POTD: The Granddaddy of Suppressors – Maxim Silencer
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Today we have a photo I took while at the Cody Firearms Museum. This is a .22 caliber Maxim Silencer on a rechambered 1903 rifle. The Maxim Silencer has been cut down in order to demonstrate what it looks like inside. As the story goes Hiram Percy Maxim, whose father invented the Maxim Machine Gun, was working on designing and developing automobile mufflers when he had the bright idea to put the equivalent on a firearm. This bright idea rolled into the Maxim Silencer. It should be mentioned that the marketing for what we would call a suppressor today was literally called a silencer and that name has become so ingrained that its use is interchangeable.
Modern suppressors are usually designed to be located down the centerline of the muzzle whereas the Maxim Silencer was offset to accommodate the iron sights on the gun it was on. A modern example of this would be Silencerco’s Osprey. The way that the baffles worked was also different from today’s designs. The baffles were curved in such a way to spin the gasses in order to evenly distribute and dissipate pressures. This had the unfortunate side effect of making the suppressors heat up very quickly.