United States of America
0.50"/70 (12.7 mm) Gatling Gun GAU-19/A
Updated 01 January 2008

Another in the General Electric series of Gatling guns, the "GECAL 50" is currently manufactured by General Dynamics.  This is a relatively light-weight weapon, allowing it to be mounted on small vehicles and helicopters.  Considered to be quite accurate, with a maximum dispersion of 5 milliradians diameter for 80% of the rounds fired.

To keep the overall weight down, this weapon has only three barrels compared to the six or seven on larger-caliber Gatling Guns.

Designed for use primarily on light aircraft and small patrol boats, this weapon is now being installed on larger US warships as a defense against small suicide craft.  The naval mounting is available with the following sighting systems:  Simple ring and post; laser designator; optronic or holographic sights.  Bores are chrome plated.


GAU-19 Gun Barrel Assembly
Photograph copyrighted by General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products (GDATP)


GAU-19 on Naval Pintle Mounting
Photograph copyrighted by General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products (GDATP)


Vehicle Version
Note the flash suppressor and spent cartridge guide
Photograph copyrighted by General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products (GDATP)


Sketch copyrighted by General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products (GDATP)

Gun Characteristics
Designation 0.50"/70 (12.7 mm) GAU-19/A
Ship Class Used On Light aircraft, small boats and some larger warships
Date Of Design 1980 (?)
Date In Service 1985 (?)
Gun Weight 139 lbs. (63 kg) with feeder and transfer unit (no ammunition)
Gun Length oa 46.5 in (1.181 m)
Barrel Length about 36 in (0.914 m)
Grooves (8) 0.19 in (4.8 mm) deep
Lands N/A
Twist Uniform RH 1 in 30
Chamber Volume 1.5 in3 (24.6 cm3)
Rate Of Fire Maximum:  2,000 rounds per minute cyclic
Normal maximum:  1,000 to 2,000 rounds per minute cyclic
HMMWV (Hummer) installations:  1,300 rounds per minute cyclic
Type Fixed
Weight of Complete Round 0.255 lbs. (0.116 kg)
Projectile Types and Weights Bullet - 1.71 oz (48.5 gm)
Bursting Charge Solid bullet
Projectile Length N/A - Complete round 5.45 in (13.84 cm)
Propellant Charge 0.54 oz (15.3 gm) NC tube
Cartridge 0.5 x 3.9 in (12.7 x 99 mm)
Muzzle Velocity 2,910 fps (887 mps)
Working Pressure N/A
Approximate Barrel Life
(see Note 2)
35,000 to 50,000 rounds
Ammunition stowage per gun Ammunition is supplied in 100 round belts, which can be linked together up to 1,200 rounds

1) This weapon can fire any of the 0.50 in (12.7 mm) NATO Standardized Agreement 3585 or Mil Spec Ammunition.

2) Life figures are per barrel group which was originally specified as 35,000 rounds.  During life tests performed in 2004, one barrel group evaluated after firing 45,200 rounds showed no yaw and the muzzle velocity was 2,655 fps (809 mps), a reduction of less than 9%.  Additional firing to a total of 54,000 rounds showed a further muzzle velocity drop to 2,150 fps (655 mps), but only the tracer rounds showed yaw problems.  As a result, the recommended barrel group life has now been extended to 50,000 rounds.

Range with 1.71 oz (48.5 gm) Bullet
Range Effective:  2,200 yards (2,000 m)
Maximum:  7,400 yards (6,770 m)
Mount / Turret Data
Designation Naval Pintle Mount:  Mark 16
Helicopter Fixed Mount:  GAU-19/A
Weight Mark 16
   Without Ammunition:  about 560 lbs. (254 kg)
   With Ammunition:  about 932 lbs. (423 kg)
Elevation Mark 16:  -20 / +40 degrees
Rate of Elevation Manually operated, only
(see Note 3)
Mark 16:  240 degrees
Rate of Train Manually operated, only
Gun Recoil N/A

1) Aircraft installations of the GAU-19/A are within a fixed-forward mount attached to a standard 14-inch (35.6 cm) NATO stores rack.

2) This weapon requires a 24 Vdc power supply to operate.

3) Mechanical traversing stops are configurable for each individual installation of the Mark 16.

Data from
"GAU-19/A Barrel Life Study" by James J. St. Germain, General Dynamics Armament & Technical Products, presented at the NDIA 40th Annual Armament Systems:  Guns - Ammunition - Rockets - Missiles Conference & Exhibition
General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products (GDATP) Press Releases
US Navy Press Releases