Watch: Maxim Silverman Model 1896 Automatic Pistol


Watch: Maxim Silverman Model 1896 Automatic Pistol

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.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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