Monday, July 25, 2011

1873 Maxim Nordenfelt Multi-Barrel Machine Gun

Original Maxim-Nordenfelt gun salvaged from the Spanish battle-cruiser Almirante Oquendo after the battle of Santiago Harbor during the Spanish-American War.

  • Barrel Length: 36"
  • Overall Length: 36"
  • Weight: 290 lbs
  • Dimensions: 26" Height, 16.5" Width, 52.4" Length
  • Effective Range: 400m
  • Number of barrels: 4 - 12
  • Action: Hand Cranked Gatling Gun Action
  • Mechanical Operation:
  • Caliber: 11mm and 25mm
  • Countries served: Austraila, Brazil, France, Spain, and England.
Not to be confused with the Maxim-Nordenfelt Mountain Gun(Single Barrel) or Maxim Machine Gun(Single Barrel). The Multi-Barrel Nordenfelt gun was engineered and designed by Helge Palmcrantz of Sweden. Palmcrantz would patent his invention in 1873. The machine gun would be produced by Thorsten Nordenfelt in England, with the gun taking upon the name of the manufacture rather then the designer. The Nordenfelt gun used 4 to 12 barrels and operated in similar fashion to the hand crank of the gatling gun. But rather in cylindrical fashion, the Nordenfelt barrels were aligned horizontally in-line.

The gun looked very promising at first, during trials it was capable of firing off 3,000 rounds in 3 minutes with zero stoppage and no failures. The Nordenfelt gun were later built and assembled in Spain. In 1888 Nordenfelt and Maxim merged to become Maxim Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company. Due to the Maxim machine guns, the Nordenfelt multi-barrel gun quickly became obsolete. However, the Nordenfelt Machine gun would still be produced and would also become known as the Maxim-Nordenfelt gun after the merger. The Spanish Navy as well as Spanish artillery units would use the Nordenfelt machine gun in the Philippines and during the Spanish-American War. Several examples of these "Maxim-Nordenfelt" machine guns were reported as captured by the US troops during the Span-Am War in Cuba and the Philippines. The Philippine forces as well would capture and/or receive these guns from the Spanish and used them during the Philippine American War(1899-1902). In the book "Rise and Fall of Antonio Luna", author Viencio Jose accounts the Maxim-Nordenfelt gun being used in the defense at the Battle for Malolos(March 29-31, 1899). These guns are now extremely rare, very few examples exist today.

Artillery captured from Philippines forces on display. 

Maxim-Nordenfelt machine gun found in the middle of display. Note the crudely made cart.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting! Had never heard of these before.