Thanks to a friendly collector, we had the chance to take out one of the new, gorgeous reproduction 1877 Gatling guns being sold by Colt. It’s a near-exact replica, with the added feature of being able to crank backwards to safely clear any loaded cartridges out of the action. Being a Bulldog model, it has 5 short barrels (18.25″) chambered for .45-70, enclosed in a full brass jacket to keep the action clean. Colt claims it will do 800 rounds/minute, but we got it going a bit faster…
Thanks to an interesting quirk of US gun laws, the Gatling is not considered a machine gun – so anyone who can possess a bolt action rifle can own and shoot one of these. The crank handle is considered a trigger, and each partial turn fires a single round. Since a single discrete motion doesn’t fire multiple rounds, it’s not subject to the registration and transfer tax of a machine gun under the NFA.
As I mentioned at the end of the video, the fellow who owns this gun has a second one for sale at a pretty reasonable price (though keep in mind that new, one of these guns will set you back the equivalent of a pretty nice new car). It only saw a few hundred rounds’ use, and has been thoroughly checked over by one of the original builders. If you are interested, please let me know, and I can put you in touch with the seller.
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