Salvator-Dormus M1893

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Mitrailleuse M1893
MG-Salvator Dormus.jpg
TypeHeavy machine gun
Place of origin Austria-Hungary
Service history
Used byAustria-Hungary
WarsBoxer Rebellion
World War I
Production history
DesignerKarl Salvator and Georg von Dormus
ManufacturerŠkoda Works
Produced1893–1918
VariantsM1893, M1902
Specifications
Mass20kg
Barrel length530mm

Cartridge8x50mmR
ActionDelayed Blowback
Rate of fire180–250RPM
Feed system20 to 30-round magazine
SightsIron

The Salvator-Dormus M1893 also known as Skoda M1893 was a heavy machine gun of Austro-Hungarian origin. It was patented by Archduke Karl Salvator of Austria and Count George von Dormus and was manufactured by Skoda Works Plzeň. The Salvator-Dormus was chambered in the 8x50mmR round fed from an overhead magazine and was water-cooled with an oil lubrication device. There was also a pendulum adjustment in the trigger mechanism that allowed the operator to select the cyclic rate of fire, anywhere from 180 to 250 rounds per minute. The M1893 was cheaper than the Maxim gun but was gradually replaced by the Schwarzlose MG M.07/12.

One of these machine guns was taken to Peking by sailors from the SMS Zenta and used during the successful 1900 defence of the Austro-Hungarian Embassy in Peking. Although secondary sources often cite the gun needing a stationary mounting limited to ships and fortifications, this machine gun had both a tripod and landing carriage mounting as evidenced by period photographs. It appears but is not yet confirmed that the mounting used in the successful defense at Peking during the Boxer Rebellion was a landing carriage mount with a shield. Although referred to as a "Maxim" gun, the 1893 could have easily been mistaken for such due to its brass water jacket. A 1901 photograph below shows the gun with such a brass water jacket on a light landing carriage with ammunition boxes mounted on the carriage, typical of Naval landing carriage mountings.

This photograph shows the Salvator Dormus 1893 Machine gun in its optimum configuration before changes made in 1902 with the new model. This gun on a landing carriage and shield like this was most likely the configuration used by the Austro-Hungarian bluejackets (sailors) from the Cruiser Zenta during the defense of siege of the Peking Legations in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion. Note the chargers lying on the ground for the top mounted fixed magazine and ammunition boxes on the carriage which was typical of naval machine gun landing carriages of the pre-WWI era.

Sources[edit]

Fowler, W., Sweeny, P. (2007, 2011). "The World Encyclopedia of Rifles and Machine Guns", JG Press

United States. Adjutant-General's Office. Military Information Division U.S. Government Printing Office, 1902, "Notes of Military Interest for 1901, Issue 36", page 129