Gatling Gun

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Gatling gun

[′gat·liŋ ‚gən]
Type of machine gun using multibarrels which fire in rotation; it permits very rapid fire because it reduces the problem of overheating in a single barrel.

Gatling Gun


a multibarreled firearm mounted on a wheeled carriage or tripod and designed for rapid fire. The first Gatling gun, built by the American inventor R. Gatling in the 1860’s, had from six to ten barrels of 13 or 25.4 mm caliber and fired up to 200 rounds per minute. Many armies, including the Russian, used Gatling guns. The more refined Gatling gun designed by the French inventors J.-B. Verchére de Reffye and Montigny had 37 barrels and was called a mitrailleuse. In the 1880’s, Russian inventors, among them A. P. Gorlov, invented a still more refined gun that had from five to ten barrels and that fired standard rifle cartridges. In the late 19th century Gatling guns lost their value because shrapnel fired by artillery guns proved more effective. Further searches for the technological solution to the problem of rapid fire led to the construction of the machine gun.

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The beautifully crafted ash, iron and brass tripod supplied with the gun adds another 135 pounds, bringing the total mounted weight of the Gatling to 270 pounds.
The Gatling story wouldn't be complete without mentioning its return to service, four decades later.
Johnson, inventor of the Johnson M1941 rifle and M1941 and M1944 light machine gun, was contracted by the Small Arms Branch of US Ordnance to research the possibility of creating a high rate-of-fire machine gun by fitting an electric drive to a Gatling gun.
Like the earlier guns, the Camel Gatling had a side-mounted handle and exposed barrels.
In 1877 a revolutionary version of the Gatling hit the market.
Interestingly enough, the gun can be fired with missing bolts (I've done this myself with an original Gatling when we had an extractor breakage during a TV show I was filming).
As indicated earlier, the BB Gatling can operate with either compressed air or C[O.
Operating the Gatling at pressures of 90 to 125 psi, the little gun generates muzzle velocities of approximately 250 to 300 fps.
In any case, the little BB Gatling exudes quality and delivers creditable performance.