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Portable General Electric XM214 Minigun

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posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 09:55 AM
Some Thoughts-

First off the XM214 _is_ 5.56. That's why they didn't adopt it. Even as long ago as 1983 Grenada attack, pintel mounted M134 were getting _out ranged_ by Soviet light flak in the 12.7-14.5mm range with the resultant loss of 3 helicopters at least.

Why step down a caliber for a weapon whose ballistic properties are worse? We wanted to move UP to the GAU-19 in .50 but costs were prohibitive, _even for aviation platforms valued in the millions of dollars_.

Second, High Rate guns are very effective at stopping massed attacks where the enemy is foolish enough to advance en masse without a security screen to act as a tripwire. Just on sound alone they are 'quite impressive'-

That's 1,200spm people. More than enough for a couple well sited guns to cut a _company_ (200 people) to pieces in a few minutes. With single barrels and linear bolt operation from a WWII level technology baseline.

But these guns are not more useful than lower rate guns which fire 'fast enough' to engage multiple point targets, accurately, rapidly, in either direct or suppression modes.

An M60 firing at about 2/3rds the rate.

Which is essential in offensive operations because you need to be able to put rounds over your own peoples heads and you need to do it in short bursts 'forever' from either a base of fire or walking advance, until the objective is taken.

The difference is that, modern warfare is already characterized by autofire weapons whose total (squad) output matches or beats the MG in the first few critical seconds on a lot more individual targets. So if you are not well sited, they can easily pose a high threat to your MG team regardless.

While the psychological factor of a 'heavy metal symphony' is pointless if nobody is around to hear it (radio detonated IED) or so far away that they laugh at the dust bunnies being kicked up 1,000m in front of their position (Mortar and RCL attack from Afghan ridgelines).

IMO, what is as important if not more so than rate of fire is designing an _auto servicing_ program.

So that if you have a dozen targets out in front of you, high/low, near/far, you can design a pedestal mount to engage all targets in the field, at very high traverse and elevation rates:

.........T2............Horizon Line.........T5.................

As well as:


Because what you need is the ability to 'box in' a given area, pick up and memory encode all target locations and elevations and then sort targets by immediacy of threat and collocated barrel index slew and elevation rates to hit everyone at every shared muzzle reference angle in one smooth arc.

Despite obstacles or changes in relative target height.

i.e. You need something akin to the Terminators ability in T2.

Lastly, while I do think very high rate, very small caliber, weapons may have a useful role in the future (fixed tribarrel clustered gats with revolver rather than rotary feeds); they will most likely be as APS or automatic protection systems. More flexible for terrain proximity and nearby friendly/collateral exposure. But able to engage across a wider arc far faster than say the typical Arena or Trophy type system.

They may also be useful with LTL (rubber or irritant 'paint ball') as crowd dispersants.

In this, miniaturization is indeed a 'good thing' because they may well be scab mounted on very light vehicles including Walkers and Exos from which human dismount or duck and cover drill may be too prolonged to provide a natural defense against sudden bums rush overpowering or LAW type attacks. As such, any and all means to reduce barrel weight, scavenge propellant gas after an initial electrical windup, and provide multiple short-burst:barrel (stacked rounds inserted and fired in groups as 'single cartridges') options can only be considered a good thing.

But the weapons themselves will remain auxilliary to _vehicle protection_ schemes. And their purpose will be entirely defensives because the systems themsevles will be intended to score most kills over the local horizon with short lob grenade and other indirect fire systems. And longer reaching missile + UAV targeting.

Indeed, if I had to characterize the likeliest route forward it would be for minigats (or like, high rate, weapons) to be the AMDS equivalent to missileer based Mechwarrior type platforms whose SOLE PURPOSE is to allow troops to rapidly maneuver to and thru high threat areas without prolonged foot marches and preferably without anything like direct threat exposure along expected A/As.


posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 06:18 PM
Could dis have the same performance as a Minigun?

I dont mean these two but i thought Twin or Triple Barreled weapons could be a substitute for a Minigun

[edit on 8-8-2006 by Browno]

posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 01:30 PM
I think it would be a good idea to build a 'Ripper Chaingun Cannon' becouse there are no external moving parts like rotating barrels that would get tangled in Bushes/Jungles/Tripwire etc, Would be lighter in weight and have the same Firepower as a Minigun. Its quite similar to the Nordenfelt

But how would it be fed from one belt?

The Red Bolts have the Round Chambered, The Green Bolts are Retracted and ejecting the spent cases

[edit on 10-8-2006 by Browno]

posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 11:48 AM

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 07:53 AM
The ones here have better ergonomics. More like a rifle which would give better handling with the recoil force.

But if anything, I would have it chambered in either 5.56/5.45 as any multibarrel weapon with a calibre above this is unsuitable for a man to carry around.

[edit on 14-7-2008 by Cutaway]

posted on Dec, 20 2008 @ 06:41 PM
reply to post by Dyno25000

hi my names Austin smothers.a man portable mini-gun is possible in the 5.68MM NATO rounds .and if you don't believe me check this out.
and if any one has any question's E-mail me at

posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 10:51 PM
reply to post by Odium

With space materials technology at the r&d unit disposal, lightening the weight of the mini gun is not a far fetched possibility in 3 to 5 years from today.

posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 03:01 AM
There is only one reason you need something that fires faster than a few hundred rounds per minute, and that is occasions with a very limited opportunity to hit. This very explicitly comes to mean: firing at or from an aircraft or projectile. You need a minigun or rotary cannon to shoot down missiles or mortar shells, or to hit small targets on the ground from an aircraft or helicopter, or to hit other aircraft from an aircraft.

You do not need a minigun to hit a ground target from the ground. It does not provide a comparatively significant gain in accuracy over any other automatic weapon, nor does it provide any real increase in the value of it's suppressive fire. Miniguns are heavy and use large amounts of ammunition. They don't provide any real increase in capability for that weight; you could, for example, easily haul around a .50 caliber machine gun for the weight of a micro gun and it's battery and ammunition. (38 kg for the M2HB on a tripod, not the lightest .50, vs 38.6 kg for the XM214 with battery and 1000 rounds 5.56 - enough for 10 seconds of fire) The XM312 weighs half as much including a tripod, so throwing in a fair quantity of ammunition would still make it a winner.

A larger caliber machine gun is a better choice because the increase in caliber actually means an increase in performance. Greater range, greater cover and armor penetration, and greater lethality. You can shoot at an APC all day with a fast firing pea shooter like the XM214 and not penetrate it's hull, whereas every shot from an M2 will.

Essentially, you're better off with a 7.62mm GPMG or even a 12.7mm HMG than you are with a 5.56mm minigun; and you can have either for less weight and not depend on batteries.

posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 10:05 AM
The minigun idea sounds like something better suited to a crew served setup used for defensive positions, ambushes etc. especially in 5.56

I have a few ideas to make it more feasible by reducing weight and supplying power. First chopping the barrels down is a good for reducing weight and making it more maneuverable. How the idea of a caseless cartridge like the HK G11 uses? Going caseless would eliminate the need for an extraction cycle which help reduce the weight of both the weapon and ammo.

To power it I think some type of onboard power generator should be used like a fuel cell, microturbine or even some type of little nuke reactor or nuke battery something like tritium maybe? Another idea I had was to make it gas operated if that's possible on a gattling setup? If bullet gas wouldnt be feasible I was thinking maybe compresses air? I would think you could carry a small tank with compressed air fairly easy to power it. Air powered tools like impact guns are powerful and generate torque enough to remove lug nuts on a car so I'd think spinning a barrel assembly would be easy.

As others have mentioned using an exoskeleton to carry all the weight would be an idea worth exploring. Something like this one Sarcos is developing

Take it a step further and have a Big Dog follow you carrying tons of ammo, power generator or spare batteries, and all other supplies like food etc..

With an exoskeleton you might even be able to do a bigger caliber, but the problem I forsee with it is you would be a huge slow moving target so you'd need some good armored protection, but by the time you do all that you might be better off just using a tank because you'll basically be a walking one

If you're going to use an exoskeleton with a big dog trailer
why carry just one?

[edit on 16-1-2009 by warpboost]

posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 08:24 PM
reply to post by warpboost

And just what exactly do you propose needs to be fired at with 18000 rounds a minute of 5.56mm from short barrels whose effective range is limited by the low muzzle velocity thus caused to about 300 meters? Short of mowing down thousands of zombies at once, I can't think of anything it would do that a good GPMG like a FN MAG, PKM, or an MG3 wouldn't do better, far cheaper, and out well past twice times the range.

posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 09:35 PM
reply to post by Odium

The man portable version does exist its chamberd for 5.56 nato .223 rem.
The entire system weighs in at 90 pounds with 1000 rds[although it can hold more] in the backpack. The system is driven by a 12 v motorcycle battery and uses a modified automotive starter to spin the barrels and cycle ammo. Initialy it was to be maned by a crew of two on a portable mount but has a sling that allows it to be hip fired. The guns rate of fire is about 4000 rpm that gives it 15 second burst with 1000 rds. That might seem minimal but most fighter aircraft that use the 20 mm version cant even hold that much. The amount of damage that 1000 rds does is enough to scare the crap out of any adversary. The unit cant be belt fed because the rate of fire is so high it uses a titainium roller trough gravity fed from the backpack. The recoil is quite mangeable the weight of the gun is 40 lbs
and if you ever fired a m16 or varient on full auto you must know about the little recoil the 5.56 nato offers and most of those are less than 10 lbs. I remebered reading a reply on this page that said it didn't exist but i'm telling you it does...... The Kidd

posted on May, 3 2009 @ 04:16 PM
reply to post by Thekidd91

Well, from your description, it isn't the XM214 you're talking about, so let's see you post a source for what you're talking about. I don't think anyone here would claim the XM214 didn't exist, though it's pretty reasonable to say that it never entered full production, and, if any exist to this day, they're probably just used as interesting novelties.

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 06:19 PM

Originally posted by Thekidd91
....The guns rate of fire is about 4000 rpm that gives it 15 second burst with 1000 rds. [...]The recoil is quite mangeable the weight of the gun is 40 lbs

Two loaded M249 weigh in at ~40 lbs as well. the combined fire rate would be ~1500 rounds per minute. The soldier in this video can barely keep his footing.

The recoil at 4000RPM is definately NOT manageable. Add to that the gyroscopic force of multiple spinning barrels and you get a system that one person MIGHT be able to shoot handheld, but without any chance of controlled use.

One can make miniguns portable, just like a M2 MG is portable. But you cannot with any remote effectivity use it handheld.

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