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 Post subject: Maxim belt
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:33 am 
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Can anyone tell me if there was changes made to the feed system on the Maxim, when they were changed from the origional canvas belts to the PKM type link?


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 Post subject: Re: Maxim belt
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:54 am 
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Yes, there were two basic types of feed unit– one that allowed the use of cloth belts only, and a universal feed that allowed for the use of both cloth and steel (non-disintegrating)belts.

I seem to remember the metal belts came in with the new SG43, so that would be sometime after its acceptance May 1943, but realistically, probably early/mid 1944.

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 Post subject: Re: Maxim belt
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:37 pm 
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There is currently no photograhic evidence that metal belts were ever used in Maxims during the war.
This is despite the fact that war-time dated examples of the feed blocks exist (note 44 dated feed block in photograph).
Feed Blocks are normally dated on the flat side and war-time dated examples of the late pattern seem to be very crudly finished as in the picture.

Earlier feed blocks were also modified with the addition of the top thumb belt release catches. I assume this was done post-war to allow the use of metal belts.


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 Post subject: Re: Maxim belt
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 13:40 pm 
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Interesting...

Mind you, the SG43 itself I seem to remember wasn't used much in the GPW... its a very late war item for sure, seem to remember seeing some photos that were supposedly Berlin.

Its very easy to look at Soviet nomenclature for equipment designs and say "oooh it says 43, so must be ok for Jan 1943", when actually that item might not even have seen light until 1946... it certainly doesn't always follow.

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 Post subject: Re: Maxim belt
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 14:57 pm 
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There are war-time photograghs of SG43 in service, but perhaps they thought it would unnecessarily complicate the supply chain to introduce metal belts for Maxims during the war. New loading machines would also be required.


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 Post subject: Re: Maxim belt
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 15:19 pm 
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Just digging around, it seems the Finnish M32/33 Maxim was the first to use a metal belt...(I never knew this!) I wonder if the ones we see for sale have been adapted by the Finns after capture, rather than Soviet upgraded feed units?

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 Post subject: Re: Maxim belt
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:51 am 
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Andrei Kozlov wrote:
Yes, there were two basic types of feed unit– one that allowed the use of cloth belts only, and a universal feed that allowed for the use of both cloth and steel (non-disintegrating)belts.

I seem to remember the metal belts came in with the new SG43, so that would be sometime after its acceptance May 1943, but realistically, probably early/mid 1944.



Thanks Andy. I need to know if the one I have can use a cloth belt, and I dont have a cloth belt yet to try in it. But as you have a couple running there, if they originated from Rytons, and use cloth belts, then the one I have from Rytons must also run a cloth belt.

And speaking of those Ryton guns, What about the colour, is it right or wrong for WW2?

next, WW2 era 54R ammo, was it copperwashed steel like it is nowdays, or brass?

Thanks for your help guys


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 Post subject: Re: Maxim belt
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:37 am 
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Most of the people I see with "Soviet" Maxims are using metal belts actually...

I know my Comrade from 13 GRD has a couple of cloth belts, but not sure if he's ever tried them with the gun?

Its an interesting "new heresy" for Soviet reenactment :D

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 Post subject: Re: Maxim belt
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:24 am 
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Everything which was imported by Rytons out of the Ukraine was was subject to post-war rebuilds and either received a late pattern feed block capable of handling both belts, or had its earlier feed block modified. In most cases the former happened irrespective of the date of manufacture of the gun and most are post war dated.

Allumimum Feed Blocks were also very common during WW2 but these were scraped during the rebuilds. To get one of these you will need to find a Finnish import. I attach a picture showing one in my colection modified for metal belts.

Colours is a subject in its own but if you have a snow cap gun, flip the cap and you will normally see the original colour there. All of these weapons were painted post-war and it is recorded in their log book if you have one. How close the curent colour I do not know but with all the variations of mixing probably not an issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Maxim belt
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:40 am 
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REME 245 wrote:
Everything which was imported by Rytons out of the Ukraine was was subject to post-war rebuilds and either received a late pattern feed block capable of handling both belts, or had its earlier feed block modified. In most cases the former happened irrespective of the date of manufacture of the gun and most are post war dated.

Allumimum Feed Blocks were also very common during WW2 but these were scraped during the rebuilds. To get one of these you will need to find a Finnish import. I attach a picture showing one in my colection modified for metal belts.

Colours is a subject in its own but if you have a snow cap gun, flip the cap and you will normally see the original colour there. All of these weapons were painted post-war and it is recorded in their log book if you have one. How close the curent colour I do not know but with all the variations of mixing probably not an issue.


I assume mine has the late pattern feed block, cos its steel not ali. I looked under the snow cap cover and its the same green as the outside. Am I correct then in assuming they were a green colour in the war, and not grey or some other colour?
I have a belt which I will collect in December, so will try that then.


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 Post subject: Re: Maxim belt
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:00 am 
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Most of the Soviet "ordnance green" you see on just about every piece of Soviet kit is the same. Its a standardised postwar paint mix.

During the period of the GPW the paint wasn't standardised like this. The postwar colour is definitely in the range of what existed wartime though.

So the answer is that yes, it will be of a suitable, possible, colour for GPW.

The other option of course is to white wash them for winter use... probably not right now in NZ though ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Maxim belt
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:31 am 
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Steel and Alluminum were the most common materials used during WW2 but earlier Brass examples would also have seen service.

The earlier pattern of steel feed block looked more like a Vickers one (smoother profile). Obviously you can check the date of manufacture of yours by checking as previously discussed.

I will try and take a picture of some of the colours on mine if I get the oportunity but I agree with Andrei's comments.
I have observed light Lime Green green colours and also greens with more of a mustard tint if you get my meaning. You can normally observe somewhere on the water jacket where the post-war green is chipped off.


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 Post subject: Re: Maxim belt
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:49 am 
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You also see a dark "forest green" paint used too, but as I said, the paint was "green" and as long as it was sort of green then that was ok for acceptance.

This is the same discussion as we (Za Ob) recently had about steel helmets :D

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 Post subject: Re: Maxim belt
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 19:02 pm 
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Quote:
REME 245 wrote:
The earlier pattern of steel feed block looked more like a Vickers one (smoother profile). Obviously you can check the date of manufacture of yours by checking as previously discussed.


The Manufacturing date on mine is 1944


Quote:
I will try and take a picture of some of the colours on mine if I get the oportunity but I agree with Andrei's comments.
I have observed light Lime Green green colours and also greens with more of a mustard tint if you get my meaning. You can normally observe somewhere on the water jacket where the post-war green is chipped off.



Thanks for that. From the sounds of things, i dont have to worry about a repaint as its OK for WW2


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 Post subject: Re: Maxim belt
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 13:29 pm 
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REME 245 wrote:
Allumimum Feed Blocks were also very common during WW2 but these were scraped during the rebuilds. To get one of these you will need to find a Finnish import. I attach a picture showing one in my colection modified for metal belts.



I remember John Oxlade had a 1940 model Maxim (1944 dated)* with an aluminium feed block that he actually got from Belgrade. The paint on the cooling jacket was fairly worn but as I recall looked grey. Mind you this could easily be 60+ years of discolouration. maybe someone has a picture lurking around their archives?

*i.e. with the tractor filler cap but this illustrates Andy's point about designations and dates. It's the model 1940 but you don't seem to see it in any numbers until 1944. It's not much of an issue for reenactment purposes though as there's never enough of them at an event to represent a Fortified Region.

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 Post subject: Re: Maxim belt
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 14:20 pm 
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Belgrade? So the paint could easily be Yugo?

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