Mike Dillon’s interests seemed to turn hobbies into businesses at every turn. In spite of his tireless devotion to those businesses he stated that after he left TWA he never worked a day in his life. That passion for his work is what drove Mike to relentlessly devote his time and energies towards improving the M134, or Mini-Gun as it is commonly known, and save it from the scrap heap of failed military arms. According to Dillon Aero’s own “About Us” page Mikes Dillon’s involvement with the m134 began, as so many of Mikes projects seemed to, with something completely different as the motive:
“Dillon Aero is an off-shoot of parent company Dillon Precision, and its origins as well as that of the modern M134D can be traced back to one long, cold night on a dry lake bed in Northern Arizona. For more than 25 years, Dillon Precision has produced the world’s finest small arms ammunition reloading equipment. In the early 90’s DP acquired a handful of surplus GE GAU-2 Miniguns for use in the movie industry. Miniguns had appeared in a number of films such as Predator and Terminator and were a hot item in the movie business. Unfortunately, the guns could never be made to function reliably. On one particular film shoot, Dillon Precision had been contracted to provide Miniguns for the British Television Top Gear being filmed in Arizona.
Unfortunately, the guns were proving temperamental. Failure after failure threatened the entire shooting schedule. Gun crews worked straight through the last night to coax the weapons into firing a few hundred rounds without jamming. When the sun rose, the exhausted gun crew loaded the weapons. With cameras rolling and fingers crossed, they pulled the trigger. The guns roared to life just long enough to get the shot, and then jammed again.
By the time the film shoot had finished, frustration over Miniguns poor performance had turned to disgust. The designers at Dillon decided that they were either going to fix the weapon or shelve it permanently.”
Thankfully those efforts paid off both for Dillon Aero and for the military. Below we have an excerpt from Vertical 911 highlighting Dillon Aero’s origins and accomplishments. That is followed by a video of the M134D in action. If you prefer direct access to the pdf click here.vertical911-dillonaero