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, 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. 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. It was adopted by the British Army in 1895, with the Imperial German Army following suit in 1899, and then the Russian Army in 1905. It was used heavily by all three of the aforementioned users throughout World War I as a ground mounted version in trench warfare. It earned the nickname the "Devils Paintbrush" due to its ability to mow down hundreds of men during the large scale assaults from the trenches. The 08/15 model was intended to be more mobile, fitted with a pistol grip, buttstock and bipod so it could be maneuvered and fired independent from large field mounts. Per the consignor, this 08/15 was converted to 7.62x54R chambering by Bob Naess of Black River Militaria, with a properly configured Finnish "VKT" barrel installed. Blade front and tangent rear sights, with the Spandau markings on the top cover, tension mechanism on the left side plate, and the safety switch on the left side of the pistol grip. Included with the gun is a green painted metal bipod, metal ammo carrier, a green painted 08-style field mount in green painted hardwood transit case with faint markings, a cloth belt loading tool in a case with Cyrillic instructions inside the lid, a cloth ammo belt, a number of disintegrating belt links, and assorted 08 and 08/15 parts, including a pair of lock mechanisms, tensioner assemblies, top cover and a Soviet-style Maxim water jacket.
Very good as restored/reactivated. The water jacket shows traces of a green paint finish, and the receiver shows about 60% blue finish, with areas of brown patina and scattered handling marks. Serial numbers are mixed overall. The pistol grip and buttstock show mild scuffing and wear. The accessories are in good order. Mechanically very good. NOTE: This weapon is a National Firearms Act (NFA), fully transferable Class 3, which is registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (BATFE) that is classified as a "Curios 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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