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The Gatling gun is one of the best known early rapid-fire weapons and a forerunner of the modern machine gun. Designed by the American inventor Dr. Richard J. Gatling in 1861 and patented in 1862. Gatling wrote that he created it to reduce the size of armies and so reduce the number of deaths by combat and disease, and to create a weapon so deadly as to show how futile war is.

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