Video: Watch the Micro 5.56 Minigun in Action


Talk about putting the “mini” in minigun. This is the XM556 Microgun from Empty Shell Llc. Visually, it appears to be a scaled-down version of the iconic General Electric M143 Minigun. It also just so happens to be shorter than a standard AR-15, is highly portable, electric, and chambered in 5.56mm. In a world without the Hughes Amendment, we’d expect these things to sell like hot cakes when they hit the market.

For those history buffs out there, it may look familiar because of its resemblance to the XM214 Microgun, another design by General Electric that also happens to be chambered for 5.56. However, Empty Shell Llc. touts a number of modern improvements and substantially lighter weight.

“The XM556 is a new platform system that was designed from scratch by the ground up,” the company stated on its website. “The parts are not just a smaller imitation of the larger M134, but were designed on its own. An absolutely all new style of bolt was conceived and designed to eliminate current known issues with the M134. The bolts combined with many other improvements have been made to not only extend the life of the gun, but reduce wear and reduce or eliminate stoppages.”

Unfortunately, the firearm is still only a prototype and is still some time away from hitting the market, at which point it will be available only to law enforcement or military.

Here are the statistics from Empty Shell Llc.

  • Caliber: 5.56mm
  • Barrel Length: 10″ or 16″
  • Total Gun Weight: 16lbs
  • Rate of Fire 2000/4000
  • Total Length: Handheld 22″
  • Total Height: 6″
  • Total Width: 9″
  • Feed System: M-27 Linked Ammunition Belt
  • Fire Mode: Full Auto Only
  • Power Requirement: 24 Volts DC
  • Barrel Life: TBD
  • System Life: TBD
  • Status: Prototype / Still in Development

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