The Gatling Gun

The Gatling Gun


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Em 1862, Richard Jordan Gatling, patenteou uma arma mecânica que desenvolveu. O Exército dos Estados Unidos comprou essas armas em 1865 e, nos anos seguintes, a maioria dos grandes exércitos da Europa comprou a arma.

Em 1870, Gatling abriu uma nova fábrica em Hartford, Connecticut, para produzir sua arma. Ele continuou a melhorar a Gatling Gun e em 1882 ela podia disparar até 1.200 tiros por minuto. No entanto, as vendas da arma diminuíram depois que Hiram Maxim começou a produzir sua metralhadora automática Maxim.


Metralhadora

A metralhadora Gatling foi uma invenção de um nativo da Carolina do Norte, Richard J. Gatling. Nascido em 1818 no condado de Hertford em uma família de fazendeiros, Gatling sempre teve um talento especial para inventar novas tecnologias. Aos vinte anos de idade, Richard começou sua carreira como inventor quando construiu uma roda propulsora de parafuso em 1838. No entanto, a roda já havia sido patenteada, mas isso não impediu o jovem inventor. Gatling logo se mudou para St. Louis, Missouri, e continuou produzindo instrumentos agrícolas.

Depois que Gatling se mudou para o Missouri, ele trabalhou no plantador de sementes de arroz que acabou transformando em uma broca de trigo. O inventor criou várias outras invenções nessa época, incluindo um freio de cânhamo, um arado a vapor e um cultivador de algodão. Mesmo que Gatling tenha tido sucesso com essas invenções, sua melhor invenção seria a primeira arma de fogo rápida mundial.

Em 1862, Richard Gatling finalmente patenteou a primeira metralhadora, conhecida como metralhadora Gatling. Ele desenvolveu a ideia no início da Guerra Civil e passou uma década aprimorando o modelo original. Richard havia modificado seu plantador de sementes de arroz em um aparelho alimentador de cartucho e construiu sua metralhadora Gatling em torno desse mecanismo. Uma empresa de Cincinnati construiu os modelos originais de canhões Gatling que "tinham um único cano alimentado por uma câmara rotativa e disparavam 190 balas por minuto" (Powell, p. 494).

Apesar da nova tecnologia da metralhadora Gatling, o Exército da União decidiu contra a arma de fogo rápido. O general Benjamin Butler comprou 13 armas e as empregou no Bermuda Hundred em 1863. No entanto, a arma se mostrou ineficaz e a metralhadora Gatling não foi usada pelo resto da Guerra Civil. Richard Gatling continuou melhorando sua arma, embora o modelo original tivesse sido recusado durante a Guerra entre os Estados.

O novo modelo da Gatling & rsquos teve sucesso porque os cartuchos de papel originais foram trocados por cartuchos de latão mais confiáveis. O Exército dos Estados Unidos comprou 100 armas em 1866, e Gatling vendeu sua patente de arma para Colt & rsquos Armory com base em Hartford, Connecticut em 1870. Após mais modificações, a metralhadora podia disparar mais de 1.200 tiros e a arma foi usada em ambos os franco-prussianos Guerra e em escaramuças indígenas no oeste americano. No entanto, as novas tecnologias nas décadas seguintes foram preferidas à metralhadora Gatling.

Richard Gatling permaneceu no campo da invenção, embora sua metralhadora Gatling tenha se mostrado ineficaz em comparação com as metralhadoras Nordenfeldt e Maxim mais recentes. O nativo de Hertford inventou várias invenções para a agricultura e foi presidente da Associação Americana de Inventores e Fabricantes de 1891 a 1897. Gatling morreu quando tinha 85 anos em 1903, mas não antes de inventar uma última invenção, o arado motorizado , em 1900.

Fontes

& ldquoGatling Gun. & rdquo William S. Powell, ed. Enciclopédia da Carolina do Norte (University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, NC 2006).

& ldquoRichard J. Gatling. & rdquo Site do Programa de Marcadores Históricos de Rodovias da Carolina do Norte. Uma Divisão do Departamento de Recursos Culturais da Carolina do Norte. (acessado em 21 de janeiro de 2011).


A história da sempre temível metralhadora Gatling

Ponto chave: Esta arma foi feita durante a Guerra Civil e vive hoje em muitas iterações. Esta é a história do inventor original.

Richard Gatling nasceu no condado de Hertford, NC, em 12 de dezembro de 1818. Seu pai era um próspero fazendeiro e inventor, e o filho estava destinado a herdar o "bug da invenção".

Depois que três de suas irmãs morreram ainda jovens de doenças, Richard Gatling decidiu estudar medicina e se formou no Ohio Medical College em Cincinnati em 1850. Ele se mudou para Indianápolis no mesmo ano e em 1854 se casou com a filha de um proeminente local médico. Não há evidências de que Richard Gatling tenha praticado medicina depois de deixar a faculdade de medicina, mas sempre foi chamado de "médico".

Gatling era um inventor nato. Entre 1857 e 1860, ele patenteou um arado a vapor, um arado rotativo, um plantador de sementes, uma máquina de fazer ripas, um ancinho de cânhamo e uma arruela de borracha para apertar engrenagens. Um dia em 1861, com a Guerra Civil de apenas alguns meses, o fervor inventivo do Dr. Gatling sofreu um choque que transformaria sua mente de máquinas de paz em máquinas de guerra. Da janela de seu escritório em Indianápolis, Gatling assistia horrorizado enquanto soldados feridos e mutilados eram descarregados de um trem - vítimas dos campos de morte ao sul.

O médico estava ciente de que o conflito estava sendo travado à maneira napoleônica. Os homens se enfrentaram em fileiras sólidas - mirou, atirou, recarregou - e, sob o comando, atacou de cabeça os canhões do inimigo. Por várias noites, Richard Gatling não conseguiu dormir. Uma única ideia ocupou seus pensamentos. E se alguns soldados conseguissem duplicar o poder de fogo de cem homens? As tropas não seriam mais capazes de ficar paradas e atirar umas nas outras. E a carga de corrida seria impossível, porque a força de ataque seria cortada como grama alta.

Gatling raciocinou que, se fosse capaz de inventar uma máquina que pudesse plantar sementes com rapidez, precisão e em linhas precisas, ele seria capaz de inventar uma arma mecânica que lançaria balas como água de uma mangueira de jardim.

Invenção da Gatling Gun

Em poucas semanas, o médico completou os desenhos de sua arma inovadora, a "metralhadora Gatling", e levou os esboços para um maquinista para fabricar.

A primeira metralhadora Gatling consistia em um agrupamento de seis canos de rifle, sem coronha, dispostos em torno de uma haste central. Cada barril tinha seu próprio ferrolho, e todo o conjunto podia girar girando uma manivela. Os parafusos foram cobertos por uma caixa de latão na culatra. Os cartuchos eram colocados em um funil e, conforme o cluster girava, cada barril era disparado em seu ponto mais baixo e recarregado quando a revolução terminava.

A arma estava montada em uma carruagem com rodas. Dois homens eram necessários para operar a arma - um para mirar o alvo e girar a manivela, o outro para carregar a munição.

Um modelo funcional foi concluído em seis meses e uma demonstração pública foi realizada em Graveyard Pond, em Indianápolis. O ruído abrupto e rápido de tiros pode ser ouvido por cinco milhas e, a 200 tiros por minuto, as balas cortaram uma árvore de 25 centímetros pela metade em menos de 30 segundos.

O Dr. Gatling patenteou sua arma em 4 de novembro de 1862, mas teve dificuldade para vendê-la ao Exército. O general James Wolfe Ripley, chefe da artilharia, não ficou impressionado com a arma e comentou: "Você pode matar um homem da mesma forma que morre com um cano liso de cap-n'-ball."

Gatling não se perturbou, entretanto, e levou seus diagramas a uma empresa de manufatura em Cincinnati. Doze das metralhadoras Gatling foram construídas e algumas delas foram vendidas ao general Benjamin Butler por US $ 1.000 cada. Butler mais tarde usou os Gatlings para segurar uma cabeça de ponte contra a cavalaria confederada no rio James.

Nos primeiros testes com a metralhadora Gatling, ela foi considerada pelos militares como um suplemento à artilharia. Os testes realizados compararam o alcance e a precisão da metralhadora com o alcance e a precisão da metralhadora disparada por peças de artilharia.

Richard Gatling continuou a modificar e melhorar a arma e, em 1865, patenteou um modelo que era capaz de disparar 350 tiros por minuto. Uma demonstração foi realizada na Fortaleza Monroe. Desta vez, o departamento de artilharia ficou impressionado e encomendou uma centena de armas. A metralhadora Gatling foi oficialmente adotada pelo Exército dos EUA em 24 de agosto de 1866. Foi fabricada pela primeira vez pela Cooper Arms na Filadélfia e, mais tarde, pela Colt Arms Company de Hartford, Connecticut.

Europa e no exterior

O Dr. Gatling viajou por toda a Europa vendendo sua arma, e novos modelos eram continuamente projetados. Uma variedade de cano curto foi comprada pelos britânicos e montada em camelos. Essa chamada "arma de camelo" também foi usada pelo Exército e pela Marinha dos EUA.

À medida que os colonos se mudaram para o oeste após a Guerra Civil, as guarnições do Exército em fortes ao longo da fronteira abrigaram os canhões Gatling. Gatlings também participavam de expedições de cavalaria. Um destacamento Gatling sob o comando do tenente James W. Pope acompanhou a campanha do general Nelson A. Miles no oeste do Texas. Em 30 de agosto, quando um grupo avançado de batedores do Exército entrou em uma trilha que conduzia entre duas falésias altas, cerca de trezentos índios desceram os penhascos. Ao som de tiros, Pope rapidamente ergueu suas metralhadoras Gatling. O fogo rápido e fulminante espalhou os guerreiros que atacavam e eles fugiram confusos.

Durante o mesmo ano, um batalhão da 8ª Cavalaria, comandado pelo Major William R. Price, foi ordenado a reprimir um levante de várias tribos indígenas, incluindo Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche e Kiowa. Price foi capaz de lutar contra vários ataques surpresa de bandos hostis com duas armas Gatling.

Mas na batalha mais famosa das Guerras Índias, o Gatling estava estranhamente ausente. Em 22 de junho de 1876, o major-general George Armstrong Custer e sua sétima cavalaria saíram do acampamento do rio Powder e se dirigiram ao rio Little Big Horn. Custer recebeu três armas Gatling, mas as recusou. Ele sentiu que os Gatlings - montados em carruagens puxadas por cavalos - retardariam sua tropa de cavalaria em terreno acidentado. Custer também acreditava que o uso de uma arma tão devastadora o faria “perder prestígio” com os índios. Se os Gatlings poderiam ou não ter salvado Custer e seus 200 homens é questionável. Alguns relatos relatam que a coluna de índios que recuou após a batalha tinha três milhas de comprimento e meia de largura.

Durante os próximos anos, a metralhadora Gatling participou de uma série de batalhas, incluindo aquelas com a Nez Perce. Os guerreiros sob o comando do chefe Joseph lutaram 13 combates contra o Exército dos EUA, muitos dos quais foram confrontos. Finalmente, em 30 de setembro de 1877, nas montanhas Bear Paw de Montana, o general Nelson Miles, com 600 homens e uma metralhadora Gatling, atacou o acampamento do chefe Joseph. Depois de quatro dias de luta acirrada, o chefe Joseph não conseguiu resistir mais. Ao entregar seu rifle a Miles, o valente líder indiano disse: “Meu coração está doente e triste. De onde o sol está agora, não lutarei mais para sempre. ”

A Gatling Gun na África

Durante a última parte do século 19, as armas Gatling se tornaram cada vez mais populares e foram usadas nas muitas guerras que ocorreram durante as décadas de 1880 e 1890. A guerra de 1879 entre a Inglaterra e as tribos zulus africanas foi a primeira grande ação terrestre em que a metralhadora Gatling provou ser um fator decisivo. Um pequeno exército britânico, comandado por Lord Chelmsford, derrotou uma força Zulu muito maior sob o rei Cetywayo. Em um encontro, um único Gatling derrubou mais de 400 homens de tribo em apenas alguns minutos.

Após sua campanha vitoriosa, Lord Chelmsford escreveu: “Eles [os canhões Gatling] devem ser considerados essencialmente como armas de infantaria. Eles podem ser usados ​​com eficácia, não apenas na defesa, mas também na cobertura do último estágio de um ataque de infantaria a uma posição - onde os soldados devem parar de atirar e atacar com a baioneta. ”

Na época em que o Dr. Gatling morreu em 1903, a metralhadora automática havia entrado em cena. Era alimentado pelos gases de descarga de seus cartuchos disparados e era mais simples e econômico de usar do que as armas operadas manualmente. Em 1911, o Exército dos EUA declarou a metralhadora Gatling obsoleta.

Mas o legado de Richard Gatling não morreu com ele. Em setembro de 1956, a General Electric Company revelou seu canhão aéreo de 6 barris chamado Vulcan. Por vários anos, a General Electric fez um estudo detalhado de cada arma de fogo rápido, e seus engenheiros descobriram que as patentes originais do Dr. Gatling ofereciam a maior promessa para o desenvolvimento do poder de fogo necessário para aviões de combate a jato rápido. O Vulcan também foi usado em helicópteros de ataque e aeronaves armadas.


Aqui está a história por trás da terrível metralhadora Gatling

A Gatling Gun foi uma inovação mortal que influenciaria muitas outras armas, incluindo o canhão vulcan montado nos primeiros caças a jato durante a Guerra Fria.

Ponto chave: Essas armas mataram muitos e ajudaram a criar outras armas, incluindo a Maxim e as modernas metralhadoras em aeronaves. Aqui está como o Sr. Richard Gatling fez sua arma.

Richard Gatling nasceu no condado de Hertford, NC, em 12 de dezembro de 1818. Seu pai era um próspero fazendeiro e inventor, e o filho estava destinado a herdar o "bug da invenção".

Depois que três de suas irmãs morreram ainda jovens de doença, Richard Gatling decidiu estudar medicina e se formou na Ohio Medical College em Cincinnati em 1850. Ele se mudou para Indianápolis no mesmo ano e em 1854 se casou com a filha de um proeminente local médico. Não há evidências de que Richard Gatling tenha praticado medicina depois de deixar a faculdade de medicina, mas ele sempre foi chamado de "médico".

Gatling era um inventor nato. Entre 1857 e 1860, ele patenteou um arado a vapor, um arado rotativo, um plantador de sementes, uma máquina de fazer ripas, um ancinho de cânhamo e uma arruela de borracha para apertar engrenagens. Um dia em 1861, com a Guerra Civil de apenas alguns meses, o fervor inventivo do Dr. Gatling sofreu um choque que transformaria sua mente de máquinas de paz em máquinas de guerra. Da janela de seu escritório em Indianápolis, Gatling assistia horrorizado enquanto soldados feridos e mutilados eram descarregados de um trem - vítimas dos campos de morte ao sul.

O médico estava ciente de que o conflito estava sendo travado à maneira napoleônica. Os homens se enfrentaram em fileiras sólidas - mirou, atirou, recarregou - e, sob o comando, atacou de cabeça os canhões do inimigo. Por várias noites, Richard Gatling não conseguiu dormir. Uma única ideia ocupou seus pensamentos. E se alguns soldados conseguissem duplicar o poder de fogo de cem homens? As tropas não seriam mais capazes de ficar paradas e atirar umas nas outras. E a carga de corrida seria impossível, porque a força de ataque seria cortada como grama alta.

Gatling raciocinou que, se fosse capaz de inventar uma máquina que pudesse plantar sementes com rapidez, precisão e em linhas precisas, ele seria capaz de inventar uma arma mecânica que lançaria balas como água de uma mangueira de jardim.

Invenção da Gatling Gun

Em poucas semanas, o médico completou os desenhos de sua arma inovadora, a "metralhadora Gatling", e levou os esboços para um maquinista para fabricar.

A primeira metralhadora Gatling consistia em um agrupamento de seis canos de rifle, sem coronha, dispostos em torno de uma haste central. Cada barril tinha seu próprio ferrolho, e todo o conjunto podia girar girando uma manivela. Os parafusos foram cobertos por uma caixa de latão na culatra. Os cartuchos eram colocados em um funil e, conforme o cluster girava, cada barril era disparado em seu ponto mais baixo e recarregado quando a revolução terminava.

A arma estava montada em uma carruagem com rodas. Dois homens eram necessários para operar a arma - um para mirar o alvo e girar a manivela, o outro para carregar a munição.

Um modelo funcional foi concluído em seis meses e uma demonstração pública foi realizada em Graveyard Pond, em Indianápolis. O ruído abrupto e rápido de tiros pode ser ouvido por cinco milhas e, a 200 tiros por minuto, as balas cortaram uma árvore de 25 centímetros pela metade em menos de 30 segundos.

O Dr. Gatling patenteou sua arma em 4 de novembro de 1862, mas teve dificuldade para vendê-la ao Exército. O general James Wolfe Ripley, chefe da artilharia, não ficou impressionado com a arma e comentou: "Você pode matar um homem da mesma maneira que está morto com um cano liso de cap-n'-ball."

Gatling não se perturbou, entretanto, e levou seus diagramas a uma empresa de manufatura em Cincinnati. Doze das metralhadoras Gatling foram construídas e algumas delas foram vendidas ao General Benjamin Butler por US $ 1.000 cada. Butler mais tarde usou os Gatlings para segurar uma cabeça de ponte contra a cavalaria confederada no rio James.

Nos primeiros testes com a metralhadora Gatling, ela foi considerada pelos militares como um suplemento à artilharia. Os testes realizados compararam o alcance e a precisão da metralhadora com o alcance e a precisão da metralhadora disparada por peças de artilharia.

Richard Gatling continuou a modificar e melhorar a arma e, em 1865, patenteou um modelo que era capaz de disparar 350 tiros por minuto. Uma demonstração foi realizada na Fortaleza Monroe. Desta vez, o departamento de artilharia ficou impressionado e encomendou uma centena de armas. A metralhadora Gatling foi oficialmente adotada pelo Exército dos EUA em 24 de agosto de 1866. Foi fabricada pela primeira vez pela Cooper Arms na Filadélfia e, mais tarde, pela Colt Arms Company de Hartford, Connecticut.

Europa e no exterior

O Dr. Gatling viajou por toda a Europa vendendo sua arma, e novos modelos eram continuamente projetados. Uma variedade de cano curto foi comprada pelos britânicos e montada em camelos. Essa chamada "arma de camelo" também foi usada pelo Exército e pela Marinha dos EUA.

À medida que os colonos se mudaram para o oeste após a Guerra Civil, as guarnições do Exército em fortes ao longo da fronteira abrigaram os canhões Gatling. Gatlings também participavam de expedições de cavalaria. Um destacamento Gatling sob o comando do tenente James W. Pope acompanhou a campanha do general Nelson A. Miles no oeste do Texas. Em 30 de agosto, quando um grupo avançado de batedores do Exército entrou em uma trilha que conduzia entre duas falésias altas, cerca de trezentos índios desceram os penhascos. Ao som de tiros, Pope rapidamente ergueu suas metralhadoras Gatling. O fogo rápido e fulminante espalhou os guerreiros que atacavam e eles fugiram confusos.

Durante o mesmo ano, um batalhão da 8ª Cavalaria, comandado pelo Major William R. Price, foi ordenado a reprimir um levante de várias tribos indígenas, incluindo Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche e Kiowa. Price foi capaz de lutar contra vários ataques surpresa de bandos hostis com duas armas Gatling.

Mas na batalha mais famosa das Guerras Indígenas, o Gatling estava estranhamente ausente. Em 22 de junho de 1876, o major-general George Armstrong Custer e sua sétima cavalaria saíram do acampamento do rio Powder e se dirigiram ao rio Little Big Horn. Custer recebeu três armas Gatling, mas as recusou. Ele sentia que os Gatlings - montados em carruagens puxadas por cavalos - retardariam sua tropa de cavalaria em terreno acidentado. Custer também acreditava que o uso de uma arma tão devastadora o faria “perder prestígio” com os índios. Se os Gatlings poderiam ou não ter salvado Custer e seus 200 homens é questionável. Alguns relatos relatam que a coluna de índios que recuou após a batalha tinha três milhas de comprimento e meia de largura.

Durante os próximos anos, a metralhadora Gatling participou de uma série de batalhas, incluindo aquelas com a Nez Perce. Os guerreiros comandados pelo chefe Joseph lutaram 13 combates contra o Exército dos EUA, muitos dos quais foram confrontos. Finalmente, em 30 de setembro de 1877, nas montanhas Bear Paw de Montana, o general Nelson Miles, com 600 homens e uma metralhadora Gatling, atacou o acampamento do chefe Joseph. Depois de quatro dias de luta acirrada, o chefe Joseph não conseguiu resistir mais. Ao entregar seu rifle a Miles, o valente líder indiano disse: “Meu coração está doente e triste. De onde o sol está agora, não lutarei mais para sempre. ”

A Gatling Gun na África

Durante a última parte do século 19, as armas Gatling se tornaram cada vez mais populares e foram usadas nas muitas guerras que ocorreram durante as décadas de 1880 e 1890. A guerra de 1879 entre a Inglaterra e as tribos Zulu africanas foi a primeira grande ação terrestre em que a metralhadora Gatling provou ser um fator decisivo. Um pequeno exército britânico, comandado por Lord Chelmsford, derrotou uma força Zulu muito maior sob o rei Cetywayo. Em um encontro, um único Gatling derrubou mais de 400 homens de tribo em apenas alguns minutos.

Após sua campanha vitoriosa, Lord Chelmsford escreveu: “Eles [os canhões Gatling] devem ser considerados essencialmente como armas de infantaria. Eles podem ser usados ​​com eficácia, não apenas na defesa, mas também na cobertura do último estágio de um ataque de infantaria a uma posição - onde os soldados devem parar de atirar e atacar com a baioneta. ”

Na época em que o Dr. Gatling morreu em 1903, a metralhadora automática havia entrado em cena. Era alimentado pelos gases de descarga de seus cartuchos disparados e era mais simples e econômico de usar do que as armas operadas manualmente. Em 1911, o Exército dos EUA declarou a metralhadora Gatling obsoleta.

Mas o legado de Richard Gatling não morreu com ele. Em setembro de 1956, a General Electric Company revelou seu canhão aéreo de 6 barris chamado Vulcan. Por vários anos, a General Electric fez um estudo detalhado de cada arma de fogo rápido, e seus engenheiros descobriram que as patentes originais do Dr. Gatling ofereciam a maior promessa para o desenvolvimento do poder de fogo necessário para aviões de combate a jato rápido. O Vulcan também foi usado em helicópteros de ataque e aeronaves armadas.


9 armas mais antigas do mundo

As primeiras armas de fogo foram criadas na China depois que os chineses inventaram a pólvora negra no século IX. A descrição mais antiga de uma arma remonta ao século 12 e a arma de fogo mais antiga existente é de cerca de 1288. Antes de os mecanismos de disparo serem criados, as primeiras armas de fogo precisavam ser acesas manualmente segurando um pavio aceso em um buraco de toque. Assim que as primeiras armas de fogo foram introduzidas, a tecnologia das armas avançou muito rapidamente à medida que vários impérios travavam guerra. Como as armas são amplamente coletadas, sua história e exemplos anteriores foram bem documentados. Esta lista contém alguns dos melhores e mais antigos exemplos de várias armas antigas.

9. Gatling Gun

Ano de criação: 1862
País de origem: Estados Unidos da America
Armeiro: Dr. Richard J. Gatling

fonte da foto: Wikimedia Commons

A metralhadora Gatling é considerada o melhor exemplo das primeiras armas de fogo rápido - é a precursora da metralhadora moderna. A arma foi projetada em 1861 por Richard Gatling e patenteada no ano seguinte. A metralhadora Gatling foi usada pela primeira vez na guerra durante a Guerra Civil Americana. Doze armas foram compradas pelos comandantes da União e usadas durante o cerco de Petersburg, Virgínia.

Após a Guerra Civil Americana, a metralhadora Gatling foi usada em conflitos internacionais como a Guerra Boshin e a Guerra Anglo-Zulu. Também foi usado pelas forças americanas durante a Guerra Hispano-Americana na Batalha de San Juan Hill. Hoje, existem várias metralhadoras rotativas automáticas que foram influenciadas pelo design da metralhadora Gatling.

8. Revólver Colt

Ano de criação: 1836
País de origem: Estados Unidos da America
Armeiro: Samuel Colt

fonte da foto: The Met Museum

Embora as armas giratórias manuais já existissem por séculos, as armas Samuel Colt e # 8216s foram os primeiros revólveres verdadeiramente bem-sucedidos. Colt recebeu a primeira patente de seu mecanismo giratório na Grã-Bretanha em 1835 e, um ano depois, obteve a patente nos Estados Unidos. Em 1836, Colt fundou a Patent Arms Manufacturing Company em Paterson, New Jersey. A Colt continuou a fabricar armas nesta empresa até 1842, após uma série de sucessos irregulares.

Inicialmente, Colt não conseguiu garantir um contrato governamental para suas armas até 1846, quando a Guerra Mexicano-Americana estava em andamento. Colt trabalhou com o capitão Samuel H. Walker para melhorar seu revólver e o general Zachary Taylor encomendou 1.000 revólveres Colt. As armas Colt & # 8217s continuaram a crescer em popularidade e, atualmente, a Colt Manufacturing Company é um dos fabricantes de armas mais reconhecidos em todo o mundo.

7. Mosquete Modèle 1777

Ano de criação: 1777
País de origem: França
Armeiro: Arsenal de Charleville e outros

fonte da foto: Wikimedia Commons

O mosquete Modèle 1777 foi uma das armas mais utilizadas na Europa continental. Foi inicialmente criado em 1777 para o exército francês. Esperava-se que soldados franceses treinados fossem capazes de disparar três rajadas por minuto com este mosquete. Entre 1777-1826, cerca de 7 milhões de mosquetes Modèle 1777 foram produzidos - este número não foi atingido até a Primeira Guerra Mundial

No início dos anos 1800, após as Guerras Revolucionárias Francesas, Napoleão Bonaparte queria que os mosquetes fossem ligeiramente reformulados. O modelo corrigido, & # 8220 Modèle 1777 corrigido, apresentava algumas modificações menores na fechadura, baioneta e coronha. Outras pequenas melhorias do mosquete ocorreram em 1816 e 1822.

6. Puckle Gun

Ano de criação: 1718
País de origem: Reino Unido
Armeiro: James Puckle

fonte da foto: Wikimedia Commons

A Puckle Gun foi uma das primeiras armas a ser chamada de “metralhadora”, mas seus mecanismos não se assemelham a metralhadoras modernas. A arma foi patenteada por James Puckle em 1718. Era uma arma de pederneira montada em um tripé com um cilindro giratório operado manualmente. Puckle pensou que poderia ser usado em navios como uma arma anti-embarque.

A arma Puckle nunca atraiu muitos investidores e Puckle foi incapaz de vender as armas às forças armadas britânicas. Dois exemplos originais da arma Puckle estão em exibição na Boughton House e no Beaulieu Palace. Essas armas foram compradas por John Montagu, 2º Duque de Montagu, Mestre Geral da Artilharia em 1722.

5. Pistola Flintlock Rei Louis XIII e # 8217s

Ano de criação: c.1620
País de origem: Lisieux, França
Armeiro: Pierre Le Bourgeois e Marin Le Bourgeois

fonte da foto: The Met Museum

Um dos maiores avanços na tecnologia de armas foi a invenção do mecanismo de pederneira. As primeiras pederneiras verdadeiras foram criadas na França no início do século XVII. Flintlocks foram comumente usados ​​ao longo dos próximos dois séculos até a invenção da fechadura de percussão.

Um dos primeiros exemplos de uma arma de pederneira francesa (foto acima) é a propriedade do rei Luís XIII. Foi criado na oficina dirigida por Pierre Le Bourgeois e irmão # 8217, Marin. Ele é normalmente atribuído como o inventor do mecanismo de pederneira. A arma é decorada com o monograma coroado de Louis XIII & # 8217s e a extremidade em forma de espiral da arma tem um design exclusivo. Hoje, a arma de pederneira King Louis XIII & # 8217s está em exibição no The Met Fifth Avenue na Galeria 375.

4. Georg von Reichwein e Revólver # 8217s

Ano de criação: 1597
País de origem: Nuremburg, Alemanha
Armeiro: Hans Stopler

fonte da foto: thornews.files.wordpress.com

A arma de propriedade de Georg von Reichwein, um oficial alemão em meados do século 17, é o revólver mais antigo existente no mundo. Marcas de carimbo na arma fornecem evidência definitiva de que o revólver foi criado por Hans Stopler, um ferreiro alemão de armas, em 1597. A arma foi feita para alguém de alto status e é decorada com latão, osso e madrepérola. Ao contrário dos revólveres modernos, esta arma teve que ser girada manualmente.

Georg von Reichwein foi o último proprietário da arma e a comprou quando foi nomeado major e comandante das forças na fortaleza de Bergenhus na Noruega em 1636. O revólver atualmente reside nos depósitos do Museu Folclórico Maihaugen em Lillehammer, Noruega . Foi brevemente exibido em 2014 para o 200º aniversário da Constituição norueguesa.

3. Tanegashima

Ano de criação: c.1543
País de origem: Japão
Armeiro: Yaita - encomendado pela primeira vez por Lord Tanegashima Tokitaka

fonte da foto: Wikimedia Commons

Tanegashima eram armas matchlock do Japão usadas pelos samurais e seus soldados. As armas Matchlock foram introduzidas pela primeira vez no Japão pelos portugueses em 1543.

Aventureiros portugueses foram forçados a pousar na ilha de Tanegashima durante uma tempestade. O senhor da ilha, Tanegashima Tokitaka, comprou dois mosquetes dos portugueses e pediu a um espadachim que copiasse os mecanismos das armas. No entanto, o ferreiro teve problemas, que só foram resolvidos no ano seguinte, quando um armeiro português foi trazido para o Japão. Durante a próxima década, mais de 300.000 armas Tanegashima foram produzidas, o que mudou a natureza da guerra japonesa.

2. Pistola Wheellock do Imperador Carlos V & # 8217s

Ano de criação: c. 1540 - 1545
País de origem: Munique, Alemanha
Armeiro: Peter Peck

fonte da foto: The Met Museum

Conforme a tecnologia das armas progrediu, diferentes mecanismos de disparo foram criados. Embora as armas matchlock sejam mais antigas do que wheellocks, poucos exemplos sobreviveram. No entanto, muitos wheellocks, que foram criados pela primeira vez no início dos anos 1500, ainda existem. As armas Wheellock foram as primeiras armas de auto-ignição, o que significava que podiam ser disparadas com eficiência com uma só mão.

A pistola wheellock de cano duplo feita para o rei Carlos V (foto acima) é uma das primeiras pistolas sobreviventes, datando de cerca de 1540 - 1545. Foi criada por Peter Peck da Alemanha, que também fazia relógios finos. Esta arma possui duas travas combinadas em um mecanismo de disparo, o que significa que cada cano pode ser aceso separadamente. É decorado com os emblemas pessoais de Charles V & # 8217: a águia de duas cabeças e os pilares de Hércules com o lema latino PLVS VLTRA (que significa “Mais Além”).

1. Canhão de mão Heilongjiang

Ano de criação: c.1288
País de origem: Banlachengzi, província de Heilongjian, China
Armeiro: Desconhecido

fonte da foto: Wikimedia Commons

Acredita-se que o canhão de mão Heilongjiang seja a arma mais antiga do mundo. Embora o canhão de mão não seja exatamente uma arma, foi uma das primeiras armas de fogo já criadas e é o precursor das armas modernas. Este canhão de mão em particular foi encontrado durante uma escavação de 1970 na vila de Banlachengzi, China.

Os pesquisadores acham que o canhão de mão foi usado em batalhas entre 1287 - 1288. Em um relato do período chamado História de Yuan, um comandante chamado Li Ting liderou um grupo de soldados equipados com canhões de mão, como parte de uma campanha anti-rebelião para a dinastia Yuan. Hoje, o canhão de mão está em exibição no Museu Provincial de Heilongjiang em Harbin, China.


Arma Maravilhosa do Dr. Gatling

Revolucionário: Montado em uma carruagem de artilharia de campo de duas rodas padrão como o modelo pós-Guerra Civil mostrado aqui, a "Revolving Battery-Gun" de Richard Gatling era capaz de disparar 150 tiros por minuto por meio de vários barris girando em torno de um eixo horizontal central.

(Arquivo de História Universal / UIG / Imagens Bridgeman)

Jerry Morelock
MARÇO DE 2019

A metralhadora Gatling, precursora das temíveis metralhadoras modernas que causaram estragos terríveis nos campos de batalha globais desde a Primeira Guerra Mundial, foi inventada por Richard Gatling em 1861. A introdução de uma maravilha de disparo rápido como a Gatling no início da guerra deveria ter dado Os oficiais do sindicato têm tempo de sobra para adquiri-lo e implantá-lo em combate. Mas, apesar do potencial letal do que Gatling chamou de sua "Arma de bateria giratória", é possível que apenas um punhado tenha sido usado durante o conflito. Para seu crédito, Gatling promoveu energicamente sua arma revolucionária, até apelando diretamente para o presidente Abraham Lincoln, mas foi amplamente ignorado. Os exércitos da União continuariam a lutar sem este dispositivo inovador - o que pode muito bem ter se tornado a arma mais mortal da Guerra Civil.

R ichard Jordan Gatling was born September 12, 1818, in Hertford County in northeastern North Carolina, near the Virginia line. Although he received a medical degree in 1850, Gatling never practiced medicine. Instead, he worked at a variety of jobs, including schoolteacher, county clerk’s assistant, dry goods store merchant and self-employed businessman. Yet Gatling’s consuming, lifelong passion was inventing, and he proved to be prodigious. From his first known invention at age 21 (a steamboat screw propeller) until his death on February 26, 1903, at age 84, Gatling churned out dozens of ingenious inventions for improving daily life in the home and on the farm. These ranged from more efficient toilets to rapid planting devices (notably a rice-sowing machine and a wheat drill) to steam-powered farm implements.

A Passion for Invention: Although educated in medicine, Richard Jordan Gatling remained devoted to inventing throughout his long life. (Universal History Archive/UIG/Bridgeman Images)

In 1854, at age 36, he moved to St. Louis, and by 1861 was living in Indianapolis. The war’s outbreak turned the inventor’s attention from farm fields to battlefields. In a postwar letter, Gatling revealed:

It occurred to me if I could invent a machine—a gun—which could by its rapidity of fire, enable one man to do as much battle duty as a hundred, that it would, to a great extent, supersede the necessity of large armies.

By the end of 1861, he had designed his “Revolving Battery-Gun” prototype.

W hen Gatling received U.S. government Patent No. 36,836 for his gun on November 4, 1862, it was not the Civil War’s first rapid-firing weapon. The most notable of the Gatling’s competitors was inventor Wilson Agar’s Union Repeating Gun—nicknamed the “Coffee Mill Gun” because its top-mounted hopper-loader and hand-crank firing mechanism resembled that kitchen utensil. After Agar (sometimes spelled “Ager”) demonstrated his single-barreled, two-wheeled carriage-mounted weapon to Lincoln in 1861, the president advised its purchase—several dozen Coffee Mill Guns (capable of firing 120 rounds per minute) were obtained, a few of those eventually used in combat. Rapid firing, however, tended to overheat the gun’s single barrel, and its hopper and breech often jammed.

In fact, the Civil War Gatling had several common features with Agar’s gun: Both had similarly style top-mounted hopper-loaders (what Gatling called “reservoirs”) for feeding loose rounds of ammunition into the weapon each was mounted on a two-wheel gun carriage and firing was by a hand-crank. But Gatling’s innovation was to use six ordinary rifle-musket barrels, each with its own breech, revolving around a central horizontal axis. A brief interval between firing rounds through each barrel prevented overheating, allowing a remarkable rate of fire of 150 rounds per minute.

Like the hopper-loader, carriage, and hand-crank it shared with Agar’s gun, the Civil War Gatling fired the same ammunition—standard .58-caliber rifle-musket paper-wrapped cartridges containing bullet and black powder charge. Each cartridge was placed inside its own specially constructed “cartridge chamber”—a steel tube, open on one end (to load the cartridge), and closed on the other end with a rifle-musket nipple for a standard percussion cap. After firing, each empty cartridge chamber fell to the ground by gravity when the fired barrel rotated to the bottommost position. Empty cartridge chambers were collected and subsequently reloaded with new paper cartridges and percussion caps—a laborious, time-consuming process.

Gatling’s innovation allowed for a 150-round-per-minute rate of fire that could be sustained indefinitely

Although patented in November 1862, the Gatling already had been successfully demonstrated, notably on July 14, 1862. On that day, T.A. Morris, A. Ballweg, and D.G. Rose tested the gun at Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton’s direction. Their enthusiastic report: “The discharge can be made with all desirable accuracy as rapidly as 150 times a minute, and may be continued for hours without danger, as we think, from over-heating.” Unfortunately for Gatling, Morton declined to buy the weapon, a pattern of refusals to be repeated throughout the war.

Gatling’s innovative firearm faced a firmly entrenched roadblock: Brig. Gen. James Wolfe Ripley, Union Army chief of ordnance. Ripley (born in 1794) considered repeating weapons unnecessarily expensive inventions that encouraged ammunition waste, thereby overburdening the Army supply system. Ripley stubbornly resisted all rapid-fire weapons (in addition to Gatling and Agar guns, blocking or delaying Sharps, Spencer, and Henry rifles), claiming single-shot, muzzle-loading, rifle-muskets “good enough.” Gatling called Ripley “an old fogey” who “believed flintlock muskets were on the whole the best weapons for warfare.” In an 1863 meeting, Gatling recalled, Ripley “received [Gatling’s agent] coldly,” told him “he had no faith in the [Gatling] gun” and that “he would have nothing to do with him.” Gatling persevered, going straight to the top.

Since Lincoln had championed repeating weapons—notably, the Spencer repeater and Agar’s Coffee Mill Gun—Gatling appealed directly to the president. In a February 18, 1864, letter to Lincoln, Gatling pleaded his case (with a swipe at his competition):

[My gun] is regarded by all who have seen it operate, as the most effective implement of warfare invented during the war….[I]t is just the thing needed to aid in crushing the present rebellion [emphasis in original]….I assure you my invention is no “coffee mill gun”—but is entirely a different arm, and is entirely free from the accidents and objections raised against that arm.

Lincoln ignored him—most likely for politics than for doubts about the gun’s capabilities. Gatling’s Southern roots raised doubts about his loyalty, and his name was linked with Northern Copperhead politician Clement L. Vallandigham—a “whispering campaign” probably promulgated by competitors alleging Gatling held membership in a Southern-sympathizing secret society, the Order of American Knights. Always pragmatic and facing reelection, Lincoln feared Gatling being in league with Copperheads.


Already the creator of innovative home and farm implements, Gatling turned his prodigious creative talents to warfare in 1861. (PF-USNA/Alamy Stock Photo)

A direct appeal by Gatling produced no U.S. government contract during the war. Still, it remains widely claimed that at least some Gatlings saw combat use. Publications mentioning Gatling guns typically insist they “were first used in combat in the Civil War.” The mostly anecdotal evidence offered to substantiate this, however, is suspiciously thin and undated—hardly conclusive proof.

It is asserted that Union Army of the James commander Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler personally bought 12 Gatlings (for $1,000 each, though Gatling’s agent embezzled the money) and that he briefly used a few to fire on enemy forces “near Richmond” during the siege of Petersburg. Butler allegedly mounted up to eight on Union James River gunboats. Even then, no claim has been made that those gunboat Gatlings were fired in anger during combat.

After the war, Gatling would boast: “Ben Butler took the guns he had with him to the Battle of Petersburg and fired them himself upon the rebels. They created great consternation and slaughter.” Obviously, Gatling was not a disinterested party. He, of course, had a financial stake in promoting his weapon as vigorously as possible. Tellingly, Civil War firearms historian William B. Edwards points out that Butler, a notoriously self-promoting individual who seldom missed a chance to brag of his accomplishments, “neglects to mention this colorful use of an important novel weapon of war.” The failure by Butler to mention Gatlings “is conspicuous” by its absence, Edwards concludes.

No verifiable proof exists that gatlings were ever used in combat during the war

Edwards also explains revealingly that in February 1864 Butler officially obtained 10 Agar Coffee Mill Guns from the Washington Arsenal (Ripley, by then, no longer around to block their issue) and concludes that the confirmed possession of those Agar guns “must be assumed [the] ‘Gatlings’” that Butler placed on the James River gunboats.

Further muddying the water regarding the possibility of Gatling gun Civil War combat use is the fact that few soldiers in the Union Army had ever laid eyes on either Agar or Gatling guns. This unfamiliarity with the weapons led to, as Edwards points out, the “contemporary [i.e., Civil War] confusion…that made soldiers and commanders interchange [Agar’s] Union Repeater and the Gatling Battery Gun” when referring to the rapid-fire weapons. Even if soldiers at the one alleged Petersburg/Richmond combat use had seen a rapid-fire weapon being fired against Confederate troops, they likely would not have known if it was a Gatling or one of the Agar guns Butler certainly had.

Lethal Potential: After the Civil War, these magazine-fed, self-contained metallic cartridges allowed the Gatling to realize its full killing potential. (Chronicle/Alamy Stock Photo )

Although Admiral David Dixon Porter purchased a small number of Gatlings (likely only one) to mount on Navy river gunboats in the West, there is no record of any combat use. Another claim, that Gatlings were used to suppress the July 13-16, 1863, New York City Draft Riots, seems based on Gatling having sent three of the guns to newspaper publisher Horace Greeley (presumably to display as a publicity stunt) and that during the riots the guns were “ensconced in the windows of [Greeley’s] New York Tribune,” their mere presence having “turned away a serious threat of attack by the mobs” on one occasion, Gatling would later claim.

The bottom line is that no verifiable proof exists that Gatlings made it into combat during the war beyond the unsupported claims of Gatling himself and some postwar books written by his friends and publicists. Indeed, even Gatling’s grandson admitted in 1957: “No one seems to know any anecdotes on the Civil War use of the gun.”

Yet the tantalizing “what if?” vision of Union armies armed with dozens of Gatlings sweeping the battlefields clean of Confederate troops and, thereby, shortening the war, fades upon closely and critically examining the weapon’s mechanical and tactical limitations. The Civil War–era Gatling differed significantly in several key aspects from Richard Gatling’s much-improved postwar models, whose substantially greater reliability and efficiency provided armies around the world with a significant source of firepower for nearly half a century.


Europe and Abroad

Dr. Gatling traveled throughout Europe selling his weapon, and new models were continually being designed. A short-barrel variety was purchased by the British and mounted on camels. This so-called “camel gun” was also used by the U.S. Army and Navy.

As settlers moved west after the Civil War, Army garrisons in forts along the frontier housed Gatling guns. Gatlings were also attached to cavalry expeditions. A Gatling detachment under Lieutenant James W. Pope accompanied General Nelson A. Miles’s campaign into west Texas. On August 30, as an advance party of Army scouts entered a trail that led between two high bluffs, about three hundred Indians charged down the cliffs. At the sound of gunfire, Pope quickly brought up his Gatling guns. The rapid, withering fire scattered the attacking warriors, and they fled in confusion.

During the same year, a battalion of 8th Cavalry, commanded by Major William R. Price, was ordered out to suppress an uprising by several Indian tribes, including Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche, and Kiowa. Price was able to successfully fight off several surprise attacks by hostile bands with two Gatling guns.

But in the most famous battle of the Indian Wars, the Gatling was strangely absent. On June 22, 1876, Maj. Gen. George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Cavalry rode out from their Powder River camp and headed for the Little Big Horn River. Custer had been offered three Gatling guns but refused them. He felt that the Gatlings—mounted on horse-drawn carriages—would slow his cavalry troop down in rough country. Custer also believed that the use of such a devastating weapon would cause him to “lose face” with the Indians. Whether or not the Gatlings could have saved Custer and his 200 men is questionable. Some accounts report the column of Indians that retreated after the battle as being three miles long and a half-mile wide.

During the next few years, the Gatling gun participated in a number of battles, including those with the Nez Perce. The warriors under Chief Joseph fought 13 engagements against the U.S. Army, many of which were standoffs. Finally, on September 30, 1877, in the Bear Paw Mountains of Montana, General Nelson Miles, with 600 men and a Gatling gun, attacked Chief Joseph’s camp. After four days of bitter fighting, Chief Joseph could hold out no longer. As he surrendered his rifle to Miles, the valiant Indian leader said, “My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”


Fire Away: The History of the Gatling Gun

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Fire Away: The History of the Gatling Gun

Jim, one of our dedicated volunteers, started his new year by spiffing up the Gatling Gun on display at the Museum of World Treasures.

The Gatling gun is one of the best-known early rapid-fire hand cranked weapons that was first used in 1864. It was named for its inventor Richard Jordan Gatling, a physician. Although Gatling graduated from the Ohio Medical College to be a doctor, he never once practiced medicine. Instead, he was much more interested in a career as an inventor.

Gatling had a passion for making things easier. His fascination for invention led to several patented products for improving bicycles, toilets, steam-cleaning of raw wool, pneumatic power, along with any other fields. He created a screw propeller, a wheat drill (a device used for planting), and various early-versions of tractors including a steam tractor and motor-driven plow.

During the Civil War, he noticed that a majority of the soldiers fighting were lost to disease rather than gunshots. Ele escreveu:

&ldquoIt occurred to me that if I could invent a machine &mdash a gun &mdash which could by its rapidity of fire, enable one man to do as much battle duty as a hundred, than it would, to a large extent supersede the necessity of large armies, and consequently, exposure to battle and disease would be greatly diminished&rdquo

(Paul Wahl and Don Toppel, The Gatling Gun Arco Publishing, 1971).

In this same publication, Gatling mentions creating the machine in order to show how futile war is &mdashironic, isn&rsquot it?

Regardless of the reasons for its invention, the Gatling Gun was considered to be the first successful machine gun of its time (although it would not be considered a machine gun by today&rsquos standards). Its multiple barrels keep the machine from overheating, and its &ldquogravity-feed&rdquo reloading system allowed unskilled users to actually shoot a relatively high rate of fire at 250 rounds per minute.

Oddly enough, Gatling guns are perhaps most famous for não being used in the Battle of Little Bighorn, which was also known as &ldquoCuster&rsquos Last Stand.&rdquo

That&rsquos right, folks &mdash General George Armstrong Custer was supposed to take three Gatling guns with him to fight at this 1876 battle. Instead, he chose to arm himself with a single-fire gun and was killed in battle along with 200 of his men. Today, the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument stands near Crow Agency, Montana, and honors those who fought on both sides during the Great Sioux War of 1876.

In 1911, after 45 years of service, all models of Gatling Guns were declared obsolete by the U.S. military.

An actual Gatling Gun is on display at the Museum of World Treasures &mdash wheels, barrels, and all! And thanks to one of our stellar volunteers, it&rsquos freshly cleaned, shimmered, and shined.

Thank you, Jim, for all that you do!

Interested in viewing the Gatling Gun in person? The Museum of World Treasures is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Mondays through Saturdays (and 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sundays).

Want to volunteer to help preserve artifacts packed with stories of the past? Find out how you can help!


The Gatling Gun: The first modern machine gun was invented in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS -- A lot of discussion after the Las Vegas tragedy focused on the weapons the suspect used, but the history of the automatic weapon has roots in Indianapolis.

The Gatling gun, the first modern, reliable machine gun, was invented in Indianapolis in 1862. It was invented by Dr. Richard Jordan Gatling. Gatling was in Indianapolis in the 1860s completing a railroad contract, he told the Terre Haute Daily News in 1892.

Working at for a railroad company, he would often see soldiers leave or return from the Civil War. He started talking with the survivors, only to find out they died not in combat, but of disease.

"It then occurred to me that the methods of war were antiquated and that wars lasted too long," he said.

The gun as Gatling invented was able to fire 1,200 shots per minute accurately as the user cranked the handle.

Gatling invented the gun not because he wanted more deaths in war, he claims, but because he wanted fewer. He believed the gun would speed up war, saving the lives of the soldiers sick in camps and hospitals.

"I said to myself we are doing nearly all kinds of work by machinery now, why should not be be killed by machinery, too?" ele disse. "This, I thought, would shorten wars and save many lives. So I went to work on this idea at once, and after a while I had designed a gun which in principle is the same as that of the perfected gun of today, that will fire accurately 1,200 shots in a minute.”

Gatling's invention was different than modern machine guns (and even guns that came a couple decades later) because it required a hand crank to fire.

He first tried to sell six guns to the Civil War's Union War Department in Cincinnati, but his shop was set on fire, rendering the guns useless. He said the fire may have been caused by a Confederate sympathizer (something Gatling himself has been rumored to be), or perhaps somebody who believed the guns were too dangerous to be produced.

He eventually sold 13 guns for $1,000 each, he said.

Gatling's invention ended up being used in the Civil War sparingly, but it was used more after the war, and paved the way for more modern automatic weapons, such as the M61 Vulcan minigun, which was attached to helicopters during the Vietnam War. The M61 Vulcan fires about five times faster than Gatling's invention did.

Gatling died in 1903 in New York. He is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.

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Hailstorm of Death: The Gatling Gun

One of the USAF’s flying gun emplacements, an ancient AC-47 armed with two or three 7.62x51mm Miniguns, circled slowly over the hills of El Salvador pouring a hailstorm of deadly steel into guerilla positions below. I watched, thinking about the spirit of Dr. Richard J. Gatling, sitting in gun maker heaven, perhaps wondering about the irony of it all.

One of the finest rapid-fire, airborne small arms systems in use today, the Vietnam-era Vulcan is directly evolved from Gatling’s own machine gun, the first practical and successful one in history, which was formally rejected by the Union War Department in 1863, 1864, and 1865, before going on to win battles, wars and international fame for the next 40 years. And, then, American innovators stepped it up a few techno-notches.

After witnessing a demonstration of a Gatling gun, journalist Wayne Fuenman wrote, “this weapon is a hailstorm of death. Its story weaves through unauthorized use in our Civil War, awards for combat use in foreign wars, a strange silence in this nation, and finally comes to a clattering, death-rattling combat conclusion on the smoke-choked slopes of San Juan Hill in July of 1898.”

Patented and first tested in 1862, the Gatling machine gun was the brainwork of Dr. Richard Jordan Gatling. It consists of a group of rifled barrels, ranging from six to ten in number, arranged lengthwise around a central shaft.

A hand crank revolves this entire assembly, though later an electric motor was added, and appropriate gearwork. A cartridge is fed automatically and successively into each barrel by a crank mechanism, which revolves so that the bolt pushes each cartridge into the barrel, guided by a camming grove in a cam plate. By the time the barrel reaches the bottom of the cylinder, the striker is released and that cartridge is fired. Then, as the bolt continues upward on the other side of the Gatling gun it is drawn back by the cam groove, ejecting the empty casing. Thus, half of the barrels are loaded and half are unloaded at any given time in the cycle. As each barrel is fired only once per revolution, heating and fouling are kept to a minimum.

The firing speed of the early, hand-cranked production guns was varied simply by cranking speed, the faster the cranking, the more rounds per minute. These early models used a gravity feed system, which sometimes caused feeding failures. However, Gatling’s longtime associate, a professional engineer named J.G. Accles, introduced an improved magazine and feed system, which bears his name, solving that problem.

Gatling’s motivation for his gun came during a conversation with a friend in 1861, President-to-be Benjamin Harrison, then an Army general. Gatling explained that he was disturbed by the inhumanity of war and felt the need to invent an “ultimate weapon to diminish the need for drawn-out wars. Fear of all their soldiers being cut down by my killing machine would cause Generals to stop warring,” he told Harrison.

“There’s little doubt our Civil War could have been shortened had the War Department purchased my devilishly deadly weapon,” said Gatling, promoting his machine gun in England five years later.

Although the prototype was produced in Indianapolis, Gatling’s home, the initial dozen production models of the 1862 pattern were built in Philadelphia. Firing a maximum 250 rpm, the model 1862 was a powder, ball, and percussion cap affair that was immobile, subject to gas leaks, and awkward to set up. But, it was far better than anything else around, and Gatling was more than willing to make improvements as he tried unsuccessfully to sell his gun to the U.S. military.

Gatling met with official refusal until he personally demonstrated his gun to Gen. Benjamin F. Butler in Baltimore. Unable to get official funds for the guns, Butler personally paid $12,000 for the dozen Gatling guns, carriages, and 12,000 rounds of shot. These guns were used during the siege of Petersburg, VA.

A contemporary newspaper story quotes an awed artillery officer who witnessed the Gatlings in action, “a soldier turns a crank and shells fly out like a firestorm. It cut the rebel boys down.”

Despite this and Butler’s glowing reports, the Union War Department refused official purchase. Undaunted, Gatling wrote directly to President Lincoln, imploring him that “this invention is an Act of Providence for suppressing the rebellion in short order.” Gatling also wrote that his gun was “the most destructive engine of war ever invented.”

Not only was he an immodest salesman, but also this inventive genius truly did have faith in his guns. An unusual and versatile man of talent, Richard Jordan Gatling was born in North Carolina in 1818. His father was a well-to-do planter and inventor. Young Gatling was a schoolteacher for a while, and then tried being a storekeeper. Tiring of this, he worked with his father and alone as an inventor for five years, gaining patents on many agricultural items. Bored with trying to sell his ahead-of-their-time inventions to skeptical farmers, the brilliant Gatling entered medical school.

Although he graduated from Ohio Medical College as a dentist in 1849, Dr. Gatling never practiced medicine outside of his own family. His fulltime expertise was devoted to inventions, the most famous of which made him a wealthy man. And, when it came to that invention, Richard Gatling was a perfectionist.

By 1865, he had vastly improved his weapon and was granted a second patent that year. Twelve weapons were ordered for the Department of War’s testing facilities. The tests were quite satisfactory, and in August of 1866, the U.S. Army finally adopted the Gatling gun. Gatling received an order for 100 additional weapons to be produced by the Colt Patent Firearm Fire Arms Manufacturing Company in Hartford.

The inventor and his Gatling Gun Company moved to Hartford to oversee production and to coordinate further foreign sales and manufacture. This began a long association between the two companies, such that, by 1890, Colt had essentially absorbed the smaller Gatling Company. The takeover was made official in 1897. However, before that took place, though, a lot of Gatling guns came out of the Hartford plant in at least a dozen calibers to win myriad battles all over the world.

The initial hundred-gun order to be produced included fifty 1-inch and fifty .50 caliber models, each with six rifled steel barrels. The cartridges were copper-cased and primed, just like modern ammunition. The weapons weighed about 225 pounds each, while the carriage and limber together weighed about 405 pounds.

According to Ordnance Corps data, the larger weapon had a full range of two miles, while the smaller Gatling gun could fire at a one-mile range. The effective combat range was certainly much less, of course. Retractable open sights were located on the center of the breech housing with elevation controlled by a jackscrew. If the sights were not in use they could be retracted down into the case.

This was his second gun, the model 1865, and the efficient, fast, death-spraying gun that made the name Gatling famous. Fired in competition with howitzers, cannon, and other “machine” guns in various government trials, the Gatling gun came out on top every time. Early Ordnance Corp tests noted of the Gatling, “This novel engine of war will prove useful. little recoil to affect accuracy rapid-fire day or night and always be on target.”

The Report praised the simple operation, the potential for any variety of caliber choices and concluded, “Like the gun itself, all the parts work well and are durable.”

Capt. T. G. Baylor, U.S. Ordnance Corps, who tested a Gatling gun at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, in July of 1866, reported an early test of field ruggedness. He noted that after firing, the gun was not cleaned. Instead, as Capt. Baylor reported, “I had the oil rubbed off this gun, drenched it with water and exposed it for two nights and a day to rain and weather, but though it was rusty it was fired 97 times in a minute and a half, one man turning the crank.”

In another test by U.S. ordnance officers, one Gatling gun fired 63,000 rounds continually without a stoppage. With its adoption, even the usually stuffy War Department officialdom echoed the bombastic praise of the Gatling gun’s inventor. One report says of the weapon, “It has the firepower of two companies of infantry, yet takes the services of only four men to operate each weapon. Ease of movement is not criticized. Compared to other artillery the Gatling gun and its carriage is modest and can be easily drawn by two horses whereas it requires four or six horses to draw other field guns.”

Adopted after the close of hostilities in America, the Gatling gun was a weapon without a war. Gatling and Colt salesmen hit the worldwide road to sell this highly successful revolving machine gun. Competition was tough, but the Gatling beat all comers. For example, in 1869, in Germany, the Gatling was pitted against a hundred expert marksmen armed with French rapid-fire and highly accurate “needle” guns. At 800 meters, the Gatling put 88% of its bullets in the target, while the competition scored 27%. With performance like this, the Gatling also won sales orders in England, Russia, France, Egypt, Morocco, China, Japan, Mexico, and in many South and Central American countries.

Gatling had secured a British patent in 1865 and his gun was officially adopted as a standard service weapon after the 1871 trials. The Armstrong Company working under a Gatling license manufactured his British weapon in England. The British used them with grand success in the Middle East, both on land and at sea. In 1879, the British used Gatlings against attacking Zulu tribesman, reporting that a single gun had swept down 475 tribesmen in a few minutes firing time. And, during the Franco-Prussian War, newsmen reported that Gatling salesmen gave the ultimate demonstration. They set-up their guns for the French and personally devastated a Prussian charge.

The French also armed many of their colonial armies with Gatling guns in the Middle East and in the Caribbean. In Canada, government troops used Gatling guns to put down Louis Reil’s “Northwest Rebellion” in 1885.

The Gatling gun was literally selling itself all over the world, gaining an international reputation as “the most reliable, accurate and deadly firing mechanism yet designed,” as a company brochure advertised.

The 1-inch model sold to individuals for $1,800 each, while the .50 caliber unit cost $1,200. Quantity prices for governments were somewhat cheaper, e.g. the smaller, round drum topped Camel model Gatling gun sold for $1,000. The .45/70 model sold for $850.

In the U.S. it was a different story. A nation at peace, its unimaginative military minds of the late 19th century could not yet accept using something as effectively radical as the Gatling gun, despite its international reputation. Official records show that each Army regiment had three Gatling guns, but very little is recorded as to actual use. Most seemed to have been stored in federal arsenals or unit armories. To paraphrase, many were issued, yet few served. Those that did, of course, were on the western frontier.

A battery of three Gatlings broke up a massed charge of Comanches and Kiowas in West Texas, saving a goodly portion of Gen. Major General Nelson A. Miles Indian Territory Expedition of 1874.

Then, sigh there is the infamous George Custer/Gatling gun issue, an intellectual quagmire of miniscule parameters. Despite popular fiction to the contrary, history would have been no different had Gen. George Custer taken his three Gatlings with him when he went Indian hunting in the summer of 1876. Most military historians agree that the Gatlings would not have turned the tide for Custer’s forces against the onslaught of those thousands of Indians. It is said that the column of Indians leaving Little Big Horn after the battle was more than three miles long and half a mile wide. Even the fabled Gatlings couldn’t top odds like that, especially in that terrain.

Custer’s decision not to use Gatlings was based on both terrain and supply situations, and not the dislike of the weapon or the oft-quoted rumor that the guns would slow his assault pace. In 1874, while commanding his military expedition into the Black Hills, Custer wrote highly favorable comments about the Gatling guns in his reports.

Actually, the 7th Calvary had used Gatling guns some years earlier, when a bison stampede threatened the safety of the Hancock Expedition. Two Gatling guns commenced firing at some distance into the mammoth herd of raging animals, killing several dozen and splitting the herd away from the wagon train. By the way, for the benefit of today’s environmentally minded reader, the commander’s report noted that the wagon train used most of the meat for garrison and passenger consumption.

Another use of Gatling guns in the Indian Wars was against Chief Joseph and his Nez Perce at the Clearwater River in July of 1877. The outcome of this epic battle, in which Gatling guns figured greatly, was widely and colorfully reported in the NEW YORK TIMES. That fall, Gen. Miles used a Gatling-supported assault to force Chief Joseph and his band to surrender. According to Gen. Miles’ report, the brave and intelligent Indian leader inspected a Gatling gun, and then told officers, “From where the sun now stands I fight no more against the white man.” He kept his word, too, even though the white man often did not

Gatling guns were also used against Shoshones and Bannocks who were dug in near the Umatilla Agency in 1878. The storm of bullets form the Gatling quickly ended the rebellion, driving the Indians away from their hilly fort and back to their camp.

Meanwhile, back East, Gatling worked to perfect his gun. For example, later models used drum-type gravity feeders of both 200- and 400-round capacity. The model 1876 was designed as a mobile, lightweight weapon in army-issue .45 caliber, capable of firing 1,200 rpm. The 1893 Bulldog model was even smaller and designed for police use in riot control.

In 1893, the very active 75-year-old Richard Gatling was granted patents for a flat, metal strip feeder - ancestor of the belt-fed machine gun. Later that year, he patented an electric motor drive for his gun upping the firing rate to a maximum 3,000 rounds per minute. His final improvement was a prototype device, which could make the Gatling gun a gas-operated, fully automatic machine gun after the initial shot.

Despite technology and international success, it was not until 1898 that an American soldier first officially fired a Gatling gun against a foreign enemy. And then, it was only because a junior officer dared to defy tradition.

Lt. John H. Parker had an interest in these modern automatic weapons, and when the invasion of Cuba was being planned he asked his superiors for permission to organize a Gatling battery for the purpose of close support for assault infantry - a very radical idea at the time. Lt. Parker sold Col. Arthur MacArthur and Gen. William Shafter on his idea of Gatling guns supporting the invasion at Santiago. Both officers were keen on the idea and ordered Parker to form and train his battery.

The rest of the story is that Parker’s Gatlings turned the battle that day. Jesse Langdon, the last surviving member of the Rough Riders, recalled the Gatling guns during an interview in 1968, saying, “The Gatlings enfiladed the top of the Spanish trenches, keeping them down or killing them. We’d never have taken San Juan Hill without Lt. Parker’s Gatling guns,” Langdon told reporters.

Theodore Roosevelt himself added to the truth about the Gatling guns, and not solely regular troops or the Rough Riders, won the battle at Santiago. Roosevelt told a Hearst newsman “the way Parker handled those Gatling guns was the most striking feature of the campaign.”

In his memoirs, written while he was President, Roosevelt added that “Parker deserves more credit than any one man in the campaign. the support use of the Gatlings was magnificent. I’m glad we chose that weapon over the Colt or Maxims available.”

That day closed the era of the Gatling guns as an active American combat weapon, although it was not officially declared obsolete until 1911. Its inventor and chief advocate was 82 years old at the turn of the century and had turned his own interests back to designing farm machinery, leaving his weapons business to Colt. Gatling was active until the day of his death, 26 February 1903. The old man had been weakened by grippe, but had visited the offices of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN magazine on the morning of the day he died, to discuss farm technology.

With Gatling dead his gun faded to history, too. The last publicized combat firing of an original Gatling gun was by units of Pancho Villa’s revolutionaries early in the Mexican Revolution.

The 1927 Bannerman Catalog of Military Goods listed a number of Gatling guns and accessories for sale to the public. They were offered as military surplus and outdated items. The catalog noted, “We have a large stock, purchased at the right prices and we can meet any legitimate competition.” Most were listed as “nearly new in all calibers from .30 to .45 to 1-inch models.” Prices were not listed, instead customers were invited to “inspect the merchandise and hear our bargain prices.”

That seemed to be it, all remaining stocks of historic Gatling guns had been regulated to surplus armament storage at Bannerman’s fabled castle on the Hudson River.

War being what it is, though, the story of the Gatling gun did not end.

American military officers, both combat wise and history rich, realized that Gatling’s gun had timeless merit .They rescued the basic design from historic obsolescence, when the Army adopted the Vulcan, a multi-barreled, 7.62x51mm machine gun developed by General Electric. The year was 1956, just 90 years after Gatling finally convinced his government to use his original multi-barreled machine gun.

The Vulcan has seen service as a tactical field weapon, but its major contribution to our military effort has been with the Air Force, mounted in helicopters, fighter-bombers, and in that awesome gun platform, the AC-47. Each of these guns is capable of firing up to 7,200 rpm. It is noteworthy that when the first Army Vulcan was tested, it was fired along side of a vintage Gatling from the past century.

The Gatling gun evolved into the GE Minigun, and Southeast Asia became its turf. The literature of Vietnam is full of vivid accounts of AC-47 and other gun ships and esoteric aerial battlewagons festooned with Miniguns literally pouring deadly gunfire into the countryside. Observers called it the most deadly small arms delivery system in the world.

A generation ago, as another war heated up, this one in Latin America, the AC-47 gun ships roared into battle, with the cry of “Puff the Magic Dragon flies again.” Which is what brought me to that hillside kill zone in 1986 as a civilian pacification advisor for the local government. And, that got me thinking about what happened to all the old Gatling guns stored in Bannerman’s basement and in arsenals around the world.

As most original Gatling guns are now in museums or private collections, they are rarely advertised for public sale. In 1981, an individual offered to sell his clean- condition, ten-barrel, .45 caliber, polished brass 1883 model with ammo tender, mount and other accessories for $39,000. Twenty years later, a dealer offered a Navy 1884 for $285,000. In 2002, Master Gatling builder, Bruce Guilmette, me told that he could find me an original Gatling “that you’d be proud to own” for between $100,00 and $225,000. Individually owned Gatlings are scarce I’ve seen only two in my lifetime.

But, that sad fact did not end the story of the Gatling Gun Company, though, thanks to Karl Furr, a noted craftsman of miniature cannons, who was challenged by a customer to build a scaled down Gatling gun in 1968. The result was a 1/3-scale model 1883 firing .22 ammunition.

“The true challenge was working with original plans to convert the center fire .45/70 to .22 rimfire.” Furr said.

His part-time hobby turned into a full-time business as word of the Furr’s true craftsman’s work spread. Working with his son, Douglas, Karl Furr acquired the business name Gatling Gun Company.

They perfected the 1/3-scale models of the 1883 and 1874 Gatlings, and perfected the 1/2 scale 1876 model to fire .22 long rifle.

These fully working Gatling guns are constructed of solid brass, polished to a mirror finish, and eastern black walnut with a hand-rubbed oil finish. Each weapon has ten barrels and will fire up to 800 rpm. The beautiful miniature Gatling guns are true collector’s items.

Back in 1980, the 1876 1/2 scale model sold for $12,500, while the 1874 or 1883 1/3 scale was sold was $6,500. One was of the 1883 models sold for $12,000 in 2002, while a mint 1876 1/2 scale brought $23,000 in 2000. Alas, there were not enough buyers and their production ceased.

Today, Bruce Gilmette’s Gatling Gun Company produces full-sized, fully functional, authentic replicas of the basic 1862 Gatling gun in two configurations. One is a reenactor/demonstration model and the other is a fully operational, life fire model. The reenactor model also has a blank firing configuration as well.

His operational 1862 Gatling gun comes in either .50 caliber or .58 caliber and fires the black powder ammunition at a steady 600 rpm. The .50 caliber live-fire sells for $4,810, while the .58 caliber model runs $5,175. The reenactor units sell for $4,105. All are produced at the Company’s plant in Ortonville, Michigan.

Bruce said he also plans to add a 1905 model in .30-40 Krag, in kit form only, which includes all components needed to make a completely finished gun, except for the frame, which will need to be assembled. Each kit will cost around $25,000 and will include full completion instructions and an assembly video.

Another company, Paul Moore’s RG-G of Trinidad, Colorado, publishes and sells blueprints and definitive plans for serious collectors and shootists to build their own half-sized, .22 caliber Gatling gun. Recently, they added finished, fully functional .22 caliber Gatling guns to their product list.

New, original, or miniature Gatling guns may be bought by anyone as they are not legally machine guns, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

“These are expensive, historically important collectors’ weapons and are not regarded today as machine guns in the legal sense of that term. They do not come under the provisions of the National Firearms Act,” an ATF spokesman told me recently.

The genius of its inventor has brought the Gatling gun through the full evolutionary cycle from loose powder and percussion caps to metallic cartridge, from black to smokeless powder, from hand crank to electric motor, from ground to air, from rebirth in modern warfare and now back in original form for collectors. It’s the type of tribute Richard Gatling would have liked.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V6N8 (May 2003)
and was posted online on November 22, 2013


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  1. Terrance

    Desculpe, mas isso não funciona para mim. Talvez haja mais opções?



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