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Colonial Wars – Army mule drawn Maxim gun and six crew

  • Product Code: CE112
  • Availability: In Stock


This product is sold as an unpainted kit.

Additional Image.

1. Instruction Sheet. A hard copy of this sheet is provided with the kit.


‘The Maxim Gun, invented by the American Hiram Maxim employed the force generated by each shot to load, fire and eject spent cartridges as long as the trigger was depressed, producing a truly automatic machine-gun. Belt-fed, the single-barrelled Maxim fired up to 600rpm, and the barrel was encased in a water-filled jacket to prevent over-heating. Maxim’s first patent was taken out in 1884, and after extensive trials the resulting gun was taken into British Army service in 1891; initially it had wheeled carriages (for cavalry a ‘galloping carriage’ drawn by two horses, for infantry drawn by a mule), and the first tripod mount was approved in December 1897.’

‘From its introduction, the Maxim was allocated to each infantry battalion or cavalry regiment, and crewed by members of the unit, no longer being the preserve of the Royal Artillery. Initially the Maxim was of .45in calibre and used black-powder propellant, later it used the new rifle calibre (.303in) and smokeless powder. Maxim’s were sighted to 2,500 yards and carried ammunition in belts of 250 rounds, each belt in a box, of which fourteen were stowed on a cavalry carriage and sixteen on an infantry carriage.’



‘The first use of Maxims was by colonial forces in 1889 the Gold Coast Constabulary had one, and Maxims on ‘galloping carriages’ accompanied the Pioneer Column into Rhodesia, later taken over by the Chartered Company forces. The Bechuanaland Border Police had four Maxims on ‘galloping carriages’, and these were used in the 1893 Matabele revolt, with conspicuous success. The first use by regular troops on campaign was on the North-West Frontier in 1892 (by 2/KOYLI, although not used in action). The greatest concentration of Maxims was that deployed at Omdurman, where twenty were positioned behind the British zareba (four crewed by 1/Royal Irish Fusiliers, six by British and ten by Egyptian artillery), with 24 more in the naval gunboats. Their most successful deployment was in such static positions, a lack of manoeuvrability perhaps accounts for their comparative lack of success in the South African War, although enterprising commanders who carried Maxims and tripods on horseback (for example Thorneycroft of the Mounted Infantry which bore his name) found them useful, albeit in a largely defensive role.’   


Source: The Colonial Wars Source Book, PJ Haythornthwaite, Caxton Editions, London, 2000. A fascinating and highly readable text with a significant amount of useful detail for the wargamer.

Jacklex Miniatures Colonial Nineteenth Century 20mm metal wargame figures.