This was the world's first automatic gun and was designed in 1883. For the most part, this was simply an enlarged version of the famous Maxim machine gun.

The first Maxim gun was delivered to Russia in 1888 and underwent trials until 1889. The evaluation was mildly successful and two additional guns were purchased in 1890. Six more were to be acquired in 1891, but no money was appropriated for them. However, in 1894 eight guns were bought for the Black Sea battleships. In 1901 the Oboukhov Factory produced a prototype of the gun, but due to its expense and the complexity, the Russian Navy judged that the five barrel 37 mm Hotchkiss gun was more than adequate to combat the torpedo boats of the time and was cheaper and easier to maintain.

The Maxim gun was retrieved from obscurity with the start of World War I and the need for an effective AA weapon. As a result, the Russian Navy ordered 120 guns from the Oboukhov factory. Unfortunately, the 15 years hiatus meant that the expertise to produce these weapons had been lost. The production schedule specified 80 to be delivered in 1917 and the balance to be delivered in 1918, but deliveries started only in 1918. Due to the Civil War deliveries were very chaotic and the total quantity produced is unknown.

This gun was water-cooled and recoil operated. Ammunition was supplied in 25 or 50 round belts.

Gun Characteristics

Designation 37 mm/30 (1.5") Maxim gun
Ship Class Used On Prior to WWI: AC Getrsog Edibugski, CBB Kreml', BB Imp. Nikolay I, DD Leitenant Il'in, Black Sea BBs
Civil War: Submarines, Light river craft, armored trains and cars
Date Of Design 1883
Date In Service First time: 1890
Second time: 1918
Gun Weight 549 lbs. (249 kg)
Gun Length oa N/A
Bore Length 43.5 in (1.105 m)
Rifling Length 39.1 in (0.992 m)
Grooves 12
Lands N/A
Twist N/A
Chamber Volume N/A
Rate Of Fire 250 rounds per minute cyclic 1
  • ^The Vickers 2-pdr had about 100 rounds per minute practical ROF, it is unlikely that this weapon was any better.


Type Fixed
Weight of Complete Round Iron HE: 1 lbs. (0.454 kg)
Shrapnel: N/A
Distance Grenade: N/A
Projectile Types and Weights N/A
Bursting Charge Iron HE: 0.038 lbs. (17 g)
Projectile Length N/A
Propellant Charge N/A
Muzzle Velocity N/A
Working Pressure N/A
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun N/A

Mount/Turret Data

Designation Single water-cooled Maxim mount
Weight 796 lbs. (361 kg)
Elevation -10 / +85 degrees
Elevation Rate N/A
Train 360 degrees
Train Rate N/A
Gun recoil N/A


Data from:

  • "Etsiklopediya Otechestvennoi Artillerii" (Encyclopedia of Fatherland (Russian) Artillery) by A.V. Shirokorad

Special help from Vladimir Yakubov