Movies have always been known for giving us ideas we want to see come to reality – flying cars, lightsabers (one day… one day), the Batmobile, etc. Thanks to one genius designer, the hand-held minigun is now reality.
The XM556 Microgun was designed at Empty Shell “one guy over the last two and a half years with no training, no college, just a GED” and it is what every American has dreamed of since he first saw Predator and watched the forest get melted by a minigun.
According to the company’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 beltfed 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.
This isn’t just some concept or safe queen, it’s a fully functioning firearm, incorporating more than 14 patent pending improvements to the design of the iconic M134 minigun – beyond the sheer size reduction they pulled off. Here’s how quick 100 rounds goes through this beast (using dummy rounds):
But it’s not just dummy rounds, the sixteen pound, four thousand rounds-per-minute XM556 Microgun is fully functional, as can be seen here in full, glorious action.
We’re compelled to mention that, thanks to the 1986 ban on newly manufactured machine guns, the XM556 will only be available to the military, police, and Class 3 Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) barring some massive and unexpected change to federal firearms laws.
That said, Empty Shell Designs has considered making a crank version that would not be subject to those restrictions (and also, it should be said, not be as cool).
And here’s the video you’ve all been thinking of since you heard the words “hand held minigun”; Arnold’s team lighting up the Predator with a minigun and saying, “if it bleeds, we can kill it”: