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I recently bought this semi-auto Maxim from a forum member and I know very little about Maxim's (or for that matter most other subjects).

I believe it to be a Finnish built 09/21 and appears to be all matching number with the exception of the Fusee covers which is probably a later replacement. It came with the type 21 Finnish tripod.

I have included some photos, any comments from the numerous Maxim experts on the Forum would be appreciated.

DSC_3548.JPG DSC_3551.JPG DSC_3552.JPG DSC_3553.JPG DSC_3558.JPG DSC_3559.JPG DSC_3550.JPG
 

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Redroth

I don't know much a about these either but looks like a nice gun. I am assuming that is the Midwest semi conversion with the box on the bottom. You have nice taste in toys. Good luck with the info search.

Junking
 

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Redroth

I don't know much a about these either but looks like a nice gun. I am assuming that is the Midwest semi conversion with the box on the bottom. You have nice taste in toys. Good luck with the info search.

Junking
Thanks Junking, it is a Midwest conversion and I think that Dennis did a very nice job. The Finns imported Maxim's, captured many maxim's, and manufactured some of there own. I do not think mine was a capture gun, but do not know what it started off as (1910 model Russian)? I know a number of guys understand the Finn guns and Maxims pretty well in general so I was hoping they would chime in.

I have been lucky that I was able to buy three nice guns from Forum members over the last three months. I also was lucky that I was able to sell some nice belt feed accessories and parts kits to my fellow Forum members so I could afford to buy these when they came up. I have to say everyone I have either bought from or sold to on the Forum over the last few months have been real gentlemen and a pleasure to deal with.
 

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Need to buy a copy of The Devils Paintbrush By Goldsmith.

Serial numbers are remarked, looks modern to me but might be Finnish re-serial numbered. The AV and T in V, S is the marking of the Finnish arsenal that reworked the gun.

Very nice looking!
 

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...I do not think mine was a capture gun, but do not know what it started off as (1910 model Russian)? I know a number of guys understand the Finn guns and Maxims pretty well in general so I was hoping they would chime in....
Actually its almost for sure a captured gun or parts from several captured guns. Its not Finnish made from what I can see but maybe a piece or two.

Here is a pretty good write up on the topic: http://www.jaegerplatoon.net/MG1.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Actually its almost for sure a captured gun or parts from several captured guns. Its not Finnish made from what I can see but maybe a piece or two.

Here is a pretty good write up on the topic: http://www.jaegerplatoon.net/MG1.htm
I have printed out an order form and will buy Dolf's book on the Maxim's from him.

Normally capture or upgraded guns have the old serial numbers struck out and a new one stamped. No where on this gun is that the case (Fusee cover being the exception and probably a replacement). Serial number on RH side plate, trunnion, water jacket (multiple places), top cover, feed block, bottom plate, spade grips, sight, etc. all have serial number 1127 and nothing crossed out or ground down. In addition, gun appears to have minimal wear or handling damage.

I have previously read the topic on Finnish guns on Jaegerplatoon website, while it is a well done piece some of it is a little confusing hence why I was asking for feedback.
 

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I'll offer a few observations. The brass bottom plate appears to be from a 1905 Russian Maxim and has the early style number font, but the only way to tell is to remove the grip frame and look at the inside rear end of the bottom plate and see if it has been modified so the sides fit the blow the dovetails. Brass bottom plates were also made for early 1910s, but the two types are different in details. The bottom plate is stamped with the Finn Tikkakoski factory logo and the factory S2 letter and number. This was put on when the gun went through that arsenal. The top cover is dated 1944 for the repairs and engrave with the AV1 logo which was a major repair and upgrade arsenal. This suggests to me that the gun went through a second upgrade in 1944 after its first modifications to the 09 specs.
"Korj", stamped on the top cover, means "repair" and the date it was done is 1944, which is quite late, but during a period when many upgrades were done to Russian 1910s. At that late date, upgrades usually included additions that were designed into the Finn made Maxims, the 09/32 and 32/33s. These features were not used on earlier modifications of the 1910s. The specific feature are added plates on the sides of the feed block cutouts which was a Finn design feature of their own manufactured Maxims. On the Finn made Maxims, 09/32s and 32/33s, reinforcement plates were also riveted around the slots in the side plates where the recoil/crank assembly moves back and forth. You do not provide any pictures of the is area of your gun to show if these reinforcement plates are assembled there.
The use of the bottom plate serial number on other parts suggests that the gun was still assembled with those original parts when the Finns got it. The 09/21s typically were upgraded from early smooth jacket Russian 1910s simple because the adaptor for the tripod mount fit the smith jackets much better and more solidly than when used on the fluted jackets. the small stud on the bottom of the jacket located the mount adaptor. The witness mark numbers for the alignment of the jacket and the trunnion are 27, the last two digits of the serial number.
The Finn adapted shorter rear sight has the serial plus the Tikkakoski logo on it, and the forward slot from the old Russian rear sight is still there. The Finn rear sight is a later addition when the gun was repaired, so they used the original serial form the bottom plate. The serial ison the rear of the top cover and on the top o the grip frame, and appear to me to be Finn numbers,not original Russian Tula numbers.
The original Russian factory ID, date and serial number were ground off the top cover, and would have been for Tula, the first make of the 1910s. The left sideplate has faint remains of another longer number with the current serial stamped above it.
Fusee cover is early interwar Russian 1910 part. Many of these guns were outfitted with Finn made fusee covers usually with the AV1 engraved on them.
Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'll offer a few observations. The brass bottom plate appears to be from a 1905 Russian Maxim and has the early style number font, but the only way to tell is to remove the grip frame and look at the inside rear end of the bottom plate and see if it has been modified so the sides fit the blow the dovetails. Brass bottom plates were also made for early 1910s, but the two types are different in details. The bottom plate is stamped with the Finn Tikkakoski factory logo and the factory S2 letter and number. This was put on when the gun went through that arsenal. The top cover is dated 1944 for the repairs and engrave with the AV1 logo which was a major repair and upgrade arsenal. This suggests to me that the gun went through a second upgrade in 1944 after its first modifications to the 09 specs.
"Korj", stamped on the top cover, means "repair" and the date it was done is 1944, which is quite late, but during a period when many upgrades were done to Russian 1910s. At that late date, upgrades usually included additions that were designed into the Finn made Maxims, the 09/32 and 32/33s. These features were not used on earlier modifications of the 1910s. The specific feature are added plates on the sides of the feed block cutouts which was a Finn design feature of their own manufactured Maxims. On the Finn made Maxims, 09/32s and 32/33s, reinforcement plates were also riveted around the slots in the side plates where the recoil/crank assembly moves back and forth. You do not provide any pictures of the is area of your gun to show if these reinforcement plates are assembled there.
The use of the bottom plate serial number on other parts suggests that the gun was still assembled with those original parts when the Finns got it. The 09/21s typically were upgraded from early smooth jacket Russian 1910s simple because the adaptor for the tripod mount fit the smith jackets much better and more solidly than when used on the fluted jackets. the small stud on the bottom of the jacket located the mount adaptor. The witness mark numbers for the alignment of the jacket and the trunnion are 27, the last two digits of the serial number.
The Finn adapted shorter rear sight has the serial plus the Tikkakoski logo on it, and the forward slot from the old Russian rear sight is still there. The Finn rear sight is a later addition when the gun was repaired, so they used the original serial form the bottom plate. The serial ison the rear of the top cover and on the top o the grip frame, and appear to me to be Finn numbers,not original Russian Tula numbers.
The original Russian factory ID, date and serial number were ground off the top cover, and would have been for Tula, the first make of the 1910s. The left sideplate has faint remains of another longer number with the current serial stamped above it.
Fusee cover is early interwar Russian 1910 part. Many of these guns were outfitted with Finn made fusee covers usually with the AV1 engraved on them.
Hope this helps.
Hi Bob,
Very helpful and answers a lot of my questions. Makes a lot of sense to me and fits into the Jaeger Platoon site description of 09/21 guns. Understanding what "Korj" means was very helpful. So it maybe that this was an originally a model 1910 Russian Maxim that was converted to a 09/21 in the 1924 - 1932 period and later rebuilt in 1944. It certainly looks like they did a real nice job rebuilding it and refinishing it.
Thanks!
 

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I have printed out an order form and will buy Dolf's book on the Maxim's from him.

Normally capture or upgraded guns have the old serial numbers struck out and a new one stamped. No where on this gun is that the case (Fusee cover being the exception and probably a replacement). Serial number on RH side plate, trunnion, water jacket (multiple places), top cover, feed block, bottom plate, spade grips, sight, etc. all have serial number 1127 and nothing crossed out or ground down. In addition, gun appears to have minimal wear or handling damage.

I have previously read the topic on Finnish guns on Jaegerplatoon website, while it is a well done piece some of it is a little confusing hence why I was asking for feedback.
You will love Dolf's book. I bought 2 as I wore out the first copy.

I have had one of these Finnish 09/21 kits and several of their waterjackets. These kits were fully reworked, much more than the crossing out numbers and reassigning the parts that you often see on the IMA imported guns (On Sokolov mounts) that were never put on tripods. These round jackets guns with the stud sticking out the bottom had the full treatment when adapted to the tripod. I sat down and studied my kit heavily. All these 09/21s have 4 digit serials that I have seen. When you compare Russian serial number placement, you start to see how reworked these parts are. The Finns actually removed/filled the markings in most cases. Going through your pictures I can see it. On the sideplate, I see a little lower where they removed the Russian serial number. The bottom plates were not normally numbered so they added the marking there. On the top cover I can see below the new serial where the Russian marking was removed. Also the rear sight was replaced. You can see on the top cover the slot where the longer rear sight use to come down and get held in place. However the Finnish rear sight is not as tall, so it does not use this slot. However this finnish rear sight is somehow matching. I can't see the rear latch well enough to tell. The waterjacket is painted which makes it impossible to see as they usually removed material and then restamped. The back plate they usually removed material and then restamped. If you look you can see how the finish on the metal is rougher on the flat where the serial is stamped.

This all came up as I found it extremely unlikely that I managed to get myself 3 waterjackets all from those very early years. There was enough of the old serial on several of these parts that made it impossible that it was really such an early Russian gun that the Finnish converted. No, I think these guns were heavily reworked and the Finnish took pride in removing the Russian numbers and making a new gun from them. One other way you can tell is the Finnish numbers use a slightly different text style when comparing with Russian serial numbers if I recall correctly. Actually the good condition makes sense as there is little chance they would be in this shape after being captured and reworked by the Finnish army unless they were completely rearsenalled.

It was hard for me to come to terms with as I wanted early stuff, but I eventually saw that these numbers are all Finnish numbers and so do not date those parts to the years I thought they were.

FinSmoothJacket.JPG
FinSidePlate.JPG

On this pictures you can see where they filled the little slot for the longer Russian rear sight!
FinTop.JPG
 

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The use of the bottom plate serial number on other parts suggests that the gun was still assembled with those original parts when the Finns got it. The 09/21s typically were upgraded from early smooth jacket Russian 1910s simple because the adaptor for the tripod mount fit the smith jackets much better and more solidly than when used on the fluted jackets.....
I have to disagree with Bob on this one, from what I have observed. I do not think the serial on the bottom plate is Russian. I have not had a serial numbered brass plate or any bottom plate unless its numbered to match a finnish gun. I don't think the Russian's numbered these parts at all. I think the Finnish added the serial to match the rest of the gun.

As Bob also saw, the sideplate is renumbered.

Check the jacket in this thread. I think this had the same thing done to it that your waterjacke had done. With no paint, its clear to see there is a longer serial under it. Also note the placement of the serial number sightly forward of the original number, in the same place your gun is numbered.
http://1919a4.com/showthread.php?54861-WTS-Russian-M1910-Receiver-Parts



No, I am pretty sure they renumbered most of these parts, probably to a serial range they were using. Not force matching.... thats my guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have marked in the Red box where I think you can see the Russian serial numbers original were.


View attachment 16388
After reading Bob's detailed response I also agree with your original response. It is very possibly my Maxim is made up of one or more capture or imported guns. I also agree with both of you that the numbers stamped (1127) were done by the Finn's and they did a great job removing or filling in the original serial numbers and refinishing the guns when they either built them into 09/21 guns or more likely in 1944 during the arsenal rebuild. They really took pride in their work because the parts which may be almost 100 years old in some cases look like new.

I really appreciate both you and Bob taking the time to educate me. While I have seen a few Vickers and understand some of the differences between them and know most of their tools and accessories, I knew nothing about Maxim's. I shall learn, right now I am trying to scrounge the correct cleaning/tool sets and other accessories.

Thanks again!
 

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The Russian 1905 brass bottom plates were serial numbered and were different than the 1910 brass bottom plates as I believe I noted in my post. The design of the 1905 bottom plates differed at ther rear end where the grip assembly intersected with the bottom plate. Without seeing the inside of the rear end of the bottom plate it isn't possible to determine if the part is 1905 or 1910. I have examples of both and have examples of both on early kits. The font of the serial on the bottom plate is correct for a 1905 in my experience and examples and was not put on the plate by the Finns.
Also, some bottom plates are serialled on steel versions, as well, so it can go both ways. The serialled parts could have been done by the Finns or by Midwest Metal for all I can say. The font does not seem correct for Russian or Finn from the kits and other parts that I have so it's anybodies' guess. When I get the chance, I'll go back and look at the font on the gun again and see if it rings any bells.
I have about thirty loose topcovers from kits, two thirds of which are Finn reworks and there are all sorts of different ways that the Finns renumbered or did not renumber the guns. None of them have serials at the front end of the cover in the manner of the Russian markings. Many have one or two or three serials crossed out and a new number in fonts that always have some form of serifs. Confusing, but shows the variety of markings.
Keep in mind that the gun has been built and fully restored as a semi-auto so whatever serial Dennis wanted to use could be put on the gun as well as the parts. The full-auto guns that I build and have built, have to have the registered serial number on the plate so the original serial on the parts can't be used on the sideplate. There is no way to be sure when the topcover was assembled on the gun, either. It is very easy to change numbers on any of the parts of these guns and I have done quite a lot of that when necessary.
As with all Russian 1910s and even the Finn made 09/32s and 32/33 guns, there is a wide mix and variety of possible choices for the alleged history of the parts and the guns based on the markings.
I'll add that, while of great value and interest, the Jaegerplatoon history and explanations of the evolution and nature of the Russian 1910s, the mods to the 1910s and the manufacture of the Finn made Maxims has quite a few errors that are clearly due to not having much hands on experience with the hardware, and limited exposure to lots of different examples.
For instance, his history does not include the M09/32 Finn made examples, which are a very distinct model obviously manufactured in some numbers and issued before the changes to the next model, the M32/33. I have built serval registered examples of the Finn made 09/32s. He also says that there was not much interchangeability of parts between different makes and vintages of 1910s and by implication with the Finn made Maxims which is completely untrue. One of the truly amazing and admirable characteristics of all Maxims is the interchangeability of parts between almost all Maxim types of different vintages and countries from 1890 until 1945.
Anyway, the only reliable constant is variables.........
 
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