It’s too early to take it to the museum: why the Ukrainian army is fighting with ancient “Maxims”

It’s too early to take it to the museum: why the Ukrainian army is fighting with ancient “Maxims”
It’s too early to take it to the museum: why the Ukrainian army is fighting with ancient “Maxims”
13 May, 19:56TechnologyPhoto: Соцсети
The legendary machine gun, created almost 150 years ago, has fighting qualities that its modern counterparts do not have.

The Ukrainian military still uses "Maxim" machine guns, - this sensational news is reported by the influential magazine The Economist. As you know, the first Maxim machine guns of the M1910 model entered service with the army even when Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire - in 1910. This is the Russian version of the first true automatic machine gun, which was patented by Hiram Maxim, an American-British inventor, in 1883. Each such machine gun weighs 68 kg and has an armored gun shield on a characteristic two-wheeled mount that allows it to be towed behind a vehicle. Such shots can be seen in almost any film about the Civil War.

The publication claims that the Russian media laugh at the fact that the Ukrainians use antiques in the fighting, explaining this by the fact that they do not have modern weapons. However, according to The Economist, the reason is different.

The fact is that the barrel of the Maxim machine gun is water-cooled, and this allows you to fire for a long time. Modern machine guns firing the same 7.62 mm ammunition as the M1910 are much lighter and more compact: for example, the Russian PKM is five times lighter than the "Maxim", but they do not have water cooling, and therefore continuous firing even for minutes can lead to deformation of the barrel or "welding" of the weapon.

In 2016, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine confirmed that he had authorized the issuance of several M1910s from the state stocks (Maxim is not standard, but available on request, which some territorial defense units took advantage of). A 2012 audit showed that 35,000 weapons produced between 1920 and 1950 are in storage in Ukraine.

The M1910 was used by the Ukrainian military after the start of the Russian special operation and proved its effectiveness in fixed defensive positions and fortifications. In addition to being water-cooled for sustained fire, their fixed mounts make aiming easier. The Economist cites a Ukrainian soldier who says the Maxim is highly accurate at one kilometer, effective up to three kilometers, and he wouldn't trade it for a more modern weapon.

Some M1910s have even been upgraded: images of vintage machine guns with modern electronic sights have appeared on social networks. This weapon is not officially in service with any other army, although the DPR and LPR military groups also use it, writes the Perevodika channel.

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