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. Do you have any idea how much extra steel (and tough steel at that) is in a 50 BMG barrel on it's way to being turned down to the size and contour of a saddle ring carbine?!? ...I
All most I turned one of those numrich 44 cal unturned blanks down to a ak profile an it was a lot of work. nothing like your describing. I have a 50 bmg barrel off a comercial bolt action I bought an its a lot of steel.
 

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holy cow! how did i miss this thread!?!
LOL I was going to type the same thing :D


Thank you for all the pics
I can't say anymore then what's been said, a work of functional art is about the best I can say
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Some call it determination but there are days when I wonder if I didn't miss the off-ramp to building an attractive lawn ornament and calling it good.

After all the parts are made and finished it all has to be fitted together and timed.
The "cam cylinder" (part that guides the bolts forward and back) has to be 'clocked' (timed radially) and set for depth. Crank gear mesh has to be right, each bolt has to be lapped in to it's track so that the gun will crank smoothly both forward AND in reverse (in case of a jam or to unload the gun), then I have to make sure that all the bolts together in the gun have no accumulated drag and are loose enough to allow everything to work.
A fellow builder told me that all the original guns he'd worked on all felt 'really sloppy and worn out'. So when he built his own he tightened up the fit and all the tolerances and the gun would barely turn and wouldn't fire. Seems the 'slop' was there to make sure the multitude of moving parts could work together.
With no roller assemblies, everything in a Gatling is a sliding fit so the slightest drag in various places can bring the gun to a stop.

The project has been slow because, in addition to the little side trips like research and crash courses in foundry pattern making, it gets time in between working for a living and normal day-to-day stuff.
But not a week goes by that I don't do something on it. Even a front sight blade finished is a step forward.
 

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Been a while but I'm back. Turned out a couple more projects, had heart and back surgeries and got a little more done on my Gatling gun.
Here it is on my bench being fine tuned and having the last of the small parts made.
At 160# for the gun alone, this isn't anything I'd want to fire from the hip so I made patterns and poured the cast iron parts for a tripod.
 

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Still here, still at it. I got put to work at work and have been getting some revenue jobs out for the company.
Took a side trip just to keep from getting bored.

Back on the Gatling project, here's the gun about 98% done. Work has involved a new worm and gear set to make the firing rate closer to original Gatlings.
Major rebuild of the "ctg feed hopper" to lighten it and make it more like the originals (before and after pictures) and addition of a "cartridge plow" to make sure the empties are clear of the bolt face when a fresh round drops into place.


Tripod done.

And so nobody thinks I'm just a one trick pony, here's what 5 years of research and restoration looks like; 1921 Harley board track racer.
Yep, that's a 'modern' 1971 Harley Sportster engine / transmission but I managed it by modifying the engine to fit the frame, not by hacking up the frame to take the engine.
That way I can put it all back to original back in about a day.
Had to make a few pieces like backing plates to get brakes that work. Starting point was a couple of pieces of aluminum tool plate; machined and thrown into my special recipe dip and they look like they're as old as the rest of the bike.

 

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Amazing work! A gatling gun is on my "kids are out of the house and I'm bored" list. I bet you could sell the raw castings if you were ever so inclined.
 
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Thanks moleman,
As far as casting sets go; I learned that Gatlings were built in Colt's East Armory one at a time. A New York State Militia Gatling might be slightly different than one for the Maryland State Guard even though they were from the ame model year. Heck, even two for the same contract order's parts weren't interchangeable-- so my castings doing anybody any good are very unlikely.
Like all Gatlings, my #2 bolt for example won't fit and work anywhere else in the gun except with the #2 barrel.
 
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