DWM Maxim 1898, 7.65 Argentine

DWM Maxim 1898, 7.65 Argentine

51696This extremely attractive brass Maxim is a 7.65 Argentine with markings in Spanish and German, and is fully functional. It comes with the tripod which still has almost all of the green enamel paint and the leather seat. It is also fitted with a Zeiss optic, the optics of which are clear. Tests have demonstrated that the Maxim can fire 600 rounds per minute.

The Maxim gun, commonly referred to as the “weapon most associated with British imperial conquest” was designed by Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim in 1884. It was the first recoil-operated machine gun which made it much less labor-intensive than previous rapid fire guns like the Gatling which relied on mechanical cranking. This also decreased the gas buildup in the barrel, which allowed the gun to fire more rounds without overheating the barrel. In spite of that fact, the Maxim still required water-cooling which made it more difficult to operate and much heavier. Although it could be fired by a single shooter, others were needed for reloads, spotting targets, and carrying water and ammunition, as well as for moving and mounting the gun.

The Maxim was used in the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition (1886-1890), in the establishment of a British protectorate over present-day Uganda, and by the Singapore Volunteer Corps, a civilian volunteer defense unit on the then-British island. It was first adopted by the British Army under Sir Garnet Wolseley in 1888, and he placed an order for 120 rifle-caliber Maxims. The British military used these guns in the First Matabele War in Rhodesia (1893-1894). In the Battle of Shangani, 700 soldiers fought off 3,000 warriors with four Maxim guns. This powerful firearm played a great role in the European colonization of Africa in the 19th century to the extent that Hilaire Belloc mentioned it in his poem “The Modern Traveler”:

Whatever happens, we have got

The Maxim gun, and they have not.

In the Second Boer War (in South Africa) a larger caliber version of the Maxim was used by both sides, and was known as the Pom-Pom due to its sound. The Maxim was also used in the Anglo-Aro War in present-day Nigeria (1901-1902). The Imperial Japanese Army purchased several Maxims in 1895, which they used during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1906 although most were delivered to the front-line troops just before the end of the war.

The United States Army showed interest in the Maxim machine gun, and the 1889 and 1900 models were used for testing. They finally adopted the gun in 1904 in a .30 caliber model, making it the first rifle caliber heavy machine gun for standard service in the U.S. Army. Only 287 Model 1904 Maxims were manufactured and the U.S. obtained other machine guns after the M1904 production was discontinued. The 1904 Maxim was used in U.S. operations in the Philippines, Hawaii, Mexico, and Central and South America.

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December 27, 2014

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