In April 1964, near the end of his four year tool and die apprenticeship at the Inland Division of General Motors, John Anderson read a "Guns and Ammo" magazine article on the Gatling gun and wondered if he could build one. That thought launched what would become Anderson Guncraft. What started as a metalworking project had, by 1984, developed into a full-time business.
The drawings we work from were drawn by John Anderson as he blueprinted an original Model 1897 gun (serial number 1065) in the mid-1960s. As time went by and he restored original guns of other models, he blueprinted those (and developed casting patterns for them) as well.
All replica Gatling guns manufactured by Anderson Guncraft are full size, functional guns, with ten barrels, and are complete with 40 round magazines or the Bruce feed system and a historically accurate heavy tripod. Carriages and Limbers for the Model 1874 and Model 1877 guns are a future project. Calibers are the original .45-70 and .30-40 Krag. Without knowing what it is you are looking for, our replicas cannot be distinguished from the originals.
We are a small shop and all work except rifled barrel blanks, firing pin springs, standard taper pins, and engraving is done in-house. The barrel blanks are bought from a barrel manufacturer (Green Mountain) and all chambering, threading, and taper turning are done in-house. All bronze castings are produced in our green-sand foundry (see the video on the video page). We do not use investment castings and our guns have no redesigned parts. Our Gatling guns are as true to the original Colt built Gatlings as can be made.
For those who want to build their own Gatling gun .....
For those who would inquire, we do not loan, sell, or give away copies of our drawings. We do have a collection of copies of original drawings for the Model 1900 Army, Model 1900 Navy, and the Model 1903 Army Gatlings, however, the dimensions on these are typical of the time in which they were produced and are somewhat inadequate.
Images of the original drawings for the Model 1900 Army Gatling can be found on the internet. However, as said above, there is a lot of dimensional information that is not present on these drawings, leading us to think that a functional gun can only be built using these drawings with much difficulty. It is our opinion that the drawings actually used on the shop floor at Colt's were different than these.
Our drawings, casting patterns, special tooling and fixtures are the foundation of our business. We have been known to sell bronze castings though.....
Others have manufactured replicas of the Gatling gun such as "Thunder Valley", "Valley Engraving", "The Battery Gun Company", "Michie Armory" and "The US Ordnance Company". However none of them are true copies of the various models of the original Gatling. Especially egregious is Thunder Valley's "1874" with an Accles Drum (the Accles drum was developed for the Model 1883 Gatling and NEVER appeared on the earlier guns). Most of these manufacturers have added features that were not present on original Colt built guns or dreamed up guns that never existed historically. The "Gatling guns" manufactured by the above mentioned companies may look like a Gatling gun but they are not exact copies of original Colt built guns.
Restorations on original guns
We've done restorations ranging from making a few missing parts to complete barrel jobs, new breech bolts, and new steel and bronze parts and repairing worn and/or damaged original parts. Through the years the following models of original guns have been restored in our shop:
Model 1874, Model 1876, Model 1879, Model 1880 Navy, Model 1883, Model 1884, Model 1890, Model 1895, Model 1897, Model 1900, Model 1901 Navy, Model 1903
Rest assured that if we restore your original Gatling the finished restoration will adhere to the highest standards of quality in workmanship, attention to detail, and historical authenticity.
Hollywood movies our guns can be seen in:
Posse with Mario Van Peebles (1993)
The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise (2003)
3:10 to Yuma (Remake) with Christian Bale (2007)
The Book of Eli with Denzel Washington (2010)
Jonah Hex with Josh Brolin (2010)
The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp (2013)
The Magnificent Seven (Remake) with Denzel Washington (2016)
In 2015 ownership of Anderson Guncraft was acquired by Barry Anderson, son of John Anderson.