Posted 08 January 2011 - 06:25 PM
This is a really nice picture of a conversion to fire 7.92X57 of a smooth jacket first model, if you will, Russian M1910 Maxim. There are some iinteresting anomalies that I would like to point out, which I find quite distinctive and change the character of the posed soldiers.
The feedblock of the Russian Maxim, built to fire the 7.62X54R round, will only accept 7.92 if the forward inside wall is milled out sightly to allow the 7.92 round to pass through, and to allow the base of the cartridge to align correctly at the rear for pcik up by the lock extractor. An unmodified 1910 feedblock is slightly too short on the inside to pass the 7.92. Whether this has been done to this gun it is not possible to say. However, another question arises about the use of the muzzle gland picture assembled to the front endcap. The muzzle gland pictured appears to be the standard part used to support the barrrel, and to compress thewater seal packing in the MG08 when the standard booster is not used. There is a problem though. The standard MG08 gland of this type has a threaded section that is smaller in OD than the ID of the threaded hole in a 1910 front endcap and it will fall out if inserted into the cap of a 1910. Bear in mind that the 1910 7.62X54R barrel has a muzzle that is flared to 3/4" for boost purposes, whereas the MG08 barrel is 5/8" at the muzzle. The barrel in this gun is clearly an MG08 barrel as the muzzle threads can be seen as well as the evident smaller OD of the muzzle. The muzzle gland fitted, if a standard MG08 part, not only will fall out if inserted into the cap of the 1910, but the barrel will be misaligned since the hole will not be centered, and the packing will not work as the hole in the front endcap is for the 3/4" OD Russian barrel. The use of the MG08 endcap armor does help to align and center the muzzle gland, thereby alilgning the barrel. The alteration to 7.92 also requires that the MG08 recoil plate/crank assembly be used with the MG08 lock and barrel. the MG08 parts wil function perfectly in the receiver of a 1910. Further, the cocking handle knob of an MG08 is quite large, and the cocking handle knob in the picture looks very much in size like that of the Russian Maxim crank.
So, we are left with a number of questions about this gun and the nature of the group. Has the required gunsmithing been done to this gun to alter the endcap of the 1910 to reduce the muzzle bearing hole to 5/8" for the MG08 barrel and also to reduce the gland threaded hole to fit the MG08 muzzle gland? Has the feedblock been altered to fit the 7.92 round? Are the inernals MG08 parts? Has the sight ladder been altered to the 7.92 specs?
My suspicion is that the gun has not been altered and was set up for a photo op, using a belt of 7.92. We don't see the off side where the belt would exit, although it wouldn't tell us anything either, since we'd probably only see the belt tab. The 7.62X54R Russian 1910 Maxims that were converted by the Germans to 7.92 over quite a few years usually had an "S" rivetted to the top cover to indicate that they had been offically converted to fire the 7.92 "spiitzer" round, a necessary warning to any users for a variety of reasons. No "S" is evident on the gun.
That's my take on the gun in this pic. I've seen pictures of quite a few 1910s converted apparently to 7.92, some of which just don't look right, as in the case of this one, and others that do look right. I have seen a friend's 1905 Russian Maxim, with the brass fitments, converted to 7.92 and it had the "S" on the topcover, as well as some pics of others with the "S" warning.
Hope this is interesting and entertaining to readers. These vintage pictures are incredibly fascinating and always contain all sorts of interesting information!!
Black River Militaria CII