Approximately 146 years ago, Richard Gatling patented his famous multiple barrel invention in 1862 and became the ruler of the battlefield due to its fearsome firepower. When the Gatling gun was used in Vietnam, it was given the nickname of “Puff the Magic Dragon” because it fired red tracers that gave the appearance of a dragon breathing fire. However, a lot of innovation occurred over the span of 146 years, and Dillon Aero has taken the concept of the Gatling gun to a whole new level.
The Dillon Aero M134D is an electronically powered, multi-barreled Gatling gun that uses its six rotating barrels that can fire 3000 to 4000 rounds of 7.62mm per minute when each barrel reaches the one o’clock position. It has magazine capacities of 1500, 3000, or 4400 rounds. It can be powered by AC/DC sources and because it’s designed as a modular system, it can be easily adapted to any existing platform. With an average of 50 shots a second, the ability to hit targets up to a mile away, an average of 30,000 rounds between stoppages, and system life in excess of one million rounds, it is one of the most reliable weapons in the world, as it should be considering each gun ranges from $50,000 to $75,000 depending on accessories.
The M134D is the fastest 7.62mm weapon available and exhibits unique capabilities because of its remarkable speed. It is more accurate than a slower firing weapon because the high cyclic rate essentially eliminates recoil. Consider the following – in the amount of time it takes to fire one round from an M240, four rounds are fired from the M134, resulting in dense shot grouping. Moreover, because there is a four-fold reduction in the amount of time it takes for a gunner to see his hits and accordingly adjust his aim.
In addition, faster guns lead to faster error correction. With an increased amount of shots per second, the amount of time between each observed impact is greatly reduced. The M134D is nine times more likely to score hits due to the combined effects of high rate of fire, high weapon stability, and extremely dense shot grouping.
Seeing as how Gatling guns are more effective and reliable than traditional gas-operated guns, fewer weapons (in turn fewer operators and platforms) are required to cover a target area. This results in major cost savings.
On land the M134D is currently deployed worldwide for convoy escort, border patrol, and VIP protection. In addition to its more traditional roles, Dillon Gatlings are supplanting M2 .50 caliber heavy machine guns and M240s on a number of US Army vehicles. In the naval role, Gatling guns are used for force protection on board the US and Royal Navy blue water fleet, and as fire support on SpecOps boats. However, while available for a variety of platforms, the M134D is most commonly found on helicopters, such as the Bell UH-1, Bell-212, AH-6, H-60, and many others.
For critical applications, Dillon created the M134DT, which is the newly designed Titanium Gatling Gun. Dillon redesigned the steel M134D for users operating helicopters at high altitudes and under hot conditions where aircraft weight is critical. Skeletonized components and titanium were combined to reduce the gun’s weight by almost twenty percent, which amounts to twelve to fifteen pounds per gun. This weight reduction was accomplished without diminishing the Gatling’s outstanding performance and reliability.
The M134D is currently used by the US Army, US Navy, US Marine Corps, US Air Force, the UK, as well as several other nations. Dillon also offers Service Life Extension kits for older generation General Electric GAU-2B/M134 Miniguns. To find out more contact Dillon Aero at www.dillonaero.com or call them at 800-881-4231.