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I was talking with some co-workers this past week about things we can build that are awesome and deadly and don’t fall under ATF regulation. Our first thought was a flamethrower, but with the drought in our area that doesn’t seem smart. Then I brought up the hamster-powered Gatling gun idea again, and since I still haven’t heard back from the ATF on that one the project remains on the shelf. But the one project that we really want to do is a Gauss gun (or railgun), like this one in the video. Since it doesn’t use a chemical reaction to propel the bullet, it isn’t regulated under the ATF’s authority. Which is awesome, and lets you do things like this select fire Gauss rifle. And as we all know, there’s nothing better in this world than a fire selector that goes “all the way to 11.”

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  1. Great as proof of concept, but needs more powah! 42 m/s is about 4.6% of the muzzle velocity of a 63gr 5.56 out of a 20″ barrel.

    Still…cool as hell!

  2. what is the weight of the projectile? i would assume that a small blowdart type bolt projectile of low weight would work a lot better, have more velocity, and get more penetration. Thoughts?

  3. “it isn’t regulated under the ATF’s authority. ”

    Now that is a VERY funny line to read early in the morning….Thru “regulations” they can exercise control over anything they like. By chance I read this just before your post Nick. The ATF is essentially going to radically change the use of Trusts for NFA stuff…all by a simple “regulation”, not law…

    • Yeah, they’ve been kicking this around for awhile now. As usual, President Dumbass and his crack band of ATF wanna-be fascists are targeting the wrong sort of thing. If scary black rifles account for less than 2% of all crimes committed, I’d love to know what percentage of crimes are committed using a weapon regulated by the NFA. My guess is that it would be less than 1%.

      • But there’s no sense crying over every mistake
        You just keep on trying ’till you run out of cake
        And the science gets done and you make a neat gun
        For the people who are still alive

  4. I may be incorrect but I believe a gauss gun is another word for a coil gun, which is distinct from a rail gun. You can read about the differences online, the Navy is developing a rail gun to use as surface to surface long range weapon. There is video online of the 2010 test and it was very impressive. It would take a nuclear powered warship to produce the juice for such a thing. I read they think it won’t even need a warhead, just a solid projectile to crack the hulls of ships with sheer mass and velocity.

    One thing I have always wondered with coil guns is if you could somehow manipulate the current through the coils to put a spin on the projectile? You know, like a rifled barrel? It is an interesting concept and inherently quiet.

    • If the magnetic pulse is coming down the length of the barrel in an actual coil configuration, you could use a tungsten dart with an inset of steel. The tungsten has a mass roughly 3 times that of the steel but is not magnetic. The steel, being magnetic, would rotate, following the magnetic pulse. The amount of steel required would be very minimal and with the higher mass of the tungsten, the rotating dart would have enormous spin and stability.

      • Except that the power is proportional to the amount of grip the coils can exercise on the projectile.

        Less ferrous metal equates directly to less velocity.

        I’ve done something similar, but the projectiles i crafted were 1/4″x1-1/4″ rare earth magnets (sold for use with magnetic door/window contacts) tipped with ceramic points. I got about 65J that way.

      • Where did you get the idea that a linear progression of separate magnetic zones exhibits rotation? That’s not how solenoids work.

        A machined-in channel and a bit of heat-shrink tubing to engage 3 1T:12″ lands is what I used, and it was sufficient.

        My coils were made of #8 wire, operating at a lower voltage and higher current. In this way higher switching speeds were possible, but only at the expense of a blown SCR or two per testing session.

        Power was provided by a 40 pound pack stuffed with NiCd cells and copper connected to the weapon by a “coaxial” cable made of welding cable and lightning braid.

        I shelved that line of research some time back, but that’s not to say that it’s not promising. I just chose to focus on other stuff.

        • Russ! You seem to have spent some time on these things! I’m sure I was off the mark by a mile but I really enjoyed reading your follow-up. Sorry for my lack of general knowledge but I am not only VERY new to this site but also very new to gun ownership, shooting, and ballistics. I have alot to learn but DAMN am I enjoying it!

        • Never apologize for not knowing stuff – especially about physics.

          May your road toward firearms expertise be enjoyable and relatively free of potholes.

        • Um, no? Pretty vague response. Sorry if my limited science was off but it was a quick 15 second response to a very good suggestion about creating spin. I also see that later posts talk of using fins to induce spin. Another good suggestion I think. BUT…as Russ pointed out already, there was alot more thinking on it that needed to be done. I threw something out there as a target to get people engaged and thinking on what I consider to be a fun subject but I think your response missed the mark even more than mine…just sayin’.

  5. These should be banned immediately! All the senseless destruction of cake! Oh my . Its only common sense you know

    Needs longer barrel /more magnets and a bigger scarier mag

  6. Obviously we all agree that it needs more v. but I think more importantly is introducing rifling or EM induced spin to stabilize the projectile, they are obviously keyholing.

  7. …their prototype is a “nice piece of kit”! I’ve done work with high power, inductive kick circuits and DeltaV’s efforts are quite impressive. It’s no small feat to keep the current controllers from exploding as the narrator mentioned.

    I wish them well on future development.

  8. For what it’s worth, you seem to equate a gauss (coil) gun with a rail gun. While both are magnetic guns, the two differ.

    In the former, a moving magnetic zone is created by inline solenoids, and it suffers the very real limitation of the time required to establish and disestablish a magnetic field.

    A rail gun, however, employs only one magnet consisting of two rails and an armature (projectile or sabot) with which they maintain contact.

    While capable of far greater speeds, the currents (tens of thousands to millions of amperes) make them quite the engineering challenge.

    While I did submit a (rejected) bid to the Navy for a design in which the rails did not require replacement with every shot, the best I could do was 20-25 shots.

    Rail guns are a tough little nut to crack…

    • So do you think they are going forward with a one shot design? I guess they could use it like the Russians used some of their early anti-ship missiles, which were quite large and mounted on destroyers?

  9. I can see the headlines now, “Congress meets to decide a bill that would ban the production of High Capacity Energy-based Kinetic Assault Weapons in the 40 Watt range.”

    Then the camera pans to some smarmy douche in a suit that was born and raised in NYC and blissfully believes in MAIG. “Dianne, this is a step forward. If we don’t outlaw these weapons of future war then we’ll be up to our necks in dead fetuses. These things automatically aborts babies just by being in existence. Do it for the children.”

  10. If the velocity could be increased 4x, you’ve got something as deadly as a handgun at least. Seems like it’d be totally doable with a big enough budget.

  11. I don’t know what the rest of the post’s say since I got tiered of peep’s dissin your gat’… Okay, in english, I got annoyed by people putting down a viable way of defence after some more research and development are done. Especially in the area of power systems, which I would guess it the largest limiting factor…

    I Love it and would be honored to see your schematics and build plans… Though I will admit I also believe in free information… (shrug)

    If we had more people researching POWER systems instead of talking about how it’s a crack up. I think we could make it equal to/MORE POWERFUL then a conventional gas operated firearm… I’ve seen the Navy’s rail gun and OH MY!!!! I want one… So, a hand held would be even better…

    Great Job People and Keep up the Good Play, errr, I mean work…

  12. 15 years ago when I was stupid enough not to know better, I built a single shot rail gun. I used a 3 piece aluminum sabot around a tungsten rod that I had lathed to be reasonably aerodynamic.
    The trick in a rail gun is that batteries don’t work well enough to give both the massive voltage to overcome natural inductance and massive current to give the required acceleration.
    That is why I designed and built my own compulsator. That took me over a year of nights and weekends. The actual rail gun was simple by comparison.
    After “borrowing” a 10,000 fps camera from work, I decided to shoot the gun into a 4x4x6 block of 6AL4V titanium. I guess that’s what you do when cool means more than safe.
    The gun fired once. The titanium block exploded and I was 1/2 in from losing an eye (the eye protection I was wearing might as well have not been there).
    The 4″ diameter 4130 compulsator axle bent. The six 4/0 welding cables threw the 45 pound weights I had on them 6 feet. $6k worth of stuff was gone in a few microseconds.
    The real kicker? The camera was triggered 10 msec before firing the gun. I had images of a still gun and then a gun recoiling away. No images of the projectile in the air. At that frame rate and angle, I should have had one picture with it in frame if it was going under 5 km/sec (16400 ft/sec).
    If one of you does decide to pursue this, please do it in a bunker!

  13. As someone who doesn’t currently have the know-how to put something like this together, I think this is pretty freakin’ awesome.

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