Inside the 12 Gauge Gatling Gun Build
September 12, 2011
The 12 gauge gatling gun episode that aired last week was our most watched to date. It was tough research and development project, but the rotary concept is one we are determined to tackle here at Red Jacket.
The plan was to mount three 12 gauge shotgun barrels onto a precision cut central rotor, which was then attached to an electronically driven firing mechanism. The biggest challenge was that we needed to design and manufacture all the parts for this gun. It would shoot at 1400 rounds per minute, literally creating a wall of fire. This type of build was a first for us, and it was the epitome of research and development.
But, as you saw on the show, we had some setbacks in the process. Turns out, the outer housing for the rotary version actually needed to be a 3/8 of an inch longer to give longer throw to the bolts, ensuring lock up. We actually had successful test fires with it prior to catastrophic one they showed on TV, but there was really no way to look at it and know for sure that the bolts were properly locked in. Our feeling was that it needed be longer, but we had no way in-house to know for sure.
I don't think ya'll have seen a more accurate depiction of the R&D process than the 12 gauge gatling gun build. We started with a concept for a client and worked toward bringing it to life. Sometimes we get exactly what we planned and other times, like with this project, we find a whole new direction for a build.
The format of the show is a one-hour stand alone segment, and it's not really a place to show the lengthy developments of our concepts. To be honest, the end of last week's show was the end of the rotary shotgun process for Red Jacket. But it was barely the beginning of our foray into the rotary gun systems.
We are actively pushing a couple of different rotary gun designs at the moment.
You saw on the show that the customer was ready to pull the 12 gauge saiga version and take home what amounted to a range toy. So, that was the end of the shotgun version. We have kept forward movement in the development of the rotary gun systems, but we have changed gears a bit. We moved away from the 12 gauge gatling gun and are working on a version in 5.56 caliber model as well as one in .50 BMG.
At the end of the day that 12 gauge was going to be nothing more than a toy for type 07 and 10s in a position to pay what it would cost and have someone to demo it for! It has a limited market and customer base, amongst those is the Department of Defense who is currently looking for a multi-barreled rotary gun in 5.56. So, we took some of our core rotary work for the shotgun and are moving it into a design with a true military application.
In the end, while it was a nice project for TV and to learn the Haas Machines, the main thing for Red Jacket was that this process got us going in a whole new direction.
Many thanks, I'll see ya'll next week.