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Max the Maxim, Part Kolme* - more archival Gun Pr0n

 I suddenly realized I've been a bad boy! I never gave you Max's stats! Of course, none of you ever asked for them, either, so I guess ya didn't care that much or choose (wisely, I might add) to do some research on your own. Here are some relevant numbers to the following discussion of spare barrels and carriers, and future posts about ammo cans, belts, water and lubrication cans and finally, Max's "wheels," his Sokolov mount.

Sokolov Pulemyot Maxima Operation: Recoil operated, water-cooled, full auto only Caliber: 7.62x54mm Rimmed (7.62 Russian) Ammunition: Heavy Ball M1930; 185 gr bullet, 50 gr charge Muzzle velocity: 2830 fps Capacity: 250-round fabric, steel, or aluminum belt Weight: 52.8 lbs, unloaded (Honking Heavy!) Weight: 99.71 lbs, approx, with shield and water (Honking Heavier!) Overall length: 43.6 in Barrel: length 28.4 in, 4 grooves, right hand twist Rate of fire: 520-580 rpm Effective range: 1000m (1100 yds)

Okay, we can shoot 1000 rounds in under two minutes. In about 4 minutes we'll have boiling water, and in about 5 minutes we're gonna need to change barrels. Plus, we're pounding the heck out of his innards. How many of you put 1000 rounds through a gun, much less 5 thousand? Plus, he's HONKING HEAVY! I know, I display him up on a shelf about 4.5 feet high. I had to take him down to take pictures. Then I put him back up. He's heavy! Anyway, now do ya see why Max has all this cool kit? So, let's move on to spare barrels and the carriers that carry them.

These are Finn carriers. The Finns were willing and able to spend some time and money on their stuff. Let's turn the page and look closer.

The russian barrel carriers are like the gunners kits - grey canvas with leather reinforcements, slung over the shoulder. The Finn gunner's kits could be slung or mounted on your belt. The carriers were slung. The big one is made of wood. It has a hole in the bottom to aid drainage in the crappy weather conditions in which most battles are fought. It's hot and wet, hot and dry, wet, dry, cold and wet, etc. It's just never 68 with a slight breeze. God really doesn't approve of war, y'know?


Here, in an admittedly crappy shot, we see the barrel nestled in it's little wooden house, waiting for it's moment to defend the honor and integrity of Finland. Though you can't see it well (hey, I'll try to get another pic, keep yer shirt on) you can see the the grooves in the breech face to ensure alignment of the lock, and the trunnions, the bumps on the sides of the barrel that fit into the recoil plates. When you look at the fitted wood, the the lathe turned body of the carrier, you get some appreciation of the amount of effort that went into these. Not knowing how many barrels were damaged by the less-robust russian carriers, I don't have a good feel for whether or not this was a good application of wartime resources.


This is a shot of the SA property mark on the carrier.


Okay - here's a shot of the barrel removed from the carrier. Yes, it's greasy. I keep it that way, since it's stored in a concrete room. You can see on the left the thicker portion of the barrel where it emerges from the water jacket into the booster cup. At the other end, you can see the bronze trunnion bearing, and the trunnions themselves, those knobs on the side of the square part. In front of the bronze bearing you can see a cannelure, or groove. That is where you wrapped the asbestos string.


Alright, let's finish out this bit with a close-up of the leather carrier - which, frankly, probably took as much effort in terms of time and resources to make as the wood carrier. Again we see the SA property mark - I don't know what the T is, it could be an inspector or a manufacturer's mark. Or even a unit mark. Anyone?

As a final thought - the reason that the Finns may have been using leather and wood is because they had it available. I don't know of much cotton that's grown in that region, and supplies might have been scarce in ways they were'nt for the Soviets.

Coming up in Part IV - Ammo cans, belts, and other things you stick in ammo cans.

*I'm led to believe that Kolme is 'three' in Finnish.

Previous posts in this series are here. And Here. And Here.



Just as you might comment "ooooo, pretty lines" if I showed you one of my Engineering Plans, I'm much the same about Mr. Maxim. Too clueless to know what to ask. My experience with auto weapons consists of pulling the trigger on 1 M1919, 1 M-60, and 1 Mag 58. Not esactly an espert here, and I admits it lest you catch me in my ignorance trying to fake it. Which, I'm sure would take little effort.
 I speak Estonian, and our spelling is "kolm." Estonian & Finnish are pretty similar, so …
 In 1962, while a student at Mizzou, I had two former WW2 Greek Army officers as house-mates in the rooming house I lived in. Their unit had fought the Germans in desert country, I don't recall where. At one point, with nearly static front lines, a JU-88 landed, disabled, in the No Man's Land between the lines. The Greeks thought they might sneak up on the aircraft to recce it for any codebooks, etc, but the Bosch sent a crew to fix it, so it became a target instead. The distance from their Vickers positions was 1,700 yards, but they opened up and soon walked some mixed-fire including API onto the downed bomber, blowing it up and causing casualties amongst the crew sent to fix it.

Those Vickers MGs shot .303 British, a similar round, so I would say that Maxim-based MGs are useful quite a bit farther out than 1,000 yards.
 The Vickers had very specific kit for use in that indirect fire role, as did the German Maxims.  I don't know that the Russians ever developed the kit or expertise, though it wouldn't surprise me if they did.

But 1000 meters for direct fire, with the Mk 1 Eyeball, possibly augmented by binos and a rangefinder, would be a good planning factor, Rivrdog.

I shot the C6/MAG58 at 1000m, from the tripod, during my first gunnery course. The ladder sight went to at least 1200m. The No. 54 Sight on the Cougar had MG aiming marks out to 2200m.