So, the Gattling gun isn’t exactly a “forgotten” weapon – it’s probably one of the more iconic guns made (or at least its name is). But the Gattling wasn’t the only gun of its type during that brief period between the introduction of cartridges and the first effective modern machine guns. Once the idea of a mounted repeating firearm broke out, all sorts of versions started being produced, including a mad rush to patent the handful of different mechanisms that could be used.
The Gattling saw competition (or at least similar guns of similar philosophy) from the Nordenfelt, Gardner, Hotchkiss and others. We’re pretty interested in some of those other guns, but there is obviously a lot to be learned from the Gattling as well. We’re going to brazenly ignore its non-forgotten nature and give it some space here on the site. For starters, we have a scan of an 1878 Army manual on the Gattling. Should you run across one that needs a thorough inspection, this manual can tell you exactly how to proceed:
(1878) Gattling Gun, Caliber 45 Manual (English)