Empty Shell recently developed a cutting-edge version of the M134 Minigun chambered in 5.56mm NATO that the company calls the “XM556 Microgun.” While there has been a prototype weapon or two over the years that launched 5.56mm ammo out of an electric rotary-barrel platform, the Empty Shell XM556 is an entirely new firearm.

The XM556 Mircrogun is designed to use many, though not all, existing M134 mounting solutions. What this means is that the XM556 could legitimately revolutionize vehicular defenses against hostile insurgents. The gun is small enough to mount on any military vehicle from an M1 Abrams main battle tank down to a four-wheeler. Considering all military vehicles include 24-volt DC electrical systems to power radios and the like, the hardware requirements to interface this new weapon should be minimal.

The accompanying video was shot by Ballistic staff photographer Scott Baxter under the guidance of Empty Shell Technologies’ Security Operations Manager at a super-squirrel-secret location not to be disclosed at this time.

For more on the XM556, check out the spring 2017 issue of Ballistic magazine. Buy your copy today online at

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