Gatling Gun


April 14, 2006, 05:36 PM
I have a client that has a ranch house (nicer than anything me and two friends could afford altoghether) on a huge piece of property in _______, TX (hey, I can't just out a guy, now, can I?). The owner is "getting into gun collecting:what: ," and thusly purchased a War Between the States era PT Colt Gatling Gun. And had it reworked. It's in firing condition (I've been told; I wouldn't know), and he's allegedly looking for ammo belts, but no one I talked to knows for sure. You'll notice I took a "CSI"-style :cool: forensics pic of one of the barrels with a (U.S.) quarter directly above it. Anyone care to comment?





I'd have to put some rounds through that bad-boy.


If you enjoyed reading about "Gatling Gun" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
April 14, 2006, 05:45 PM
I'm pretty sure those are "stick" fed, or strait gravity fed magazines... no belts... I don't think it would be something that any decent machine shop wouldn't be able to produce; might be a little pricey but if you can afford a gatling gun, as well as the prodigious amount of 45-70(?)ammo for it, helping out a machinist with some hard earned cash might not be too great a hardship...

April 14, 2006, 05:51 PM
He wont find any belts for it because they don't take belts. The Civil War era Gatlins used two types of gravity feed magazines. A larger drum(shaped like a donut), and the more common stick magazine. The stick type was a simple single-stack that should be easy enough to make from brass. I have seen a company out there that make modern reproductions of the gatlin and some searching might turn up their site (I seem to have lost it:( ).

April 14, 2006, 06:40 PM
There were two types of magazine the stick type that held 30rds.,and the circular type that held 100rds.
These people may be able to supply you with the correct type.

Livin in Texas

April 14, 2006, 06:56 PM
I don't know that the Civil War era ones took brass cartridges either. The first ones used what was essentially a preloaded chamber, last I heard. Not sure if they were reloadable.

April 14, 2006, 07:24 PM
Metalic cartridges were available durring the Civil War but were rare and expensive, so were gatlin guns. Every model that I have seen and read about was made to fire metalic cartridges, however, their could have been a prototype that used pre-loaded barrels.

Javelin Man
April 14, 2006, 07:30 PM
The Civil War era Gatling gun used the long stick as described before. The later, Prairie gun, used a circular 100 round drum. Both used the brass 45-70 round.

My neighbor build brass cannons and is working on making reproduction gatling guns. He may be able to make the magazine for you.

go to

Let us know how it shoots! I watched Bob blow up some stuff with his gatling gun.

Javelin Man
April 14, 2006, 07:41 PM
Deleted double post

Jim March
April 15, 2006, 03:37 AM
On the pic where there's a quarter next to one of the muzzles, is it me or is there a scary-looking divot in the crown of the barrel just to the right of the one next to the quarter?

Jim K
April 15, 2006, 06:27 PM
There were two types of Civil War Gatlings. The first used what Gatling called "cartridge-chambers", essentially a steel tube with a percussion nipple on one end. It was loaded with a standard .58 caliber rifle-musket cartridge.

The second type still used the separate chamber but it was loaded with a .58 rimfire fixed cartridge; the percussion nipple was replaced with a firing pin to fire the rimfire round.

However, since that gun has the 1872 patent date, it is certainly not Civil War era; it is one of several models from 1874 to 1878, and is more than likely in .45-70 caliber, a cartridge that is still being made.

Now the magazine -- that might be hard to come by, though believe it or not they do turn up from time to time at very fancy figures. I seem to recall an Accles drum being sold a couple of years ago but can't now remember what it sold for.


Jim Watson
April 15, 2006, 07:07 PM
Jim K. is right; real C.W. Gatlings used steel "chargers" preloaded with powder, Minie ball, and percussion cap. There is a modern reproduction; a guy brought one to a CAS shoot here and let folks crank it, loading the gravity feed magazines with the chargers and catching them in a bucket for cleaning and reloading. Post-war Gatlings were available in about any military calibre of the era and in a number of variations, with six or ten barrels, open or enclosed and with several different feed systems. There were the simple stick feeds usually seen in the movies, the Bruce feed with dual magazine chutes, the Broadwell multi-stack vertical drum with 400+ round capacity (Popular on the .22 scale models, you can crank one for a while.) and the doughnut shaped Accles drum which only held 60 rounds but had the advantage of positive mechanical feed and would work upside down.

I wonder that Texas9's guy had it "reworked" and came away looking for "belts." He or the reworker had not done his homework.

April 15, 2006, 07:12 PM
For the "preloaded" multishot weapon I would think that you are talking about the French built Miltireusse(sic). Had a whole bunch of single shot barrels, good for a volley but not good for continuous fire.

April 16, 2006, 03:40 PM

Modern day Gatling..from General Electric I think...

Sheldon J
April 16, 2006, 07:20 PM
you can buy a gat-gun kit for only 20K and they are not considered class III due to the hand crank one barell one shot. I've seen them for sale at gun shows, brand new.:evil:

April 16, 2006, 09:51 PM
On the History channel, they showed that the early top feeding gats were fed in one of two ways. The first was a fairly normal looking closed magazine, which would be completely replaced when empty

The second was a wider, open front hopper magazine into which the gun crew would continously cram rounds.

April 16, 2006, 10:18 PM
Heres one for sale, but it's a model 1892

It's got some cool pics of the gun

April 16, 2006, 11:24 PM
Actually, from my recollection of various programs on the History Channel- including Mail Call- the open continuous feed magazine system was fed by 20rd boxes of ammo in current issue. Originally that round was the .50gov't, but it was replaced with .45-70gov't which was replaced by the U.S. .30-40 Krag round.

FWIW, I'd be looking for the open-top/open-front magazine, but the question is, and I doubt it, "is it period correct?". In which case, you go with the 30rd mags. IIRC, they're both gravity fed.

I understood the drum magazines were used by the U.S. Navy and the British.

April 16, 2006, 11:45 PM
Here is a cheap gatling gun. :neener:

Lots of power!!! (

If you enjoyed reading about "Gatling Gun" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!