Original Gatling gun-NFA


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jufam44
June 9, 2011, 05:52 PM
Hello All,

Would an original, hand crank gatling gun be considered a machine gun? Technically since the cranking motion causes cartridges to be discharged, would it not be exempt? I am sorry if I am wrong regarding the method of discharge. I am not an expert on gatling guns, just curious.

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TexasRifleman
June 9, 2011, 05:56 PM
No, Gatling guns are not NFA items. One trigger pull fires one round. From a legal standpoint it's a single shot rifle, or a stack of them actually. :)

DoubleTapDrew
June 9, 2011, 06:54 PM
Would an original one even be considered a firearm? I think they were originally made in 1860 or something.

TexasRifleman
June 9, 2011, 08:06 PM
Probably right, I think the law says "before 1898".

Jim Watson
June 9, 2011, 08:15 PM
An original would be an antique, a repro would just be a manually operated repeater. I don't know where the little .22 miniatures fall. Registered like a pistol because of sub-16" barrels? I don't guess the BATF would call a carriage a stock.

There is one reproduction of the early early Gatling gun, pre-brass cartridges. It uses "chargers" which are steel cylinders loaded with a Minie ball and a percussion cap. That one is legally just a muzzleloader... or a box of them going into the action.

PLRinmypocket
June 9, 2011, 08:55 PM
From a legal standpoint it's a single shot rifle, or a stack of them actually.


actually it's not a rifle, since it cannot be shouldered, nor is it a pistol since it is not designed to be shot one handed....It's just a firearm.

And since it's not a rifle, it can't be short barreled rifle, so that is why it can have barrels shorter than 16".....Now if you somehow make a shoulder-able gatling gun, it would need 16" barrels.

AlexanderA
June 10, 2011, 01:23 AM
If you put an electric motor on the crank, or some mechanical means (perhaps through a recoil linkage?), whereby the crank is activated by a single controlling switch, then you have an NFA-regulated machine gun. (This exactly is the principle behind the Minigun.) Even if you apply such a modification to a pre-1899 original antique Gatling gun, then I think the ATF would say that you've taken it out of the antique category and made it subject to the NFA.

MasterSergeantA
June 15, 2011, 03:30 PM
Alexander is correct. I knew a guy who took one of the 10/22 "gatling gun kits" and decided that putting an electric drill on the spindle that was normally turned by the hand crank would be a FABULOUS idea. The ATF disagreed. The same would apply to adding a capacitor to an electronic trigger which would allow it to fire continuously with essentially one pull of the trigger.

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