Do you love the look and feel of an M134 rotary machine gun, but hate the hassle of obtaining one? Tired of staging firefights with your friends, only to have them shredded into bloody friend-chunks? Well, now you can have your minigun, and eat it too!
Only a few airsoft (or softair, if you like) minigun replicas have been made over the past few years, and most have been discontinued after short production runs. The first airsoft minigun to be commercially manufactured was produced by Asahi Firearms Co. in the early 90's. It was a replica of the M134, and fired 6mm plastic pellets. Asahi issued their own extra-hard ammo with the gun, as standard airsoft ammo was too soft and could easily jam the weapon.
The Asahi gun was one of the most complex airsoft weapons ever designed. It relied on a small DC battery to power the motor, which spun the barrels at 1000rpm and powered the gun's geared BB pickup assembly. The BB's, however, were propelled by compressed gas, requiring a rather awkward gas tank to be carried with the gun. 150 Asahi miniguns were made, and they have sold for as much as $6,000 used.
The second attempt was made by Toy-Tec a year after the Asahi model. This gun was all electric, and, while simpler and more powerful than the Asahi, the high-torque motor required the user to lug around a heavy lead-acid battery and solenoid box. Adding to the cumbersome nature of the gun was the ammo storage system; where the Asahi stored BBs in a false motor housing, the Toy-Tec gun was fed by a magazine that attached to the gun where the ammo chute would attach on a real M134. This stuck out about a foot from the side of the gun, making the already awkward gun very difficult to maneuver with. These guns sold for up to $2885 new, and an average condition used model now fetches over $5000, if you can find one.
The third M134 replica produced was from Piper's Precision Products in Texas, and was the first to be made outside of Japan. These guns were substantially more powerful than the Japanese versions, which had only average power in relation to other airsoft weapons. The Piper minigun was built to fire steel ammo instead of plastic. It could fire the pellets at a maximum of 600 feet per second and 6000 rounds per minute. It had a 1700 round capacity using the internal ammo storage, and could hold over 3000 using an extended magazine. This gun would be way too powerful for an actual airsoft fight, however, due to the steel BBs.
There are only two airsoft miniguns in production today, both from Piper's. The Venom, a shiny, chrome, compact minigun, fires 6mm aluminum BBs at 350 fps, with a cyclic rate of 75 rounds per second. This one is being produced in a limited run of 100 units, to be sold at around $2400. The M134-A2, their newest minigun, is a redesign of the earlier M134 replica. It can fire both standard plastic airsoft pellets and .88g steel BBs. Projectile speed is between 280 fps and 600 fps, depending on the ammo, at a rate of 42 rounds per second. Each A2 is custom built, with a base price of $5300.