BlahX3 Report This Comment
Date: September 06, 2012 08:53PM
Doesn't seem so "personal" after a bit of research...
The mechanism of the Maxim gun employed one of the earliest recoil operated
firing systems in history. The idea is that the energy from the recoil is used,
in lieu of a locked bolt or a lever mechanism, to eject each spent cartridge and
insert the next one. This made it vastly more efficient and less labour
intensive than previous rapid-firing guns, such as the Gatling, Gardner, or
Nordenfelt guns, which relied on actual mechanical cranking, as well as
decreasing the gas buildup in the barrel, allowing the gun to fire more bullets
over an extended period of time without overheating the barrel. The Maxim gun
design still required water cooling, however, which gave it additional points of
failure and made it more difficult to operate and heavier per calibre, compared
to most later heavy machine guns. Trials demonstrated the Maxim could fire 600
rounds per minute equivalent to the firepower of about 30 contemporary
breech-loading bolt-action rifles. Compared to modern machine guns, the Maxim
was heavy, bulky, and awkward. Although a lone soldier could fire the weapon, it
was usually operated by a team of men. Apart from the gunner, other crew were
needed to speed reload, spot targets, and carry and ready ammunition and water.
Several men were needed to move the heavy weapon and mounting.