Cranking up the ol’ Meat Chopper
Known as “The Meat Chopper” from its use against infantry, the M45 Maxson Quad turret was designed as an anti-aircraft gun, envisioned in the above image.
The electrically-powered mount moved at about 60-degrees per second and could elevate to near-vertical and depress slightly less than the horizon for use against ground targets in enfilade. Two 6-volt batteries recharged by a small Briggs and Stratton gas engine coupled to a generator fed the electric motor on the mount.
To this mount, the design added a central gunner’s seat of luxurious canvas, a large spiderweb-type graduated sight, and four Browning M2 heavy machine guns arranged in a pair on each side, which provided .50 cal suppression in surround sound.
Fully equipped with 800 rounds of ammunition (200 in each “Tombstone”), an armor shield for the gunner, oil and fuel for the engine and all accessories, the mount topped 2,400-pounds. This size fit in the rear of a large truck, half-track, or could be towed alone on a small M20-style trailer and their firepower made them very popular with the Joes and Marines in the field.
IJM Restorations in the UK has been working on a vintage Maxson for several weeks and in the above images and below video shows it in working condition, able to elevate and traverse with the assistance of a small gasoline-powered engine.