The Minigun is a machine gun designed by the General Electric Company and produced by many other companies around the world. It is a multi-barreled rotating gun similar to the Gatling gun used in the late 1800s and early 1900s (most guns of this type are still usually referred to as Gatling guns).
The term "minigun" is used because of its smaller size as compared other types of Gatling-style guns. The original M-134, first produced in 1963, is based on the G.E 20mm M61 Vulcan Cannon and is scaled down to 7.62mm.
- Cartridge: 7.62x51mm NATO
- Action: Electrically driven rotary breech
- Rate of Fire: Varies from 4,000-6,000 rounds/min. (appx. 67-100 rounds/sec.)
- Feed System: Disintegrating cartridge belt or linkless feed; dependent on installation
- Sights: Dependent on installation; no fixed sites
While many sci-fi and military films depict the minigun as being hefted around by burly soldiers (or robots) with a shoulder strap, the fact is that the weight of the weapon itself is impossible for even the strongest soldier to carry for extended periods of time. There are, however, a few companies, such as Piper's Precision Products, inc., which produce "Airsoft Recoil" type sporting and gaming guns identical to those seen in films. These weapons are normally used for paintball or rubber BB competitions or wargames, and are not capable of firing actual rounds. The most popular of these is the M-134A2 Vulcan, which is available in the Terminator 2: Judgment Day model, and the Dillon model used by Jesse Ventura and Bill Duke in the movie Predator.
In reality, the M-134 and its variants cannot be carried around and are mounted on Armored Vehicles or are a part of the weapons systems of various Attack Choppers. The basic weapon is a 6-barrel, air-cooled, and electrically driven machine gun. The electric drive rotates the weapon within its housing, with a rotating firing pin assembly and rotary chamber. The minigun's multibarrel design helps prevent overheating, but also serves other functions. Multiple barrels allow for a greater capacity for a high firing rate, since the serial process of firing/extraction/loading is taking place in all barrels simultaneously. Thus, as one barrel fires, two others are in different stages of shell extraction and another three are being loaded. The minigun is composed of multiple closed-bolt rifle barrels arranged in a circular housing. The barrels are rotated by an external power source: usually electric, pneumatic, or hydraulic. Other rotating-barrel cannons are powered by the gas pressure or recoil energy of fired cartridges.
The G.E. minigun is in use in all major branches of the US military, under a number of designations. The basic fixed armament version has three sub-variants, while the US Army weapon appears to have incorporated any new improvements without a change in designation. Available sources show a relation between both M-134 and GAU-2/A and M-134 and GAU-2B/A. A separate variant, designated XM-196, with an added ejection sprocket was developed specifically for the XM-53 Armament Subsystem on the AH-56 Cheyenne helicopter. Other manufacturers in the United States also produce Miniguns with various refinements of their own, including Dillon Aerospace (the M-134D), and Garwood Industries (the M-134G).
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
The T-1 had two miniguns for arms.
The Terminator Collectible Card Game
Similar to the T-1, the T-835 Mobile Assault Unit has miniguns mounted to its arm.
In addition to the T-1, Most of the Series 600 Terminator are equipped with a minigun.
- Television series