This is an fine representative example of a deactivated World War I Imperial German Army Model 1908/15 Maxim heavy machine gun manufactured by the Erfurt Arsenal in 1918. The top cover is marked "1491/a/M.G.08/15/Gwf./ERFURT/1918." Flip-up tangent style rear sight graduated from 400-2,000 meters, a simple inverted "v" front sight mounted on the large steel water jacket. It has been deactivated by welding a plug in the chamber of the barrel and welding it to the receiver. The maxim machine gun was originally developed by Hiram Maxim in 1883-1884 and was one of the most influential weapons of the 20th century, as it was the first self-sustaining heavy machine gun used by any country on the battlefield. It was adopted by the British Army in 1895, the Imperial German Army in 1899 and the Russian Army in 1905. It was used by Imperial German Army throughout World War I as a ground mounted version in trench warfare, and earned the nickname "Devils Paintbrush" due to the fact that it could mow down hundreds of men in a single engagement during a large scale assault from the trenches. The large distinctive steel water jacket holds seven quarts of water to cool the barrel which allows it to have long sustained bursts of fire of up to 500 rounds before the water starts to boil. At 2,000 rounds of sustained fire the water boils off and the jacket has to be refilled. Includes a bipod.
Fine as deactivated, retains 60% dull arsenal refinished blue finish with brown patina and some scattered patches of light pitting on the balance, and some dents on the water jacket. Wood is also very good as re-oiled with some scattered dents and scratches, a few filled in repairs on the right of the buttstock, and cracks on either side at the rear of the buttstock. The barrel has been welded to the receiver, the chamber welded closed, the firing pin welded, the bolt assembly was welded previously and has been spuriously repaired to allow cycling. NOTE: This is a registered DEWAT weapon with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), as a National Firearms Act (NFA) weapon, that is fully transferable. It has been classified as a Curio or Relic as defined in 27 CFR, 478.11. These weapons are still subject to the provisions of 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 and 27 CFR part 478.
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