You may have seen on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter a minigun floating around. It is not something photoshopped out of a dream, we can assure you that it is real! Empty Shell, LLC, based out of Texas, manufactures this firearm. It is called the XM556 Microgun chambered for 5.56mm NATO, and it is extremely reminiscent of the M134 which shoots 7.62mm NATO. Nicholas C from TFB first posted about the XM556 Microgun on May 24th this year with one of Empty Shell’s Instagram photos.
This gun is unique because it is not a copy of the M134, a smaller version, or a Frankenstein of the original model. Rather, it is being developed as an entirely new platform. The Empty Shell Instagram account shows a lot of bits and pieces as this firearm is being engineered for sale soon. Sadly, it will not being available for civilians. The only lucky ones will be “Government entities, Law Enforcement, DOD, or companies with the correct clearances” according to Empty Shell’s FAQ section of their website.
Empty Shell LLC started posting videos of the minigun in action to YouTube on July 1st.
The XM556 Microgun appears to function flawlessly. The M134, on the other hand, has a lot of quirks and areas that can be improved upon, and Empty Shell is trying to make the XM556 Microgun have none of those problems.
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.
So as you can see, this is not just a “Hail Mary” effort, but something that should be sustainable for the long-term. Empty Shell is also developing this weapon to be feasible to carry and move with. The weight of the complete weapon system is approximately 16 Lbs and is shorter in length than a traditional M4 rifle.
To get a bunch of eye candy of this firearm, check out the Empty Shell Instagram.
For footage of the weapon system in action, check out the Empty Shell YouTube.
For the complete specification rundown, hop on the Empty Shell website.