Dr. Richard Gatling invented what is considered the first automatic weapon in 1861. It was used by federal forces during the American Civil War and again during the Spanish -American War. It was operated with a hand crank.
For a $25 donation to the N-SSA I was able to fire 10 rounds. The flash of fire as I cranked was awesome as was the sound of the firing. Regretfully, the 10 rounds fired in seconds. My experience was over nearly as quickly as it began. But I can be thrilled that I am one of the few women in the 21st Century who have had the experience of firing such an historic piece of military history with life rounds. I must say it was worth speeding from the theater at Apple Blossom Mall to Fort Shenandoah, parking in the mud and dodging the raindrops to have such an amazing experience.
Thanks to my delightful husband for considering such a creative gift to help me end my work week on a celebratory note!
A brief video of my experience~