Russian Maxim belt


Now that I have improved my skill to post message … I would be grateful for any help concerning this Maxim belt, probably of Russian origin.

According to the acceptance stamps, is this belt Russian ? or another Cyrillic writing country ? What does mean the text “ART SPAIKA” in cyrillic ? does that have any sense in Russian ?
You will note that the belt has no inked numbers on cartridge pockets and that the smooth cloth part between the last cartridge pocket and the metal starter tag is unusually short.

Thank you in advance for any help from our Russian friends.



How about a little help, “maybe,” from a Swamp Yankee with some knowledge of Russian?

Technically, “spaika” is the Russian term for a soldered joint. In general usage, it is used to refer to the linkage of two items, hooking them together. Almost certainly this of Russian origin. Any suggestion of soldering on the metal work of the belt? My WAG is that in this instance it refers in some way to either the design of the links or the fact it is a linked assemblage rather than soldering.

ART could be an abbreviation or acronym - can’t help with that one nor with the arsenal / acceptance stamps (if such they are).

Probably Yuri or another of our other Russian correspondents can answer this off the top of their heads.



All belts to Russian Maxim have been made in a Tula factory

Probably in 1920-1925 some tapes were done or repair in workshop at a factory
The art means artel - small private workshop


Thank you very much AV for those information.

I especially appreciated the picture of the 1909-dated starter tab. I can now update my file with the oldest examined specimen (so far I only had 1911 in my collection).

Does anyone have a Russian Maxim belt dated between 1905 and 1908 ?

Thanks in advance



You see two variants of marks on my photos
Letters on them ОТЗ - oruzheinyi tul’skii zavod - a weapon Tula factory and the arms of tsar
Year and number of a belt

After revolution only year \for example 923 \and number

As to " ART SPAIKA " I think that it was repair of belts after war and the new tip is made

Excuse for my English


AV66 - welcome!

I tried to reply in my poor Russian, but the software does not appear to support the Cyrillic characters.

Please don’t apologize for your level of English - with very few exceptions, very few here speak ANY Russian, and fewer yet at the same level as your language skill.

We are very fortunate to have many nations and native languages represented here.

Thank you for joining us and sharing your knowledge!



Thank you most sincerely AV for your comments.

While we are writing about Russian Maxim belt, here is a DWM Maxim belt exported to Russia.

We see the typical Russian pattern to mark the cartridge pocket every ten rounds with only the values of the tens being inked. Note the unusual hollow rivet at the end of the long spacer which feature has never been observed elsewhere on DWM-made belts (the DWM pattern incorporates a solid steel rivet at the end of the long spacers).

Any idea when this belt was exported to Russia ? Around 1906 during the Russo-Japanese war ? or later ?
Thanks very much in advance.



In 1897 224 machine guns Maxim have been ordered by Russian government to firm DWM

But during world war 1 Germany made cartridges for trophy Mosin’s rifles
Probably could make belts for trophy machine guns
But I do not know about it


Thanks AV,

I don’t think this German belt was produced during WW1 for captured machine guns since the production details (cartridge numbering system every 10 rounds with only the tens inked and the hollow rivet at the end of the long spacers) do correspond to the official Russian patterns.

These details are different from the standard DWM belts and it would have been of no interest for the Germans to make different belts for captured machine guns still complying with Russian minor details.

1906-dated 7.62x54R cartridges with mod/91 round nose projectile produced by DWM have been observed. These might have been exported to Russia during the Russo-Japanese war ? However, I have no idea whether these cartridges were for rifles or machine guns.

Best regards



During war Germany made cartridges(patrons) for trophies 7.62 which used for auxiliary armies

Why could not make belts again ?


I have to point out some mistakes.

  1. Tula factory/plant used to be the only Maxim belt maker BEFORE WWII.
  2. Artel SPAIKA was making Maxim belts in 1942-1945. It was located in Moscow, USSR
  3. Artel means a kind of cooperative enterprise. Basically small ones.

During WWII Soviet artels made a lot of military stuff, including Maxim ammo boxes, clearining tools and even submachine-guns


Thank you very much Linnet for these most interesting information.
Have you ever seen the same marking Artel SPAIKA on Maxim belts with steel starter ?

To continue on the subject of Maxim belts, here is one with a copper-plated starter. Could it be Russian ?

Thank you very much for any help,



I didn’t pay close attention to the belts. It was a lot of work with maker’s logos of Maxim itself and other Russian/Soviet weapons.
About your picture. No obvious Russian letters on the belt. It may be part of letter “C” (mark on the right). Not only SPAIKA name begins from this letter.


Thank you linnet for your comments.

This belt with copper-plated steel starter is really strange.
Who as ever seen Russian Maxim belt with dates written with 4 digits ?
Well, in fact the 1944 is perhaps not the date ?

Anyway one might presume that this belt was manufactured at the same place where copper-plated steel cartridge cases are also manufactured ?
Besides the Russians, who else used copper plated steel cartridge cases in 1944 ?




I guess it’s “1944” on your example. Just bad print of digit “9”.
I met the belt for sale at Russian site and asked seller to show starter’s picture. He placed one and promised to send me better picture. It’s steel starter with single brass rivet and “45” “12” “star” “76”. Unfortunately I’m too stupid for inserting images here.
You can see some ones at … ntry308034
But it’s Russian language site.
They could manufacture this strange starter (and belt) in Leningrad. Letter “C” (in case it’s one!) could mean “SKOROKHOD” shoe factory. You know S=C in Russian. I’ll try to call to the factory’s museum next morning. I’m afraid they closed it years before.
I didn’t meet information about starters at the small arms cartrige factories.


Thanks for your comments linnet.
Unfortunately I did not manage to access to the link you indicated. Can you help ?

Here is the one I have in my collection :

Is 45 the year ? who is the maker with the Star marking ?

Thanks in advance



I’m arraid it’s a problem with cirillic sites. Try again:
Seller have 2 belts with zinc-plated starters. No marks on 2,3 m long belt and 45 12 star 76 on 3 m long belt.
I suspect 45 means 1945, 10 - October, 12 - December. I have some ideas about star but have to check them.
Did you meet ink stamps (kind of maker’s logo) on fabric part of the belt?