Tip of the Spear: Riverines’ GAU-17 Minigun

Check out this latest installment of Military.com’s Tip of the Spear video series featuring sailors from Detachment 2 of the U.S. Navy’s Riverine Squadron 3 showing off the six-barreled, electronically-controlled GAU-17 minigun found on their armored Riverine Patrol Boats.


  • Chops

    Those things are soooo cool — I need one for my pick-up

  • jeff

    Since mini guns are electrically powered, is there a concern about loss of power if the generator goes off line either via malfunction of combat damage?

    • jhm

      just point the thing at the enemy, hell even i would flee hehe

  • whskee

    @jeff - loss of power is not a terrible concern. the boats are twin engined, and each engines single alternator is enough to keep up the battery banks. should both engines go down, the multiple batteries on board would keep the power supplied long enough that you would probably run the weapons ammo completely dry, Also, the weapon can be removed from the boats power and switched over to its own dedicated battery pack in combat if needed due to casualty.

  • Zap

    I think that is one guy that doesn’t want a simulator

  • ServingTeaInBoots

    Maybe they can install a hand crank old school style as a backup.

  • Stephen N Russell

    Was this type used in Vietnam or No?
    Like to see the USCG host these on their cutters alone etc.
    See hit movie Death Race with Jason S, badboy Miniguns on race cars seen.

    • blight

      M134s were. Mostly Army aviation though. Small naval craft often used M-2’s for their primary firepower.

  • MFolks

    This type of weapon was used in the A-37B Dragon fly aircraft and on the UH-1N gunships when I was down at Howard AFB Canal Zone in the 1970’s.

    We configured the UH-1N with the minigun firing out one side(or two 7.62mm guns firing out each side depending on what the frag order was) and the other side had a magazine fed 40mm grenade launcher.

  • Max

    I’ll never forget “The Green Berets” movie with the hilltop getting blasted by miniguns and the bullets landing like a hail of raindrops on the Vietcong/NVA.

    It was a movie, of course, so it’s hard to know how close to the real thing it portrayed; but it was an awesome display of firepower nonetheless.

    • blight

      It might be easier to imagine six MG42’s hosing down the same target simultaneously.

      • jhm

        same thougt, poor suckers on the recieving end :)

  • hangfire58

    I called Dillon Mfg. and asked what it would cost me for a mini gun and pickup bed mounting system. They told me they only sell to LE/Military. Now I have to find a source for used ones or build my own.