Ever since I saw the movie Preditor, I have wanted to shoot a mini-gun. Now it looks like it may soon be possible. The company Empty Shell is working to make a compact mini-gun a reality.
According to Empty Shell’s website:
The XM556 Microgun was designed and engineered around the 5.56mm NATO cartridge. This defensive suppression weapon is significantly smaller and lighter than it’s big brother the M134. It was meant to stand in place of anywhere high suppressive fire wanted without the weight or footprint of the larger M134 electrically driven Gatling gun system. The current XM556 Microgun is smaller and lighter than some current 5.56mm belt-fed Squad Automatic Weapons currently on the market, with 4x’s the firepower.
The XM556 is a new platform system that was designed from scratch by the ground up. The parts are not just a smaller imitation of the larger M134, but were designed on its own. An absolutely all-new style of bolt was conceived and designed to eliminate current known issues with the M134. The bolts combined with many other improvements have been made to not only extend the life of the gun but reduce wear and reduce or eliminate stoppages.
The gun is sold as a complete weapon system. Some mounts and accessories designed for the M134 will work with the XM556 Microgun to make adoption easier.
The gun is still in development but that has not stopped some test fires popping up on YouTube.
Two years after generating a lot of buzz at the 2017 SHOT Show, Empty Shell returned to announce that their XM556 suitcase-sized minigun is going into full production. Half the size of an M134 Minigun, the XM556 Microgun achieves it’s compact size by firing the smaller 5.56mm round.
Traditional miniguns fire the 7.62mm round. Designed as a defensive suppression weapon, the XM556 aims to be cheaper and more flexible, albeit less powerful, than the original minigun that dates back to 1960, According to Jeff M. Pitts, Empty Shell’s CEO and president, his company spent the last two years fine-tuning and tweaking the gun. He expects the weapon to be in the hands of militaries in the next six months.
Although he couldn’t give exact details since they’re classified, he was able to point out a number of improvements that were made to the XM556 since it’s release two years ago. The gun’s barrels now rotate in either direction making it easier to clear jams. The gun can be fired at 90-degree angles up and down, as well as completely upside down.
The rate of fire has been increased – somewhere around the 6000 rounds per minute mark. Pitts was proud to say that the XM556 is a highly customizable weapon system that can be fitted to a variety of platforms and vehicles. “You let your imagination run wild,” he said. “You tell me where you want it, and we’ll put it there.” Currently, the XM556 is only available to the military and law enforcement.
You can stay up to date with XM556 developments by visiting the Empty Shell website.
All I can say is that gun is super cool and I would love to shoot it I just don’t know if I could afford the Ammo.