Talk:Machine gun

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Troublemakers?Edit

"A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire bullets in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute. The first design/invention of the machine gun was by Leonardo Da Vinci, presenting a design of an eight barreled machine gun that was operated manually by a bandcrank, and was mounted onto the ground, and barely portable. However, the more modern machine gun was designed by Samborino and Jordanian, two extremely active troublemakers."

Citation needed?

Perhaps I'm being paranoid but the bold text sounds biased to me with the use of the word "troublemakers".

Jimothy 183 (talk) 14:22, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Moral QuestionEdit

I've been looking over the article, and everything is fine except for one thing. Metal Storm weapons and miniguns are notable "rapid fire" weapons, but are not really true machine guns unless powered by the byproduct of their projectile (and they're not). So on the "Future" section near the bottom that mentions Metal Storm and the minigun, should I delete this section, or should I leave it and just modify the contents?

Because I hate to break it to you, but neither of those weapon systems are machine guns.

Note, above unsigned post by IP was today. The bot didn't seem to mark. ? North8000 (talk) 14:18, 4 December 2019 (UTC)

RebuttalEdit

not sure about the metal storm as it kinda defies modern conventional firearms design, assuming you are referring to the M134 Minigun, it is absolutely 100% classified as a machine gun as it is automatically driven by a electric motor. you may be mistaking it for the Gatling gun, which cannot be classified as a machine gun because it is manually hand cranked. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.215.44.21 (talk) 13:42, 4 December 2019 (UTC)

Squirt GunsEdit

OK, sombody changed in the operating principals section, the thing about when squirt guns were first used, and the random quote about peeing on a statue is illegal, i really hate poeple like that, i couldnt figure out how to change it back, kinda new here, but just a heads up to anybody who knows how to do this. it just didnt look right to me. Dave —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.109.60.228 (talk) 18:24, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

SpeedEdit

The most popular feature of machine guns and similiar weapons is their speed... Why the speed is nto specifically addressed anywhere? I mean, with data like "fire X bullets per sec" or something like that. 200.106.40.22 20:50, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

That isnt to true as most machine guns have arouind the same rate of fire exept for a couple the major difffernces you see are mostly in video games. The most important thing is really

  • Lightness/easy to move
  • Belt/magizne capicty
  • reliabilty

If you think about any machine gun will keep a solider down in cover.(ForeverDEAD 22:06, 30 August 2007 (UT

"most machine guns have around the same rate of fire"?! Definately not true. Let's take a look at some well known ROF stats. A Mac 10 (or Mac 11) has a fire rate of over 1200 RPM (rounds per minute), or 20 rounds per second. Likewise, the venerable M2 machine gun has a relatively sluggish ROF of about 500 RPM, or about 8-9 rounds per second (I'm not doing the math). And even if you claim that the Mac 10 is a "submachine gun", there are plenty of very fast fully-fledged machine guns. Look at the M16 page or the P90 page, which technically IS a machine gun, because it uses rifle bullets.

Also, video games typically recreate ROF to a certain degree; if the gun fires too fast, they modify it so that it is more gamer friendly.

Lastly, though any weapon will suppress, 99% of the time it is better to kill your enemy than suppress him if you can, which means a more accurate machinegun=better.

P.S. To the first commenter, the Wiki pages do tell you the rate of fire. It's called either RPM or cyclic rate, and you need to divide the number by 60 to get the number of rounds per second. Eiffel56 (talk) 01:16, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

I think the example of a fast-firing machine gun you're looking for is the MG-34 at over 1200 RPM. And that's with 7.92mm Mauser rifle ammunition, not some diminutive 9mm Kurz. Machine guns are simply not defined by their rate of fire. Like the BATF says, if it fires more than one cartridge with each action of the trigger, it's a machine gun. Rate of fire just doesn't enter into it.SEWalk (talk) 09:52, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

SEWalk, I think you might be missing the point "speedguy" is trying to make - he's talking about functional differences between MGs, not legality. Rate of fire is important, and it does vary. If the magazine-fed Bren light mg had been designed with the same 1200rpm cyclic rate of the belt-fed MG 42, it would have been useless. Modern SAWs have similar rates of fire, but SAWs are only one of many types of machineguns, adapted to one of many purposes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.177.15.218 (talk) 17:29, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Auto weaponsEdit

Are all automatic weapons considered machine guns?

No. In general, a machine gun needs to fire rifle ammunition (pistol ammunition makes it a submachine gun) from a belt or high-capacity magazine (assault rifles have small-capacity magazines). --Carnildo 03:49, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
I would argue that true machine guns would have a definition as follows... Fires Rifle rounds with few exceptions, from an open or closed bolt position, are automaticaly operated by either; Gas (M-240), recoil (M-2), or blow back (MK-19). The Machine comes in that the weapon is BELT FED and the process of de-linking, stripping(taking round out of the link, and feeding are done at the same time in one single operation, and the weapon is fully automatic. The weapons that can be fed by high capacity magazine are technicaly an automatic rifle. this is a conundrum for the U.S. military in how the classify the M-249 S.A.W. it was once classified as a automatic rifle and sometimes is still but, now is often called an light machine gun. Finaly a machine pistol is a automatic rifle that fires pistol cartridges. As to the small capacity magazines, most automatic rifles come with high capacity magazines like the Russians RPK but, they can still use the ak-47 magazines.

True, but machine guns do not always have to be belt fed. Eiffel56 (talk) 05:51, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Should applicattion be a factor when classifying these things? By your definition an M249 SAW (Belt fed or high capacity magazine) is called a Squad Automatic Weapon because it is used as a support for a unit of troops at squad size, instead of a Light machine gun which would be used to cover a larger group from a fixed position or vehicle mounted. This principle could solve some issues with regards to what qualifies as an assault rifle also, as it is a rifle that combines semi or full automatic fire, stopping power and mobility in an assault situation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 210.215.75.4 (talk) 04:18, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Mixed General talkEdit


Crediting da Vinci with the invention seems incorrect, his design could only fire 6 rounds before needing to be reloaded and was functionally more similar to already extant Organ_gun then to the true machine guns of Maxim and Gatling.


—Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.244.85.232 (talk) 15:08, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Does anyone actually know what the effects/consequences are of an overheated gun? That'd be a great addition either here, or somewhere... I'm primarily interested in the technical specifics. I imagine barrel warping occurs, but what actually stops you from firing anyway? Having no idea on the subject, I imagine things start melting? --Moogleii 07:09, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Actually I just found some info on Fas.org. I'm still not sure if it'd be appropriate to put it here, but I'll let you guys figure that out. I quote:
The longer the burst, the higher the temperature attained. The progressive heating of the barrel gives rise to several effects some of which are as follows:
   *  Accelerated wear of the bore.
   * Expansion of the barrel leading to loss in bullet velocity and finally to tumbling of the projectile.
   * Stoppage of gun caused by the expanded barrel seizing in the trunnion block or flash suppressor.
   * . Ignition (cook-off) of the propelling charge by the heat of the barrel. 

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/equip/m296.htm

Yeah, you don't want to overheat your barrel or your ammo box, as there have been reports of the entire magazine shooting off without control, which only makes it hotter... Also, the above user is right. GoogleVid the clip where some guy shoots thousands of rounds through his AK-47 and look at how innaccurate his gun is.

I imagine the same is pretty much true of other air-cooled machine guns...which leads to another question, are there machine guns out there that are not air-cooled and use some kind of coolant (other than water and uh, "field urine"). Moogleii 07:16, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Every machine gun out there is either air-cooled or water-cooled, and water-cooling isn't very common because it limits your mobility. --Carnildo 08:10, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Describe the new page here. The following was the content of the Machine-guns page, which is improperly pluralized and less descriptive than Machine Gun:

These weapons have changed the tactics of warfare. They are mechanisms for spraying bullets onto an area of ground, enabling one, two or three man teams to provide the same fire power as a whole platoon. The standard weapon of the Wehrmacht was not the rifle but the machine-gun.

Known patterns of MG: General Purpose Machine Gun/GPMG Squad Assault Weapon/SAW Browning 50 caliber MG42 Bren gun ...others...


While the Wehrmacht had terrific light machine guns, it still wasn't the standard weapon. --Belltower


The article says: Many of the M2 .50Cal machine guns are so accurate that they can actually be used to snipe targets at great distances, although the morality of this practice has been questioned.

I'm unqualified to confirm or disconfirm this, but it sounds odd to me. Why would this morality of this practice (in a wartime context, of course, sniping is surely immoral at other times) be questioned? By whom?

I believe that using ammunition as heavy as .50 caliber for antipersonnel sniping is forbidden by the Geneva convention, or at least, it is forbidden as doctrine (the world record for a long-distance sniper kill is with .50 caliber). --Andrew 09:29, Apr 11, 2005 (UTC)
I doubt that. My understanding of the various conventions limiting what weapons are allowed is that the forbidden weapons are ones that:
  1. Are deliberately designed to cripple, not kill
  2. Have a high risk of harming civilians (land mines)
  3. Are inherently uncontrollable (gas, germs)
Carnildo 19:19, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Ah, yes. My apologies. It turns out to be a common myth; there is indeed no problem with them under the Geneva conventions, and some armies do teach snipers that this is a reasonable use. (The myth goes on to claim, colorfully, that the USMC teaches snipers that aiming at personnel is verboten but aiming at equipment is okay - and dog tags, helmets, and uniforms qualify as equipment. Cute but counterfactual.) In my defense, it was a member of the Canadian Forces that told me so, and I had the sense to look it up before putting it on any page. --Andrew 20:45, Apr 11, 2005 (UTC)
The geneva conventions rarely deal with weapons themselves. They usually deal with rules of war and treatment of combatants/non-combatants. The Hague Accords, which are different, deal with weapons and ammunition. So if you see someone mention that the Geneva Convention forbids the military use of hollowpoints (for instance), that is a dead giveaway of ignorance.

please look here: http://styrheim.weblogg.no/100204222411_the_legality_of_125mm_multipurpo.html


Does anybody know anything about Hiram Maxim? I think he invented the first effective MG but I'm not sure.


A few points:

Regarding morality...questioned: There exists a military "urban legend" that it is unlawful under the Laws of Armed Conflict to deliberately target personnel with .50 cal weapons. It is untrue.

GPMG is not a specific weapon, but a class of machine guns designed to be used as either LMG or MMG.

I beg to differ, so the GPMG I lugged around for all those years on excercises was a figment of my imagination? I don't think so!!Petebutt (talk) 17:37, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
The LMG I also lugged around during training was another figment, no, it was a modified BrEn gun with a 7.62mm barrel and modified magazine, nothing like a GPMG. I think you'll find that when the GPMG was fitted to the fire-suppression tripod it became known as a MMG,I think?Petebutt (talk) 17:45, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
On a lighter note the LMG and, I believe, the BrEn gun both had negative recoil and had to be restrained or they would walk away from the firer.

Hiram Maxim was pretty famous in the nineteenth century, and invented heaps of stuff as well as the first self-powered machine gun, including the firearm silencer, improved light bulbs and an early airplane.

A few other well known MGs apart from those listed above include:

The article should mention that in military usage, "machine gun" does not include assault rifles or submachine guns, and that such usage by journalists is very annoying to soldiers 8^) --Roger 13 Aug 2003

Almost as annoying as "semiautomatic assault rifle" is to anyone who knows better. --squadfifteen, 23/11/05

Can anyone conifrm what I've read about the development of the .50 M1917? I've read it originated when Pres Roosevelt's son (Lt. Elliot?) fired a .30 that was unable to penetrate Ger a/c armor, & was KIA as a result. Trekphiler 01:30, 28 November 2005 (UTC)


"Ah, yes. My apologies. It turns out to be a common myth; there is indeed no problem with them under the Geneva conventions, and some armies do teach snipers that this is a reasonable use. (The myth goes on to claim, colorfully, that the USMC teaches snipers that aiming at personnel is verboten but aiming at equipment is okay - and dog tags, helmets, and uniforms qualify as equipment. Cute but counterfactual.) In my defense, it was a member of the Canadian Forces that told me so, and I had the sense to look it up before putting it on any page. --"Andrew 20:45, Apr 11, 2005 (UTC)

My cousin recently competled basic traingin or whatever and he told me that his drill instructor told him that but i dont no about any others though(ForeverDEAD 22:00, 30 August 2007 (UTC))

Modusponens (talk) 16:39, 8 February 2008 (UTC) The stuff about California laws and the term "assault rifle" doesn't seem neutral to me - it looks like it's trying to make a political point about gun laws.

Tracer - new??Edit

Does anyone have backup material for the comment: A newer intuitive aiming system, favored by the Israelis is to alternate solid and tracer rounds, so shooters can walk the fire into the target. I have heard about this going back to WWII, as well as in many armies, not just Israel. Any opinions on modifiying it? User:Magicmike

According to our own article on Tracer ammunition, it's been used a long time and is standard in "machine guns". If this statement makes any sense at all, it must be restricted to light machineguns, or daytime use, or something. Probably should go. --Andrew 06:23, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)

Aimed fire is preferable to "walking fire" using tracers, especially in ground mounted machineguns. The use of tracers in daylight, and especially during darkness tends to advertise the position of the firer, and tends to cause the firer to become an intense bullet magnet. The optics available on Armored Fighting vehicles are typically efficient enough that the tracer becomes unecessary. Since most American .30 tracers burn out at around 900 meters, it is often useful to the tank crew to range with tracer ammunition. Some vehicles, and uses like the Bradley Port Weapons do lend themselves to walking fire.

James Baker USA (ret)

ContradictionEdit

The introduction states that: "Such automatic weapons with a caliber of 20 mm or larger are generally referred to as autocannons."

while the overview states: "A fully-automatic firearm with a bullet caliber of more than 12.7mm (0.5 inch) is called an automatic cannon"

I have no idea - which is correct?

I don't know either. I suspect it varies -- .50cal is universally a machine gun, 20mm is universally an autocannon, while stuff in between probably varies. --Carnildo 05:02, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
It's anything over 20 mm that's a cannon, that being the smallest calibre that conventionally uses explosive shells (partly for practical reasons, and partly for legal ones). The confusion probably arose because there is only one relatively common calibre in this range, that being the Warsaw pact 14.5 mm — and it's not all that common. The 14.5 mm doesn't have explosive projectiles and is always considered to be a HMG. I've corrected the article. -- Securiger 16:09, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
I hate to throw this wrench in but, the Mk-19MOD3 is considered a Grenade MachineGun. Also, the M-203 is considered a "Small Arm" Even though the military definition of a small arm is any weapon with a caliber .50 Cal and smaller.

Heavy machine guns for sniping?Edit

The article currently claims that heavy machine guns can be used for sniping. I find this hard to believe (but have no evidence contrdicting it). Perhaps it is confusing them with .50 caliber anti-materiel sniper rifles? --Andrew 17:32, May 4, 2005 (UTC)

No, Carlos Hathcock made a special mounting bracket for an M2 machine gun, and managed to set a world record for longest kill. However, just recently, some Canadian (I'm not going to look him up; he's in wikipedia, so find him yourself) just set the new record with a .50 caliber anti-material rifle, so both options are viable.

No, it really refers to sniping. The tripod is a very stable mount, and the short-recoil action provides minimal and consistent disturbance to the point of aim during the cycle. Because the cyclic rate is rather slow, by careful trigger operation it is relatively easy to fire a single shot. So prior to the recent development of dedicated .50 cal sniper rifles, a small number of individuals tried mounting a telescopic sight on the barrel and sniping with them. The best known example being GySgt Carlos Hathcock (at 2250 m), although it was previously done in Korea by a British officer (whose name I forget). However, it was not by any means common. -- Securiger 13:49, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Regarding sniping with the M2: I have been told by a living, published, Marine historian that the M2 was used as a sniper weapon in Korea in the days before the Chinese intervention. The 1st Marine Division was deployed in the mountainous terrain of North Korea, ostensibly mopping up the remains of the North Korean Army, although finding many indications of Chinese presence. Enemy personnel were often seen at extreme range, e.g. on the hillsides across valleys, as were caves, bunkers, huts, etc. These were sometimes engaged by single .50 rounds from tripod mounted guns. The practice was to take a ranging shots at the door, trail, cave, etc., until the target was registered, then wait for the opposition to show himself. I have no reports of a success ratio with this technique. As any mountain goat or sheep hunter will attest, a lot can happen to a bullet as it crosses a valley, and GI ammunition was certainly not National Match. My information comes from a good primary source, a company grade officer who was at the end of the road at Yudam-ni and was still walking when the regiment the sea. Seattle Jan 11, 2006

Historical and Technical InaccuracyEdit

There is a lot of it in this article especially in the History section. Here are some specifics:

Some weapons, such as the AR-15/M16, integrate the piston with the bolt. Others, such as the M15 and AK patterns, attach the piston to a bolt carrier that unlocks and operates the bolt.

The M16 does not have a piston, it operates on the principle of direct gas impingement. Gas is tapped off the barrel and directed back onto the bolt to force it open and cycle the action. The M16 also does have a bolt carrier. A better way to break assault rifles down is probably when they have operating rods (op rods) like the AKs or FAL or not like the HK G3 or M16.

Submachine guns (e.g. the Thompson submachine gun, or 'Tommy gun') as well as lighter machine guns (the BAR for example) saw their first major use in WW1 along with heavy use of large-caliber machine guns.

The Thompson was designed for WWI but the war ended before they saw service. A better example of a WWI submachine gun would be the Sten. Also most heavy machine guns used in WWI were .30 caliber, the same as the BAR. Perhaps this should be altered to "the extensive use of heavy machine guns" which would be more factually correct and maintain the distinction the original author seemed to be trying for.

Design features of machine guns were applied to automatic handguns, "machine pistols", such as the Luger (although these did not yet have full automatic fire).

The Mauser Broomhandle would be a better choice here. While it wasn't it wasn't full-auto either, it at least had a detachable stock.

During the inter-war years, many new designs were developed, such as the Browning 50-caliber, in 1933, which, along with the others were used in World War II.

This sentence is a grammatical trainwreck. Historically, the Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun was designed at the end of WWI and began service in the late 1910s or early 1920s, not 1933. A better example of an inter-war design might be the Bren or one of the early German MG series guns.

If you think those should be changed, then feel free to do so. --Carnildo 28 June 2005 21:17 (UTC)

I altered the "MG & wire led to stalemate" piece. I've heard air recce was responsible, by making hidden movement impossible. Given that, and the power of QF arty like the M1897 75mm, I'd say attributing it to MG is a bit strong. --squadfifteen, 23/11/05

Does the Villar Perosa merit a mention? The SMG article lists it, but I've read it was tactically an LMG, despite using a 9mm pistol round (& the SMG article lists it as an a/c weapon). --squadfifteen, 23/11/05

"A better example of a WWI submachine gun would be the Sten"

The Sten is a WW2 era weapon that didn't exist until the 1940s.

Changed Multi-shot "guns" to "weapons" in history judging that guns did not exist back in the 1st century.

Technical Nit-picksEdit

The article seems to imply that all closed bolt guns are positively locked. Many are not. An example would be closed bolt versions of the UZI.

Next, the description of the typical cartrige ejection system attributes the function of two separate pieces, the extractor and the ejector, to one piece who's description makes little sense.

Not having edited before, I figure I'll wait for comments before making a change. --ming 68.99.181.114 06:42, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

If you think you can do a better job of describing things than the current version does, go ahead. --Carnildo 08:13, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Duplicate/redundant informationEdit

I just noticed that the info contained in the introduction (which looks more like a whole article itself) is basically duplicated info from the more detailed sections down below. The introduction shouldn't be too long, and it shouldn't contain so much specific information, especially when all the same information is already in the article with better writing. The article also needs reordering of the sections. --Squalla 20:19, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

A introduction is always going to cover somewhat similar material, though it might better to split it off into a overview. No opinion on re-ordering though. Ve3 21:28, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

More History (specifically precursors to the machine gun)Edit

The article states a precursor for LDV's original machine gun design

"Multi-shot guns have a long development, going as far back to the 1st century, with plans for a multi-shot arrow gun by Greek engineer Hero of Alexandria."

but neglects to mention the Chu-Ko-Nu repeating crossbow which was a machine gun for arrows of sorts. --ColourBurst 06:25, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

positions and tacticsEdit

Say, are there articles where there is a place to put this image Image:Shanghai1937KMT machine gun nest.jpg? It's quite a distinctive picture, as I have not seen the likes of it before (as compared to say, trench warfare or a person lying prone) ... was looking on an article desribing defensive tactics where this would be useful. It does say a lot about the often heard, "a machine gun nest! Quick, throw a grenade!" type of scenario, or that nest one can't seem to be able to identify accurately. Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 20:23, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Citation for being designed for inaccuracy?Edit

"To this end, most light machine guns and general purpose machine guns are not designed for high accuracy, as would be expected of a rifle. Most are designed with a small degree of inaccuracy, referred to as the "cone of fire", because the rounds spread out as they travel towards the target area, rather like the spread of a shotgun, but continuous."

I find this to be a dubious claim. By what mechanism does the author suggest that machine guns are deliberately made inaccurate to increase their cone of fire? And for that matter, you have a "cone of fire" for automatic weapons designed to be accurate - it's inherent to rapid fire.

In order to deliberately make a gun less accurate, you would have to introduce a mechanism, or loosen the tolerances to the point of creating inaccuracy. Could someone provide evidence that these factors are considered and even encouraged in machine gun design?

A distinction should be made between single-shot accuracy and a cone of fire created by recoil. Machine guns are typically more accurate than their rifle counterparts, and, for that matter, have a smaller cone of fire and are less affected by recoil. But in either case, you're talking about two seperate things. SenorBeef 05:41, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

First machine gun contradictionEdit

In the introduction, it states:

The first machine gun was constructed in Britain, 1913, 2 months before the first world war. It was designed several hundred years prior by Leonardo Da Vinci.

Later, the article says:

The first true machine gun was invented in 1881 by Hiram Maxim.

I believe the latter is accurate, the former makes no sense, and is grammatically poor. Boomcoach 20:17, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the first statement. As you said, it makes no sense. --Carnildo 00:00, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. The article is very good, and I did not want to step on the current editors. Excellent article. Boomcoach 14:31, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

hai i am NIRMAL, can u say the mechanim of guns```````` and how does the maxium forse occurs inside the gun and that it pushes the bullet outside ......... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 122.164.153.215 (talk) 09:37, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Machine Gun Legal DefinitionEdit

On 17 July, I added a description of the Washington D.C. definition of machine gun to an existing description of the US legal definition in the introduction. This description was removed by an unregistered user who described it as specious (description was accurate and did not attempt to overstate the case, listing info from D.C press releases and news articles about the case) and as not germain [sic] to a generalized discussion.

The first point baffles me. The details were all verifiable. Google's cache has expired, but the initial press release by the mayor's office was shown by the Google cache to have been modified, lending confusion to the District's definition. However, I have been able to locate a copy of the original press release with the wording about machine guns at the D.C Office of Secretary's site. Obviously, the wording should be changed to recognize this more reliable source instead of the expired Google cache, but this does not change any facts presented in the addition to this article.

The second point is also unsupported. As is already demonstrated in the article's inclusion of a legal definition of machine gun, the legal definition is fundamental to categorizing weapons since restrictions are based on such definitions. When D.C. defines machine guns in contradiction to U.S law, it has legal ramifications for gun owners. Information about such contradictions is part of the discussion of machine guns and should be freely available. Such information should probably not belong in the introduction, however. I would like to hear suggestions on creating a new section or adding the D.C. information to an existing section.Kylos h (talk) 17:43, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Definition?Edit

The first paragraph seems to contradict its self since it defines a machine gun as "fully-automatic" and then goes on to say that non-automatic "manually operated, for example, by turning a hand crank" guns were "machine guns". Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 23:13, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree. For the last time, for all those who read this, a Gatling gun is NOT a machine gun. Would someone please fix that in this article?!?! Because I know that would take a while. Because, by definition, a machine gun has to be "FULLY" automatic, and by using a hand crank or even a motor, the Gatling requires movement from the operator or motor for EACH shot, as opposed to only once. Come on, people, can't you tell a contradictory sentence when you see one? Eiffel56 (talk) 06:02, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

So what's a Gardner Gun, then? Or a Nordenfelt Gun? Before fully automatic weapons, there was a whole generation of hand-powered machine guns, as they are indeed frequently called. In fact, several articles on individual machine guns make a distinction between hand- and self-powered machine guns. This is the first article I've seen that insists on the former not being machine guns at all. Where did you get that definition from, anyway? 82.135.67.136 (talk) 15:43, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree. I've been reading about military matters for 35 years and this is the first time I have heard it suggested that a Gatling gun is not a machine gun. In normal parlance it is a machine gun. Cyclopaedic (talk) 18:18, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Rifle-calibre ammunition isn't right either - that would rule out .50 cal. And isn't a sub-machine gun a category of machine gun? I don't recall Machine Gun Kelly using a tripod. Cyclopaedic (talk) 18:22, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

This is still wrong, five years on. Cyclopaedic (talk) 10:50, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
A common definition is "calibre less than 20 mm", meaning that automatic weapons chambered for .50 cal/12,7mm and Russian 14.5×114mm are machine guns while automatic weapons chambered for 20 mm calibre or larger are automatic cannons. Thomas.W talk 11:20, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

photo textEdit

"A model of a typical entrenched German machine gunner in World War I. He is operating an MG08, wearing a Stahlhelm and cuirass to protect him from shell fragments, and protected by rows of barbed wire and sandbags." This is misleading, the cuirass was meant to protect primarily against bullets afaik. Lastdingo (talk) 20:36, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

DatesEdit

At the begginning of the article, the date for the maxim gun is 1884, and in the middle of the article it is 1881.75.105.246.92 (talk) 14:58, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

I changed it to 1884, as this date is also given in the Maxim Gun article. 82.135.67.136 (talk) 15:45, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

M134 and GAU-2/A 'Minigun' Gatling machine gun (USA)


General Electric M134 Minigun machine gun of Vietnam war (late 1960s) era, on pedestal mount.


Dillon Aero M134D Minigun of current manufacture, with manual control unit and feed chute.

Image: Dillon Aero


M134D Minigun of current manufacture, mounted on the roof of the military car. Image: Dillon Aero


M134D Minigun of current manufacture, on Naval pedestal mount, with ammunition container. Image: Dillon Aero


M134 Minigun on infantry type tripod, as often seen on civilian entertainment events such as Knob Creek machine gun shot in USA.

Data for M134D Minigun

Caliber 7.62x51 NATO Weight 24...30 kg gun with motor and feeder/delinker, less ammunition container and power source Length 801 mm Barrel length 559 mm Feed belt in 1500, 3000 or 4500 round containers Rate of fire 3000 or 4000 rounds per minute, fixed

The development of a rifle-caliber, externally powered Gatling type machine gun was commenced by weapons branch of the US-based General Electric Corporation in 1960, following the successful development and fielding of the 20mm M61 Vulcan automatic gun (used in aircraft and AA applications). First prototypes of the 7.62mm Gatling-type machine gun were fired in 1962, and in late 1964 first 7.62mm machine guns, dubbed 'the Minigun', were mounted on AC-47 Gunship aircraft for combat trials. Following the definitive success of the first 'Gunship' aircrafts armed with Miniguns, GE commenced mass production of the new weapon, officially adopted by US Army as M134 Minigun and by US Air Forces as GAU-2/A machine gun. By 1971 more than 10,000 Miniguns were produced and delivered to US Armed forces. Most were used in airborne applications, installed in a variety of side- or forward-firing mountings aboard aircrafts and helicopters (AH-1 Cobra, UH-1 Huey, HH-53 Green Giant and others). Some Miniguns also were installed on riverine crafts, used by US Navy and Special forces in Vietnam.Thanks to its sustained-fire capability and high rate of fire, Minigun weapons provided excellent suppressive and area denial capabilities. It must be noted, however, that infantry applications of the Miniguns were very limited due to the weight of the system and its requirement for external electric power. In most cases, Minigun machine guns were (and still are) mounted on high mobility vehicles as anti-ambush weapons. In recent times, production of the 7.62mm Miniguns was resumed by US-based company Dillon Aero, which is now manufacturing an improved version of the basic design, known as M134D. It has many upgrades in detail, resulting in decreased weight of the system (especially when using titanium gun body), improved reliability and better handling and maintenance. The M134D machine gun is used on board of many military helicopters (such as MH-6 or UH-60), as well as on HMMMV trucks and naval crafts (to provide close-in defense against small, fast-moving vessels such as suicide-bomber motorboats). It must be noted that M134 miniguns are very rarely used for infantry applications; photos of M134 installed on standard light tripods are almost universally from some 'Civilian' events such as Knob Creek shot in USA, where people can fire a number of legally owned full automatic weapons just for fun. Military has no place for a 30-kg weapon (less mount and batteries) with extremely high ammunition consumption rate in a 'man-portable' class of small arms. Prospects of using M134 in 'Hollywood-style' are even less realistic, not only because of aforementioned properties (heavy weight and unnecessarily high rate of fire) but also due to the extremely high recoil force - at just 3,000 rounds per minute the Dillon Aero M134D minigun generates average recoil force of 150 lbs / 67.5 kg, with peak recoil reaching 300 lbs / 135 kg. The M134 Minigun is an externally operated weapon which uses electrical motor drive to operate its action. Typical power requirements for 3,000 rounds per minute (50 rounds/second) rate of fire are 24-28 V DC, 58 Amp (~1.5 KWt); with increase of rate of fire power requirements rise accordingly. The gun operates on Gatling principle, that is it employs a rotary cluster of six barrels, each with its own bolt group. Bolts are moved back and forth behind each barrel as their operating roller passes an internal curved track machined inside the receiver cover. Typically, the topmost barrel in the cluster has its bolt fully open and the bottom barrel in cluster has its bolt fully closed, locked and firing pin released to fire the loaded cartridge. Barrel locking is achieved by the rotary bolt head. Since the gun operates on external power, it is immune to dud / misfired rounds, which are ejected during the normal cycle of operation. Feed is provided either by linkless chute or by the linked ammunition, In the latter case, a powered feeder/delinker module is installed on the gun; it receives necessary power through the gear from the gun motor. To properly operate the gun, it is fitted with electronics control box, which, in the case of manually controlled installation, has an 'master arm' switch and fire controls (triggers). Typical feed arrangement uses a large container holding some 1,500 (full weight ~ 125 lbs / 58 kg) to 4,500(full weight ~ 295 lbs / 134 kg) rounds, with maximum capacity reaching well over 10,000 rounds per gun in certain heavy helicopter installations (such as used in CH-53 and CH-47 during Vietnam war). The container is connected to the gun via the flexible chute. If chute is overly long, an additional electrical feed booster is installed on the ammunition container. by :

   Saumy Chopra  —Preceding unsigned comment added by 122.175.133.167 (talk) 06:58, 14 January 2011 (UTC) 

"15mm" "autocannons"Edit

Sources: Jane's: "15mm FN-15 heavy machine gun" "15.5 x 106 mm". http://www.janes.com/articles/Janes-Infantry-Weapons/15-mm-FN-BRG-15-heavy-machine-gun-Belgium.html

Author Anthony G Williams, on World War 2 aircraft armament: "The most powerful of all the HMG's was the 15 mm MG 151". http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/CannonMGs.htm

Aviation of World War II: "MG-151 machine gun" "15mm". http://www.airpages.ru/eng/lw/mg151-shtml

World Guns: "ZB-60" "BESA 15mm heavy machine gun". "The first test guns were more properly classified as automatic cannon, because of their 20mm caliber." http://world.guns.ru/machine/chex/26-60-e.html Sulasgeir (talk) 20:56, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

VandalismEdit

"Guns firing large-caliber explosive rounds are generally considered either autocannons or automatic Noob tubes ("grenade machine guns")."

Noob tubes? Definitely vandalism. --bean 18:27, 16 May 2011 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mwzzhang (talkcontribs)

Confusing sentence in "Operation" paragraph.Edit

The first bullet point in the operation paragraph contains the following text:

"...until the trigger is activated making bolt carrier move forward"

This quote fails to distinguish between machine guns firing from the open bolt position, and those firing from the closed bolt position.

The Browning machine gun, which fires from the closed bolt position, has a lever to the rear of the weapon which releases the bolt carrier, allowing it to move forward. In the example of this particular weapon, it is not the trigger that performs this function.

In the FN series of belt fed weapons, notably the MINIMI, the bolt stays to the rear when the weapon is cocked. The bolt carrier only moves forward when the trigger is pulled.

A revision to this list of bullet points could include two methods of operation. One for open-bolt weapons, and one for closed-bolt weapons.

Ex Soldier, UK — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.26.27.144 (talk) 13:11, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Added a reference to Metal StormEdit

Although the Metal Storm design is radically different to other types of rapid fire gun, I think it is reasonable to include a reference to it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eworrall (talkcontribs) 09:18, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

"16mm" cutoff?Edit

I have always read that 20mm + is the cutoff for autocannons. If there is indeed debate about this (it says "16mm or larger" in the text...are there 17mm, 18mm, 19mm MG or cannons even?), it should at least say that some people consider 20mm and larger the cutoff for autocannons. I've never heard anything except this. Generally it's accepted that a 15mm MG 151 is a machine gun, while a 20mm MG 151/20 is an autocannon. Where does this number come from, who says a 17mm gun is an autocannon and why, and why ignore the commonly stated ""20mm or larger" cutoff. It ought to acknowledge this viewpoint, as indeed there is no "official" cutoff, and explain why some people consider 16mm to be the cutoff, assuming that there must be people who believe this, or they wouldn't have put it in the article. If I need to go and dig up one of the numerous statements to the effect that "20mm is accepted as the minimum caliber for a gun to be considered an autocannon", I will..45Colt 08:56, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

I think it's because someone above found references to 15mm weapons as heavy machine guns, so assumed 16mm was the cutoff because they couldn't find any 16-20mm weapons to find out what they were called? Should also note nobody calls rotary guns autocannons since I've never heard things like the M61 or GAU-8 called that. Herr Gruber (talk) 10:09, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

CantelloEdit

@Bones Jones: @SQMeaner:. You two are engaged in an edit war over this material. Please use this talk page to discuss it, based on sources and policies. If you can't agree there are some dispute resolution steps you can take. Felsic2 (talk) 18:37, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

The "invention" in question is pure hearsay, and is seldom divorced from claims that Cantello and Maxim were the same person, meaning that differentiating them in the article makes no sense. The source used espouses this very theory. The whole story stinks and I've never seen a gun historian take it seriously: this gun just up and vanished, no plans, no prototypes, no detailed description of the invention despite the claim of multiple eyewitnesses, no wall full of bullet holes from testing a recoil-operated gun, nothing. The BBC article even pokes holes in the story ("Cantelo may well have been working on a machine-gun, although the type of gunpowder used at the time would have produced too much smoke to make testing in a cellar very feasible"). You could use the same standards of "evidence" (someone claimed to have done something, but there's no actual proof) to claim that Nikolai Tesla actually built a machine that could blow up the world. Bones Jones (talk) 19:00, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
I noticed you've shifted from claiming there were no eyewitnesses to claiming that the witnesses were unreliable. You also claim that there are credible historians out there who have dismissed this story. Would you care to name them? Also, the BBC article still is obviously of the belief that Cantelo's weapon did exist, despite the section of it you quoted here, which indicates that this isn't enough to dismiss Cantelo's claim as a whole. Finally, how do you know there was no wall full of bulletholes or a detailed description? Can you tell me where you're getting these sources?SQMeaner (talk) 19:35, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
There is a claim that his sons saw it, but no description of the weapon his sons claim they saw. There's a claim of gunfire in a cellar, but your own source says it's dubious someone could actually be testing a machine gun in a cellar, and there's no physical evidence of the results of testing a machine gun in a cellar. It's a lot of hearsay: we know some people said he invented something, and that he claimed it was a machine gun. We do not have any source for the claim he did invent a machine gun, because even your source says there's no evidence of what, if anything, he actually made. And as said, since the prevailing line in these accounts is that Cantello and Maxim were the same person, Maxim is still the inventor of the recoil-operated machine gun. Bones Jones (talk) 19:40, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Please provide these sources of yours stating that there's no physical evidence or description of what he produced. I've already addressed your criticism of the BBC article.SQMeaner (talk) 19:46, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Your own source fails to list any physical evidence. I do not need to produce sources saying there is no evidence, you have to produce sources saying there is evidence, that's how the burden of proof works (see WP:FRINGE and WP:EXCEPTIONAL). If there's a description of what he invented, where is it? The BBC article is careful not to assert anything with certainty:
"a 19th Century inventor rumoured to be working on an early version of the machine-gun"
"Cantelo, an engineer and gun-maker, was experimenting with a new type of gun. Nobody knew what it was"
"There doesn't seem to be any reason why the various witnesses should invent the tales of nocturnal gun-fire beneath the pub in Bargate Street."
It's all very diplomatic language. I would also point out that an article by a "writer, comedian and actor" isn't exactly a reliable source on firearms history anyway. Bones Jones (talk) 19:53, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
The sons of William Cantelo said the weapon was almost exactly like Maxim's, which sounds like a description to me. There's also the witnesses who heard rapid gunfire around the area where Cantelo lived. That's admittedly all the evidence I'm aware of but a similar level of evidence exists for John Stevens' internal combustion engine, yet his claim is still taken seriously by good ICE historians such as Horst Hardenberg. The lack of physical evidence for Cantelo's machine gun is probably due to a lack of coverage of the subject, rather than any real lack of proof. Also, despite your cherry-picking of certain sections of the BBC article, one of which doesn't even agree with the point you're making, the article makes it perfectly clear that they believe William Cantelo devised a rapid-firing weapon around the early 1880s. Note this section here: "One day, Cantelo announced to his sons - also engineers - that he had perfected his new invention. It was a machine-gun, a weapon which used the energy of explosive recoil to load the next bullet. It would fire continuously until the bullets ran out. It was revolutionary." Admittedly there aren't many sources covering William Cantelo and his weapon, but by putting his name on the main machine gun page, I'm sure more people will take an interest and research his claims more thoroughly. All the more reason to keep the changes I've made.SQMeaner (talk) 20:14, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
They said his invention was almost exactly like Maxim's after Maxim had invented it, which isn't very compelling. Cantello claiming that Cantello had invented something is ipse dixit. People thinking they can hear gunfire is hearsay. We have no technical information on what Cantello was supposed to have made, no diagrams, no prototypes, no physical evidence that there ever was a weapon. And we are not here to try to make people "take an interest," we are here to report what experts are saying now. Right now, this is a fringe theory with essentially no coverage in high-quality sources: as WP:EXCEPTIONAL notes, "Any exceptional claim requires multiple high-quality sources." You have one low-quality source. Bones Jones (talk) 20:19, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
But the thing is, there are witnesses who overheard rapid gunfire from Cantelo's residence. That's not hearsay, that's witness testimony. Also, you keep claiming there is no technical information on Cantelo's weapon but as I have repeatedly pointed out, neither of us knows that for certain. There simply isn't enough information freely available on the internet to make a fair assessment of that point but from what little there is I am 99% certain that William Cantelo was a person who did exist and did produce some sort of rapid-firing weapon in the early 1880s. Not including his name in the main machine gun page would be the same as lying. Finally, I wouldn't call the BBC a 'low-quality source' and it's hardly the only one on William Cantelo. As I pointed out, there are more on the wikipedia page dedicated to him.SQMeaner (talk) 20:36, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
No, that's hearsay. They didn't witness any actual gun firing, they just heard a sound and thought it sounded like a gun firing. And "neither of us knowing for certain" means we don't have it, that's how the burden of proof works: if you can't produce a reliable source saying claim X is true, there is no reason to believe the truth of claim X. We don't have this stuff, and I can say that safely because you can't show me where we do have it. Not including it is because we are not here to promote fringe theories (WP:NOTPROMOTION), there's no good evidence from reliable sources (WP:EXCEPTIONAL) and Cantello's invention of the machine gun is not a view held by the mainstream (WP:FRINGE). Bones Jones (talk) 20:43, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
I assure you it's not hearsay. Here's the definition of hearsay from 'lectric law: "Secondhand information that a witness only heard about from someone else and did not see or hear himself. Hearsay is not admitted in court because it's not trustworthy, as well as because of various constitutional principles such as the right to confront one's accusers, however, there are so many exceptions that often times hearsay is admitted more than excluded." The witnesses heard rapid gunfire, they weren't told about it. Also, I'm pretty sure the BBC counts as a reliable source, as does the City of Southampton Society, who I've linked to below. Finally, just because a view is held by the mainstream doesn't mean it's true. In fact, speaking from experience here, the mainstream view tends to be wrong more often than not, sometimes incredibly so. A good example of this is the claim that Joseph Priestley invented soda water, which almost everyone is familiar with, despite the fact there is strong historical evidence to show that he was not even the first person to produce carbonated water in the 18th century.
http://www.coss.org.uk/The-Mystery-of-Mr-Maxim.phpSQMeaner (talk) 20:50, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
And we heard about these witnesses from who, exactly? Their own statements? Who were these people? Oh, right, we don't know that, either. And it's interesting your new source contradicts your old one (the BBC said the gunfire was in a cellar, now it's in a tower), which hardly aids your claim of the reliability of these alleged witnesses.
As WP:EXCEPTIONAL should tell you, we are not here to correct the mainstream view. Wikipedia is about verifiability, not truth. Bones Jones (talk) 20:57, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
If you re-read the source I posted in my last post, you'll notice that it says that the experiments took place in an underground tunnel, or cellar, and a tower. Also, I believe the burden of proof is on you to show that those witnesses who claimed they heard rapid-fire were unreliable. It seemed to satisfy the BBC and the City of Southampton Society well enough, and I think most people would agree that they're fairly reliable, as sources go.SQMeaner (talk) 21:04, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
No, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that a recoil-operated automatic weapon actually existed, because that's what you're trying to assert in the article. That's not demonstrated by some people thinking they heard rapid gun fire, given we have no idea who these alleged people are, and they don't say it was too fast to be a non-automatic weapon. Hell, the Southampton Society link lists three existing rapid-fire guns at the time, do you not see how that creates a small problem with your assertion that it must have been a real recoil-operated machine gun? And no, these are not reliable sources on firearms history, all of which credit Maxim as the inventor of the recoil-operated machine gun. Also, WP:NEWSORG notes that ""Whether a specific news story is reliable for a specific fact or statement in a Wikipedia article should be assessed on a case-by-case basis." You can't just say the BBC is a reliable source for absolutely any claim just because it's reliable for news journalism. Bones Jones (talk) 21:15, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
I believe I've done more than enough to show that William Cantelo invented a rapid-firing weapon in the early 1880s. The only question is how reliable the witnesses were. As I've pointed out, the BBC and the City of Southampton Society considered these reliable sources and the burden of proof is now on you to show that these witnesses were unreliable. Also, where did you get the idea that the witnesses said it wasn't fast enough to be an automatic weapon? Finally, what exactly is wrong with either of the sources I've used? They may not be traditional firearms histories but they come from places where you'd expect the authors to fact-check their claims.SQMeaner (talk) 21:24, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Well you haven't, you've demonstrated that some non-expert writers say that an anonymous group of people heard what they think was rapid gunfire coming from either a tower or a cellar in the early 1880s. This is a little way off demonstrating that the thing they heard was actually rapid gunfire, nevermind that the origin of the sound was a functional recoil-operated fully automatic weapon. Bones Jones (talk) 21:28, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
The City of Southampton Society surely are experts on history though, and the man who wrote that BBC article has presumably done enough research on William Cantelo to be considered an expert on the subject too. The fact of the matter is you are now the one making the claim that the people who heard Cantelo firing off some sort of rapid-fire weapon are unreliable and the burden of proof is now on you to back up that claim.SQMeaner (talk) 21:33, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Experts on the history of Southampton, perhaps, but since they don't know what a machine gun actually is (and that the Gatling, Nordenfelt and Gardener guns were not true machine guns), not experts on firearms. Not that it matters, because as I've said, the fact that people thought they heard gunfire does not mean they actually heard gunfire (if it worked like that, people claiming they heard sounds like "great cannons firing" during the sinking of the Titanic would require us to classify her as a battleship), and absolutely does not allow us to identify what kind of machine was making those sounds. Bones Jones (talk) 21:40, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
You don't need to be an expert on physics to write a biography of Albert Einstein, though I imagine it would help. Also, the sound of gunfire would be quite distinctive and hard to mistake for something else, I imagine. It's not like there were a lot of cars backfiring in those days after all. Your dismissal of the eyewitnesses seems ill-founded to me and you need to provide some proof that what the witnesses were hearing wasn't gunfire or that they were unreliable, which you haven't done and I highly doubt you will do.SQMeaner (talk) 21:46, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
As noted, the fact that some anonymous people allegedly thought they heard rapid gunfire does not mean they were hearing the sound of a functional recoil-operated machine gun. That simply does not follow. Bones Jones (talk) 21:48, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Well, as the article states, it became well-known locally that the Cantelo's were developing a machine gun. Presumably that's where the sources I used got the claim that the weapon was a true recoil-operated machine gun from. Either way, I have posted reliable sources stating that Cantelo produced a true machine gun and that he was known about by the locals and you have still provided nothing concrete that goes against my claims. If you really want to get to the bottom of it, take it up with the BBC or the City of Southampton Society, send them an e-mail or something. Until then, I believe the main page on the machine gun should be as I have edited it.SQMeaner (talk) 21:58, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
No, you have not produced reliable sources, you have posted sources reporting on rumours and hearsay, and tried to used them to support an assertion of plain fact. They are not sufficient for this. You require sources that satisfy me, not you. Bones Jones (talk) 22:01, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
I've already told you that you're wrong about calling eyewitness testimony hearsay and you haven't even begun to explain why the City of Southampton Society and the BBC are unreliable sources. I think it's clear that we're not going to reach an agreement so I suggest we get a third party involved.SQMeaner (talk) 22:03, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
The eyewitness testimony establishes nothing, since people can't hear how a weapon works. The City of Southampton article makes no claim about the operation of the weapon at all, and the BBC source only says that Cantello claimed his weapon was recoil-operated (or rather, that his sons claimed it later), it makes no direct assertion that he actually created such a weapon. Where are your sources from firearm historians? Oh right, they all say Maxim invented the recoil-operated machine gun, meaning it's giving undue weight to flatly credit Cantello with it. Bones Jones (talk) 22:08, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
It does actually make that assertion. Again, look at this section: "One day, Cantelo announced to his sons - also engineers - that he had perfected his new invention. It was a machine-gun, a weapon which used the energy of explosive recoil to load the next bullet. It would fire continuously until the bullets ran out. It was revolutionary." As for why firearms historians don't cover Cantelo's invention, that's simply for the same reason most histories of the internal combustion engine don't cover John Stevens' ICE: It's a fairly obscure bit of knowledge. That still doesn't mean those inventions didn't exist though.SQMeaner (talk) 22:14, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, which is what Cantello claimed, not a statement of fact. You have an article reporting on a rumour, this is not enough to claim the thing actually existed. With D. H. Friberg's gun, we have a patent and know exactly how it worked (or rather, how it didn't). With this we have nothing. It's not notable. Bones Jones (talk) 22:16, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
It is a statement of fact according to the article, who I think have done more research on this topic than you. Also, I have provided more than enough evidence to show that William Cantelo did create some sort of rapid-firing weapon in the early 1880s. This at least should be included on the main page.SQMeaner (talk) 22:21, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
No, it's not. It's a statement by him according to the article, related by his sons who believed Hiram Maxim was their father. This isn't a neutral source for such a claim by any set of standards, which is why the BBC article is careful to distance itself from their claims. All you've provided evidence of is that he may have produced some kind of weapon, a claim so nebulous as to be absolutely useless. Bones Jones (talk) 22:26, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Actually, the article makes it clear that the author has done his own research and believes in the claim that William Cantelo invented a true machine gun in the early 1880s. Also, where are you getting the idea that the author tries to distance himself from Cantelo's claims? As for whether or not he invented a weapon in the early 1880s, there's no 'may' about it. He did produce a rapid-firing weapon in the early 1880s and I find it hard to believe you can seriously deny this after everything I've posted and said.SQMeaner (talk) 22:31, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
So now you're claiming to be able to read the author's mind? He introduces it as a mystery with no clear answers, and never clearly asserts that there was such a weapon, just that Cantello told his sons there was. And there is no evidence he invented such a weapon: no weapon, no diagrams, no proof that it incorporated any kind of novel mechanism except the word of his two sons, who also thought an American inventor was their dad. The standard of proof you're using here is so loose that I could use it to assert that Stanley Meyer actually made a water-powered car, because some of his friends said he did. Bones Jones (talk) 22:37, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Are you aware that the person who wrote that article is the same one who hosted the show linked to below? Also, as I have repeatedly pointed out there is eyewitness testimony referring to the sounds of rapid gunfire produced at the place where Cantelo conducted his research and it's not hearsay, as you keep saying no matter how many times I show that you are wrong.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03892r4SQMeaner (talk) 22:42, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
So? People thought they heard noises, that doesn't mean they were hearing a recoil-operated machine gun. You keep dancing around that point, but there's no logical connection between one and the other. And are you trying to assert that Steve Punt is a historian just because he presents a radio show? Bones Jones (talk) 22:46, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Alright, how about this then? The page should mention that William Cantelo developed a rapid-firing weapon in the early 1880s that was later claimed after Maxim's invention was made public to be a recoil-operated automatic machine gun. Whether or not you agree with the idea that Cantelo developed a true machine gun it still deserves mention as a rapid-firing weapon as those were extremely rare in the 19th century.SQMeaner (talk) 22:51, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Um, actually no, they weren't. You already had the Gatling gun, Nordenfeldt gun, Agar gun, Billinghurst Requa Battery, Gorgas machine gun, Gardner gun, Mitrailleuse, Montigny mitrailleuse, Ripley machine gun, Bailey machine gun, and the early Kjellman machine gun that didn't work. All of these can be demonstrated to actually exist, too! Bones Jones (talk) 22:57, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Quite a few of those weapons are mentioned in the main page on the machine gun though, and if you really don't believe that William Cantelo developed a rapid-firing weapon in the early 1880s despite everything I've shown you then I don't know what to say to you that could possibly change your mind.SQMeaner (talk) 23:01, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Show me a firearms history that cites him as the inventor of the recoil-operated machine gun instead of Maxim. Produce a diagram of his weapon that shows how it worked. Get the names of the witnesses and exact statements. Get a source with physical evidence that what was happening in that building was actually a machine gun being tested, or showing the parts and tooling that were in the building could have been used to make one. Loads of things would show a machine gun was being produced.
You can't change my mind because there isn't enough evidence to satisfy WP:EXCEPTIONAL for this claim, ie, 'multiple high quality sources that specifically say that Cantello invented a novel weapon of some kind, rather than just that he or his sons claimed he did. Bones Jones (talk) 23:07, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't need to verify the credibility of the witnesses as that has been done by the BBC and City of Southampton Society. Again, it is on you to demonstrate that the witnesses were unreliable. The fact of the matter is, the witnesses say they heard rapid gunfire from Cantelo's place and this became the talk of the town and this claim is considered reliable enough to be used by the BBC and the City of Southampton Society. Also, I think you're being very unreasonable in asking me to produce physical evidence for a weapon that is now over a hundred years old and has only recently come to light. Most historians would be more than satisfied with the evidence I've already put forward.SQMeaner (talk) 23:12, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
You're again swinging back to claiming that these "witnesses" must have been verified, even though you have no way of knowing this, and that their claims account for something even though they do not. This is not a good argument.
The claims by the sons are intensely suspect: the sale of Maxims to the British government was in 1889, which your Southampton article claims was what the sons recognised as "our gun," but Maxim's first 1885 model used a totally different mechanism to the production version. Why would he have invented the version that was toggle-locked, gone away, made a version with a rotary cam that was markedly inferior, then invented the toggle-lock version again? Bones Jones (talk) 23:20, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
What about the fact they're considered credible by the City of Southampton Society and the guy who wrote that BBC article? Does that count for nothing? Also, Maxim's gun was very famous and can be found in several newspapers already from 1884. I suspect Cantelo's sons just heard that it used recoil and thought their dad's gun was based on a similar principle, not that it was an exact copy or anything like that.SQMeaner (talk) 23:24, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Credible for what, that they thought they heard noises? That's meaningless. And now you're trying to use your "suspicions" to contradict your own source; it states the sons read a description of the gun, which would have been the 1889 production version. Any description of Maxim's original weapon would have included its most unique feature, a pointer dial allowing selection of any rate of fire from 1-600rpm, and his original version had a different mechanism. There is no way someone familiar with this weapon would immediately declare this weapon to be the same, they aren't even remotely alike. Bones Jones (talk) 23:33, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
That's not meaningless and you know that. Gunfire, especially rapid gunfire, would have been very distinctive to 19th century urban dwellers' ears. I have no idea where you're getting the idea that I'm claiming the sons claimed that the gun their father invented was the same as the 1889 production version of the Maxim gun from. As I stated previously, Maxim was mentioned in a lot of newspapers prior to his invention being bought by the British government and it's more likely Cantelo's sons read about it in a newspaper, realised the similarities between the operating principles of their father's gun and Maxim's gun, and based their claim off of that.SQMeaner (talk) 23:39, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Distinctive in that they would have no idea what it sounded like, perhaps, and it proves nothing since them hearing gunfire does not mean they were hearing any kind of novel weapon. And now you're trying to rationalise away more holes in the story, just like you tried to rationalise away your BBC article flatly saying he couldn't possibly have been testing a machine gun in a cellar. Not to mention that according to the Hampshire Advertiser, William Cantello was in court on Wednesday 15th April 1885. So much for disappearing! Bones Jones (talk) 23:42, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
OK they would have heard something that sounded like a loud explosion happening in rapid succession then. Also, what holes in the story are you even talking about? You've provided absolutely nothing concrete that goes against my claims so far. Also, the author of that BBC article clearly states that he believes Cantelo developed a machine gun. Honestly, are we even reading the same article here? How do you reconcile your belief that the author was a skeptic of Cantelo's claims with this quote: "One day, Cantelo announced to his sons - also engineers - that he had perfected his new invention. It was a machine-gun, a weapon which used the energy of explosive recoil to load the next bullet. It would fire continuously until the bullets ran out. It was revolutionary."SQMeaner (talk) 23:58, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
One day Cantello said. This is identifying a claim made by a specific person. In context, this is a claim made later by that person's sons, since they would be the ones reporting it. A flat statement would be "Cantello finished his recoil-operated machine gun, and told his sons." And seriously, I've provided nothing? Not that the version the British military used was different, not that hearing gunfire doesn't mean that there was a novel weapon being tested, not the total absence of direct evidence, not that your own fucking article says it's impossible to test a machine gun in a cellar? Bones Jones (talk) 23:51, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Indeed you have provided absolutely nothing of substance so far. In case you haven't noticed, I'm the only one producing sources. Also, the citizens didn't just hear gunfire, they were hearing rapid gunfire, indicating some new type of weapon was being developed. I don't care about your strange fixation on the differences between the production version of Maxim's gun, which has absolutely nothing to do with anything, and Cantelo's weapon. The brothers could have read a description of the gun in a newspaper prior to 1889, as I have repeatedly stated, and figured that their weapon was similar to Maxim's. I'm not claiming that Cantelo's weapon was similar or the same as Maxim's 1889 version, which you seem to think I'm doing. Also, the BBC article doesn't state that it would be impossible to test a machine gun in a cellar, just that it could have posed a problem, which Cantelo could have found a way around or taken any number of measures to overcome it. It also states the author's opinion that the Cantelo gun did exist, which for some reason you keep overlooking.SQMeaner (talk) 23:58, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Rapid compared to what, exactly? A Maxim sounds like someone trying to start up a busted engine, not a series of rifle shots. And I don't care about your ad-hoc rationalisations of what could be true, I want you to provide facts, not guesses. And sure, there could be ways to ventilate the cellar, in which case the neighbours would have seen clouds of gunsmoke billowing from the place. Where's that in their reports, exactly? The author's opinion is something else you're just guessing at, and I really don't care what a radio comedian thinks about history. Bones Jones (talk) 00:03, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
Maybe that's exactly what they heard though? The fact of the matter is they did hear rapid gunfire that very well could have been a type of machine gun. As for what he did about the gunsmoke he could've just used a gas mask or something. Really there are probably dozens of ways he could have dealt with the gunsmoke and the BBC article says that despite that hindrance "Cantelo may well have been working on a machine-gun,". Also, I'm not guessing at anything. The author clearly states his stance on the Cantelo mystery and at this point you're just being willfully dense by refusing to acknowledge that he does side with the Cantelo's. He may be a radio comedian but that doesn't make his opinion any less truthful. He's not even my only source on Cantelo too.SQMeaner (talk) 00:08, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
And maybe it's not what they heard at all. Maybe, could and perhaps are all words that signify ad-hoc rationalisation, which is you explaining what the evidence that you do not have ought to look like. And really, this is your true believer, saying he may have been working on a machine gun? Bones Jones (talk) 00:11, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
Look the fact of the matter is they definitely heard gunfire and it was rapid. As for the writer of that BBC article, I refer you for what must be the hundredth time to this section: "One day, Cantelo announced to his sons - also engineers - that he had perfected his new invention. It was a machine-gun, a weapon which used the energy of explosive recoil to load the next bullet. It would fire continuously until the bullets ran out. It was revolutionary." He believes the Cantelo's developed a rapid fire weapon. Deal with it already.SQMeaner (talk) 00:14, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
What does "rapid" mean in this context? Rapid for a bolt-action rifle? Semi-auto? 600rpm? 6,000rpm? It's almost like it's a vague, useless term or something. And you're again referring me to a section about what Cantello's sons would later claim was true, not a statement by the author. Do you not understand how subject is maintained in a paragraph or something?
Also, as ever, your ad-hoc reasoning falls apart on inspection. He'd have been pretty forward-thinking to have a gas mask, since that wasn't invented until 1915. Earlier devices weren't widely available. Um, oops. Bones Jones (talk) 00:19, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't know how rapid it was but it must have been rapid enough for a machine gun or the articles I've mentioned wouldn't have mentioned it. You're basically asking me to refer to primary sources at this stage, something which wikipedia explicitly states not to do. Also, why do you keep saying that section is just referring to what Cantelo's sons claimed was true? The author explicitly states that he believes in the Cantelo's claim and the section I keep posting and which you keep ignoring proves that. Finally, the gas mask was just a suggestion. Like I said, there could have been any number of ways around that issue, as the author of that BBC article indicates.SQMeaner (talk) 00:24, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
Circular reasoning: the articles must be right because the articles must be right. The author does not explicitly state he believes Cantello's claim, you clearly don't understand how subject is maintained in a paragraph. The first sentence is that Cantello said things to his sons. The next three sentences are further things that Cantello said to his sons. Let me help you here.
"One day, Cantelo announced to his sons - also engineers - that he had perfected his new invention. Cantello said it was a machine-gun, a weapon which used the energy of explosive recoil to load the next bullet. Cantello said it would fire continuously until the bullets ran out. Cantello said it was revolutionary."
This is the only correct way to parse this paragraph given the first line: claiming it's transiting to the author making flat claims is grammatical nonsense. Bones Jones (talk) 00:31, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
What about the paragraph after though? The one where the author states: "Cantelo and his sons packed it away into cases, and Cantelo went off, presumably to sell it. He frequently travelled on sales trips, as a successful builder of - among other things - ships' capstans, and other bits of marine engineering." This time the author is referring to Cantelo and his children as packing 'it' away, clearly referring to Cantelo's gun. How do you explain that?SQMeaner (talk) 00:37, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
He packed his invention into cases. This is a very vague claim to cite as the author actually agreeing, given he later only says that Cantello only may have been creating a machine gun. Either he's contradicting himself, or just being sloppy with language in that particular paragraph. The principle of charity demands the latter. Bones Jones (talk) 00:41, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
Either way, both sources agree that there were witnesses who heard Cantelo's machine gun experiments. The BBC article may not state that Cantelo was working on a machine gun but it doesn't state he wasn't either. Still seems worth a mention on the main page to me. I'd also like to point out that the City of Southampton Society reference I provided does believe Cantelo was producing a machine gun.SQMeaner (talk) 00:44, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, but the definition of "machine gun" used by the City of Southampton includes the Gatling, Gardner and Nordenfeldt, which means they don't necessarily claim he was working on any novel technology. I don't think, as it stands, that it could be mentioned, since to mention it would require elaborating on the very fringey theory that Maxim was Cantello, which is a key theme of both articles. Bones Jones (talk) 00:47, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
Just because they got one piece of information wrong doesn't mean they got everything wrong. I see no reason why it couldn't be mentioned with the disclaimer that the theory that Maxim was Cantello is almost certainly incorrect.SQMeaner (talk) 00:49, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
That's not getting one fact incorrect, that's using a definition which would mean he could invent a "machine gun" without inventing any novel mechanism by doing so. And the problem is that there is the same amount of support for Maxim and Cantello being the same person as there is for Cantello inventing a novel firearm mechanism. Bones Jones (talk) 00:53, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
Maybe, but there's no decisive evidence indicating that they didn't invent a novel firing mechanism either. What is clear is that a rapid-firing weapon was invented in the early 1880s by William Cantelo and due to this I still think it ought to be mentioned as a possible independent invention of a machine gun.SQMeaner (talk) 01:01, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
No, what's apparent is that some people thought they heard a weapon firing rapidly (for an unclear value of "rapid") in his basement / tower. That's all we've got here; we don't know he did invent something, which means we can't say he did because it isn't verifiable. Bones Jones (talk) 01:03, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
The existence of God isn't verifiable yet there's still articles on wikipedia dedicated to him. Cantelo still seems worth a mention just because of the evidence that he did invent some kind of rapid-firing weapon around the same time as Maxim invented his machine gun that was later claimed to be similar in operation to Maxim's gun. Also, as I said before, we do know that he did invent something and that something was a rapid-firing weapon. Whether it was a true machine gun or not is another matter but I still firmly believe that he ought to be mentioned just for this.SQMeaner (talk) 01:08, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
That's a crap counterpoint: the existence of people who believe in and write about God is very much verifiable. And no, he doesn't deserve a mention: we have only very vague sources that say it's rumoured he invented something or other. Anyway, I'm going to wait for someone else to weigh in on this, but as far as I'm concerned this does not satisfy the WP:EXCEPTIONAL evidence requirements for a fringe theory to be included in the main article, and I won't accept it being re-added without consensus. Bones Jones (talk) 01:14, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
I was using that God thing as an example to show that just because something's unverifiable doesn't mean it's not worth a mention on wikipedia. As for third-party consensus, I'm more than happy to wait right along with you. Hopefully someone will come who's not as obviously partisan as yourself.SQMeaner (talk) 01:20, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

I don't think I've ever seen so many responses in a discussion in such a short period. Sixty-two postings with over 6000 words. It's clear that you both have strongly held positions and my guess is that you each make another 30 replies without coming to an agreement. That's no problem if that's how you want to sped your time, as long as you're being civil. However if you'd like a resolution this matter may be a good candidate for a "third opinion". See WP:3O. Felsic2 (talk) 02:18, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

  Response to third opinion request :
I'll be honest—I have not read every word of this discussion. However, looking at the most recent information removed from the article, I would say that information is not consistent with the given citation. The BBC article states that he was "rumoured to be working on an early version of the machine-gun", but the statement removed from the article presented this information with a level of certainty not provided in the source. This information may be worth including in the article, but it needs to be more consistent with the source given. I would focus some effort on constructing a better sentence about this topic—ideally one that addresses both of your concerns. Bradv 03:04, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
I recommend you make the edit then.SQMeaner (talk) 17:35, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

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Rate of fireEdit

Article lead currently reads typically at a rate of 300 rounds per minute or higher. This may be true of current weapons (or not, I have not researched it and it's not sourced in the lead) but it's not generally true historically... complete rubbish would not be an overstatement IMO! Andrewa (talk) 17:29, 27 September 2018 (UTC)

How many weapons that fit the modern definition of a machine gun cycle slower than 300rpm? Even the Maxim, the first machine gun, ran at 550-600. The only one I can really think of that fired significantly slower would be the Chauchat (240rpm), and the Chauchat is not exactly typical. Bones Jones (talk) 08:57, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
Per OP - unsourced and not mentioned in article. Removed. (Hohum @) 20:02, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

Chambers FlintlockEdit

I'd be interested to see if info about this: [1] could be added. Seems to be a machine gun produced before this article says they were produced, if it meets the standards. Even if not, it would still fit in with the Belton and others. Sephiroth storm (talk) 20:49, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

Return to "Machine gun" page.