Boomstick Joint: A rant about Miniguns by DRiVEN[D!]

Boomstick Joint: A rant about Miniguns by DRiVEN[D!]


Do you like Miniguns? Of course you do! I’ll start the rant off with my original bug about Miniguns in games….


Anyway, I was talking to Sector yesterday when I suddenly thought of the good old Minigun. There are not many people that I have seen that knows the rate of fire of a real-life minigun (which is 66 bullets/sec and can be slowed down to 33 and can fire 6 second bursts BTW), which is something that I would really like to see. Quake2 was the first FPS that ever really gave the chaingun a good rate of fire, but I would really like to see a game or a mod with a Minigun with it’s true rate of fire. But as I was thinking about this, I was really surprised to see someone on some message board about Starsiege: Tribes that actaully complained about this too! It was like a revelation to see someone talk of the rof of a Minigun, but some of the questions that came up was that it would cause a bunch of lag online, so I started to think about this and what I thought of, is instead of shooting individual bullets, you (the mod / game / whatever) can handle it as a beam. I mean, what is the chance of getting through that amount of bullets unscathed anyway? But what I am getting at here is just that you can put a Minigun in a mod and still keep it low in lag.


tequila wrote back….

I’m guessing that team fortress 2 will have what you’re looking for, or close to it anyway =)

and btw, i think anyone who remembers the movie “predator” has a soft spot for miniguns…


p.s. perhaps the best bit of trivia regarding miniguns is that they are manufactured by General Electric – remember those commercials they had, “G.E., we bring good things to life…”


I’m too lazy to post my original reply, so I am just going to note on some things in the beloved movie: Predator!

It seems that Jesse is firing a 5.56mm XM214Six-Pac (microgun), and the battery wasn’t actaully in the backpack. There was wires going out of the gun to the effects guy who had two helicopter batteries with him. The trigger also wasn’t a working model. Hehehe. Let me quote something else here. (and this is for you mod and game ppl!)

I read a US Army report some years ago, just after that movie came out, thatthey tried the idea. It worked, but the weight of XM214 Six-Pak, ammocartridge and batteries where just to heavy to be practical in use out inthe field, and the rate of fire was to high to be useful for long periods of time.”

It works! Thanks for the mail tequila!


POWER wrote back….

I agree with you completely!!!! i was posting messages on scary shugashak for a while, trying to get some talk of weapons stirred up. everyone there was so lame! all they wanted was a Q1 rocket launcher or just more of the same Q2 weapons. i tried to get em to take a look at how well Half-Life is balanced when it comes to weapons, and the idea of real world weapons.

Why is it that the game guns are crappier than the real life ones? in tribes the rate of fire is a paltry 200 rounds/min. WHAT IS THAT?!?!? (heh, to rip off Phat Dragon) i mean, sheesh ppl! the miniguns of the future should do 100 rounds a second! and you should be able to carry at least 2000 rounds in a backpack! ever heard of caseless ammunition? you could easily imagine a 5mm caseless round at about 4000 feet per second. and the accuracy?!!? sheesh! miniguns are VERY accurate! the game morons have them spewing crap all over the place. that’s what shotguns are for!

I’d also like to see a decent sniper rifle too, but it’ll never happen

c ya


Hell yeah! Even in  Quake2  where weapons are more balanced, the chaingun still doesn’t match up to anything IRL. The Rocket Launcher is still the preferred choice of millions (hehehe), but if there  was a proper Minigun in there firing it’s true rate, it would be a great match up to the RL, if not much better. The individual  damage of each of the bullets can be less, but the rate of fire  will make up for that. One thing that I like in a game is a good hitscan weapon. I play most of the time with the SSG in Quake2 and the Gauss in HL, and a gun like that would fit in so nicely.

The problem with Miniguns was that they are not so reliable. The turning speed of the barrels and the 6 breech mechanisms had  some trouble to keep up with each other and caused some  trouble. That and the fact that they are not so effective against other helicopter armor are why they were replaced by the 3 barreled M197 cannon. But as a anti infantry and light vehicle weapon, the Minigun rule. Some research went into Miniguns light enough to be carried by infantry (like those used in Predator and Terminator2), and is just what we need in games!

If you take the weight of one of the good old 7.62 rifle bullet, which is about 23 grams, you can have 2000 bullets on your back for 46 kgs. Hey they guy can carry 50 rockets which also weighs about 1 kg each! But as you said, with caseless ammo and a nice chain, 2000 bullets is very much a reality. The battery and the gun itself is not so heavy. I guess the chaingun in Q2 is a freakin’ Vulcan or something. They should just put the Minigun in and allow you to choose the rate of fire. 66/sec or 33/sec. With 66/sec, you can fire 6 second bursts, and with 33/sec, you can fire 20 second bursts.

Heh. But feel free to rant on! It’s kinda what I’ve been doing with the site anyway. It’s pretty cool when the other 3 members of the site drift away and I can do with it what I want! Muhahahaa!! :] Oh yeah, is it ok if I post your mail up on the site? I feel like making something of a ranting mailbag type of   thing  for all these type of stuff.

Thanks for the mail! I guess you figured that I am a bit of a military man, but I can’t help it! Chia..


BTW, the gun you were talking about is the 5.56mm XM214Six-Pac (microgun)

Fox wrote back….

I found your site extremely intresting.I remember the first time I saw a minigun in Terminator2:Judgement Day,it left a real impression on me.One magical moment in the film where Arnold transforms cop cars into cannon fodder with surprising accuracy and in Predator2 where they use a 5.56mm XM214 mini-minigun which never seems to run out of ammo.Both movies made me think if any action movie would be complete without a minigun. In fact after the movie Predator2 special forces tried to create a minigun pack to clear LZ’s.Unfortunately a M134 7.62mm minigun weights in at about 35lbs or approx. 15.6kg altough it is only 2.4ft in lenght and the fact that you can hardly hold on to it while it churns out 1000spm.But it still is a very cool weapon when it comes down to the amount of fire power it can deliver.I really wonder how many people know that this monster was created by the same company that produces electric razors and light bulbs?

I also wonder why in an age where weapons are being made out of composite materials and super alloys someone has not thought of a  making a minigun out of say carbon fiber? If you cut down the weight from 15kgs to say 5kgs or even 6kgs add on high power Ni-Cad batteries and a 1000 round ammo can,then bring down the firing rate to 1000spm or 950spm to make it more economical then may be a minigun pack could find its way into reality.

If you may want to find out more about gatling guns then you can try out the U.S. Patent and Tradesmark office site.All the patents from ammo feeds to sprockets and drives along with detailed diagrams can be found under “gatling guns”.

Supprised…you thought maybe General Electric right? This is because The original gun was patented under the name of it’s creater Gatling,Grneral Electric only made modifications to the gun in respect to the drives and the sprocket systems.

Note:All images are in Tif/Tiff format so you will have to set your browser to Tiff formats or you can download a plugin to view them.

I hope that this site remains open cause there is very little openly known about this weapon or other gatling guns of its kind.So keep every one writing.

U.S. patent office site:

Thanks guys…

Damn right man! All movies should have Miniguns, including dramas!

Sorry about not having time to post nice replies, but duty calls! Thanks for the mail! W000!


Necrophilissimo wrote back….


I’m Jouni ‘Necrophilissimo’ Lahtinen from Finland. I agree the lack of Q2 weapons. I’m currently working on weird TC thing wich actually has quite real-alike minigun. Graphics aren’t done yet (neither are the sprite-muzzleflashes) but I swear it will look/sound extreme. For clue I can say that I watched those damn ‘Predator’ shooting scenes for 2.5 hours or so (with pause, naturally) to draw some ‘REAL’ minigun design.

I think Minigun could be better choise than RL in REAL world. When you start to think that almost all rocket launchers are single-shot things wich take a while to reload and would anyone actually use real Bazooka in
fight like Quake (if we discount all those suicide troops and such)? I mean, cause the fighting is quite close-range action.

About these game-miniguns. Not so long time ago I installed classic named ‘DOOM2′ on my hard-disk. It was OK game until I saw it. Minigun. With a friggin’PISTOL CLIP ?!?!?!?!??!!?!? And after checking I figured out that the ‘Wolf3D’, ‘Spear of Destiny’ and ‘Quake2’ were also clip-using things. Hmmm… And it gets WORSE: Those Heavy-weapon dudes of DooM2 (and the player of Wolf3D and SOD) used miniguns like normal sub-machineguns: SINGLE HANDED ??? Ok, I admid, they are OLD games, but cause Q2 has some these ‘missunderstandings’ (well, Q2 minigun has under-barrell handgrip…) I thought I should remind about ’em. They also looked too toy-alike for my (bad?) taste.

I’m also getting pissed off by grenade launchers of Quake-saga. How many grenade launchers there actually are wich fire the grenades only couple of meters away? Suicidal, I might say… Better range and more realistic look should do it (i.e. Predator, T2). I planned to fix this too in my project, so lets see…

Oh yeah, there is actually one game with quite good and realistic minigun and grenade launcher (and rl, and machinegun….): Aliens vs. Predator. Again, it doesn’t look real, but the way it works is close to real one (all 800 rounds are depleted in notime). For even more realistic DM action it would be good to check ‘Delta-Force‘ from Novalogic (I think it has those realistic sniper rifles POWER was hoping for).

– Necrophilissimo
( No, I don’t make love with dead ones, I
just blow’em up….)

Hehehe :>

I haven’t tried Alien vs Predator yet. All my friends that get it delete it before I can get to it. Sounds kinda cool. maybe if I did some work I’ll get it :]



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