Petersburg/Richmond Gatling Guns

RochesterBill

Corporal
Joined
Oct 11, 2016
Yep. That is ironic.

I may be mistaken, but I think the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel had the same thought when he invented Dynamite.
( How did that work out ? )

And the real irony is that he has an international "peace prize" named after him.

It was of course Nobel himself who founded and funded the Nobel prizes posthumously.

He did indeed invent Dynamite- he held hundreds of other patents as well - but then as now its only real use is civilian. It has no weapons utility.

He did however also develop military explosives and in fact founded the arms maker Bofors, which was the bulk of his estate.

The story goes that his brother died and a newspaper mistakenly printed an.obituary of Alfred instead, denouncing him as having gotten rich due to coming up with better ways to kill people.( They were not referring to Dynamite but rather to Bofors).

He was so upset to see what his legacy was that he arranged his will to devote his fortune to the prizes, which did not include "peace" until much later.
 

Seduzal

Major
Retired Moderator
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Location
Canton, North Carolina
There were some problems of course, the biggest being that before the age of smokeless gunpowder that rate of fire created an enormous cloud of smoke which not only blinded the gunners but also pinpointed them to the enemy.

Which led to the other big problem, So opposing gunners could simply spot the huge cloud of smoke and take free, safe pot shots at the Gatling emplacement with no worries about getting hit by it.
I wonder what the odds of not getting shot by the opposing gunners; the flag bears or the gunners of the Gatling gun crew?
 

Dead Parrott

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Due to several of the factors others here have already mentioned, Gatling type guns were most effective in defensive positions. WWI eventually proved this in very bloody numbers.

These days I do find the entire study\deployment\effectiveness\novelty of these type machines fascinating! (my original earliest military studies distinctly stopped at the introduction of such weapons...)
 

John Winn

Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
There's many a western movie with someone throwing or using dynamite when it really wasn't that common or even invented yet. I guess Hollywood preferred it over powdersticks.
Yep, and in reality that wouldn't really work because one needs a blasting cap to set off the dynamite (i.e. the fuse sets off the cap which in turn sets off the dynamite). Not unlike those twenty-shot six guns that never had to be reloaded.
 

Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Boonville, MO.
I wonder what his reasons were?
Prior to Custer's disaster, his second in command, Maj. Reno, had lead a scouting expedition into the Powder river area looking for Indians. Reno took a couple of Gatling guns with him on his ride but found the terrain was too difficult on the guns and they frequently broke down, hindering the speed of his cavalry. So when Reno rejoined Custer's command, the decision was made to leave the guns behind as they impeded mobility in the rough terrain.
 

Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Boonville, MO.
That is true.
Technology really took off within the next 30 or 40 years.

But I can't help but think he would be happy that his "gatling gun" remains one the most feared weapons in the USAF ground attack squadrons today.

The A-10 "Warthog", AC-130 gunships and other aircraft use a modern version that can fire thousands of rounds per minute, although unfeasible ... as that rate of fire would easily overheat the weapon.

I think he would like the ship mounted Naval versions as well.
(
Now I'm thinking about the Phalanx weapons system based on the M61 Vulcan "gattling" that can fire up to 6,000 rounds per minute).

So I think Dr. Gatling would be proud.

:smoke:
The rate of fire can be very high, but remember that there are 6 barrels, so that reduces the barrel heating problem somewhat.
6,000 rpm / 6 = 1,000 rpm per barrel.
6,000 rpm / 60 seconds = 100 rps/ 6 barrels= approx. 16 rounds per second per barrel per second.

The limiting factor that the M61 Vulcan has is the size of it's magazine-how many rounds the weapon had on board before it emptied it's magazine. I was a crewman on a Vulcan in the early 70's. our M61 Vulcan cannon was mounted on top of a M113, making it the M163 VADS. Our magazine carried either 1,200 or 1,500 rounds, (don't remember the number), and the gun would fire 3,500 rpm in it's limited fire mode, (10, 30, 60, 90 rounds) or 3,000 rpm in it unlimited mode (empty the magazine). So if you had a full magazine and shot in the unlimited mode emptying the magazine, you had less than a 1/2 minute before the magazine was empty. I suspect the AC 130 and A10 had the same type of rounds fire limitations, with the AC130 possibly having a larger magazine. The Phalanx system I suspect had no such rpm and magazine limitations as it's a last ditch ship protection system. Who cares if you burn out the barrels if your protecting your ship against a missile attack? When you emptied the magazine with a sustained fire, you would get a little barrel droop, so you would continue to spin the barrels until they cooled off a bit.
 
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