Its 36 cells remained the smallest population of any known gun until the discovery of the double-barreledSimkin glider gun in 2015 which overtook this record with only 29 cells. But in terms of bounding box Gosper glider gun is outright the smallest. In 1971, Charles Corderman found a small predecessor of Gosper glider gun that has only 21 cells.^{[2]}

There are two other ways in which queen bees can interact to form gliders,^{[3]} and a third queen bee can be used to reflect a glider and make a "pseudo-Gosper gun".^{[4]} See period-30 glider gun for more information.

A 13-glidersynthesis of the Gosper glider gun was found no later than February 1971, and was featured in Martin Gardner's second column on Conway's Game of Life after being submitted by Robert Wainwright.^{[5]} An 8-glider synthesis was later found, which remains the smallest known glider synthesis of any gun. It can be destroyed completely by 2 gliders, as shown below.

The first known semi-natural occurrence of this glider gun is a tetramer variant, which appeared on November 9, 2022, in a symmetric soup by Open Science Grid.^{[6]}