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Chapter 6
Chapter 6. Construction
Chapter 6. History of creation
Chapter 6. Maxim in Europe
Chapter 6. Use in wars
Chapter 6. Maxim machine gun in Russia
Chapter 6. Use
Chapter 6. Trace in culture
Chapter 6. Construction
Chapter 6. Shooting process

machine gun


Maxim machine gun is one of the first examples
of military automatic weapons.
The machine gun automatics principle is based on blow-back of the movable barrel.
When making each shot, gunpowder gases push the movable barrel of the machine gun back, setting in motion the reloading mechanism.
This mechanism removes a round from the fabric belt to further feed it into the breech and simultaneously racks the slide.
After making the shot, the procedure is repeated.
The Museum presents a unique Maxim machine gun. It is the first production model made in Russia. It was released at the Tula Arms Factory in May 1905.
Safety bolt
Firing lever
Rack sight
3D: Assemble a Maxim machine gun
Firing lock
Closing spring
Lifting lever
Breechblock head
The machine gun lock serves to fasten the bore, feed rounds from the receiver into the chamber of the barrel and eject a sleeve.
3D: Shooting
Filling hole
Barrel water cooling jacket
Models with a ribbed jacket surface were developed later
Fore sight
Flash cover
3D: Disassemble
a machine gun
The name of the gun comes from the name of its creator — the American Hiram Stevens Maxim.
Over 40 years, Hiram Stevens Maxim received more than 250 patents for various inventions, among which the most famous were the automatic weapon models. The first of them were automatic rifles which failed to find a use.
However, they allowed the designer to derive the necessary experience to create the machine gun which brought him worldwide fame.
Hiram Stevens Maxim patented the pilot model of the machine gun in 1883. Two years later, the weapon was demonstrated at the exhibition of inventions in London.
Three machine guns were tested in March 1887 in Great Britain. To draw attention to his invention, Maxim showed his machine gun in many European countries for several years.
The Maxim machine gun evoked interest in Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary and France. In Germany, its production started at the well-known Berlin company — Ludwig Loewe and Co.
It is considered that the Maxim machine gun was first used in a battle by the British against the South African tribes in November 1894. Then, it experienced the acceptance into service in many armies, including Russian, within the following 10 years.

Maxim machine gun modifications were used in several European armies.

European modifications of Maxim machine gun from the collection of Tula Arms Museum.
Having unveiled the machine gun in Europe, Hiram Stevens Maxim came to Russia and in St. Petersburg to demonstrate his invention to the Emperor Alexander III.
Alexander III
Emperor Alexander III himself fired shots by the Maxim machine gun in the arena of the Anichkov Palace on March 8, 1888, and in May machine guns were tested at the Main Artillery Range. Within 1891–1892, several machine guns fit for a rifle 3-line round were purchased.
From 1895, Maxim machine guns for the Russian army were purchased from the British company Vickers, Sons & Maxim. In 1902, the Artillery Committee decided to adjust the production of machine guns at the Tula Arms Factory in connection with the high cost of weapons. Tula gunsmiths made more than 200 changes in the machine gun design.
The “Office of the commander of the Tula Arms Factory in the early 20th century” hosted by the multimedia complex is embodied with maximum reliability and historical accuracy. Here guests will find an unusual surprise: they become witnesses of an interesting conversation between the Commander of the Tula Arms Factory A.V. Kun, Head of the Instrumental Workshop Colonel P.P. Tretyakov and the representative of the British company Vickers, Sons & Maxim in Russia Jules Kamilovich Mueller. What are they talking about? Visit the Tula Museum of Weapons to lift the veil of this mystery!
Manufacture cost of one Tula machine gun required from the Russian Treasury 500 rubles less than the English analog.
During the Russo-Japanese war, the machine-gun companies armed with the Maxims made in England helped to repel the Japanese attack on the Port Arthur fortress.

By the end of the war, the Russian army possessed 324 machine guns.
The use of machine guns during the First World War affected the nature of warfare and caused the creation of new types of military equipment.
Carefully restored diorama “Trench of the First World War” allows you to discover the heroic past of our country.
The trench of the First World War period is reproduced by exposition means. All items used in the design are findings of the search teams and silent witnesses of events over 100 years away from the visitors.

Genuine weapons are complementing the historical era accuracy. Here visitors can see and even touch the famous prototypes of small arms. Anyone can feel like a soldier in the First World War and aim the Maxim machine gun at air targets by pressing the trigger.
The machine gun was used extensively during the Great Patriotic War. It was used by the infantry and mountain infantry troops, border guards, navy. It was mounted on armored trains and vehicles, as well as used as twin and quad anti-aircraft installations.
The Maxim machine gun was appreciated for its fighting properties. It was heavier than foreign models, which reduced the rate of advance of troops during attacks. Water cooling of the barrel aggravated the use of the machine gun.
In autumn 1941, the machine gun was upgraded at the Tula Arms Factory Its housing received a wide mouth to fill it with snow and ice in winter.

In this respect, in 1943 a new machine gun created by Peter Maksimovich Goryunov appeared to substitute Maxim. It weighted less due to the absence of water cooling, and the overheated barrel was quickly replaced by a spare one.
Maxim–Tokarev light machine gun and the PV-1 aircraft machine gun designed by A.V. Nadashkevich were developed in the 1920s in the Soviet Union using the Maxim as the forerunner.
The Museum’s exhibition shows the pilot model of the Maxim-Nadashkevich aircraft machine gun.
The quad-mounted machine gun assembly was actively used by air defense troops.
Original photo: RIA news

The Maxim machine gun proved a reliable weapon, and even now it can be found in the “hot spots” around the world.
The image of the Maxim machine gun was often used in Russian poetry, visual arts and cinema.
History of Firearms and Bladed Weapons of the 14th Century until 1914.
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