Want an Actual Working Handheld Minigun? Here’s the XM556!

We’ve all been there. The burning desire to play the part of Jesse Ventura in Predator, laying down death and destruction with a belt fed minigun. Naturally that was all Hollywood magic — the General Electric firearm on display requires an external power source to run that would probably be just as big as the pile of ammunition needed to feed the beast. In the 30 years since that movie came out a man portable minigun has remained a work of science fiction… Until now.

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From Empty Shell:

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.

And yes, we have asked to go out to their facility in Houston to have a sneak peek. Stay tuned.

comments

  1. avatar Chrispy says:

    Ooh, I need one!

    Wait… that’s probably not SAFE Act compliant. Guess I’m SOL

    1. avatar california richard says:

      Maybe if came with a bullet button, no pistol grip, and a 10 rd magazine it would be okay, maybe?

  2. avatar James69 says:

    I aint got time to bleed! 🙂 Awsome!!!! Even if I had the money, due to current laws we can’t have one, damm it! It will make a good prop for Terry Crews to mount on a wheelchair for – The Expendables 12 – The Golden Years.

    1. avatar TTACer says:

      GET TO DA CHOPPA!

      1. avatar James69 says:

        Funny thing – in other movies this line comes up regularly.

  3. avatar Clear Thru says:

    Me likey!!

    I’ll take two, please…

  4. avatar John L. says:

    …but you can’t have one because it’s a machine gun younger than Kit from Knight Rider.

    1. avatar some dude says:

      That’s KITT from Knight Rider. Knight Industries Two Thousand. Have some respect.

      1. avatar John L. says:

        Tell that to my phone’s smell checker… 🙂

        1. avatar SteveInCO says:

          That’s “spell cheqr” you illiterate…oh, never mind.

    2. avatar Tjp says:

      Can we replace the electric motor with a hand crank and gear mechanism? That’d be BATFE legit.

  5. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Fascinating little piece of machinery. Some of the parts are printed metal. The bolt was printed and then machined to spec at Underground Tactical.

    1. avatar LKB says:

      But will it be at Full Auto Friday ?????

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Fingers crossed

  6. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    Yeah, but can you get XS Big Dot sights for it?

    1. avatar Jon in CO says:

      Probably not, but it’s rumored to take Glock mags.

  7. avatar Mk10108 says:

    I love armament engineers solving problems we didn’t know we had in ways we yet to understand. If you build it…they will come.

    There is no man portable spin gun. One man cannot hump enough ammo to feed it.

    1. avatar John L. says:

      That’s what sidekicks (if you’re a good guy) or minions (if you’re a supervillain) are for.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      I’ve done a recon by fire (a no-no) with a minigun. So much weight was lost during the course of fire that it actually changed how the HMMWV it was mounted on handled.
      Even in 556, the math doesn’t work for a carried weapon. With just one minute of fire, and assuming it can do the medium rates for the 7.62 GE version, that’s over 100lbs of 556 ammo.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Recon by fire frowned on in general or just with a mini gun? Wonder what the modern military thinks of the mad minute? And I’m not talking about Lee Enfields, here.

        1. avatar Mk10108 says:

          There is no recon by fire (lame term). It’s about suppression, you turn to incoming fire and focus your armaments on the enemy.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          In my day there was a recon by fire. We didn’t have drones and all those widgets and we didn’t want to lead with people in some places.

          So, sometimes we put fire on a likely looking spot and saw what developed from there.

        3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          There is recon by fire. It’s been used plenty where air assets wouldn’t spot much, or were not available.

          A friend who got an all-expenses paid vacation to southeast Asia in the late 60’s told me of their “recon by fire” techniques with a Quad-50. Upon coming into an area where they suspected Charles was running on trails in the impenetrable underbrush, they’d sit back with the Quad-50 at some remove, light it up swing up and down the suspected trail area.

          When they were done, they’d look for return fire, secondary explosions and listen for screams.

          He said it generally worked pretty well. He said the downside was needing two to four deuce-n-halfs to feed the Quad-50. To this day, he thinks that the Browning M-2 is the most perfect firearm ever invented by anyone.

        4. avatar jwtaylor says:

          mk1018, Recon by fire is both an accurate term, and a very real thing. DG describes it well. In our case, we were getting sporadic fire from a hillside, but we couldn’t tell exactly where it was coming from. So we hosed the general area down in the hopes that whoever it was would either return fire or be forced to move. Or die. Die was a good option too.

        5. avatar LarryinTX says:

          DG, USAF did the same over the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos for years. If there was a road running into a group of trees, somebody would toss a few dozen 500-lb bombs into the trees and see what developed. Rather than a couple deuce-and-a-halfs, several F-4 Phantoms carried the freight. But the idea, and the results, were the same. Several books also refer to the “mad minute” at firebases, at a given time everybody reports to the wire, then unloads at the countryside for 60 seconds, see what pops. Also, apparently, was effective often enough to be repeated. Nobody wanted to be the one to wander out and take a look, instead! Would you?

        6. avatar Mk10108 says:

          I stand corrected, recon by fire was real and used in Vietnam thick jungle enivornment. Does it work today’s battlefield with assets and limited logistics…not so much.

    3. avatar anaxis says:

      For schlepping it’s bullet food, I imagine that the designers of this gun probably had one of those quad-leg Boston Dynamics ‘bots in mind.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Holy crap!

        That mounted on a Boston Dynamic ‘Big Dog’ would be the sh!t…

        I just checked BD’s YouTube page, and look at this bipedal ‘bot. Imagine it holding that mini-gun.

        The ‘Age of ED-209’ is almost *here*…

        1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

          If one of those things ever comes up to you and asks if you’re Sarah Conner, you say no!

        2. avatar peirsonb says:

          But, if it asks if you’re a god you say yes.

        3. avatar CarlosT says:

          Somebody needs to make a flowchart.

  8. avatar Peter says:

    I wonder if that rate of fire is too high to be a practical replacement for other SAWs, seems like it might blow through ammo faster than you’d want it to in some situations

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Good question. The Vulcan cannon, same idea in 20mm, had a 2-stage trigger in fighter aircraft, pull partway and its shooting (IIRC) 400 RPM, pull the rest of the way and it pops to 6000 RPM. Since they’re electrically fired, seems like that might be possible in all iterations, particularly since that was 40+ years ago.

      1. Needs a throttle. Maybe a choke….

      2. avatar Klaus says:

        With digital controllers and stepper motor drives it is a fairly trivial task to dial in whatever RPM you want for a given device down to whatever the step/revolution resolution is.

  9. avatar some dude says:

    But can you shoot it with a raging hardon?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      If you’re white.

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        No you can’t. Only old fat white guys – usually those too old to get a hardon.

        1. avatar Mk10108 says:

          You just nailed the real truth about guns and the geezer crew.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          Somebody’s feeling sensitive.

  10. avatar Armchair Command'oh says:

    Let’s see…no pistol grip, no folding or telescoping stock, no flash hider, no grenade launcher, and no bayonet mount. Perfect! This gun is safe and liberal approved.

    1. avatar Xanderbach says:

      Take off the electric motor, and it’s technically a revolver!

  11. avatar jwm says:

    Fix it so that it’s hand cranked and has a CA compliant 10 round feed device and it would be legal everywhere.

  12. avatar Silvio I says:

    If they make a semi automatic version, it would give the M249S some serious competition. You just need to push for every shot. Then hopefully they would make a “slide fire stock equivalent”. “Slide fire button” anybody?

    1. avatar Chris says:

      hand crank

  13. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    It doesn’t need to be man portable. I’ll mount that puppy on the back of my pickup and rig up an aiming system I can use from the cab.

    You know… for varmint hunting and whatnot.

    All we need to do is repeal multiple federal laws and we’re good to go!

  14. avatar Adub says:

    This will explain the next shortage of 5.56 ammo…

  15. avatar Chief Master says:

    Their bullpup pump shotgun also piques my interest.

  16. avatar Mad Max says:

    How about a hand-cranked version?

  17. avatar James69 says:

    Dam I sold my sidecar equipped Harley. I guess I could mount it on my jeep roll cage. Burst fire mode would be better for trigger happy troops.

  18. avatar DAL says:

    As cool as this is, I feel I should point out that it’s hardly a new idea:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM214_Microgun

    1. avatar Kroglikepie says:

      Thank you! I knew someone else would have caught this!

  19. avatar gs650g says:

    It can remove the fingerprints.

  20. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Very interesting.

  21. avatar Geoff PR says:

    Imagine a world…

    Imagine a world where the ancient 7.62×54mmR fed a mini-gun.

    A Mosin on steroids, so to speak, something to eat the mountains of surplus 7.62×54mmR.

    Imagine no longer – The Hua Qing Minigun:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hua Qing Minigun

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Crap. There goes the x54.

  22. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    Hey the Powerball drawing is tonight! I’m gonna’ win and get this toy…way cool(except the mention of Jesse “the boner” Ventura POS.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      An appeals court overturned his win against Kyle’s widow.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I thought his big win ($100 mil+) was about some sex tape with him and his friend’s wife. He had a case against Kyle’s widow?

        1. avatar CarlosT says:

          The sex tape thing was Hulk Hogan.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          Larry. Supposedly there was a problem between Ventura and Kyle. Ventura waited til Kyle was dead then filed suit against his estate. He won in court but an appeals court overturned.

          I don’t really know more than that. Only know about the appeal cause I was scanning news headlines and caught that bit.

  23. avatar MineMe says:

    Yet another reason why BATFE should be abolished, disbanded, burned to ashes and the ashes buried deep in the Marianas Trench.

    Just to be safe. 😉

  24. avatar neiowa says:

    Use Dewalt battery pak?

    As if the ability to run thru/waste ammo with undisciplined/stupid “recon by fire” is a new problem that needs to be created/expanded.

  25. avatar notalima says:

    I need an old Tacoma to mount it in. 😉

  26. avatar Mr. Nibbler says:

    Make one in .22LR!!!

  27. avatar jimmy james says:

    Was at Knob Creek some years ago and J.A. Ciener was there with his 20mm Vulcan gun and the GE Mini. They were both impressive but the earth shook when the Vulcan spoke. Impressive!

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Hah! You can hear the Vulcan at full chat over the engine noise of 4 jets and 2 recips (one in front of you and one behind) from 2-3 miles away just real fine. I would LOVE a chance to watch one on a stand, close up!

  28. avatar Pencotron says:

    When you guys stop by and visit them you can also drop by F1 Firearms as they are very close by.
    Ah hell – I just looked up their address – I drive by them every Sunday on my way to church LOL.

  29. avatar kenneth says:

    “a man portable minigun has remained a work of science fiction… Until now.“
    Sorry to have to correct you, but nothing about this new, except perhaps if it enters mass production, as the XM214s were only prototypes, but were still available in GEs catalog until the 90s.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM214_Microgun
    http://world.guns.ru/machine/usa/xm214-microgun-e.html
    They were abandoned mostly for reasons of recoil and weight. The gun itself was fairly light, but the ammo to feed it for any length of time was not feasible to carry.
    Now, make one in rimfire with a hopper feed and it would be quite a different story. A man can carry thousands of 22s w/o getting overloaded. Good luck selling it to the military, though. The standard answer is; rimfire has long been found to only be useful for training. But, since it would be a SAW for fire suppression, The caliber should be irrelevant. A .22 should keep heads down every bit as well as larger calibers. Good luck convincing a panel of generals of that, though.

  30. avatar Nanashi says:

    I want, but the NFA says I can’t have it and my supposedly pro-second amendment (what a joke) Rubio-goon congressman refuses to introduce legislation to repeal it because it’s too hard to pass (despite having already introduced multiple bills that have no chance of passing the veto pen if they even get that far already)

    1. avatar Nanashi says:

      (It’s DeSantis)

  31. avatar Klaus says:

    No one needs a mini gun to hunt deer with.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      They do if they’re using it to control pig populations in Texas. And it would be great for deer from a tree stand. You could cut trees and brush down at the same time you were getting your deer.

      Think how great this would be for duck hunting.

  32. avatar Phil LA says:

    Meh its not .450 Bushmaster…

  33. avatar Poor slave says:

    DOD Military only, but what about us lowly slaves, I guess only our masters can have all the good toys, I would pay up to 20k for one (cheaper than a MP5), any alternatives being dreamed up out there?

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