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  • Gatling gun project

    Now that pics are easier to do in the forum, I thought I would post a pic of my most recent project.

    Its a .357 magnum gatling gun. I did the design in fusion 360 and used its cam for the milling operations on my old cnc bridgeport running on linuxcnc. It was made entirely from flat/round stock with the exception of the barrels. I made the helical gears using gearotic motion software. There are still a few finishing touches remaining like fancier nuts for the mainshaft ends and the final hi-cap magazine. The magazine in the pic was 3d printed for test purposes and I have about 150 rounds through the gun without any issues. Firing rate at a medium crank speed is about 8oo rounds/min, a real noise maker ! Gun is 32-1/2" long and weighs about 70lbs.

    This is my second gatling, I also did a 22 rimfire one just before this one.
    Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by Sparky_NY; 11-05-2019, 02:34 PM.

  • #2
    Rear cover off showing gear drive
    Click image for larger version  Name:	gears.jpg Views:	5 Size:	32.4 KB ID:	1837065


    Gears were made using Gearotic Motion software using nothing but a 1/16 ball endmill cutter on a homemade 4th axis.
    Last edited by Sparky_NY; 11-05-2019, 02:53 PM.

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    • #3
      a short video showing the action of the bolts. At this point I had not yet made the crank and was just running it a bit to lap things in. As you can see, it will function pretty darned fast.

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      • #4
        Wow. That will cost a fortune to use! It looks like a great project.
        At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by danlb View Post
          Wow. That will cost a fortune to use! It looks like a great project.
          I do quite a bit of pistol shooting and have a progressive reloading press. Without reloading, I would have to come out of retirement and get a job !

          Back in the 1800's, gatlings were manned with a 3 man crew, one to crank, two to feed the ammo to it.

          The end piece is somewhat useless, you are not going hunting with it, surely not going to carry it concealed etc. It was just something fun to do and a real learning experience in fusion 360 cad/cam and better machining skills.
          Last edited by Sparky_NY; 11-05-2019, 04:55 PM.

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          • #6
            Here is a pic of the bolts (2 spares), the helical gears, and one of the extractors for the bolts. Bolts are 3/4 dia 4140 prehard. Extractors were made from O1 and hardened.
            Click image for larger version

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            • #7
              It looks like fun!!! I wish I could be able to use, understand and apply software of this nature - too old! If ever you try to do this in SA you will be jailed for 10 or more.
              Enjoy!

              Whitewax
              67 South Africa

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Witwaks View Post
                It looks like fun!!! I wish I could be able to use, understand and apply software of this nature - too old! If ever you try to do this in SA you will be jailed for 10 or more.
                Enjoy!

                Whitewax
                67 South Africa
                I'm 67 and the two gatlings were my first learning project with Fusion 360 cad/cam. Its really not that difficult. There are fantastic tutorials online and youtube.

                As for being jailed... I should comment that the video I posted running the gun with the cordless drill would be HIGHLY illegal IF the gun were further completed at that point. When the video was done, it was not really a gun capable of firing at that point and I had not yet made up the crank handle.

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                • #9
                  In case anyone is wondering what makes the bolts go back and forth, here is a pic of the internal parts. The gray pieces on the left are the cams. They form a slot between the two halves that the round lug on the bolts follow. This is what determines the timing of the gun. The firing pins run down the centerline of the bolts with springs that propels them. There are no hammers, the firing pins are retained during rotation by a "block" at the 6 oclock position and released. Functioning is basically that of a striker fired handgun.
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	gatinners.jpg Views:	1 Size:	61.5 KB ID:	1837085

                  Last edited by Sparky_NY; 11-05-2019, 04:15 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sparky_NY View Post



                    As for being jailed... I should comment that the video I posted running the gun with the cordless drill would be HIGHLY illegal IF the gun were further completed at that point. When the video was done, it was not really a gun capable of firing at that point and I had not yet made up the crank handle.
                    You mean the gun, NOT the video, would be illegal..? Right.

                    But even so, what is the big distinction between turning with a drill vs. a hand crank? i.e. as far as the ATF folks are concerned. Aren't the internal workings the same? Just curious.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lynnl View Post

                      You mean the gun, NOT the video, would be illegal..? Right.

                      But even so, what is the big distinction between turning with a drill vs. a hand crank? i.e. as far as the ATF folks are concerned. Aren't the internal workings the same? Just curious.
                      Yes, I meant the gun not the video. ATF has ruled gatling guns as title one guns (ie same as a bolt action rifle) PROVIDED they are hand cranked and not over 50 caliber. Put a motor instead of the crank and its considered a machine gun (class3), go over 50 caliber and its considered a mass destruction weapon, both highly illegal without special licensing from ATF.

                      Yes, the internal workings would be the same BUT the rate of fire increases dramatically when motor driven. The mini gun and vulcan cannon are examples of motor driven gatlings, 4000 rounds per minute typical. You can understand why they don't want such things unrestricted.
                      Last edited by Sparky_NY; 11-05-2019, 04:44 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lynnl View Post
                        But even so, what is the big distinction between turning with a drill vs. a hand crank? i.e. as far as the ATF folks are concerned. Aren't the internal workings the same? Just curious.
                        -It essentially has to do with what is considered the "trigger". After all, the little cranks you can clamp to a trigger guard are 100% legal (except maybe in California ) because you haven't modified the original trigger.

                        In the case of a Gatling, the crank is considered the trigger, and requires constant actuation to continue firing. That is, you have to keep turning the crank.

                        The moment you put any kind of motor on it, the switch used to start the motor becomes the "trigger", and that switch just needs to be actuated (and, it's generally assumed, held) once to cause continuous firing- that is, a machine gun. And yes, that also includes clockwork mechanisms (wind up a clockspring and trip a release lever) or windup rubber bands, etc.

                        I believe I read years ago, that someone asked- as in actually contacted the ATF- about using a stepper motor and timer arrangement, with the controller programmed to just turn X distance (IE, fire one shot) per button press. As I recall, and it may have all been forum speculation, it's been a lot of years, that the ATF specifically denied it, as it would have been too easy to reprogram the controller, or have a 'hidden' full-auto mode.

                        Long story short, as long as it has a hand crank, a Gatling is fully legal (again, except maybe in California ) but the second you try to automate it, whether electronically with a cordless drill or mechanically with anything from a clockwork to a water wheel to a hamster wheel (which I'd pay good money to see ) it becomes illegal.


                        Doc.
                        Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

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                        • #13
                          Really nice work there, but Dictator Cuomo isn't going to like it !

                          I don't understand the reasoning between what is legal in some states and illegal in other. Bump stocks are illegal now yet no crank mechanism exists with those and I believe that those little trigger crank kits that they used to sell for like .22's are now illegal.

                          JL..................

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                            Really nice work there, but Dictator Cuomo isn't going to like it !

                            I don't understand the reasoning between what is legal in some states and illegal in other. Bump stocks are illegal now yet no crank mechanism exists with those and I believe that those little trigger crank kits that they used to sell for like .22's are now illegal.

                            JL..................
                            Dictator Cuomo is why I left NYS nearly 7yrs ago and moved to South Carolina. 30% difference in cost of living does not hurt either ! No missing the cold and snow either.

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                            • #15
                              So... You going to sell plans? What plans was the .22 version based on? I need one of these in my life

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