Ever Wondered How Long The A-10’s GAU-8 Avenger Can Fire Continuously?

Ever Wondered How Long The A-10’s GAU-8 Avenger Can Fire Continuously?
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US Air Force’s Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is one of the most recognized aircraft for close air support. This aircraft is the ground troop’s best friend due to many reasons. One reason is its mighty GAU-8/A Avenger gun. Ever wondered how many bullets this gun can carry and for how long it can fire continuously? Keep reading to find out!

What is GAU-8/A Avenger?

The GAU-8 Avenger is an electrically controlled, hydraulic driven 30 mm seven-barrel, Gatling-style autocannon typically installed in the United States Air Force’s A-10 Thunderbolt also known as the A-10 Warthog.

This gun is specifically designed for the anti-tank role and it is 20 ft long gun that can deliver very high powerful rounds at a high rate of fire. That is why you don’t want to be on the wrong side of the battlefield when one of these starts flying around.

Ever Wondered How Long The A-10's GAU-8 Avenger Can Fire Continuously?
(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Snyder)

How long the Warthog’s GAU-8 can fire continuously?

Who else is a better fit to answer this question than an A-10 pilot? In an article by a former A-10 pilot Lynn Taylor on Quora, he says that according to a Wikipedia article on GAU-8 Avenger the magazine can hold 1,174 rounds, although 1,150 is the typical load-out.

Also according to Wikipedia,

The Avenger’s rate of fire was originally selectable, 2,100 rounds per minute (rpm) in the low setting, or 4,200 rpm in the high setting. Later this was changed to a fixed rate of 3,900 rpm.

Then the Taylor does the math for how long does the gun can fire continuously,

Here, I’ll even do the math for you.

3,900 rpm = 65 rounds per second (rps)

1,150 rounds / 65 rps = 17.69 seconds of gun

Also, he states further that “There are some other factors like barrel spin-up time in the first half second, so you can actually get a little more time out of it, depending on how many shots you take.”

Below is a video of what the receiving end looks like when fired from the Avenger.



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