Civil War: The Gatling Gun- The First Machine Gun Ever Made. Fairly extensive report. Also went along with a model of the gun.

Essay by thedrummer122High School, 12th gradeA, December 2006

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The Gatling Gun was a revolutionary gun of the 19th century, created in the heat of the Civil War in 1862, and continually improved until accepted by the Army in 1866, using a gun created in the 1865 patent for the Gatling Gun. The gun itself was composed of 6 barrels, composed in an evenly circular formation, and the firing was controlled not by a trigger, but by a crank on the back of the gun that was turned by the operator. One of the strange and unique aspects of the Gatling Gun is the 6 barrel setup, firing traditional. This setup is solely a form of function, serving not only as a way to get more bullets out per minute versus a singular barrel, but more importantly, as a function to cool each barrel momentarily before the next round fired, as heat and friction are adverse conditions inside of a gun of any type, and this unique form allowed the gun to cool, which led to a more rapid rate of fire, which in turn led to a higher volume of bullets fired, which means more bullets in the air, which leads to more dead soldiers on the other side of the battlefield.

This singular aspect of this gun put it miles ahead of the typical "coffee-mill" rapid-fire guns of the day. All of these components, including individual bolts for each barrel, combined to create extreme firepower at the ludicrous, for the day, rate of 600 rounds per minute. Keep in mind that this was at a time when the average firing rate of infantry soldiers was 3-4 rounds per minute. That's a 1500% increase from the infantry musket to the Gatling Gun! Incredible! Also, muskets of the day were incredibly inaccurate, therefore, the accuracy of the...