"I am glad that I'm behing the M134 Minigun and not one in front of it" - Richard "Mack" Machowicz
It all began in 1860 when Richard Jordan Gatling invented the multi-barreled gun firing hundreds of rounds per minute. He invented a way to avoid the problem of rapid loading and firing with one barrel by the use of multiple barrels. It was really wonderfull idea. R. Gatling was fascinated by the rotation. Invented the propeller, bicycle wheel, but above all the first quick-firing weapon. Crank was spinning, shooting from not one but from multiple barrels. Barrel from which the shot was given was shifted to recharge and take its place next fall loaded barrel. And so it goes.
This invention changed the way of war. Fewer soldiers, more firepower. Gatling Gun was served from 2 to 5 people, but their firepower was comparable with a hundred or two hundred soldiers. Gun has high weight. She weighed more than 40kg. Transported it on the wheel carriage.
It seemed that the invention has a bright future. However, construction was a major defect. At that time there were no metal hulls, the cartridges were packed by hand in a paper thimble. This resulted in frequent jams. Nevertheless, during the Civil War in the years 1861-1865, General Benjamin Butler bought twelve Gatling Guns for own money to see what they can. At the end of the war they are sowing havoc among enemy soldiers. Stirred to attack enemy soldiers closed, so one Gatling Gun could kill thousands enemies. Several Gatlings could stop the whole attack.
In 1865, a new model of Gatling Gun firing ammunition in metal scales and Cutting is much rarer. Some times later, Richard joined the electrically-powered engine to spinnig the barrels. On July 25, 1893 Jordan Gatling's electric-powered design received U.S. Patent. This was the beginning of a new era of quick-firing guns. His gun has had a theoretical rate of fire of 3.000 rounds per minute.
The Gatling Gun was used most successfully to expand European colonial empires by killing warriors of non-industrialized societies including the Matabele, the Zulu, the Bedouins, and the Mahdists. Imperial Russia purchased 400 Gatling guns and used them against Turmen cavalry and other nomads of central Asia. The Royal Navy used Gatling guns against the Egyptians at Alexandria in 1882. Gatling guns were used by the US side during the Spanish-American War, most notably during the battle of San Juan Hill.
Patent drawing for R.J. Gatling's Gun, 9 May 1865.
BBHC: Gatling Gun
How it works?
Lock N Load - The Gatling gun