Gatling gun


Gatling gun
/gat"ling/
an early type of machine gun consisting of a revolving cluster of barrels around a central axis, each barrel being automatically loaded and fired every revolution of the cluster.
[1860-65, Amer.; named after R. J. Gatling (1818-1903), U.S. inventor]

* * *

Hand-cranked multi barrel rotary gun.

It was invented by Richard J. Gatling (1818–1903) during the American Civil War. Making use of the newly invented brass cartridge, he assembled a cluster of 10 barrels, each of which was fired and reloaded during rotation by a crank. The barrels were loaded by gravity and the action of the cartridge container, and the spent cartridge cases were ejected. Without equal in the era of single-shot guns, it could fire as many as 3,000 rounds per minute. It became obsolete in the 1880s when the invention of smokeless powder led to development of a truly automatic machine gun.

* * *

weapon
      hand-driven machine gun, the first to solve the problems of loading, reliability, and the firing of sustained bursts. It was invented by Richard J. Gatling (Gatling, Richard Jordan) during the American Civil War (about 1862). After early experiments with a single barrel using paper cartridges (which had to have a separate percussion cap), he saw in the newly invented brass cartridge (which had its own percussion cap) an opportunity to fashion a truly rapid-fire weapon. Gatling contrived a cluster of 10 barrels, each of which, when rotated by a crank, was loaded and fired once during a complete rotation. The barrels were loaded by gravity and the camming action of the cartridge container, located directly above the gun. Each barrel was loaded and fired during a half-rotation around the central shaft, and the spent cases were ejected during the second half-rotation.

      Without equal in the era of hand-operated machine guns, the Gatling gun could fire 3,000 rounds per minute if externally powered. It and all other hand-operated machine guns were made obsolete by the development of recoil- and gas-operated guns that followed the invention of smokeless gunpowder. See also machine gun.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gatling gun — Gun Gun (g[u^]n), n. [OE. gonne, gunne; of uncertain origin; cf. Ir., Gael., & LL. gunna, W. gum; possibly (like cannon) fr. L. canna reed, tube; or abbreviated fr. OF. mangonnel, E. mangonel, a machine for hurling stones.] 1. A weapon which… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gatling gun — Gun Gun (g[u^]n), n. [OE. gonne, gunne; of uncertain origin; cf. Ir., Gael., & LL. gunna, W. gum; possibly (like cannon) fr. L. canna reed, tube; or abbreviated fr. OF. mangonnel, E. mangonel, a machine for hurling stones.] 1. A weapon which… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gatling gun — 1870, named for designer Dr. Richard Jordan Gatling (1818 1903); patented by 1862 but not used in American Civil War until the Petersburg campaign of June 1864 as an independent initiative by U.S. Gen. Ben Butler. For the first time in this war,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Gatling gun — Gat ling gun [From the inventor, R.J. Gatling.] An American machine gun, consisting of a cluster of barrels which, being revolved by a crank, are automatically loaded and fired. [1913 Webster] Note: The improved Gatling gun can be fired at the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gatling gun — ☆ Gatling gun [gat′liŋ ] n. [after R. J. Gatling (1818 1903), U.S. inventor] an early kind of machine gun having a cluster of barrels designed to be successively discharged automatically when rotated about an axis …   English World dictionary

  • Gatling gun — The Gatling gun is considered by some to have been the first machine gun: although it did not automatically reload under its own power, it was capable of firing continuously. Each barrel fires a single shot as it reaches a certain point in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Gatling Gun — Eine 10 läufige Gatling Gun Die Gatling Gun war die erste erfolgreiche schnell feuernde Schusswaffe. Sie ist ein Vorläufer des automatischen Maschinengewehrs. Das Nachladen wird mit Muskelkraft, mittels der Rotation des um eine Drehachse… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gatling gun — /ˈgætlɪŋ gʌn/ (say gatling gun) noun an early type of machine gun consisting of a revolving cluster of barrels round a central axis, each barrel being automatically loaded and fired during every revolution of the cluster. {named after RJ Gatling …   Australian English dictionary

  • Gatling gun — Gat′ling gun [[t]ˈgæt lɪŋ[/t]] n. mil an early type of machine gun consisting of a cluster of barrels around an axis that is rotated by a hand crank, with each barrel fired once during each rotation • Etymology: 1860–65, amer.; after R. J.… …   From formal English to slang

  • Gatling gun — noun Etymology: Richard J. Gatling died 1903 American inventor Date: 1867 a machine gun with a revolving cluster of barrels fired once each per revolution …   New Collegiate Dictionary