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Author Topic: U.S. Patent 2,849,921 - M61 Vulcan/M134 Minigun  (Read 64 times)

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Online Arnox

U.S. Patent 2,849,921 - M61 Vulcan/M134 Minigun
« on: May 10, 2018, 08:04:45 AM »
https://patents.google.com/patent/US2849921A/en

So apparently the minigun we all know and love is actually just a downscaled version of the original M61 Vulcan. I was not aware of that.

Offline Chimpzy

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Re: U.S. Patent 2,849,921 - M61 Vulcan/M134 Minigun
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2018, 02:27:35 PM »
Yup, it's smaller than larger caliber (usually vehicle-mounted) rotary barrel designs, so it's 'mini'. And uses rifle caliber rounds, hence 'gun'. Put the two together and you get 'minigun'. Also, unlike its depiction in fiction, the M134 Minigun really isn't a hand-held weapon.

Although there were plans for an actual man-portable version that used 5.56mm rounds called the XM214 Microfun. But those were scrapped, because even at that even further reduced size, it was still a really unwieldy and impractical weapon.

Online Arnox

Re: U.S. Patent 2,849,921 - M61 Vulcan/M134 Minigun
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2018, 10:08:23 PM »
Yup, it's smaller than larger caliber (usually vehicle-mounted) rotary barrel designs, so it's 'mini'. And uses rifle caliber rounds, hence 'gun'. Put the two together and you get 'minigun'. Also, unlike its depiction in fiction, the M134 Minigun really isn't a hand-held weapon.

Although there were plans for an actual man-portable version that used 5.56mm rounds called the XM214 Microfun. But those were scrapped, because even at that even further reduced size, it was still a really unwieldy and impractical weapon.

Well, even if it wasn't, it would probably be too expensive in terms of ammunition and maybe even maintenance costs.

The minigun excels as a mounted support weapon, but if you try and pull it off the stand, literally or metaphorically, you're gonna have a real bad time.