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The term "Mad Minute" did not originate with the Vietnam War. It originated from British Army infantry skill-at-arms training from just before World War 1, when an infantryman - during what would today be called his Annual Personal Weapons Test, or APWT - had to get at least 15 hits on a 300 yard target in 60 seconds. No mean feat with a bolt-action rifle fed from a 10-round magazine normally loaded from 5-round stripper clips (and thus needing to be reloaded during the practice). This is why the German Army in the opening battles of WW1 frequently thought they were facing machinegun fire when they were mainly up against infantrymen with bolt-action .303 Lee Enfields on rapid fire.
The "mad minute" was used by, amongst others, author Michael Herr in "Despatches", in that case to describe periods of intense automatic weapons fire during the Vietnam War. Also used to describe any short period of frenetic activity.
by 33 Lima December 29, 2006
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A math game given to elementary school students to help them learn their multiplication tables.

The premise of the game, is that you are given three rows of ten basic multiplicaton problems, in which you are supposed to answer as many as you can in sixty seconds. If you manage to finish them all, you move on to 4, 5, and 6 rows.
by Lon August 12, 2005
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The origin and definition of a "mad minute" is a description of the time it takes to reload a musket during combat in the 1700s and 1800s. The theory was to mass your firepower on an enemy you had to mass your soldiers. So formations would stand shoulder to shoulder and fire at each other from a range of fifty to several hundred yards with slow-loading and relatively inaccurate muskets.

The description is especially relevant to close combat because you are trying to reload your musket faster than the soldiers in the enemy formation who are directly in front of you as you are firing at each other. Its therefore a "mad minute" of reloading in between shots.
It was a mad minute whilst my ramrod drove the ball home inside my musket as my foe to the front did likewise.
by Poorlaggedman November 29, 2012
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Derived from G.I.s during the Vietnam war; a situation where every available weapon was fired as much as possible at anything that could conceivably be a target for one minute. Good for discouraging base-infiltrating NVA troops and clearing LZs as well as blowing off steam.
No, Vietnam’s mad minute’s not a math drill
Designed to master number facts skill
Mad minutes discourage infiltration by NVA
Encroaching on encampments night and day
Mad minutes into irate wild wood bestow
Such a fantastic light show.
by guy with computer October 09, 2006
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