Drool-Inducing MicroGun is Alive!

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Pretty awesome!  (Photo: Empty Shell Defense)

The XM556.  Pretty awesome.  Heck, really awesome. (Photo: Empty Shell Defense)

I know it’s only June, but I’ve already started putting together my Christmas list. Yup. I’m planning ahead. This way there’s no hemming and hawing when it comes time to tell the jolly fat man in the red suit exactly what it is I want under my holiday tree.

I want a rotary-barreled machine gun chambered in 5.56mm. Or, more simply put, a microgun.

Okay, you got me. I can’t legally own a microgun as I do not possess the government-required credentials to own one. But a guy can dream, can’t he?

Suppose for a minute that I could own a microgun, though. Where would I get one? Well, as it turns out I know just the place. Empty Shell Defense is currently in the process of fine-tuning their XM556 microgun. I reached out to Brian Abbott, the Lead Designer/Engineer for just a bit more information on this badass firearm.  Here is what he said:

I started designing the XM556 as an answer for a small light weight weapon system with extreme rate of fire. Back in the 60’s, G.E. made a lightweight 5.56mm electric galling gun (XM215). They only made 10, and it never saw production. In 2011 General Dynamics tired to bring it back but that only lasted a year.

In mid 2013 I decided to bring an updated design to market. I redesigned the gun from ground up making improvements to known areas of issues as I went.

Today we have the smallest, lightest Electric Gatling Gun design. It is smaller and lighter than the FN M249 Saw. With over 4x’s the firepower. We have already gained attention from several Military and government agencies.

Come on weekend!… #readytogo #comeonguys #waitingoneverybody

A video posted by @empty_shell_llc on

Pretty neat, huh?  You can see some more photos and videos on the Empty Shell Intagram page.

{ 67 comments… add one }
  • Kyle Wilson June 30, 2016, 12:54 pm

    Gun Owners of America and Heller Foundation are trying to repeal the infamous Hughes amendment, search Hollis vs Lynch
    Updates are on the AR15 forum;)

  • Steve Warren June 9, 2016, 1:10 pm

    I wonder if they could make a much smaller version of the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System that could be mounted in a Humvee, capable of using radar for tracking an incoming RPG and shoot it down. I think the technology is there. That would be awesome! I think the military would buy thousands of them.

  • RH June 5, 2016, 11:53 am

    And you thought bump firing your MSR (AR-15) was expensive….
    Most of you guys don’t make enough money in one month to feed something like this for one minute.
    It would take months to link enough 556 for a 1 minute burst and the links are rare as hens teeth…
    Still want one?
    I don’t care how BA you think it is, its totally impractical for basically everything. A .308 mini-gun is far more practical esp for higher altitude target interdiction.

  • mocatz June 4, 2016, 12:05 pm

    Why does GunsAmerica review guns we can’t own.

  • Chris Baker June 4, 2016, 10:19 am

    Make a hand crank version so that it’s semi auto. Even then I’d hate to pay for the ammunition you could shoot up in a few minutes.

  • Carlos June 3, 2016, 5:13 pm

    I heard it made a very different sound than most guns when fired. It sounded like a cash register on meth!! 🙂

    • MJ June 3, 2016, 10:29 pm

      I’m drawing a blank….

      • Adam June 7, 2016, 3:50 pm

        Better than shooting one I guess….

  • shocktrooper84 June 3, 2016, 12:40 pm

    I am a 80s’ cold war era vet of the US Army ADA; 16R ( Short Range Gunnery Crewman), i.e. This infant son example in this thread looks really cool, easy to carry and control its’ ‘base of fire’. I could never afford to feed the ‘little crumb snatcher’ though! HA!
    I crewed and crew commanded both the self propelled (small tank) and the Airborne/Air Assault towed version of the 20mm ‘Vulcan’ anti aircraft cannon. It was/is a conveyer belt fed, six barreled, rotary cannon and also electrically driven by a 3 HP motor. She was “damn fast”! There is absolutely no other ‘feeling’ or visual spectacle, compared to unleashing a 100 round burst from the ‘Sr. Gunner’s Position’ behind this ‘monster’! It’s max fire rate of 6,000 rounds per min.! The $12.00 USD each, projectiles explode on impact and each yields a blast force & fragments approx equal to 1/2 of a US issue anti personnel fragmentation grenade. She was deadly in both direct and indirect area of fire modes.You should see an entire battalion of these live fire at night! The worst part about several days of continuous live fire practice with the ‘Vulcan’ is shoveling all that brass back into the ammo cans, and cleaning the barrels and actions, back into alert ready condition….imagine the unimaginable, absolute filthiest, 20mm ‘black powder’ rifles in the history of mankind…….times six! LOL! …yup…still ready to “Kill commies for mommies and push back the evil red-wave”! F-U-PUTIN! I think now the system has been decommissioned for ground use, but still resides in the F18, F15, F16, and AC130 Spectre gunships….GOD bless America and all TRUE Americans. Ya’ll please vote like ya got some sense this November! Remember Clinton and Perot when America really started to get FUBAR’d…they schemed together to draw votes away from Bush to ensure a win for Slick-Willy Bill and his hellbitch wife Hillary! Those who do not know history are indeed doomed to repeat it! Amen.

    • w.bryant June 3, 2016, 5:14 pm

      the navy still using the Vulcan in the cwis system on their ships and I read in a military magazine where some cwis systems were installed at bagran in afgafistan for shooting at incoming rockets and other incoming rounds

    • steven deatley June 5, 2016, 2:33 am

      hey i was also a 16R10 and was stationed at Biggs field A btry 4Th/1St ADA at FT bliss TX. from 1980-1983.I was on the SP vulcan and it was a blast to fire.I really loved to watch the whole battery fire at night as every round was tracer it was like the 4th of july lol,you never had to worry about being over ran with a 20mm gattling gun either lol

    • Jay June 19, 2016, 12:45 pm

      Back in 1980 I was at Grafenwehr with the FA. One night some of us were sent to sa location not far from the impact area’s observers bunker. We had some time and were allowed to go up the hill to watch the fireworks. We were lolling around when on a far ridge opposite something lit up with a loud “bzzaawww” sound and multi-colored tracers started up the sky like a truck load of Roman candles. Had to have been one of y’all’s mini-guns! The only thing is, your aim was off a bit. You could see the tracer ‘blink’ as it arced in it’s course and that’s when we realized the stuff was headed right for us! Talk about scurrying around trying to get behind some cover (of which there was precious little)! It was an awesome show all right. It was no minor miracle no one got hurt.

      and soon we had shells cracking all around us.

  • dixie jones June 3, 2016, 12:14 pm

    I wrote a story which had an assault team. They carried large caliber rifles, but the officers had a a .22 magnum version of a minigun attached to their wrist.
    I figure one could build Coffee Thermos sized minigun if it were in .22 magnum. A thin backpack with a lithium battery(s) could easily hold over 1000 rounds. The belt feeding the rounds would also be small. In CQB it seems like it would make an intimidating weapon at half the weight and size of a 5.56 version.

    • steven deatley June 5, 2016, 2:36 am

      now we know where all the .22 magnum ammo is going lol

    • bob June 20, 2016, 2:21 pm

      what were they fighting, ground squirrels?

  • nick June 3, 2016, 10:59 am

    Well, at the PROBABLE rate of fire, I think it would be safe to say your Bank Account would look like the National Debt Clock as it registers the rate of spending.

    • retrocon June 3, 2016, 7:20 pm

      trust me, if you could afford the mini gun, you could afford the ammo for it 😉

      Another toy for LE, Mil, and the uber-rich who can get away with anything.

      • RH June 5, 2016, 11:58 am

        I don’t know about that, I can afford a Barret M107 but feeding the thing good ammo is still painful at $40 a mag, 10 mags for maybe 2 hours fun, poof, there goes $400

        • Adam June 7, 2016, 3:55 pm

          Fill in the blank… $400 to a billionaire is ____________.

        • ejharb July 1, 2016, 1:04 am

          Paying $1 too much a round try sgammo for $3 a round shipped linked in 100rd cans

          This price has me Jones in for a fiddy

  • Greg June 3, 2016, 10:31 am

    Since the law allows a firearm which will fire one round each time the trigger is pulled, it seems that it could be legal to build and sell one that automatically pulls multiple triggers on multiple barrels very rapidly, achieving the same result as the NFA controlled machine guns.

  • Dan F. June 3, 2016, 10:00 am

    No doubt, it’s a cool idea, but who’s really going to use this thing? If I have to tote an automatic weapon around, it’s going to be something Murphy-proof and simple. If I have a vehicle to carry it for me, it sure isn’t going to be a 5.56. This looks like something SEALs would pay $59,000,000.00 for and then mount on a dune buggy.

    • retrocon June 3, 2016, 7:21 pm

      Jesse Ventura?

    • DaveGinOly June 5, 2016, 2:18 pm

      Yes, it’s man-portable due to its extreme light weight for such a gun, but the ammo necessary to feed it will be so heavy that it will require three men as assistant gunners.

  • Randy Norman June 3, 2016, 9:40 am

    does this actually fall in the guidelines of a “machine gun”? I read somewhere that a Gatling gun is not rated as a machine gun? something to do with multiple barrels and 1 pull of the trigger? I’m just wondering if anyone knows?

    • Jerry June 3, 2016, 5:14 pm

      I belive the Gatling gun is exempt if it is the one with the crank but as soon as you put a motor on it it becomes a NFA weapon so the gun isn’t the NFA registered part the motor is, get a class 7 for 250 per 3 years and add a sot for 500 per year and have as many machine guns you want without having to pay the 30-40 grand, just go ahead and build them, register them and buy and sell a few guns to pay the FFL fees and sot fees, the bad part is you have to cut them up when you quit, but no 200 dollar tax stamp, Ya can make suppressors and keep them even after you surrender your license

      • steven deatley June 5, 2016, 2:47 am

        this thing is just a baby M-61 vulcan cannon ,the Vulcan was 20mm and when we loaded it the ammo had to be on a rubber mat and we couldnt wear any watchs or rings as the ammo had a primer that was eletrical.that was because with it’s high rate of fire a normal fireing pin couldnt work.i’m sure this baby would need specialized ammo also,i don’t think you could fire normal 5.56 in it as it wouldnt have a fireing pin.

        • RH June 5, 2016, 12:04 pm

          Remington makes electric primers called EtronX. You can get them at Midway for $200 per 1000.
          But they are large rifle so you would have to get Winchester to make you a batch of brass and I think they would have a 10K minimum plus setup fee.

  • Dustin Eward June 3, 2016, 9:25 am

    The Hughes Heligun doesn’t require pneumatic or electric input.

  • Ron Wilson June 3, 2016, 9:07 am

    Does it fire anything? There currently exist no Federal laws prohibiting a motor driven bundle of tubes. As shown
    AND DEMONSTRATED, anyone could own it.

    • Xray June 3, 2016, 9:49 am

      If one pull of the trigger fires more than one shot it is a NFA class 3 weapons and needs to be registered as such and taxed.

      • John June 3, 2016, 11:08 am

        Hmm well a bump stock would be too slow for 1 pull of the trigger…maybe a electrical shock to the trigger finger to increase the rate of fire?
        Where there’s a will there’s a way…. LoL

        • Pops45 June 3, 2016, 11:44 am

          I think you have just found an awesome loophole !

        • ScottGunn June 3, 2016, 7:51 pm

          That’s pretty funny, got a visual.

      • retrocon June 3, 2016, 7:26 pm

        What if there is no trigger? Seriously, what if we tie into some brain waves, and we just think “shoot the SOB” and viola?

        Seriously, could they categorize a thought activated weapon as semi or full auto, since they could never prove that you are not just thinking fast?

        I’m not being entirely funny, they can control “stuff” now with Neural-impulse activators.

        • loupgarous May 2, 2017, 1:42 pm

          There are a number of good, accessible locations around the head you can place electrodes on and get a direct signal you can turn things on and off with. My work-study job in college was as an electromechanics technician at our college’s school of biomedical engineering, and I now and then got to make good assistive devices for people with no ability to use their arms. One was a trigger actuator for a quadriplegic who was an avid deer hunter before he was hurt – I finally rigged a simple battery-powered solenoid to pull the trigger on a rifle which would be triggered by the “sip switch” already on the man’s wheelchair as a control. That was the single most satisfying thing I did there.

  • Jay E. Simkin June 3, 2016, 9:01 am

    Were it not a for a law enacted on 19 May 1986 – without any hearings or debate – this new firearm could be sold at retail. The 1986 law, which banned the retail sale of newly-made machineguns should be repealed. There was not then – nor has there been found – any evidence of abuse of machineguns by law-abiding owners. And, since then, the US Supreme Court has ruled that there indeed is a civil right to be armed (District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)), As this microgun plainly is “man-portable” i.e., it need not be mounted on a truck, it surely is within the ambit of the Second Amendment.

    But no one seeks repeal of the 1986 law: not the NRA, not GOA, not NFATCA. All these “pro gun” groups treat the 1986 law is if it is beyond question.

    “Gun control” is a consumer fraud that dwarfs swindler Bernie Madoff’s crimes. At end-2013, there were about 335,000,000 firearms in the US, excluding those owned by the military. Anything so abundant cannot be controlled. That’s why Prohibition – the national ban on sale of booze (1919-33) – failed. Then, as now, the makings for home brew were available in any grocery.

    In short, it would be nice to be able to buy this “microgun”. It might be expensive to run. But that’s a minor matter.

    It is time to repeal the 1986 ban on the making of machineguns for retail sale.

    • Eric June 3, 2016, 9:51 am

      RE: “It is time to repeal the 1986 ban on the making of machineguns for retail sale.”
      Regardless that the amendment ( Hughes Amendment (H. Amdt 777) to FOPA (HR 4332) ) did not pass (though made to look like it passed by a voice vote) and was slipped into the bill anyway . . . the 1986 language used to attempt to restrict(ban) machine guns made the tax-based restriction on machine guns obsolete(unconstitutional). There is NO BAN ( and NO TAX STAMP ) on post-1986 machine guns based on http://www.constitution.org/2ll/court/fed/us_v_rock_island.htm
      But, yes, you may have to go to court to get criminal charges dismissed once you possess one.
      Alternatively, you could file for an injunction (civil suit) prior to possessing one.
      If I wanted one of these bad enough, that is what I would do.

      • Mahatma Muhjesbude June 3, 2016, 5:20 pm

        I’m going to check into this and maybe try to start something like that? There are a few (well, maybe two…) very good lawyers out there that would take this on. Maybe GA here would sponsor it and we can start donating?

    • DIYinSTL June 3, 2016, 10:06 am

      You are referring to the “Hughes Amendment” to the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 (FOPA.) Up to that point it was doing some good and yes, the Hughes Amendment should be repealed but good luck with that. We would have better odds of a defense budget line item dictating the military to auction off 90% of its existing pre-ban title-II weapons.
      With the threat of another Clinton presidency looming, I’m asking my congresspeople for a constitutional amendment. Something like: The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed by law, by regulation, by treaty, by tax nor judicially by Federal, Territory, Protectorate, or State government or any subdivision thereof. I think there are enough pro-gun states that such an amendment would be ratified. The tax issue is the tricky part; avoiding punitive taxes while still supporting wildlife conservation.

      • Sam Adams June 3, 2016, 10:52 pm

        I like your idea.

      • Chris Baker June 4, 2016, 10:31 am

        That is exactly what “shall not be infringed” means. Requiring a permit is an infringement. Forbidding certain types of weapons is an infringement. Barring weapons from certain areas is an infringement. Doesn’t matter who does the infringing, it’s unconstitutional to do so. Show me ANY gun control law that isn’t an infringement. It’s already against the law to murder or attempt to murder or to deliberately injure someone, no matter what kind of weapon you use to do it.

    • Kalashnikov Dude June 3, 2016, 11:02 am

      Jay E. Simkin Thank you! I cannot seem to get people to really understand what the May 1986 means to our 2nd Amendment and what a serious breach of contract with our government it represents. Let these self described defenders of our rights go hungry until they do what they say. Mention all this in an NRA forum, and it’s like somebody farted. The room gets quiet all of a sudden and the subject matter changes, then it’s back to the usual banter and bickering over carry laws, and how the gun community needs to police themselves so as to put forth the proper image for public consumption. It’s not acceptable anymore. What the NRA has done is allow this continued chipping away at, and undermining of our rights. To this low point where we have simply let the ATFE’s class three bullshit go, and are fighting in many places in this country just for the right to own a government approved, registered, semi auto rifle. Voting, protesting, countless calls to simply recognize the basic language, and clear meaning of our 2nd Amendment have been fruitless. I’m saying it’s time to step it up and take back what is ours, which government, politicians, judges, and self loving, gender confused, tree hugging, ignorant losers calling themselves citizens have been allowed to strip from us all. As for me, I will defend my rights with all means available to me and the clear intent of the simple language used means what it says . The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. That makes 99.999% of “gun control” null and void where it sits. That’s how it is. Backed up on pain of death for those who try to force their will on me. Please make this stand together. We all have a lot to lose and the only way to ensure our children and theirs are able to know the freedoms we do is to stand together.

      • Virus June 16, 2016, 1:01 am

        agreed. Jay E. Simkin comment and all the replies are great, couldn’t agree more. but how can we fight back?

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude June 3, 2016, 5:16 pm

      Hell, Yeah Jay! I’m in the REPEAL All gun laws cheering section. (See my report ‘Killing Liberties With Laws’ on Survivopedia.com) And don’t let your Feckless fuck-ass Reps bullshit you that it’s too hard. The Insurance lobby is getting a a strong AHC obama care repeal going? What’s more important? The HellBitch regime will kill off the weak–especially at the VA hospitals. (Who needs all those experienced trouble making skilled combat Vets to rouse and train the rabble in our brave new world?) So without guns, there won’t be much ‘health care’.

      The 1986 Machine gun ban, by the way, started out to be a ban on ‘Gun Registration’ but somehow something else happened in ‘Crooked Congress’ and Lyin Senate!

    • retrocon June 3, 2016, 7:30 pm

      Well, depending on who gets elected in November, the Second Amendment could become nothing more than a protection for the National Guard to have state owned firearms.

      The right remains a basic human right, but when the so called “law” with the bigger guns say it’s not, then we have to deal with the consequences. If you-know-who is elected, it’s pretty much a certainty that the 2A dies a bitter death.

  • ryan June 3, 2016, 8:56 am

    Even cooler was the .22lr version that only appeared 1 time in George Nonte’s “Pistolero” magazine. It worked without electricity and a strong dude could carry 5,000 rounds and the gun. Laying down the lead.

  • Paul June 3, 2016, 8:07 am

    OK will I need a generator or a long extension cord or does it plug into the cigar lighter in my car. And yes I want one and Yes all laws regulating the 2nd Amendment need to be repealed and deemed illegal. The Second Amendment was not meant to be regulated. One has to be prepared for the NATO Invasion.

  • Robert Ward June 3, 2016, 7:54 am

    A similar gun was built back in the 70s, I believe, that had a 10,000 rpm rate of fire. That would lay down some great cover fire or dealing with the Biker Hoards during TEOTWAWKI

    • Tad Verret June 4, 2016, 8:30 am

      Hey!!!! I’m one of those Bikers!!!! Lol!!! Surprising enough to most who’s don’t ride is the fact that bikers are very patriotic and very individual rights oriented. I stand with you whole heartedly in support of all of our rights. As a free man, not given to me by our backstabbing, self-serving, rights stealing government.

      • Tad Verret June 4, 2016, 8:31 am

        Sorry for the double tap… I usually have much better trigger control…

  • Mark Are June 3, 2016, 7:49 am

    And of course only the vaunted government agencies and military can have such a device. The lowly mundane of society, of whom the 2nd amendment is referenced, can only have what those same vaunted elite say we can have. Some state needs to repeal ALL federal gun legislation and the manufacturer should arm a state sponsored MILITIA similar to Switzerland, which by the way was the Founding Fathers model, with such devices. As well as stinger missiles etc. Well, I can at least dream can’t I?

    • Jay E. Simkin June 3, 2016, 9:08 am

      Please don’t include missiles, etc., as being within the scope of the Second Amendment. That inclusion is unsound. There are plenty of man-portable missiles, However, man-portable missiles are NOT firearms. Firearm projectiles – bullets or shotgun slugs/pellets – have no explosive in them and are not guidable. Missiles have explosive warheads and are guidable. In short, missiles are a modern form of artillery. Artillery was not something often privately-owned in the 1700s. By contrast, firearms were widely owned in the 1700s and thereafter.

      • Jeff Caruso June 3, 2016, 9:33 am

        The 2nd Amendment recognizes the right of the people to keep and bear ARMS…As one contemporary of the times stated,”The Sword in all its terrible forms.” It is not intended in scope to address ONLY firearms.

      • Fake Nicety Alcala Zamor*a y Torre June 3, 2016, 9:46 am

        Private artillery was more commonly owned than I imagined when I started to research Pre-revolutionary war armaments.

        The point isn’t how many pieces were in private hands, it is that the authors of the second amendment knew that artillery was a common ‘arm’ borne by citizens to protect their families and homes.

        I don’t want a M109A7 155mm self-propelled howitzer (It’d be bigger than my house and it is also outdated 1960’s technology constantly being updated.). However, I think it is very clear that artillery, such as mountain howitzers—their small size belying their effectiveness—were operated in self-defense by many people up until the late 19th century.

        I don’t think the mountain howitzer has much of a niché to fill these days, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t covered by the 2nd amendment.

        When the SHTF, I’ll go down to my local National Guard base and pick up my M109A7…

      • Tim Shuteran June 3, 2016, 10:04 am

        Yes, artillery was commonly owned, and wholly unrestricted, when the Second Amendment was written. Many cannon were privately owned. Heck, our first navy was largely supplied and armed by one man, shipping magnate Robert Morris, who furnished warships and cannon, and Benjamin Franklin, himself, with his own funds, hired a flotilla of privateers (pirates for hire) to harass and harangue British ships off their own coast. And the famous Battle of Stonington Point, when a militia of men, women, and teenagers repelled the Royal Marines during the War of 1812, prominently featured two privately owned cannon.Anyone who could pay the foundry could have as many artillery pieces as they desired, and even today, the sale is true, albeit after a $200 tax.

        • Marc Reeve June 3, 2016, 8:33 pm

          Still legal to own muzzle-loading black powder artillery. No stinking $200 tax either.

  • richard m bergan June 3, 2016, 6:30 am

    Is it equipped with a droooll cup

  • Jay E. Simkin June 3, 2016, 4:09 am

    The 1986 ban on the making of machineguns for retail sale should be repealed. There was not then – and there has not been since – any evidence of unlawful use of machineguns. That ban was unreasonable.
    But no one at supposedly “pro gun” organizations – NRA, GOA, NFATCA, etc. – asks that the ban be removed. For, if the ban “went away” prices would fall, and these “collectors” would find their “collectables” would be worth far less than they had paid. Support for the civil right of the law-abiding person to be armed apparently goes so far.

    • Kyle Wilson June 30, 2016, 12:52 pm

      GOA and the Heller Foundation is arguing for repeal of Hughes, type in “Hollis vs Lynch”

  • T Stickdorn June 3, 2016, 4:06 am

    Or a mount I can put on the roof of my SUV, POP my head out the sunroof and take out wild boar or the fkn armadillos that keep digging up my yard!

  • T Stickdorn June 3, 2016, 4:02 am

    I get to play with a lot of really cool weapons in my career, but nothing as BAD ASS as that, I WANT ONE!

  • Me June 3, 2016, 2:56 am

    OMG!!!!Want 1!!😍😍😍😍😍😍😁😁😁

  • shrugger June 3, 2016, 2:30 am

    Now that’s an awesome hedge trimmer. =P

  • Boba Fett June 1, 2016, 11:49 pm

    Does it come with a shoulder mount?

    • CW June 3, 2016, 8:12 am

      It only comes with a sig-brace, a shoulder mount would make it an SBR micro-gun, and that would be illegal.

    • CW June 3, 2016, 8:12 am

      It only comes with a sig-brace, a shoulder mount would make it an SBR micro-gun, and that would be illegal.

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