Austro-Hungarian Rapid Repeating Gatling Gun


In 1870 the Monarchy's military leaders accepted the Montigny Mitrailleuse Rapid-Repeating Rifle [Szórlöveg = Spread-shooter] for the Landwehr, the Austrian part of the Infantry. Hungarian Prime Minister Count Gyula Andrássy requested from the Monarchy's King, Franz Joseph, that the Honvédség (Hungarian Infantry) should also receive these guns. Baron Kuhn, the Monarchy Defense Minister submitted a Memorandum on the contrary, claiming that the Honvédség equipped with the top of the line weaponry would be a danger to the Monarchy with their desire for Hungarian independence. (Note: in 1848, just 22 years earlier, the Honvédség soundly defeated the Austrian Landwehr, earning a short lived Hungarian independence under Lajos Kossuth. In 1849 the Habsburgs had to hire at a great expense, the Tsar's Russian Army to help defeat the Hungarians.) Andrassy claimed that Kuhn's memorandum shows that the Monarchy's leadership is more affraid of the Hungarian Honvédség, than any other army, which convinced the King to allow the Honvédség the weapons they want.
In July 1871 Hungarian target testings at 600, 800, 1000 and 1500 lépés [schritt, pace, .75 meters] showed a 74% average accuracy after 3630 test rounds fired.
By the end of 1871, the Honvédség had 80 Montigny and 10 Gatling Guns. The Gatling Guns were assigned to forts and fortresses. The Montignys were issued four to a Dandár (brigade). Each Montigny was issued to a separate Szórlövészosztag (Spread-shooting Squad). The Squad was consisting of 27 officers and 1561 troops with 1000 horses. The officers carried swords and Gasser M1870 Revolvers. The troops carried Werndl Rifles with bayonets. The gun handlers carried the Gasser revolvers.
Because of their awkwardness and large supporting crew requirement, the 'Szórlövegek' were phased out from the Honvédség in October 1875. The guns were transferred to fort defense service where they stayed until 1890. The guns were gradually replaced by small caliber cannons and machine guns. After 1888 the 11x58R cartridge became obsolite. In 1889 the Schwarzlose M1889 (Maxim-type) Machine gun, and in 1893 the Skoda M1893 Machine Gun was introduced, both using the superior 8mm infantry rounds.

Gatling Rapid-Repeating Manual Gun Model 1865
Gatling Szórlöveg 1865.M

Made by Paget & Co, Wien for the Hungarian Honvédség, 1871, 10 pieces
Caliber: 11x42R M1867 Werndl
400-round drum magazine
Rear sight graduated 100-1200 schritt
Weight of Barrel group and firing mechanism 227kg
Weight of Gun carrier 194kg
837mm 4-rifled barrel length
Muzzle velocity approx 435 meter/sec
Theoretical firing rate 400 rpm, actual 240-280 rpm

The Gatling Gun was invented by Dr. R.J. Gatling in 1862. It was patented in 1865. First manufactured by Colt, Hartford, USA. It was made in several calibers, from 7.62x25mm up to 1". The Russian Tsar purchased 400 guns. These were converted to 10.66mm Russian by Colonel Goulov's plans. The Russians succesfully used these against the Turks at Pleva in 1877. England used Gatling guns against the Zulus in 1879 and in their 1882 Egyptian war. The Gatling gun stayed in US service until 1917.

The Hungarian Honvédség purchased 10 Gatling Guns from Paget & Co, Wien, a licensed manufacturer of Gatlings. The Gatlings stayed in Hungarian fort defense service until 1890, when they were replaced by the more modern 8x52mm M1889 Schwarzlose Machine Guns
The Gatling Gun had 10 barrels layed out in a circle, parallel with each other, rotated manually by a crank-handle. The barrels, a carrier, and a lock cylinder were separate and all mounted on a solid plate revolving around a central shaft, mounted on an oblong fixed frame. The carrier was grooved and the lock cylinder was drilled with holes corresponding to the barrels. Each barrel had a single lock, working in the lock cylinder on a line with the barrel. The lock cylinder was encased and joined to the frame. The casing was partitioned, and through this opening the barrel shaft was journaled. In front of the casing was a cam with spiral surfaces. The cam imparted a reciprocating motion to the locks when the gun rotated. Also in the casing was a cocking ring with projections to cock and fire the gun. Turning the crank rotated the shaft. Cartridges dropped individually into the grooves of the carrier from the magazine. The lock was simultaneously forced by the cam to move forward and load the cartridge and when the cam was at its highest point the cocking ring freed the lock and fired the cartridge. After the cartridge was fired the continuing action of the cam drew back the lock bringing with it the spent cartridge which was then dropped into a sack.
The cartridges were loaded using a 400 round drum magazine from the top. The rotation of the barrels and the loading was synchronized. The firing barrel was always at the lowest position. The Gatling Gun had a 3-person operating crew. The carrier axle had two drum storages (800 rounds), the Gun train contained 8 drums (3200 rounds) for the total of 4000 rounds issued per gun.