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Coil And Rail Gun Experiments

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Published on Oct 24, 2011

I have been putting together my own "Nerd Weaponry", namely rail and coil guns. A little bit about both:

A rail gun uses the Lorenz force caused by the electricity going through the rails to linearly accelerate an armature that may either be the bullet or a thing that pushes the bullet. A plasma rail gun simply uses a plasma stream as the armature, this reduces welding issues (I vaporized some aluminum foil to generate the plasma).


A coil gun (or Gauss gun) uses a strong magnetic pulse to pull a bullet forward. While in theory less efficient than a rail gun, in this case it is far more efficient. Multiple stages triggered by sensors can increase efficiency as well as the power of the gun, since once a bullet is saturated by the magnetic field it will not move faster with more power going through the coil. I am working on implementing multiple stages for this coil gun, as well as methods of increasing the flux on the projectile (such as a iron enclosure for the coil).

Some more stats for the coil gun at the end:

- 139J source energy
- 40 amp car relay switch
- body made out of plexiglass and garolite
- bolt has a small magnet on tip to keep the bullet from sliding down the fluoropolymer barrel
- 22 photoflash capacitors all at 330v
- trigger is from a nerf gun

Music is "Barn Beat" by SoundJay: http://www.soundjay.com/

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