Maxim Machine Gun In the Wild

War is a funny thing. Americans generally don’t conceptually understand that getting weapons in many third world conflicts means raiding arsenals, museums or buying from illicit arms traffickers. Here we see a Ukrainian manned Maxim machine gun. If one looks closely, you’ll notice it is chambered in 7.62x54r. The same battle-rifle caliber of the Russian Empire.

Considering the age of the Maxim and it’s location, I would guess this machine-gun was either pulled out of very old arms stocks. Ukraine is famous…no…infamous on the international arms market for it’s myriad surplus stockpiles.

Or the second possibility is this weapon could have originated from a museum or static military display. I am guessing the latter considering the age, condition and caliber of the gun. If this was crated up in an arsenal, it would have seen sold off years ago on the black market.

The counter to my theory would be that Com-Bloc machine guns in 7.62x54r would have been more plentiful, easier to repair, lighter and thus more appealing on the world market than this heavy bitch. So maybe it’s the “bottom of the barrel” of some black market operation?

We’ll never know which is probably for the best. This is yet another example of why various US Military units to this very day, train their people to be able to operate, maintain and troubleshoot ancient weapons.

War is a funny thing.

 
Marky
www.tacticaltshirts.com
www.john1911.com
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Marky Mark

Marky Mark

Writer at John1911.com
Writer for john1911.com. Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

Latest posts by Marky Mark (see all)

  • Mikial

    That is a truly amazing picture. Just goes to show that even a very old design and old gun can be effective under the right circumstances. Those rounds are just as deadly from this old Maxim as from a ‘modern’ PKM. In a static setting like this, that old gun will shoot and shoot and command the approach. One of my old teammates in Iraq actually carried a Sterling he’d picked up somewhere. When I was in SFQA we had to learn to shoot and maintain all kinds of weird shit.

    • Brennen Munro

      The Sterling was really a nice 9mm sub-gun, it did not have the same ergonomics that some of the modern guns do, but it got the job done all the same!

      Munro

    • MickeyG

      Dang, I’d like to have that Maxim, I’ve always liked the 7.62x54R round, 100+ years old and still viable !

      • The 7.62x54r Maxim’s are popular in the US collector market for the cheap ammo.

        Marky

        • MickeyG

          Article made me dig out the old Mosin & the PSL 54C, haven’t shot ’em in a while !

  • Brennen Munro

    I found myself staring in disbelief on more than one occasion while touring some of the museums focusing on the war of independence in Israel. Those guys fielded anything, and I do mean anything that would shoot and they thought could add to winning the war. They were not concerned with where a weapon came from, as long as it had ammo and was in working order, it was put into the hands of one of the fighters. The collection of what the small settlements were armed with is even more eclectic. I think that the Israelis used every Sten sub-gun that could be found and purchased after WW2, and secretly shipped to Israel before the war broke out.

    Seeing this also makes me think of the stupidity of our very own government destroying old weapons that are not needed at this time for our military. Why live under the impression that we can just produce more when we want or need, what happens if our power grid is damaged? How are these factories going to produce these “new” guns when they have no power to work with? Is it really that difficult to stockpile them? Do our dear leaders fear that the people may have a use for them at some point? I will not rant…

    Good post Marky, thanks!

    Munro

    • Think about the arms business after WWII. Everyone made a ton of stuff. Then the demobilization came and downsizing.

      Many existing arms shops were hurting for work. And competing with all the surplus left over.

      Marky

      • Brennen Munro

        There were plenty of arms floating about… but no one wanted to be seen as openly supporting the Jews. This is one of the reasons that the Israelis are so focused on having their own arms development and production. You would not believe what they have done to the F15 and the F16 to keep them at the top of their performance capabilities. We have even purchased some of their upgrades for the F16 for our own use.

        Munro

  • B. Young

    About ten years a go you could buy demilled kits of these Russian Maxims and a company Midwest Metal Creations made semi build kits for them(at least 50+) with serialized right side plate to make them legal semi-autos. Most of these kits were essentially new.

    • I don’t know that specific company but I have seen those kits converted to semi in the US.

      I know Freeze wants one.

      Marky