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Originally posted by GrOuNd_ZeRo
Miniguns look great and dramatic in movies and games but they are highly impractical as an individual weapon in real life.
The main uses are for aircraft, the M61A1 and A2 'Vulcan' 20mm guns are primarilly used for air to air while more practical they are still only used as last resort or for strafe missions on ground targets.
The 30mm GAU-8 'Avenger' gun on the A-10 is quite famous for it being used in strafe missions with great effect and is one of the best applications of such.
Other practical uses are in weapon systems like the CIWS (Close-in Weapon System) on ships, essentially a M61 Vulcan designed to shoot down incoming missiles.
In the future rifles will likely be a variation of a railgun or gauss gun shooting at very high velocity to negate the advances in body armor (ala Masterchief).
Another reason for high-cyclic weapons being impartical for infantry use is the incredible rate they use up ammunition, supplies are always a challange and you can only carry so much, most rifles not uses as a supression weapon (like machineguns like the M240 or M249) fire primarilly in semi-automatic unless they are supressing the enemy, otherwise firing weapons in full-auto is a waste of ammo.
Even if a minigun firing at a 1000 RPM would be light enough to be used or even on a powered exo-skeleton it would be yet another waste of ammo with very little use and probably would increase collateral damage.
It would be more practical to shoot a grenade or a 25mm round in a building rather than ventilating it with a minigun.
Originally posted by mdiinican
reply to post by BigDave-AR
A 5.56 minigun can't really do anything that a regular 5.56 SAW can't. It can't penetrate any tougher armor, can't reach out beyond about 500m, and it chews through ammunition that much faster.
EDIT: Also I would measure ammunition weight in terms of how many seconds of sustained fire it gives you, not on a 1 to 1 basis. 1000 rounds of .50 bmg are a very different thing from 1000 5.56mm rounds.edit on 14-1-2011 by mdiinican because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by masonicon
How about Giving Miniguns Chainsaw grip for reducing recoil when used as Handheld Weapons for people like guys with powered Exskeleton?