Colt Gatling Gun


This gleaming brass beauty was on proud display at the Colt booth.  So everybody knows what a Gatling gun is right?  The US Civil War era multi-barrel rotary gun with the hand crank.  It starred in that great scene in the movie “Rooster Cogburn” with  John Wayne & Katharine Hepburn.  And of course it is the ancestor to the current day multi-thousand cyclic rate rotary guns.  A few years ago Colt introduced a 5 barrel 1877 vintage replica Gatling gun and they brought one to SHOT Show Range Day along with at least 5000 rounds of 45-70 ammo.  I had the pleasure of shooting 20 rounds that day.  This year Colt had a 10 barrel version at the SHOT Show which received loads of admiring looks.

So what’s involved in owning one?  US Federal regs place it in the same category as regular rifles so if your local laws aren’t stupid and you can legally buy guns, if you have the cash you’re good to go.  How much cash?  $50k for the 5 barrel and $57k for the 10 barrel.  I wonder if people who own these guns keep track of how much they spend on ammo and if they have some kind ceremony when they have fired as much ammo as the gun cost?  A bit of Jethro Bodine finger cypher’in says this could be done in a day – theoretically an hour even.  The loading system for this gun is very elegant and simple.  There is a tall feeding bar with 2 open gravity feed slots and when one side is empty, a gate switches to the other.  New rounds can be quickly placed via 20 round blocks or even individually.

The Colt Rep. said that 45-70 tracer rounds are available in red, white and blue.  Sounds like a 4th of July plan of action!