Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Maxim Gun

Maxim Gun, an automatic machine- or quick-firing gun invented by Mr. Hiram S. Maxim about 1883, and since adopted by most Governments. Its distinctive feature consists in the utilisation of the recoil caused by each discharge in order to extract the empty cartridge from, and reload and fire, the gun. It is fed with ammunition from a belt or bandolier, which may be of any desired length; and the rate of fire is controllable, up to about 300 rounds a minute or more. There is only one barrel, which is prevented by a metal water-jacket from becoming over-heated. The weight of a 16 in. 1-pr. gun of this kind is 364 lbs., of its mounting 336 lbs. The gun of rifle-calibre (-303 in. bore) weighs but 50 lbs.