A couple of weeks ago, I was hosting a friend from out of town on a tour of the National Firearms Museum. Good conversation flowed like fresh water from a spring, and the discussion of interesting firearms was lively.
Several examples of the Gatling gun were on display, from early models on up through the final Improved Model of 1895. Properly manufactured, they were very accurate and could maintain an impressive rate of fire (claimed up to 1200 rounds per minute, but in reality about half that in combat).
Since I am a little on the crazy side, I wondered out loud about making one chambered for .338 Lapua. Just think, extremely accurate long range cartridge, with sustained rates of fire that would make any OPFOR cringe. My friend called Len Savage and left a message asking if it was possible...
Len called back.
Basically, the gist of the conversation was this: Shooting .338 Lapua was an excellent way to go broke quickly. Wouldn't chambering the gun for 7.62x54R make more sense? That ammo is available by the pallet-load very cheaply and is still a pretty formidable round. Other than that, no issues. Also, Gatling replicas are considered single-shot weapons and no NFA paperwork is required (just don't hook up your cordless drill to the crank).
I like the way he thinks.
Anybody got a spare $10k laying around? I have an itch that needs scratching. :)