The Mini-Me Gardner

by
posted on May 24, 2011
keefe2015_fs.jpg (2)

Undoubtedly, the coolest gun I saw at the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Pittsburgh was a half-scale, mechanical marvel, beautifully rendered in polished brass and sitting on a table Navy Arms/U.S. Armament booth. Gleaming under the florescent lighting of the show hall was a newly manufactured two-barreled Gardner Gun chambered in .22 Win. Mag.

American lawyer William Gardner invented a mechanical machine gun that he offered to the U.S. military as early as 1879 without success. Despite an impressive performance at the Washington Naval Yard in which 10,000 rounds were fired in under a half an hour, no orders were forthcoming. But the British knew a good thing when they saw it, and in 1881 adopted the gravity-fed Garner for both land and Naval use. Like the Gatling, the Gardner was manually operated by a crank but instead of rotating barrels, it had fixed barrels—usually two but sometimes five—with in-line reciprocating breechblocks that somewhat resemble the toggle of a Luger bolt on a flywheel.

I was fortunate enough to shoot U.S. Armament’s .45-70 Gardner and Model 1877 “Bulldog” Gatling guns this spring for “American Rifleman Television” (be sure to tune in Wednesday, July 6) as well as learn how the company makes its Gardners and Gatling from polished brass and blued steel. Call it heresy, but on the range I enjoyed the meaty cadence of the two-barreled Gardner more than theGatling.

The .22 Mag. “mini-me Gardner” was a pleasant surprise, and as it is in the prototype phase at this point, pricing hasn’t been determined. Obviously, it will be less than the $36,500 the company gets for its Gatling, but when you see how the latter is built, you’ll understand it is worth every penny.

And, yes, I asked for the first gun to review for “Dope Bag: Data & Comment” and am already stockpiling .22 Mag.

Latest

Henry Repeating Arms New Original lever-action rifle right-side view silver engraving gun rifle carbine
Henry Repeating Arms New Original lever-action rifle right-side view silver engraving gun rifle carbine

Hand-Engraved, Silver-Plated New Original Henry Rifle Heads To Auction

There are few places in the country more impressive than The Cody Firearms Museum for history buffs and firearms enthusiasts, and Henry Repeating Arms, Baron Engraving and Davidson’s have created something special to support the facility.

Rifleman Report: Shall Not Be Infringed

As of this writing, the people of Ukraine are locked in a life-and-death struggle with the invading Russian military in the most significant warfare seen in Europe since World War II.

This Old Gun: U.S. Model Of 1842 Musket

By the latter part of the 1830s, most of the major powers finally let practicality overcome economy, realizing that it was time to switch their small arms over from flintlock to percussion. Britain and France were among the earliest, with the United States following suit in short order—the Americans fielding the handsome Model of 1842.

Preview: Brügger & Thomet Unigrip QD With Bipod Foldable

Externally configured as a standard vertical fore-grip, the B&T Unigrip QD With Bipod Foldable, as its name suggests, also features a throw-lever Picatinny-rail attachment clamp and more.

The Armed Citizen® May 23, 2022

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

2022 Rifle Of The Year: Ruger 10/22 Competition Rifle Left-Handed Model

Now in their 20th year, the Golden Bullseye Awards are chosen annually to recognize the firearm industry’s best new offerings. Here is this year’s winners as selected by the editors of “The World’s Oldest And Largest Firearm Authority.”

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.