The first Gatling gun was designed by Dr Richard J. Gatling in 1861, as a special weapon to defend buildings, causeways and bridges. In 1862 Gatling demonstrated his first working model, which was fundamentally the Agar principle improved by the multi-barrelled arrangement of the Ripley gun. The gun had six barrels equally spaced around a central shaft, which were revolved by a crank. Each barrel had its own bolt, and cocking and firing were performed by cam action through a gear drive arrangement. Rate of fire, in a prime performance, was 250 rounds per minute. The M1862 Type II used copper rim-fire in place of the paper cartridges and percussion cap originally used. Both models were loaded by gravity feed from a hopper and were mounted on carriages like those of the normal artillery piece.
The U.S. Ordnance was not interested in Gatling's invention, however, and would not order any. Eventually, in 1864, General Butler bought twelve after a field demonstration and used them very effectively at Petersburg. The taper of the bores, necessary because barrels and chambers did not always align exactly, impaired velocity and accuracy. The greatly improved model of 1865 came too late for the war.
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