Gatling guns are one of the best known machine guns in use by the U.S. Military.
The GAU-19/A is a 3-barrelled, electric driven, automatic Gatling gun capable of firing 1,000 to 2,000 rounds of .50 BMG cartridges per minute. Each barrel fires a single shot then rotates after each fire which assists with cooling between firing/reloading sequence. This allows for achieving higher rates of fire without the barrel overheating.
Ammo belts are fed into a feeder-delinker unit. Each cartridge is pulled out of the links by the unit and presented to the gun for reloading. The rate of fire is controlled by an electric circuit and can be adjusted up to 2,000 rounds per minute.
The mounted rapid-fire machine gun has proven superior firepower performance and is currently used mounted on military aircraft, ground vehicles, and ships.
The Gatling gun was first deployed during the Civil War. It was designed by American inventor, Dr. Richard J. Gatling in 1861. His intent was to create a robust weapon that would reduce the number of American soldiers needed during battle to ultimately reduce the number of casualties.
The original Gatling gun was a hand-cranked weapon capable of firing continuously. The cartridge ammunition was loose fired (no links or belt) using a gravity feed system from a hopper. It allowed a high rate of fire (for 1861) of 200 rounds per minute.
This was a huge leap in American firearm technology. Prior to the Gatling gun, the only rapid fire systems were weapons such as field cannons firing canister shot which needed to be reloaded after every discharge.
Watch live demo to view the raw power of the GAU-19/A Gatling gun.