Known today mostly for heavy trucks and diesel engines, Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nurnberg was a German military supplier in both World Wars, being a chief producer of the Panther Tank in the latter. Originally developed by Hiram Maxim in the 1880s, the Maxim Gun is credited as the first true automatic weapon, using the energy generated by firing the round to cycle the weapon. Predating the idea of the air-cooled quick-change barrel, Maxim dealt with the technical challenge of the massive heat generated by automatic fire by installing a water-filled jacket around the barrel, an innovation that would continue to be used for decades afterwards. Fitted with a blade front sight on the water jacket and a tangent rear sight on the top cover, which also bears the model markings, manufacturer name and address, and the "1918" production date. Many of the parts are mismatched numbers. The accessories are representative of the Imperial Maxim, with the recoil boosting muzzle device, water cooling jacket, crank-adjusted spring tension regulator on the left side of the frame, pistol grip mounted safety, detachable steel bipod and belt carrier, and a solid hardwood buttstock. Also included is a 1935 dated German language manual for the 08/15 and 08/18 machine guns, a set of 1968-vintage sales/shipping paperwork (copies) from noted NFA dealer J. Curtis Earl and a copy of the 1968 dated transfer paperwork.
Very good as deactivated, with 70% of the blue finish, showing areas of brown and gray patina, edge wear and spotting. Traces of green and yellow paint are present on the water jacket. Heavier pitting is present on the recoil booster, and the tension mechanism shows a number of dents and areas of oxidization. The wood shows a number of scratches and dents overall, and some forming chips at the butt. Mixed numbers on a number of internal parts. The deactivation was performed by discarding some of the belt feed hardware and welding the barrel closed; the bolt still operates and has not been welded over or welded closed. NOTE: This weapon is a National Firearms Act (NFA), Class 3 DEWAT that is fully transferable, which is registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (BATFE) under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 and 27 CFR part 478.
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