Dillon Guns are reliable. The M134D has system life in excess of one million rounds and an average time between stoppage of 30,000 rounds. In the unlikely event of a stoppage the weapon can be serviced and made operational again in under a minute. The multi barrel design means that each barrel only experiences a 500 round per minute rate of fire. This allows for repeated long bursts of fire and a barrel group life of 200,000 rounds.
Dillon Gatling Guns are in service with the US and Allied Armed Forces. The standard application is as helicopter crew served and fixed forward fire installations. In addition to their more traditional roles, Dillon Gatlings are supplanting M2 50 cal. Heavy Machine Guns and M240’s on a number of the US Army’s vehicles. Dillon M134s are also in service with the US and British navies in the fleet protection role and Special Operations fire support role.
Dillon M134 Gatling Guns are entirely new production weapons. Dillon guns are sold as complete weapon systems or as component upgrade packages for older GE M134 systems.
The M134 Minigun is a 7.62×51 mm NATO, six-barreled machine gun with a high rate of fire (2,000 to 6,000 rounds per minute). It features Gatling-style rotating barrels with an external power source, normally an electric motor. The “Mini” in the name is in comparison to designs that use a similar firing mechanism but larger shells, such as General Electric’s earlier 20-millimeter M61 Vulcan, and “gun” for a caliber size smaller than that of a cannon, typically 20 mm and higher.
The Minigun is used by several branches of the U.S. military. Versions are designated M134 and XM196 by the United States Army, and GAU-2/A and GAU-17/A by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy.
“Minigun” refers to a specific model of weapon that General Electric originally produced, but the term “minigun” has popularly come to refer to any externally powered Gatling gun of rifle caliber. The term is also used to refer to guns of similar rates of fire and configuration regardless of power source and caliber.