Tag Implication: minigun -> gatling_gun

Posted under General

hungkok2007 said:
Implicating minigun -> gatling_gun.

Reason: I'm pretty sure that "minigun" would qualify as a sub-type of gatling_gun...

'Twould be nice to have a separate wiki...

The minigun actually is based off of Richard Gatling's original hand-cranked weapon, but the minigun is an automatic belt-fed weapon while most gatling guns were magazine fed and, as previously stated, hand cranked. Two different weapons.

MFZbdude said:
The minigun actually is based off of Richard Gatling's original hand-cranked weapon, but the minigun is an automatic belt-fed weapon while most gatling guns were magazine fed and, as previously stated, hand cranked. Two different weapons.

Yes, the original Gatling gun was hand-cranked. But I was under the distinct impression that the term still served to describe the general, rotating multi-barrel design wherever it is incorporated in modern weaponry, whether in portable or aicraft/ship installations. Or dual-wielded by teenage anime characters in dakka-overkill images.

There is also the m134_minigun tag that is being used as well. I would agree though that gatling_gun is the parent tag for minigun. With gatling_gun being used to refer to "gatling-type" guns and cannons.

As for the relationship between the tags, if there is a reliable way to distinguish a m134_minigun from other gatling type weapons, then I think it is fine to retain the tag. If there isn't, then the m134_minigun tag should be removed or replaced (potentially with the minigun tag).

For the minigun tag, going with wikipedia (articles quoted at the end to add insight) the term "minigun" can refer to similar types of guns that are not necessarily the m134 minigun. If we can define the tag in a manner that would make it not redundant to gatling_gun, then we could keep it. If it isn't possible to make a definition that isn't redundant, then we should alias it to gatling_gun.

Some suggestions that might help in making a useful definition for minigun: Scale of the weapon, have it realistically scaled to humans (so no massive or very long rotary cannons held by humans). Restrict the weapons to one set of rotary barrels (so no weapons like KOS-MOS's gatling gun type weapons that has 3 sets of rotary barrels). Restrict the type of mounting to more realistic things like handholds or vehicle mounts (so no gatling guns coming out of the arm, or shoulder mounted, or equipped to robot arm the user is controlling, etc).

Some wikipedia stuff that seemed relevant or at least somewhat relevant.

Wikipedia article on minigun :
The M134 Minigun is a 7.62 mm, multi-barrel machine gun with a high rate of fire (2,000 to 6,000 rounds per minute), employing Gatling-style rotating barrels with an external power source. In popular culture, the term "Minigun" has come to refer to any externally-powered Gatling gun of rifle caliber, though the term is sometimes used to refer to guns of similar rates of fire and configuration, regardless of power source and caliber. Specifically, minigun refers to a single weapon, originally produced by General Electric.


In order to develop a weapon with a more reliable, higher rate of fire, General Dynamics designers scaled down the rotating-barrel 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannon for 7.62×51 mm NATO ammunition. The resulting weapon, designated M134 and known popularly as the Minigun, could fire up to 4,000 rounds per minute without overheating. (Originally, the gun was specified at 6,000 rpm, but this was later lowered to 4,000). [...]

Wikipedia article on M61 Vulcan :
At the end of World War II, the United States Army began to consider new directions for future military aircraft guns. The higher speeds of jet-engined fighter aircraft meant that achieving an effective number of hits would be extremely difficult without a much higher volume of fire. While captured German designs (principally the Mauser MG 213C) showed the potential of the single-barrel revolver cannon, the practical rate of fire of such a design was still limited by ammunition feed and barrel wear concerns. The Army wanted something better, combining extremely high rate of fire with exceptional reliability.

In response to this requirement, the Armament Division of General Electric resurrected an old idea: the multi-barrel Gatling gun. The original Gatling gun had fallen out of favor because of the need for an external power source to rotate the barrel assembly, but the new generation of turbojet-powered fighters offered sufficient electric power to operate the gun, and electric operation offered reliability superior to a gas operated weapon. With multiple barrels, the rate of fire per barrel could be lower than a single-barrel revolver cannon while still giving a superior total rate of fire. The idea of powering a Gatling gun from an external electric power source was not a novel idea at the end of the World War II era, as Richard Jordan Gatling himself did just that in a patent he filed in 1893.

Wikipedia article on Gatling Gun :
The Gatling gun was hand-crank operated with six barrels revolving around a central shaft, although some models had as many as ten. [...]. The shells were gravity-fed into the breech through a hopper or stick magazine on top of the gun.


[...]. Dr. Gatling later used examples of the M1893 powered by electric motor and belt to drive the Gatling's crank. Tests demonstrated that the electric Gatling could fire at up to 1,500 rpm for short periods.