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.


  • Mike

    Digging potatoes on an elephant. That’s something you don’t see every day…

  • substitute

    That elephant is not going to appreciate the joke at ALL.

  • Victor

    Some men ask “Why?”. Others ask “Why not?”.

  • bima86

    is that the potato digger mounted on the elephant ?

  • Adam

    It’s quite serious.

    …and don’t call me Shirley.

  • Bob Z Moose

    Elephant calvary, the true answer to the Bear calvary.

    Anyways, at least it’s better than this old gem:–files/camel-guns/Gatling_Camel1.jpg

  • Kyle

    an M2HB would be awesome for a war elephant. or a PKM.

  • Bill Lester

    Looks like turn of the 20th century U.S. Marines. The elephant is the Asian variety. I’d guess this could be a shot from somewhere in the “China Station” post-Boxer Rebellion.

  • Gage

    I heard that the Japanese used to mount machine guns on elephants during World War II.

  • Pete Sheppard

    US Marines…always inventive. I wonder if they fitted the elephant’s trunk with a bayonet lug?

  • Glenn

    10 seconds later…. One deaf, very angry elephant. One dead, very flat soldier.

  • Stella

    Its not a joke, and don’t call me Shirley.

  • Stella

    Ah ha, so beaten…sorry for the duplicate “Airplane” reference.

    I imagine it would be awful to be on horseback if it were hit and went down, but getting pinned by an elephant is even worse.

  • Matt Groom

    The awesomeness cannot be described with the words of mere mortals. This is now my profile picture on Facebook.

  • thai249

    Thailand once mount gatling 0.45 IN model 1875 on elephant and go to war with Laos (am forgot what year but i did study in history section in Army Reserve Force Students)

  • Komrad

    I could believe it if the gun was held in place by something.
    There used to be swivel cannons mounted on elephants all the time, a machine gun is a logical progression of that idea.

  • wizemanful

    I remember seeing in Guns and Ammo a design for a camel-mounted Gatling Gun. This is cool, too.

  • Bernard

    i feel pity for the elephant…

  • Matt

    I have no doubt that some one somewhere has mounted like that on an elephant with serious use in mind.

    But it’s obvious that picture was taken as a joke, for one there is nothing securing the tripod down and for two there is no padding under the tripod legs. Any longer distance trek with it set up like that would wear holes into the elephants back, Making him none-to-happy.

    And an unhappy elephant is no picnick.

  • Pete Sheppard

    That is most likely a gag photo. Simply hanging a tripod over an elephant’s shoulders does not a machine gun mount make. Using a properly designed howdah on a trained elephant, somebody likely pulled it off.

  • Someone in DARPA is now trying to combine this with Project DUMBO, their top-secret flying elephant program. It is considered a vital part of War Plan “Hannibal”, in which US forces are required to cross the Alps.

    I read about it in Wikileaks…

  • Pete Sheppard

    I nominate Daniel Watters for “Best Post of Thread”!

  • Hoodoo

    This appears to be an updated naval digger (those do look like Marines) I am presuming 1904ish or a bit later with improved sghts (pre 1914 digger as the barrel is a “bull” barrel with no cooling rings)…the earlier 6MM Marine/Navy diggers had lower mounted sights, more like traditional rifle sights, “later” diggers featured taller sights and you can see these on this particular digger. I do think the navy upgraded their diggers to the new calibers that were being adopted after they abandoned the 6MM so new sights might have been part of the upgrades.
    The mount is the long legged, bicycle seat variety that was common before WWI, then they got smart and lowered the mount to a prone position type. However, naval “infantry” (and I assume the Marines with them) were still using the tall tripod in 1914 at Vera Cruz.
    The most interesting thing is that they appear to be really firing the weapon from the elephant as the hanging ammo belt shows that quite a few rounds have been fired from it.
    Very, very cool pic.

  • The dreams of Frank J. Fleming ( were foreseen by the visionaries of HM Army?

    Frank J. is holding out for dinosaurs with rocket launchers on their backs!

  • AAA

    Gives new meaning to the phrase, “Elephant Gun”.


    If you think it’s a joke, please see the picture below
    There are real elephant cavalry mounting with machine-gun and canon

  • Ghost1017

    This is a real photo …posted on an army history site…early tank concept..