins, springs, washers, pins, etc. The can occupies the empty pocket in the case. The white cotton looking stuff is abestos string, which is used to wrap around the barrel and provide a waterproof seal between the water jacket and barrel. Wash your hands after playing with that stuff, children. And don't stick your fingers in your mouth, either!

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Let's take a closer look (much closer) at the combo wrench. The finns have marked it as their property (that SA-in-a-square). The wrench head has been welded to the shaft. I don't know if that is a standard russian method, or if the Finns put their own together. So, let's see some of the things you can do with this puppy.

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The screwdriver head is for removing the steam tube from inside the water jacket, whether for cleaning or repair.

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The square hole is for removing/tightening the booster cup.

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One of the pins on the side is for cleaning the holes in the booster cup while the gun is still in service (there is a lot of carbon build up in this area which affects performance and wear on the barrel, as we'll see later) or as an alternative wrench should the square lug 'round' off. The other pin is used for some interior disassembly that I just can't get a good picture of.

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Here we see the booster cup removed, the well-greased muzzle of the barrel protruding. The barrel is not that thickness throughout, it's just that thick for about another half inch. The purpose of that is weight, to control recoil, heat dissipation from the booster, and to provide enought surface area for the gases to work against. The combo tool and cup are sitting on a being-restored WWI german water can, which was freely used by all who came across it since it was so well thought out.

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The combo tool has one more use I haven't discussed. Reamer. This is the 'handle'. As you can see it's serrated and fairly sharp.

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This end inserts into the muzzle booster to clean the carbon out and improve functional reliability. This needed to be done every couple thousand rounds, (belts are 250 rounds, so it won't take long) or anytime the barrel needs changing. These weapons were almost always used in pairs, so that one would be capable of firing while the other was swapping barrels, clearing a blockage, etc.

Okay - that's it for now. Coming soon, Part III, Spare Barrels and their Carriers!


UPDATE: Many Thanks to Sasa, who provided this translation of the list in the gunner's kit:

Here is translation of that sheet in the bag (picture 2), those lines I could read, starting under handle of pliers. It is not accurate translation though, english is not my native language, and I have no knowledge of guns. I just look at the pretty pictures.

hylsypihdit = cardridge pliers
hylsynpoistin, kannallinen = cardridge remover, with counterfoil
hajoituskara (? I don't recognise word "kara"..), 3,9 ja 5 mm = dismantling axle
peltirasia, johon kuuluu = tin container, which contains
- iskuri = hammer
- iskujousi 2 kpl = 2 hammer springs
- yläpitimen jousi = "upper holder" spring
- yläpitimen apujousi = auxiliary upper holder spring
- alapidin = lower holder
- sulkuvälin asetinlevy = "applicator plate of lock space"
- asbestilankaa 2 m = asbestos string 2 m

Sasa - your english is at least as good as my German, the only other language I will admit to speaking!