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Via this article: https://www.thedrive.com/the-w...achine-gun-in-combat

Ukraine is using PM M1910 machine gun. Pre-Soviet, licensed Russian Maxim guns. Produced as late as 1945, used against us in Korea and Vietnam. And in a hell of a lot of wars. 

This one in some fixed position in Luhansk, on an original mount with the carriage removed, which I believe is the right way to do it, more or less. Big binoculars also. 

Not even festooned with rails. Running it fully old school.   

Not a one-off from a non-state actor that dug it up buried in a backyard, or stole it from a museum. Ukrainian Army, apparently supported. For years now. A different one, also in fixed position, in 2016. 

With a gun shield no less. I think I'd prefer if someone hacked out some applique armor and a spall liner, but some armor is better than nothing. 

 

And... there's nothing wrong with any of it to me. Maintained properly, it should run forever. Water cooled, your burst limit is how fast the A-gunner can link up the next belt. 

These of course work partly because the Russians / Soviets / Russians never changed calibers. Current 7.62x54R MG ammo works just fine in it. 

Interesting to think of regarding a mid-term future possible CTA gun, or the .338 discussions when there's a 136 year old design still doing good service. 

Original Post

The Maxim guns are probably the most reliable MGs ever built. In the 1960s the Brits decided to SPENDEX 5,000,000 rounds through a Vickers. It took seven days, but when they were done the weapon was still serviceable. The Vickers, Maxim and Spandau guns fought on both sides of both world wars. 

The Vickers was removed from service in 1968. 

The M1917 was the much lighter US MG that we used in WWI through Vietnam. 

The biggest problem with water cooled MGs is the size and weight of the weapon itself. In WWII they were kept at BN level and carried on Jeeps so they could bound and provide cover for movements.




 

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In 2002, a fully functioning MG-08 (German "Spandau" version of the Maxim) served as part of our perimeter defense at Firebase Chapman (Khost, Afghanistan). Manned by US SF troops. Water cooled, tripod mounted, w/ plenty of functional "8mm" (7.92 x 57) cloth belted ammo. Ammo & gun scavenged from recovered  weapons caches plus a cash bounty (for more ammo) paid to locals who could find more ammo and serviceable belts. Unsurprisingly, they did. 

To give credit where credit is due, our ODB XO was the guy who made putting that gun into service a personal project. This by meticulously putting together a whole weapon out of best parts scavenged from three recovered weapons. He spent a lot of his own time scrubbing, cleaning, and oiling that baby. I have little doubt it could have easily fired a million or so rounds on demand. 

Anyway, it was formally incorporated into our defensive fires & range cards. It certainly wasn't mobile... but it was a fearsome bit of very reliable firepower for covering our dirt airstrip side of the perimeter.

 

Last edited by Community Member
Astronomy posted:

..., w/ plenty of functional "8mm" (7.92 x 57) cloth belted ammo. Ammo & gun scavenged from recovered  weapons caches plus a cash bounty (for more ammo) paid to locals who could find more ammo and serviceable belts. Unsurprisingly, they did... 

What did it take to evaluate ammo as functional? Or was it almost all good, and we're more paranoid than you'd expect about ammo storage?  

I'm going to ask a general MG question out of ignorance.  I watched a very good animation of the loading sequence of a Browning M1917 MG (on C&Rsenal's YouTube channel).  The Maxim and Browning actions (and PKM) first pull the round out of the belt to the rear as the bolt carrier moves to the rear (ejecting a fired casing), and then loads it into the chamber on the return stroke.  I had it in my mind that MGs using disintegrating link belts, or the German non-disintegrating link belts, didn't pull the round out of the belt, they just pushed it straight through.  Is that correct, incorrect, or it depends on the gun?

Depends because... old non-disintegrating link guns have been converted to disintegrating link. Notably to your question, as well as historically because the M1 link was designed FOR the 1919: the 1919  

It retained the canvas belt feed cycle (pull fresh round out) because it's still a 1919 and changing feed cycle is changing the gun. Thankfully no one was dumb enough to do that or you'd likely have another M73 debacle. 

Subsequently — such as the MAG58 (M240) — the disintegrating link was used to simplify the feed cycle and load by pushing forward, so in principle, they should be different but in practice they overlap because MGs are expensive and last simply forever. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anIzJt6_j10

Last edited by Community Member
@Community Member posted:

I'm going to ask a general MG question out of ignorance.  I watched a very good animation of the loading sequence of a Browning M1917 MG (on C&Rsenal's YouTube channel).  The Maxim and Browning actions (and PKM) first pull the round out of the belt to the rear as the bolt carrier moves to the rear (ejecting a fired casing), and then loads it into the chamber on the return stroke.  I had it in my mind that MGs using disintegrating link belts, or the German non-disintegrating link belts, didn't pull the round out of the belt, they just pushed it straight through.  Is that correct, incorrect, or it depends on the gun?

Aircraft guns.

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