U.S. Armament Corp. Model 1877 Bulldog Gatling Gun .45-70 Gov’t, Crates & Accessories, MFD 2007-2009
SOLD FOR: $36,025.00
Make: U.S. Armament Corp.
Model: 1877 “Bulldog” Gatling Gun
Serial Number: 43
Year of Manufacture: 2007-2009
Caliber: .45-70 Government
Action Type: Crank-handle operated multi-barrel rotary repeating gun.
Markings: The top of the casing has a bronze plaque marked “GATLING’S / BATTERY / GUN / PAT. NOV 4. 1862 / MAY 9. 1865 / FEB 28. 1871 / APR 9. 1872 / MADE BY COLT’S / PT. FIRE ARMS / MFG CO / HARTFORD, CONN. / U.S.A.” and the rear face of the casing at the bottom is marked “U.S. ARMAMENT CORP. EPHRATA, PA / MODEL 1877 BULLDOG CAL .45 GOVT. NO.043”. The right frame strut, over the trunion, is marked “No 43”. The rear barrel plate is marked from “1” to “5” at each barrel location. Each bolt is marked “MODEL 1877 43” and with “1” through “5”. The feed mount assembly is marked “MODEL / 1877”. The Bruce feed device is marked “43” at the bottom and the rear face is marked “PATENTED / SEPT. 20. 1881 / NOV. 2. 1886 / U.S. ARMAMENT CORP.”. The crank handle is marked “43”. The rear sight is marked “COLTS / PATENT”. The top of each box has “MOD 1877 CAL .45 / GATLING GUN / U.S. ARMAMENT CORP / EPHRATA PA” in white stencil letters.
Barrel Length: 18 1/4″
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a brass blade dovetailed to the top-right of the boss at the front of the barrel casing, drift adjustable for windage. The rear sight is a “V”-notched bar in a slot on the rear of the casing with a set screw at the bottom. With the set screw backed off, the bar can be slid in its slot to align an arrow on the back of the casing at the top of the slot with the elevation adjustments marked “200” through “1000” in 100 yard increments. The rear sight is threaded and can be rotated for elevation adjustment. In addition to the sights’ fine adjustments, the tripod mount rotates a full 360 degrees with a fine dial-adjustment for windage, and has a gross elevation adjustment which can be locked down and a fine elevation dial-adjustment bar.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The gun is mounted on a tripod with brass and iron mount. The mount pivots on its base, allowing for windage adjustment and there is an elevator screw at the rear which is turned with a bronze plate for elevation adjustment, the entire elevation adjustment assembly can be moved rapidly in its mounting slot and can be locked down once set. The tripod mount has minor storage and handling wear, which should polish out well, and there are some minor casting imperfections on the top of the brass base. The tripod’s ash wood legs have no notable wear or damage, only light handling marks. There are no chips or cracks. The mount functions correctly. Overall, the mount is in about Fine-Excellent condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Bronze
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bores are bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bores.
Overall Condition: This gun retains about 97% of its metal finish. The metal surfaces show infrequent scattered spots of light patina and handling marks, nothing that won’t polish/clean out. There is faint operational wear. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear and crisp. Overall, this gun rates in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this gun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This gun comes with three wooden crates with carry-handles fit for the gun, tripod, and mount, respectively. A single Bruce feed device is included. Accessories include three ash wood shoes for the tripod feet, allowing storage or display without marring flooring surfaces, five 20-round wood loading blocks for the Bruce feed device, barrel alignment tools, brass and rawhide mallets, punch, allen key, t-handle hex wrench, a set of three Grace screwdrivers and an original-style bolt tool for disassembly and maintenance of the bolts. The crates show light storage wear with some scattered light scuffs and nicks, in about Fine condition. The tripod feet and loading blocks have only light handling marks. Most tools show little to no sign of use. The bolt tool appears to show more wear, but this may be related to its lack of finish rather than actual use.
CA bidders note, the Bruce feed device meets California’s definition of a “Large Capacity Magazine” and cannot be transferred to a CA resident. If your state restricts the Bruce feed device, it is your responsibility to ensure you follow your state and local laws.
Our Assessment: Richard Gatling was a prolific inventor with contributions in the fields of agriculture, screw-propellers and his most famous invention, the Gatling Gun. Interestingly, his intent with the Gatling Gun was to reduce deaths from war by allowing a smaller number of troops to produce a greater volume of fire, thus reducing the number of men required to fight in wars. While this did not exactly come to pass, his gun was nonetheless revolutionary, allowing for sustained fire at high rates and, though not considered a machine gun by today’s definitions, paved the way for the truly automatic weapons which were to follow. Gatling Guns saw limited use in the American Civil War, being personally purchased by some officers for their units, but was not officially adopted by the U.S. Military until 1866. The guns would also be used by European colonial powers in Africa and Asia and by South American nations including Argentina and Peru. The mass of 10 barrels, bolts and locks all in a forged bronze case was one of the only drawbacks to the Gatling Gun for military use, with the gun being quite heavy and difficult to move quickly. This 1877 “Bulldog” gun has only 5 shorter barrels which makes it lighter than full-size, 10-barrel, carriage-drawn pieces, being able to be moved and assembled by as few as two people. While the Bulldog only had 5 barrels, its crank handle was mounted directly to the barrel assembly’s axle, so one full rotation of the handle is equal to one full rotation of the barrels, rather than the gear-reduced side-mounted handles of larger versions. This allows it to maintain a rate of fire of up to 800 rounds per minute. This example is a reproduction made by U.S. Armament Corp. The gun is a museum-quality fully functional reproduction complete with fitted crates for storage and transport, a nice suite of accessories including all the tools you’ll need for maintenance, loading blocks and shoes for the tripod feet so you can display it even on hardwood flooring. The casing is constructed of brass like the originals and just about the only differences are that better quality materials have been used, allowing the gun to be fired with modern smokeless ammunition, and the crank handle can be operated backward, allowing the gun to be cleared without firing any rounds between the feed and fire positions. The gun is in Excellent condition with little sign of use and only some faint operational wear and infrequent minor discoloration in the brass which will polish out easily. This is a rare opportunity to have a fully functional, true to the original, .45-70 Model 1877 “Bulldog” Gatling Gun of your very own. What could be cooler than that? Please see our photos and good luck!
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This gun CAN be transferred in California.
Please note, we will charge actual shipping price for this item. We estimate shipping charges to be approximately $500.