Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of navy warships
Icon of a dollar sign
Icon of military officer saluting

General Electric M134 Minigun

Six-Barrel Gatling Gun

General Electric M134 Minigun

Six-Barrel Gatling Gun

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
VARIANTS
HISTORY
IMAGES
OVERVIEW



The ferocious General Electric M134 Minigun has been used to good effect as a vehicle weapon firing from either land, sea, or air platforms.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 1963
MANUFACTURER(S): General Electric / Lockheed Martin Armament Systems / Garwood Industries / McNally Industries / Dillon Aero / Garwood Industries - USA
OPERATORS: Afghanistan; Australia; Austria; Brazil; Canada; Chile; Colombia; Czech Republic; Egypt; Finland; France; French Polynesia; Georgia; India; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Kenya; Macedonia; Malaysia; Mexico; Morocco; Netherlands; Norway; Pakistan; Paraguay; Peru; Philippines; Poland; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Sierra Leone; South Korea; Singapore; Spain; Thailand; Turkey; Tunisia; United States
National flag of Afghanistan
AFG
National flag of Australia
AUS
National flag of Austria
AST
National flag of Brazil
BRA
National flag of Canada
CAN
National flag of Chile
CHI
National flag of Colombia
COL
National flag of Czech Republic
CZ
National flag of Egypt
EGY
National flag of Finland
FIN
National flag of France
FRA
National flag of Georgia
GEO
National flag of India
IND
National flag of Iraq
IRQ
National flag of Israel
ISR
National flag of Italy
ITA
National flag of Japan
JPN
National flag of Jordan
JRD
National flag of Kenya
KEN
National flag of Macedonia
MAC
National flag of Malaysia
MLA
National flag of Mexico
MEX
National flag of Morocco
MOR
National flag of Netherlands
NED
National flag of Norway
NOR
National flag of Pakistan
PAK
National flag of Paraguay
PAR
National flag of Peru
PER
National flag of Philippines
PHI
National flag of Poland
POL
National flag of Qatar
QAT
National flag of Saudi Arabia
SAU
National flag of Sierra Leone
SRL
National flag of Singapore
SIN
National flag of South Korea
SKO
National flag of Spain
SPA
National flag of Thailand
THL
National flag of Tunisia
TUN
National flag of Turkey
TUR
National flag of United States
USA
SPECIFICATIONS



Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible. * Calibers listed may be model/chambering dependent.
ACTION: Electrically-Driven; Belt-Fed
CALIBER(S)*: 7.62x51mm NATO
SIGHTS: Optional Optics
ADVERTISEMENTS
LENGTH (O/A)

0
mm
0
inches
BARREL LGTH

0
mm
0
inches
WEIGHT

0
pounds
0
kilograms
MUZZLE VEL.

0
fps
0
meters-per-second
RATE-OF-FIRE

0
rpm
RANGE (EFF)

0
feet
0
Meters
0
Yards
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• XM134 - Developmental designation; 7.62x51mm NATO chambering; GE production.
• M134 - US Army designation; scaled-down version 7.62mm caliber version of the M61A1 for use in helicopter gunships; 6,000 fixed rate-of-fire.
• M134D - Guns by Dillon Aero; steel housing and rotor; 62lb weight.
• M134T - Reduced-weight variant by Dillon Aero; titanium housing and rotor; 41lb weight.
• M134D-H - Dillon Aero version; steel housing with titanium rotor; increased lifespan per round fired.
• M134G - Garwood Industries variant; upgraded GE version; 3,200rpm for increased accuracy.
• XM214 - Compact version of XM134 firing 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition.
• XM196 - Ejection sprocket on housing; fitted to XM53 armament subsystem of the Lockheed AH-56 "Cheyenne" attack helicopter.
• GAU-2B/A - USAF Designation
• GAU-17/A - U.S. Navy Designation; crew-served version of the M134 with selective firing modes for 2,000rpm or 4,000rpm; pintle mounting.
• GAUSE-17/A - U.S. Navy Designation


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the General Electric M134 Minigun Six-Barrel Gatling Gun.  Entry last updated on 9/17/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The vehicle-mounted General Electric M134 "Minigun" was born as a derivative of the 20mm General Electric M61 aircraft gun, retaining the same six-barreled Gatling design concept while being rechambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge. This ferocious weapon has gone on to have a lengthy service life, seeing combat action during the Vietnam War (1955-1975) with American forces and in the global wars that followed. Despite its 1960s origins, the M134 continues in service through a large stable of operators today (2015).

The concept of rotating barrels for (barrel cooling and to achieve a high rate-of-fire) was far from a new approach with the introduction of the M134. The approach pioneered by Dr. Richard Gatling's original attempts of the 1800s has been evolved through various designs though all follow the core concept - multiple rotating barrels with an external mechanism for rotation. Early forms included a manual hand-cranked action while more modern offerings have since relied upon electric drive assistance.

The modern American Army began to look into a new "suppression" weapon based on its early Vietnam War experience where its lightly-armored, highly vulnerable transport helicopters were fodder for well-hidden enemy ground forces. General Electric threw its hat into the ring for development of such a weapon and began by exploring its existing 20mm M61 "Vulcan" aircraft gun as a possible solution though in a much more compact body. The resultant weapon was essentially a dimensionally smaller product and chambered for the ubiquitous 7.62x51mm NATO rifle cartridge. The developmental "XM134" ultimately became the "M134" in U.S. Army service while the USAF knew it as the GAU-2/A and GAU-17/A (the USN used the "Mk 25 Mod 0" designator). Original versions held a rate-of-fire of 6,000 rounds per minute but this rate was scaled back to 4,000 rpm (and now variable between 2,000rpm and 6,000rpm) for greater accuracy and ammunition control. Due to the drive power required of the weapon an external powerpack is a standard component of the weapon system, restricting the weapon to vehicle-mounted use such as in aircraft, on a ground vehicle or installed on a watercraft. Hollywood's take on the gun has many believing these are man-portable battlefield weapons requiring no outside / fixed power supply(!)

After the war, the weapon began to see a reduction in numbers. Dillon Aero (USA) took to refurbishing some used systems and streamlined the overall design which improved the product considerably over time and resulted in the "M134D" mark. A titanium housing was introduced as a weight-saving measure and this begat the "M134D-T" designation as well as the "M134D-H" hybrid product. Modernized forms eventually rekindled U.S. military interest in the weapon and service branches began restocking various vehicles with the weapon. Garwood Industries also moved on an improved M134 (with inherent optics support) and this begat the "M134G".

Ammunition for the M134 is in a belt-fed form originating from an ammunition box. The ammunition is held in a linked belt format in which the firing action strips the cartridge from the belt and fires the round through the available barrel and ejects both casing and link belt components in turn. The completion of the cycle brings the next barrel in line with the chamber to repeat the process. Each barrel is consecutively fed in this fashion which helps to produce the impressively high volume of fire identified with this type of weapon system. "Cook off" (that is accidental discharge of cartridges due to heat) is controlled by design: once the trigger is depressed, the feed is automatically shut off from the bolt and barrel assembly - keeping fresh ammunition from being brought into play while the spinning barrels come to full rest. The action uses an electrically-driven rotary breech system. Muzzle velocity reaches 2,800 feet per second with a maximum range out to 3,280 feet.

The M134 lacks standard fixed sights though optics support remedies this inherent limitation.

For a short time, the XM214 "Microgun" appeared for possible wide-scale procurement. This weapon, introduced in 1966, was further scaled down by General Electric and chambered for the 5.56x45mm cartridge - the same as used in the M16 Assault Rifle. The XM124 did not see a long service life.

The M134 has gone on to see service beyond the United States military - adopted by such forces as Australia, Brazil, France, Israel, Mexico, Poland, Spain, Turkey, Pakistan and the United Kingdom among others. The Soviet Union / Russia has relied on a four-barreled, gas-operated, air-cooled weapon designated as the "GShG-7.62" which was introduced in 1970 - this is the equivalent of the American-originated M134.






Media







Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map

www.MilitaryFactory.com. Site content ©2003- MilitaryFactory.com, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world.


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo