Sunday, August 24, 2014

24 August 2014 Safe all weapons before entering

          In 1969 I was nearly done in by a M134 minigun mounted on the back of an M37 ¾ ton truck.
The gun malfunctioned and expended 40 or so 7.62 mm rounds in my direction inflicting multiple shrapnel wounds on me.  There was no one at the truck when the gun found it necessary to execute a solo performance.  I am interested in finding other incidents of spontaneously firing M134 miniguns.  
From this image, it is apparent that physically rotating the barrels will cause unintended firing.  I have to wonder if severe repetitive  vibration could cause the same malfunction.  At the time I was wounded our 8 inch howitzers were executing a fire mission from Dau Tieng RVN. According to the operators manual, the M110's typical rate of fire was 3 rounds per two minutes when operated at maximum speed, and 1 round per 2 minutes with sustained fire.
          The concussion generated by firing these howitzers was incredible.  Buildings, bones, and teeth were rattling from the overpressure. 

            “In the M134D the internal clutch ass­embly feeds ammunition into the feeder/delinker only while the gun is being fired. Upon releasing the firing circuit, the gun continues to rotate briefly, thus expending and ejecting all ammunition remaining in the chambers. This ensures that no ammunition remains in the chambers, thereby mitigating the risk of a cook-off in a hot gun or an accidental discharge during servicing. Dillon’s innovative design also negates the need to remove five separate components, in order to ensure that the gun is clear of ammunition (as was required with the old M134 system). They achieved this with a two-piece safety sector/top cover allowing easy access to the internal components, as well as physically interrupting the mechanical firing mechanism. By simply removing these two inter-connected components, the gun is then rendered completely safe and can be easily inspected.”

If anyone knows of similar minigun incidents, please let me know

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