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7.62mm Model 1910 Maxim

The 7.62mm Maxim Heavy Machine Gun, 185 gr bullet, 50 gr charge, 2830 fps Muzzle Velocity, 3289 ft-lb Muzzle Energy, 250-round fabric belt fed, water cooled, about 550 rpm and an 1100 yd range, was a killing machine. Widely used in Korea, it still saw action in the '70s.

Muzzle Energy Comparison Chart, Korean Weapons

Enemy Weapons Korean War

7.62mm Model 1910 Maxim, Russian Model SPM

7.62mm Model 1910 Maxim
Russian Model SPM

7.62mm Model 1910 Maxim, Chinese made

7.92mm Type 24
Chinese Heavy MG

Sokolov Pulemyot Maxima

Operation Automatic only, recoil operated, water-cooled
Caliber 7.62mm
Ammunition Heavy Ball M1930; 185 gr bullet, 50 gr charge
Muzzle velocity 2830 fps
Muzzle Energy 3289 ft-lb
Capacity 250-round fabric belt
Weight 52.8 lbs, unloaded
Weight 99.71 lbs, approx, with shield and water
Overall length 43.6 in
Barrel length 28.4 in, 4 grooves, right hand twist
Rate of fire 520-580 rpm
Effective range 1000m (1100 yds)

The above weapon, the last version of the PM 1910, was produced in vast numbers and was widely used by the North Koreans and the CCF in the Korean War. Still in use in the 70's, it is probably the longest-lived of the Maxim variants.

Like most Soviet Maxims, the above model has the "Sokolov" mounting, a pair of wheels supporting a large turntable to allow traversing, and a U-shaped trail. The CCF and North Koreans frequently were fitted with a steel shield. It added greatly to the weight, but did give some protection against the ferocious counter-fire of UN forces, and also increased the weapon's already considerable stability. This was the best gun the CCF had in during the 1st year of the Korean War.

For winter warfare there was a sled fitting, and all models could be fitted with drag ropes, and anti freeze in the jacket helped give this heavy machine gun great all-weather reliability.

American forces used the light and heavy machine guns mostly at a few hundred yards or less, contrary to their design concepts. This was the nature of the battles our company and platoon sized forces faced, which were mostly defensive. The Chinese used them at greater distances but, at least in the early phases of the Korean war, used them sparingly at these distances. Probably because of the difficulty of transporting the heavy guns and ammunition over long distances on foot, which was often their only available method. They would be most effective in defensive positions, and were not part of the normal CCF tactic of platoon-sized assault with grenades and submachine guns, supported closely by light mortars.

In 1881 the American inventor, Hiram Maxim, visited the Paris Electrical Exhibition. While he was at the exhibition he was informed: "If you wanted to make a lot of money, invent something that will enable these Europeans to cut each other's throats with greater facility."

Maxim moved to London and over the next few years worked on producing an effective machine-gun. In 1885 he demonstrated the world's first automatic portable machine-gun to the British Army. Maxim used the energy of each bullet's recoil force to eject the spent cartridge and insert the next bullet. The Maxim Machine-Gun would therefore fire until the entire belt of bullets was used up. Trials showed that the machine-gun could fire 500 rounds per minute and therefore had the firepower of about 100 rifles.

Hiram Maxim with his machine gun

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