POTD: The Gatling Gun with a Magazine – Improved Gatling Gun

   05.26.21

POTD: The Gatling Gun with a Magazine – Improved Gatling Gun

Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have an advertisement for an Improved Gatling Gun. People say “gat,” but they may not know the roots of the word. The Gatling gun was patented in 1862 and for many moviegoers, it probably is thought of as an unstoppable machine of warfare in the American west. In reality, when the hand-cranked, multi-barreled Gatling Gun hit the market, most entities that adopted or planned to use it lacked the known strategies or techniques best suited for it. There are very few reports of it ever being used effectively in anger.

“Patented in 1862, the Gatling was among the earliest rapid-firing guns. Using a hand powered crank, the Gatling fired at 200-400 rpm out of six barrels. This 1885 advertisement is for a new and improved Gatling gun. The ad claimed the gun, now with 10 barrels and a different feed mechanism, could fire at 1,200 rpm! That number was roughly double the rate of fire of the first Maxims which had been publicly demonstrated a year prior to this ad. Whether the claim was marketing or actual fact is up for serious question, however Gatling did later experiment with electrically powered cranks”

Improved Gatling gun [Photograph found in Photos, Cody Firearms Museum’s Facebook]. (2018, July 2). Retrieved May 21, 2021, from https://www.facebook.com/CodyFirearmsMuseum/photos/2575289712695192

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