Watch: Maxim Silverman Model 1896 Automatic Pistol
Russ Chastain 10.04.17
Ian of Forgotten Weapons is at it again, this time showing us a mostly-unknown pistol with a famous name. It bears the name of Hiram Maxim of machinegun fame, although most of the work on this pistol was apparently done by his assistant Louis Silverman.
The grip angle on this old popper might cause some folks to think of Ruger’s line of 22 rimfire semi-auto handguns, but those are really recent adaptations of an old theme. As you can see here, the grip of the High Standard H-D Military looks a lot like the one in this video. Then of course there’s the old Colt Woodsman… but I digress. (But before I move on — this predates the Luger, so it was not inspired by it.)
The pistol in the video is a blowback design for a cartridge that’s really too much for simple blowback (7.63mm Borchardt). But it’s a pretty good design for being 121 years old.
Only three of these guns are known to exist today, all in different calibers. The others are chambered for 1) an undetermined, possibly wildcat, 8.45mm cartridge and 2) 455 Webley(!).
And all y’all who fawn over striker-fired pistols as if they are something new, well I guess you’re about to learn something.