Gatling Model 1861
United States (1861)
Ironically, Dr. Gatling originally designed his Gatling Gun for the purpose of reducing the size of modern armies and, in turn, reducing the number of battlefield deaths.
Detailing the development and operational history of the Gatling Model 1861 Battlefield Support Weapon.Entry last updated on 9/12/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
Gatling guns came in a variety of calibers following the Civil War and these included the .45, .50 and even a 1-inch caliber. Despite its impressive 350-to-400 rounds per minute rate-of-fire, such an instrument was none-the-less prone to jamming.
Transportation was provided for by two large, multi-spoked wheels to either side of the weapon. The wheels were attached to an axle which also served as the base mounting for the gun itself. A tow system at the rear of the gun allowed connection to another two-wheeled axle system carrying ammunition supply boxes. The entire unit could then be carted by horse or pack mules as needed.
Despite its potential, the Gatling Gun saw little action along the Western Frontier in post-war America. Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders made use of no fewer than four Gatling Guns in their battle up San Juan Hill in Puerto Rico, resulting in an American/Cuban victory over the Kingdom of Spain. Gatling Guns also defended Fort Davis in Texas for a time, these being Model 1865 versions firing new rimfire copper-based cartridges.
Any available statistics for the Gatling Model 1861 Battlefield Support Weapon are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering initial year of service, country-of-origin and manufacture(s) involved in bringing the weapon to market. Other qualities showcased are related to physical values such as the internal action, available calibers / chamberings, weight and lengths. Global operators are also presented in A-to-Z format as are any model variants available to the series.