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The Gatling gun was invented by Richard Jordan Gatling in 1862. The weapon frequently is described as a machine gun. In fact, however, the Gatling gun was not a true machine gun because it was not an automatic firing weapon. Rather, the Gatling gun was designed with a revolving barrel that facilitated a more rapid delivery of fire. After first rejecting the weapon, the United States Army adopted the Gatling gun in 1866. The Gatling gun was equipped with six barrels that were rotated by a crank.
The Gatling gun was a heavy, cumbersome weapon that fared badly in competition against the Maxim gun in Germany. The Maxim gun was also an American design; however, it was adopted by the Germany …