Saturday, February 26, 2011
Invented by Hiram S. Maxim in the U.S. in 1884, the Maxim Gun comprised the world's first automatic machine gun.
The Maxim Gun was water-cooled (via a jacket around the barrel which held approximately one gallon) and fed from fabric belts; the German version of the gun, the Maschinengewehr, utilised 250-round belts. The whole was mounted on a sledge which, although heavy - 1914 machine guns weighed from 40-60kg - did enable the gun to be carried in the manner of a stretcher. The Maxim was usually operator by a four to six man team.
In designing his machine gun, Hiram Maxim utilised a simple if ingenious concept. The gas produced by the explosion of the powder in each cartridge itself generated a recoil which served to continuously operate the gun's mechanism. No external power was needed. His initial design allowed for a theoretical rate of fire of up to 600 rounds per minute (half that number in practice).Download offline version @4shared.com Maxim machinegun first automatic weapon.swf