Austro-Hungarian Skoda Machine Guns

Skoda Heavy Machine Gun M1893
Skoda MachinenGewehr M1893 (Mitrailleuse)
Skoda Nehéz Géppuska C-93

Made by Waffenwerke Skoda, Austro-Hungary (Czech/Bohemian territory) 1895-18
Caliber: 8x50R
Delayed blowback
Gun weight 20kg [44 lbs] with cooling water and oil (Skoda 1902.M)
Gun length 1070mm [42.13"], Barrel length: 525mm [20.67"]
Gravity-feed 20 and 30 round box magazines
Rear sight graduated to 1600 schritt
Muzzle Velocity 618m/s [2028 fps]
Actual adjustable Cyclic rate: 180-250 rpm

Archduke Karl Salvator and Army Major George Ritter von Dormus patented a new delayed blowback machine gun. It was adopted in 1893 by the Austro-Hungarian Army and in 1894 by the Navy. One or two machine guns were issued by the Navy to gunboats and patrol boats. The Navy installation weigh 220kg with rotating stand and 6mm thick shielding. 4000 round of ammunition per gun was the standard issue.
The gun had a fixed barrel, the locking mechanism needed .5 liter of oil for lubrication. The blowback delay was provided by a system of pivoting blocks and a large coil spring housed in a tube behind the receiver. An optional buttstock was attahable to the coil spring housing. The M1893 was equipped with a firing rate regulator pendulum with adjustable weight, which oscillated while the gun was firing. The adjustment range was 180-300 round per minute. The proper function of the pendulum required a sttionary stand installation, which limited the application of the gun to fortresses and ships.
The M1893 was simpler and cheaper to build than the Maxim Machine Gun. Its weekest point was the gravity fed open sided magazine which caused an occasional malfunction. The first battle test of the machine gun was in 1900 during the Chinese Boxer Rebellion. The Zenta Battle Cruiser provided the defense of the Austro-Hungarian Embassy in Peking. The defenders were succesful and the Skoda M1893 functioned well. The gun remained in Austro-Hungarian service until 1918, however it was gradually replaced by the more advanced Schwarzlose 1907/12.M Machine Gun.

Skoda Heavy Machine Gun M1902
Skoda MachinenGewehr M1902
Skoda Nehéz Géppuska 02.M

Skoda engineers redesigned the M1893. Water cooling system was added, which needed 3 liters of water. The gravity-feed magazine was replaced with a belt-fed system. The firing rate pendulum system was redesigned to obtain a higher rate of fire. 300 rpm was achieved, but the gun still required pedestal mount. The gun remained in Austro-Hungarian service until 1918, however it was gradually replaced by the more advanced Schwarzlose 1907/12.M Machine Gun.

Skoda Heavy Machine Gun M1909
Skoda MachinenGewehr M1909
Skoda Nehéz Géppuska 09.M

In 1909 Skoda engineers completely redesigned the M1902 again to compete with the Schwarzlose Machine Gun, which was adopted by the Monarchy in 1905. In the M1909 the rate reducer was eliminated and the breech mechanism was redesigned. A fresh cartridge lubricator was added, which increased the rate of fire to 425 rpm. The belt-fed system was using a 250-round fabric belt, which entered the left side of the receiver and exited on the top. The belt system did not completely eliminated the feeding problems.

Skoda Heavy Machine Gun M1913
Skoda MachinenGewehr M1913
Skoda Nehéz Géppuska 13.M

In 1913 Skoda engineers made their final redesign the Salvator-Dormus design. The gun received feed system upgrades and a new lower profile tripod with a shield. The Skoda still was not able to compete with the Schwarzlose. Only a few were manufactured for reserve troops.