A 75mm Maxim-Nordenfelt Cannon and the Type 30 Arisaka

First up, a 75mm Maxim-Nordenfelt cannon that was on display at the Carabinieri Museum in Rome. Guns like this one  were pretty widely used by countries all over the world, with a wide variety of details in the carriages. This particular example is (according to its display tag) an 1886 model gun. The action is marked Maxim Nordenfelt 1.65 Mark E I, which tells us a few things. The Maxim-Nordenfelt company only existed from 1888 until 1897 (when it was bought up by Vickers to become Vickers, Sons, and Maxim), so assuming the tag is correct about this being an 1886 model gun it would be a Nordenfelt design that remained in production after the Maxim and Nordenfelt companies merged.

The 1.65 and Mark E I notations also have a meaning, although I have been unable to definitively identify them. The 1.65 number seems most likely to be a powder charge (in pounds), as it is too small to represent the bore in inches or the projectile weight in pounds. I don’t have any good print resources on the quick-firing guns of this era above 37mm, so I can’t point to exactly what a Mark E I designates.

At any rate, the gun was apparently captured by Carabinieri soldiers in June of 1936 at the Battle of Dessie, in Ethiopia. A few other details on the gun from its tag:

  • Bore: 75mm
  • Barrel length: 1000mm
  • Rifling: 12 groove
  • Wheel diameter: 710mm
  • Carriage weight: 150kg
  • Total weight: 250kg

Perhaps someone with more knowledge of antique artillery can provide some details on the gun in the comments?

Second, Othais and Mae at C&Rsenal have a video up on the Type 30 Arisaka, which is excellent and well worth watching. The video work they are doing has been getting better and better, and if you aren’t watching them, you should be!