GAU-8/A Avenger and Volkwagen

GAU-8/A Avenger cannon from A-10 and a VW (that\'s the VW on the left)

GAU-8/A Avenger cannon from A-10 and a VW (that's the VW on the left)


  1. IMH: Funny, because I first posted it with “that’s the VW on the right” because it’s on the right side of the picture. But it’s on the left of the gun, so I changed it.

    If anyone has trouble identifying which is which, I want to know so that I can laugh at them.

  2. I’ve always wanted to see one mounted in a tank turret. Have to be a HUGE turret, but what a rush for the armor guys.

  3. Chad,

    It wouldn’t be of much use against tanks in the frontal aspect, and the high rate of fire would be overkill against lighter vehicles. The Mk 44 Bushmaster II uses the same cartridge and will work just as well against the same types of ground targets. The only place where the GAU-8’s rate of fire would be useful would be in an anti-aircraft role.

    However, the Army did try one better back in the late ’50s/early ’60s. They built a 37mm Gatling for a SPAAG. It was called the Vigilante. However, the rate of fire could be throttled way down for use against ground targets. The gun was rechambered years later for 35mm for submission in the DIVAD trials.

  4. It sure sounds huge on the live-fire range. A gigantic evil growl-rip-howl followed a couple of seconds later by hundrends of grenade sized ca-rumps. The last thing a lot of bad guys ever heard. It has to be sheer terror to be on the wrong end of that gun.

  5. Sometime around ’95 or ’96 one of the navy rags had an article about some test bed LCACs that had a GAU-8 mounted in the middle of the deck. The experiments proved that these LCACs would be very successful at clearing obstructions, fortified or otherwise, on beaches.

    Never heard anymore of it after that…

  6. If it meant that much to you you might still be able to squeeze a 7.62 minigun in the front; with the engine in the back I think you could get it in.

    You’d have to steer right at what you wanted to destroy though, so might have limited applications.

    Like slicing through the congestion in the morning commute.

  7. USCitizen Says:

    February 3rd, 2009 at 10:31 pm
    Great Picture!

    30mm doesn’t sound big but … wow!


    The shells it fires are almost a foot long and weigh a little over a pound and a half. It’s plenty big, alright.

    And while I’ve never been in close proximity while this weapon is being fire, I’ll bet it’s plenty loud too. I had the misfortune of standing about 30 feet from a Vulcan 20mm cannon once without hearing protection, and it felt like somebody stuck ice picks in my ears. It was that painfully loud.

  8. Daniel,

    Why do you say that it wouldn’t have much use in the frontal aspect. I saw one make a run at the range once, and it was punching right through the frontal armor of the derelict tank on the range. This was back in 1995, and they were going through that t-72 the long way. Sounds pretty effective whether they are mounted on aircraft, or on a tracked platform. Maybe on a tank you could get it stabilized out to use the full accuracy of the gun without having to use 10-20 shells per tank. Make it 5 round bursts or some such. Set it to full auto for “fulda gap” or anti-helicopter engagements. I don’t know, just spitballing.

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