Sort of OT: Gatling Gun Use in WWII?

the gun existed as far back as the 1860's. Anyone know why the weapon was not developed further? A few Spooky's in the ETO would have been
interesting....
Craig
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Probably the problems with getting the feed system to operate reliably at the high RPM needed for heavy fire. They did hook an electric motor up to one around the turn of the century IIRC; in fact that's why GE may have had the inside edge on developing it.
Pat
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As the late - nineteenth century electric Gatling was developed for the US Navy power supply would have been ok - iirc they were thinking of using it against boarders, torpedoes and torpedo boats. Think CIWS...
Mark
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Because it tended to jam if the handle was jerked suddenly such as when an enemy was attacking you. To avoid jams, the handle had to be turned at a relatively slow, steady pace. It was also very heavy for the amount of firepower it produced compared to single barrel weapons. Modern versions get around both problems by using electric motors but are still very heavy. The Hughes chain gun - a relative of the Gattling as used in the Abrams MBT - has a hand-cranked mode for emergencies but is limited to a very slow rate of fire when used that way.
(kim)
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kim wrote:

Unless they've really added something odd to the Abrams, I think you mean the M2 Bradley. I've been down in the gunner's position of one of those, and don't remember seeing a hand crank. The multi-barreled chain gun is used on helicopters, not armored vehicles, other than the 20 mm Vulcan used on the M163 SPAAG variant of the M113.
Pat
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Not that odd. It's used as the coaxial armament in the British Challenger. (Why I thought it was the Abrams I've no idea?)
http://www.coltcanada.com/cg-page.htm
(kim)
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the electronics are what make modern rotary barell weapons. quite possible in the 1940's but not realized.
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The electric version of the weapon was designed by Gatling himself over a century ago, but it was just seen as a clever way to waste ammunition. There were no targets that required that rate of fire, and finding a source of electricity on a battlefield in 1890 would have been an additional problem. The Maxim gun was perfectly adequate, and was lighter and more reliable than Gatling guns. The need for a 2,000+ round per minute weapon only reappeared in the jet age. Gerald Owens
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Gerald Owens wrote:

The spinning multiple barrels helped with cooling and barrel wear also. I've never seen video of one of these in operation, but apparently GE developed a version of the Minigun where gases exiting from one side of a muzzle brake on each barrel spin the barrel array without the use of electricity.
Pat
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Some AC-47 had (10) 30.cal Brownings, as there were not enough miniguns for awhile, but the guns were old, as was the ammo. Lots of jams, which had to be cleared manually, rather than the minigun not caring if a round had a dud primer or not, the motor would cycle it
http://www.ac-119gunships.com/ac47/gunshipac47.htm has this ------
Mind you, the side-firing weapons concept has been with us for many years. It is based on an airborne maneuver called the pylon turn whereby the aircraft is placed in a left bank and flies a circular pattern around a fixed reference point. The term pylon turn is derived from the racing plane era and the pylon they sped around. As early as 1927 an Army pilot attempted to sell the side-firing concept to the Air Corps by fixing a side-firing .30 calibre machine gun to the wing of his DH-4 biplane. Tests were successful as he scored several hits on a ground target. The concept was brought up again in 1939, but as with earlier tests, the Army brass did not buy it.
Lt. Col. MacDonald had submitted a similar proposal back in 1942 (then a 1st Lt.) for mounting a .50 calibre machine gun to fire laterally for use against enemy submarines. Later, in 1945, he proposed mounting a bazooka in observation aircraft which would fire laterally on tanks and troops from a banked turn. He "proposed that a fixed machine gun mounted transversely in an aircraft flying a banked circle could keep (an enemy) under continuous fire if necessary." Once again, the proposals were shelved. In September 1961, MacDonald again sent in his proposal for a side-firing weapons system mounted in a light aircraft and "flying a banked circle, (could) keep the gun pointed continuously at a target." For the third time his proposal failed to arouse any interest from the brass. ____
So Browning equipped AC-47 could have been made, as soon as the USAAC bought DC-2 from Douglas
** mike **
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FWIW The Gatling gun was still around as late as W.W.I in both ship board and anti-aircraft applications. The U.S. Navy had a 1 pounder Gatling in use on torpedo-boat destroyers (There is one sitting on a plinth outside an American Legion hall in Westminster, Maryland). The Germans had a 37 mm Gatling gun used for Naval use and as an anti- aircraft weapon by the Army. Ever see references to "flaming onions" when W.W. I pilots wrote about German Anti Aircraft fire?? That was the German 37 mm Gatling's tracer in the dark.
Bill Shuey
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