.45-70 Gardner Gun replica

SAI (Special Interest Arms), who have been previously mentioned on the blog, have developed a replica Gardner Gun.

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From Wikipedia:

The Gardner gun was an early type of machine gun. It had one or two barrels, was fed from a vertical magazine or hopper and was operated by a crank. When the crank was turned, a feed arm positioned a cartridge in the breech, the bolt closed and the weapon fired. Turning the crank further opened the breechblock and extracted the spent round.

From “The Machine Gun” By Chinn Naval Bureau of Ordnance Publication

The original Gardener gun could have as many barrels as the customer desired although the two barrel variety is most common. Never used by the US during wartime the Gardener was popular with both the British Army and the Royal Navy.

The SIA “Model of 1885” .45-70 Gardner Gun is the two barrel, water cooled, variety and is capable of firing 500 rounds/minute. SIA expects to be able to take orders between Feb and March this year. The gun carries an estimated price of $29,950.00.

A while back I wrote about what I would want to carry at sea. I have changed my mind. I want a Gardener gun. If it worked for the Royal Navy I am sure it would work for me 🙂

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • There was an ad in the latest Small Arms Review for a new production Model 1877 “Bulldog” Gatling. It has five 18.25″ barrels chambered for .45-70 and is fully enclosed in a nice shiny brass housing.


  • Don

    That was thoroughly cool. I met this mountain man (yeah, like a real one) who was in the process of building one of these chambered for .410 shot shells. The dude makes a lot of his own guns, mostly black powder of course. A .410 version would be cheap to shoot and you wouldn’t have to rifle the barrels, which is a pain in the ass.

  • I just stumbled across here and saw the 1877 Bulldog gun mentioned. I work for the company that’s making them…..unfortunately in a different department. I just figured that I’d mention the we will also be making a Gardner gun eventually. We showed a Gardner in AZ at the SAR West show and the interest was tremendous. So much so, that we will have to advance our planned timetable for making them. So, bookmark our website and stay tuned for further developements


  • Hey Rob, I was just down picking up some purchases at US Armaments the other week and Curt showed us the Gardner prototype they’re working on. It looks great and I won’t blow their little secret on how they’re building them but it’s pretty smart…and Curt was talking an estimated price point WAY below SIA’s almost $30,000 (not sure if it was a firm price so I hesitate to post it…let’s just say it was much closer to $20,000.) The Bulldogs are pretty pricey but they are absolutely gorgeous…you guys do excellent work.

  • Jim W

    Have you guys considered making something slightly less fancy and slightly more affordable and practical? I would say that there is already too much supply in the 20-30k machine gun market (yes I realize they aren’t true machine guns under the fed definition).

    The smart money is in making something in the sub 5000 dollar range (or better yet, sub 2000 dollar range) that throws lots of lead downrange. If you could do that I think you would quickly max out your manufacturing capacity.

    To how low of a price point do you think you could manufacture a gatling gun of at least 2 or 3 barrels?

    -it uses a commonly available modern caliber. 7.62×39 would be fine, as would 9mm, 45 acp, etc you get the idea.
    -things like delinkers and belt feeding mechanisms are available as accessories. Gravity feed would be fine I guess.
    -it doesn’t endanger the user
    -it can use readily available parts from other guns. For example, the bolt carrier and bolt from an AK if you use 7.62×39.

    • Jim, there is a company that allows you to turn two ruger 10/22 rifles into a Gatling gun. That is about as cheap as you are going to get.

  • You could check with Joe Lozen over at http://www.gardnerguns.com/ as I think he is still making his 1/2 scale 22 magnum Gardner replicas…that’s the only way you’ll get close to one of these cheap. Really, making them with less barrels really wouldn’t affect the price much…there simply is an incredible amount of work put into these and they can’t depend on a huge number of sales to recoup R&D costs. Curt at US Armaments told me how much he spent just getting the Bulldog into production and it was mind-boggling…the price is actually pretty fair.

  • Did Scott Cuddeford make this gun?

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  • Thanks,John