Miniguns on an old M45 quad machine gun mount blaring away at 12,000 rounds per minute is a sight to behold. So on the Big Sandy Shoot in Arizona last weekend, also termed the largest civilian machine gun shooting event in the world, four blazing-fast-firing Miniguns were strapped to a World War II-era anti-aircraft gun mount and unleashed on the range.
The project’s genesis is still unknown, as is its application in practical warfare. The individuals responsible for bringing this piece of weaponry to life is also not clear. However, Dillon Precision Products were thanked by the Big Sandy Shoot’s via Instagram. Dillon Aero is an offshoot of Dillon Precision, and they are known for making outstanding miniguns. The War Zone has reached out to the company for more information.
The system’s core is four Miniguns mounted on a World War II vintage Maxson M45 quadruple machine gun mount, which can be seen in online photographs and videos. Its operator is seated right in the middle of things.
“Huge thanks to everyone that was there to support and help me finish the quad minigun project. Ideas have been thrown around for 30 years, and we finally made it happen,” George Dillon, grandson of Dillon Precision founder Mike Dillon, posted on Instagram along with a mosaic of video clips of the Quad Minigun firing away.
“It was my grandfather, Mike Dillon, that had envisioned this, and if he was still here, I’m sure we would’ve made him proud.”
Dillon also shared the details of the quad minigun system on Instagram. He said that “each gun was firing at the Dillon factory standard rate of approximately 3,000 rounds per minute, for a combined rate of fire of 12,000 rounds per minute. Each Minigun was linked to a magazine that could hold up to 3,000 rounds, for 12,000 rounds ready to fire before the system would need to be reloaded.” He further added, “We ended up ‘only’ shooting 24,000 rounds as loading the belts into the onboard magazines is very tasking,”
Coming over to the fact that what is a minigun? Originally developed by General Electric in the early 1960s, it is an electrically-operated six-barrel Gatling-type 7.62x51mm machine gun. These guns have been in service on different platforms: Air Force, Navy and Army. However, they are mainly used as door guns on helicopters.
The M45 has evolved from Maxson’s M33 twin .50 calibre mount. These were initially used by the US Army half-tracks. When the half-tracks were announced redundant, these guns were shifted onto the truck and trailer-mounted configurations. These guns are not limited to mobile utilization they can also be placed in static emplacements on the ground. The mounts have served the US in all major wars since its inception, be it the WWII, Korean or Vietnam Wars.
The US allies also benefited from the weapon design. Israel altered them to use other guns from the original .50 calibre M2s. The Taiwanese military still uses an M45 imitative. Two rechargeable six-volt batteries powered the original weapon. The same is shown in the Instagram post below and now operates at least two StartStick portable aircraft batteries.
As mentioned earlier, the practical utilization of the gun is not confirmed, and Sandy’s tracer rounds were fired from the weapon for maximum visuals. Nonetheless, the gun displayed that it can fore away ammunition at a lightening fast pace. And we reiterate that seeing the minigun fire away is one hell of a sight.