Gatling Gun

an HMS American Cultures collaborative production

The Gatling gun was one of the very first rapid-fire weapons of the Civil War.It was very fast but also very inaccurate. It was designed in America in the 1860’s. Ever since 1860, our productions of rapid-fire weapons have increased. The Gatling gun (1861), deigned by an American inventor, Dr. Richard J. Gatling, was one of the most well known rapid-fire weapons to be used in the 1860s by the Union forces of the Civil War. The original Gatling gun was a field weapon, which used multiple rotating barrels turned by a hand crank and firing loose (no links or belt) metal cartridge ammunition using a gravity feed system from a hopper. This allowed unskilled operators to achieve a relatively high rate of fire of 200 rounds per minute. That allowed this gun to take out 4 times as many soldiers as a normal rifle would. Although the first Gatling gun was capable of firing continuously, it required a person to crank it; therefore it was not a true automatic weapon.


Online Sources:
Wikipedia, "Gatling Gun". 25 May 2009
"Gatling Gun". 25 May 2009

Image Sources:
"1876 Gatling gun" May 25 2010.