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Thread: Gatling Gun live fire !

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    tward's Avatar
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    Gatling Gun live fire !

    I just found out that there will be live fire demonstration of a Gatling Gun at the Civil War Reenactment July 20-21 at the Genesee Country Museum. Sounds like a lot of fun! The museum is in Mumford, NY about 25 minutes outside of Rochester, NY. Look on their website for more information and tickets. Tim

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

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    That would be cool! Wish it wasn't so far away.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Ditto. Way too far to go.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    If you can, take and post a video for those of us who can't make it. I'd like to see it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Yes that would be fun to see, and even more fun to shoot, wish it were closer. I would like to go.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    New York allows such fun? Nobody s gonna get in trouble?

  7. #7
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    Many years ago, in the very early 60s, I had a fellow who took me "under his wing" and got me started in shooting N-SSA. Through him, I got to meet a lot of interesting folks, one of which was Mike Yack. Mike had a manufacturing plant in Dundee, MI and as a avid Civil War collector, shooter and just a great gentleman. He was a master machinist as well and started reproducing Smith carbines - when he died, it's my understanding his family sold the machinery to Pietta. Mike owned a farm down in Somerset and he formed Heritage Muzzleloaders. We often had N-SSA shoots there. Anyway . . . Mike owned an original gatling gun and he brought it to one of the shoots to put on a demonstration. At a break in the shoot, he set up 6 water filled 5 gallon buckets and got the gatling gun all set to shoot. He looked around and spotted me watching and came over and got me and told me he needed some help. I went with him to the gatling gun where he smiled and told me to step up and crank it. I was a young teenager at the time and I was surprised that he had come over and got me to do it. He stood next to me and talked me through it and I reached up and started cranking. I'll never forget that as it blew the pyramid of 5 gallon buckets (steel) to pieces. It was s drum feed gun. When we got done, Mike looked at me and just smiled and said something to the effect that . . "now you can say you've shot a gatling gun . . . not everybody can say that."

    At one of the shoots at that range one year, there was a terrible accident where a container of powder exploded and IIRC, one fellow was killed and a number of people injured. That pretty much did away with the formal shoots at that location. Mike owned the farm up to his death (I believe) and we used to have some informal round ball shoots down there as he was kind enough to let us shoot there.

    The last time I saw Mike was at the Civil War show at Mansfield, OH and he had just gotten back from France. He had gotten in to restoring WWII vehicles and he had about 11 or 12. He had taken a jeep over there and one 1st place with it - all those competing had restored their jeeps to where they looked like they had just rolled off the assembly line. He showed me photos of his - he grinned as he said it looked just like the ones he had seen and ridden in during the war - stuffing coming out of the seats, a crate of chickens tied to the hood and a well used look to it. IIRC it was a competition held during one of the anniversaries of Normandy.

    Mike was a nice fellow who was always very kind to me and willing to share his knowledge. He has been gone now for a number of years but I will always remember him and especially the day when he gave a "kid" the chance to shoot a real gatling gun.

    I hope you can get a video of the demonstration and share it. Mike's entire collection was sold after his death and I have no idea where his ended up but hopefully it is where people can view it and enjoy it - truly a magnificent piece of machinery and history.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    Yes, video, please.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    I have had the opportunity to see one in action. It is really cool! Not nearly as cool as shooting one though bedbugbilly!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    What caliber was the one you shot? I understand the earlier ones were around .70 to .75 caliber. It took a couple of horse teams to move the gun and ammo.

  11. #11
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    Maybe two weeks ago,on the AHC channel there was a show on the evolution of the machine gun.Starting with the Gatlin up to the Mini Guns and auto cannons of today.
    They had a live shoot with a Gatlin against a fairly late model car.What a mess.That car was ripped apart like you would not believe.Through and through from side to side.
    The Gatlin was cal 45-70.IIRC,the first electric driven Gatlins were an experiment done by some Navy personell in the 1880`s to repel boarders.The"ring knockers" said not interested,as it was just a waste of ammunition.IIRC,the article said the rate of fire was 3500 rpm.I bet Mr Gibson could possibly elaborate on this.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
    Last edited by woodbutcher; 03-16-2019 at 10:28 PM.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    How many New Yorkers remember Kaufmans on 42nd street and Houston street?. Was in the Houston street store and they had a gatling gun.Barrels were pretty rusted and the brass/bronze housing was locked up. Only 5K as is. Seem to remember that someone was making all new ones some years back. Frank

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I go to a civil war re-enactment in Brooksville FL every January. They often have a gatling gun in the battle, and it is definitely cool to watch. They didn’t have it this year, but last year it was in the soldiers camp and I got to “handle” it. I examined the rounds and they explained how they loaded them and how the gun worked. Very cool to put your hands on a piece of history (even though it was almost certainly a replica).
    Plata o plomo?
    Plomo, por favor!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    When End of Trail was still in SoCal, back in the mid 1990's, a guy who owned a Gatling Gun (Carriage mount) brought it for a couple of years. You could shoot it for a buck a shot; $20 for a 20rd stick mag or $100 for a Eccles 100rd drum.

    Man it was fun.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master



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    The old Hortons gun shop had one in their window till they closed

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    Good to know. My wife has been wanting to get me there for years. And it's under an hour away.
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  17. #17
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    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    I saw a new one for sale a few years ago. Came complete with the wood packing boxes. Lots of brass, very nice looking. Too expensive, not just the gun which wouldn't look right on a jeep. I'd have to get mules and a buckboard minimum .....
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  18. #18
    PAPERPATCH MASTER


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    Back in the early `60`s at the Greenfield Village civil war expo at the Dearborn, Mi location they put on a live fire demo. Firstly was a unit of the 2nd Michigan troops firing their muskets enmass at a tripod of metal anti freeze cans of water (remember those cans). Next came a field piece shooting at 100 yds at a similar tripod of cans, took 2 shots to destroy the cans. Lastly was a gatling gun shooting at the cans at 100 yds till a `boomer` hidden in the cans was hit and set off. Scared the heck out of the audience when it went off! All in all a great afternoon of re enactments. Shame it was probably the last time they did it.Robert

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Robert, it sounds like that was a good time.
    Plata o plomo?
    Plomo, por favor!

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Gatling guns started with 58 Cal. reloadable steel chambers that used percussion caps (got to crank one of these with the empty chambers insert but no live fire). These had to be collected and reused. Second upgrade use a 58 cal. rimfire and than later 45/70. Watch a 45/70 live fire in the mid 70's.

    "Richard Gatling's first Battery gun, modeled from his 1862 patent. The original model fired the standard .58 paper cartridge used in American Civil War muzzle loading rifles. The paper cartridges were loaded into steel chambers, which were then picked up from a hopper by a shaped carrier."


    Last edited by M-Tecs; 04-14-2019 at 02:56 AM.
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