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Maxim's gun company was established with the help of the Vickers steel company of Great Britain and ultimately absorbed into it, joining with rival Nordenfeldt of Sweden in between; Albert Vickers would later produce his own redesigns of the Maxim, the Maxim-Vickers and later the Vickers Gun. Rudolf Henrik Kjellman latter refined Friberg's design to use Swiss 6.5x55mm smokeless powder cartridges in 1907, adding a bipod, water jacket and forward grip and replacing Friberg's hopper feed with a detachable box magazine: this, the "Kjellman Light Machine Gun," was a commercial failure with only ten examples produced.) The Maxim and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors: German version of the Maxim gun, adopted in 1908 and classified MG'08 accordingly.Usually seen on its unique four-legged 'sledge' mounting which could be folded up to drag the gun across the ground.

It saw combat from British use in The Gambia in 1888 to the end of the Second World War, eventually being supplanted by lighter and more efficient designs.

British use led to a popular saying: "Whatever happens, we have got / The Maxim gun, and they have not." Larger versions of the Maxim were also used as anti-aircraft guns, with the most well-known examples being the British "pom-pom" guns. Friberg, had patented a design for a recoil-operated firearm action using locking lugs similar to those used by many later automatic weapons (such as the Russian DP-28) in 1870, with early drawings for a weapon based on it dating back to 1882, Friberg's design was impractical due to rapid residue buildup from use of black powder, and it is unclear if any firing weapon was produced before Maxim's gun in 1885.

The Maxim was the first true self-powered machine gun*, a recoil-operated fully-automatic belt fed weapon produced by Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim, an American-born inventor who moved to England at the age of 41.

Maxim's attention was drawn to guns in 1881, when a friend famously advised him "If you want to make a pile of money, invent something that will enable those fool Europeans to cut each other's throats with greater facility." He produced his first gun in 1885, an extremely bulky device with a distinctive bulge at the rear for a rotary crank to reverse the movement of the block, and a unique pointer-operated fire regulator which allowed the weapon to fire at any speed from 1 RPM to 600.

The canvas belt capacity was reduced to 100 rounds.

Maxim-Tokarev satisfied Red Army only marginally so it was manufactured only in small numbers (according to various sources, about 2,400 or about 3,500).A simplified version with smooth water jacket was adopted in October 1914 and manufactured until late 1920s.Usually seen on the 'Sokolov' mounting which was wheeled with a small turntable.Maxim-Tokarev (MT or sometimes M-T) is a Soviet light machine gun, based on Maxim M1910.It was designed by Fedor Tokarev in early 1920s and put into service in 1925.Towards the end of WW1 they started to be replaced in British service by even more scaled-up Maxims, first by the 37mm QF 1.5 pounder and then by the much more powerful 40mm 2-pounder.

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