A light mounted breech-loading gun, so constructed that the power in the recoil of each shot discharges the empty cartridge case, reloads, and returns the gun to its firing position.
In the Maxim gun, invented by Hiram S. Maxim
, the constant pressure upon the trigger keeps it in firing action till all of its ammunition is discharged.
A hundred or more cartridges, the number depending upon the size of the gun. are strung on a belt and are directly fed into the ammunition box. There are two calibres of the Maxim gun: the first being the size of an ordinary rifle and easily held out at arm's length: the second fires a one-pound ball.
Both of these guns can fire several hundred shots a minute, the first about 700.
gun is also fully automatic.
It has but a single barrel, which.
owing to its thickness, does not heat quickly.
and consequently does not need a water-jacket.
The barrel is attached to a breech casing, and the belts are either contained in boxes or may rest on the ground.
When fastened to the casing.
the boxes move with it.