In the second half of the nineteenth century an American thought of a revolutionary invention. He was Dr Richard Gordon Gatling. He patented his invention in 1861 and it has been come to be known as the Gatling Gun. This gun is the fore runner of the modern machine gun. It is worth while quoting Dr, Gatling on his invention. He wrote
““ it occurred to me that if I could invent a machine-a gun- which could by its rapidity of fire, enable , one man to do as much battle duty as a hundred, that it would to
Keeping this in mind Richard Gatling invented the gun that carries his name. The Gatling gun was a revolutionary invention as it fired a succession of bullets which were hand fed into the magazine through a belt. He was the first man to invent a gun that could on its own fire a number of shots at one
The Gatling gun weighed 27 kg and needed a crew of 4. It could fire over 200 rounds a minute. It also was used by foreign armies in the Boxer Rebellion ( South Africa) and the Russo-Japanese war. The Russians also bought 400 of these guns and used them against the Turks. The Gatling gun continued as part of the equipment of the US army till 1911 after which they were discarded as ‘obsolete’.
The Gatling gun is a landmark invention in the field of weaponry. Dr. Gatling’s name is forever reserved in history as one of the great inventors. When one handles the M60 machine gun, one hardly thinks that the Gatling gun is its ancestor.