Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.

case, which is withdrawn as the locks retreat down the slope of the cam, till at X it falls through an aperture to the ground. The drum consists of a number of vertical channels radiating from the centre. The cartridges are arranged horizontally, one above the other, in

FIG. I.-Gatling Gun. these channels, bullet ends inwards. The drum revolves on the pivot b (fig. 3). and the cartridges fall through the aperture B. When all the channels are emptied, a full drum is brought from the limber, and substituted for the empty one. Each barrel fires in turn as it comes to a certain position, so that by turning the handle quickly an almost continuous stream of bullets can be ejected. Experimental Gatlings were constructed which could be made to fire nearly 1000 shots a minute, and an automatic traversing arrangement was also Htted. " As has been said, this Weapon had a long reign. It was used with great effect invthe Zulu War at Ulundi and in the Sudan.

FIG.2. FIG.3. But a. grave disadvantage of the English pattern was that it had to be used with the Boxer coiled cartridge supplied for the Martini-Henry riile, and until this was replaced by a solid-drawn cartridge case it was impossible to avoid frequent “ jams.” The modern, fully automatic, machine gun suffers from this to a considerable extent, and it was an even more serious defect with a hand-operated Weapon, as the British troops found in

Fm. 4.-Lock of Gatling Gun;