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The future of firearms?

NightOwl

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http://www.wonderhowto.com/wonderment/laser-coil-gun-shoots-bullets-on-pure-electricity-0113595/

Interesting little article about a gun a guy built in one week. It might not be a good velocity for personal defense, yet, but if that's what he did in a week, I'm sure it can get there.

Bullets are fired with no gunpowder and no shells. Very quiet. Runs off of batteries or a wall plug. Be interesting to see that same idea with a few years of professional development behind it.

Edit: Posted in this forum, since it seemed the most appropriate.
 

Task Force 16

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Unless he can produce a more compact design, this is definitely going to be an open cary piece.

I still like to hear a bang when I pull the trigger, though. And muzzle flash is cool, too.
 

NightOwl

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I'm sure a more compact design is possible, since that's just what he put together in one week. Think of how much things get compacted when the more expensive high tech components get worked in. Sure, he had some tech, but to some degree it wasn't the most top end.

Still a very interesting concept.
 

markand

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An interesting design and quite impressive considering it was apparently cobbled together with whatever he had on hand and in such a short time. Obtaining sufficient electrical energy in a form compact enough for a handgun might be a challenge. If upsized to a rifle configuration, with longer magnetic coils and more muzzle energy, it might be viable even if batteries had to be carried in a backpack. In hunting situations you only get one or two shots anyway.

The military is working on magnetic rail gun howitzers with thousands of times the energy of this handgun.
 

c45man

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I wonder how long it will take for the ATF to require a manufacturers license to build such an instrument?
 

UtahJarhead

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simmonsjoe wrote:
It already does.
HA! IANAL, but batFe says firearms. Isn't a firearm defined as a gun that fires a projectile using an explosive? I'm sure I'm probably wrong, but it's an interesting idea.
 

Flyer22

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Merriam-Webster Online: firearm--"a weapon from which a shot is discharged by gunpowder—usually used of small arms."

In other words, all firearms are guns, but not all guns are firearms.
 

tekshogun

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I will say that this is pretty impressive that the guy built his own hand held rail gun, sort of. Of course if he can do it in a week, imagine what even a small company can do... oh wait, yeah, Metal Storm.

I say, great job to that guy for his inguinuity. In the mean time, I'll stick with the good ole reliable firearm... batteries not required.
 

ixtow

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This is nothing new. Homemade coil and rail guns are common. Google it. They don't come close to the energy of conventional firearms.
 

tekshogun

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I don't think it is so much that it is old or new. Most of us know this technology or the ability to build osmething like this has been around for a long time.

The fact is that someone did it by themselves with stuff you can buy at flee markets and radio shacks.
 

ixtow

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tekshogun wrote:
I don't think it is so much that it is old or new. Most of us know this technology or the ability to build osmething like this has been around for a long time.

The fact is that someone did it by themselves with stuff you can buy at flee markets and radio shacks.
Must I create an echo? I made one when I was 12. It was every bit as useless and goofy as the one linked. BB guns are vastly more powerful.

Do a little research on the Current (and thusly, magnetic flux) needed to accelerate a small mass of magnetic material to similar velocities as a conventional firearm, and you will begin to respect exactly how much juice there is in a cartridge.

Human beings have yet to discover a technology that can make the coil gun come within even a small fraction of the terminal energy of a conventional firearm. Much less, the size.

Just because he made this one out of plexi-glass does not make it comparable to anything but exactly what it isn't....

You don't even need a flea market or a radio shack. You just need to have a lot of time to waste and no concern for that fact that the result will still be utterly useless and overall, make you a homo for doing it.

Yes, I said doing such a thing means you're a homo. I can understand a kid exploring and learning physics, etc. But a grown man playing with this and putting a video of it on the internet... Does he have a Barbie, too? :p
 

tekshogun

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ixtow wrote:
Must I create an echo? I made one when I was 12. It was every bit as useless and goofy as the one linked. BB guns are vastly more powerful.

Do a little research on the Current (and thusly, magnetic flux) needed to accelerate a small mass of magnetic material to similar velocities as a conventional firearm, and you will begin to respect exactly how much juice there is in a cartridge.

Human beings have yet to discover a technology that can make the coil gun come within even a small fraction of the terminal energy of a conventional firearm. Much less, the size.

Just because he made this one out of plexi-glass does not make it comparable to anything but exactly what it isn't....

You don't even need a flea market or a radio shack. You just need to have a lot of time to waste and no concern for that fact that the result will still be utterly useless and overall, make you a homo for doing it.

Yes, I said doing such a thing means you're a homo. I can understand a kid exploring and learning physics, etc. But a grown man playing with this and putting a video of it on the internet... Does he have a Barbie, too? :p
An echo? That wasn't the most civil post you could have thought of. But it was quite a funny read. :lol:
 

NightOwl

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I think it's closer to meaning "not being a jackass for no reason". I'm glad you're familiar with it, kudos to you for being superior. Not everyone is, and I at least found it interesting. Now if you're done trying to puff yourself up, kindly drop it, since you clearly have nothing worthwhile to add.

Anyhow, it's still an interesting thing to throw together in a week. I like the concept, and the fact that he put a wall plug on it. Could be an interesting non-lethal (barring hitting someone in the eye or whatever) addon to a security system, perhaps, if it's hooked up to some type of motion sensor.
 

N6ATF

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NightOwl wrote:
Anyhow, it's still an interesting thing to throw together in a week. I like the concept, and the fact that he put a wall plug on it. Could be an interesting non-lethal (barring hitting someone in the eye or whatever) addon to a security system, perhaps, if it's hooked up to some type of motion sensor.
Heh. Fire a load of BBs at kneecap level, then when they fall, no more solid footing.
 

ixtow

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NightOwl wrote:
I think it's closer to meaning "not being a jackass for no reason". I'm glad you're familiar with it, kudos to you for being superior. Not everyone is, and I at least found it interesting. Now if you're done trying to puff yourself up, kindly drop it, since you clearly have nothing worthwhile to add.

Anyhow, it's still an interesting thing to throw together in a week. I like the concept, and the fact that he put a wall plug on it. Could be an interesting non-lethal (barring hitting someone in the eye or whatever) addon to a security system, perhaps, if it's hooked up to some type of motion sensor.
Yay!

You're missing the point. It isn't a weapon. You can throw rocks and do dozens of times more damage. 11J? Google and a Calculator (or just google, it'll do math and unit conversions if you type it in the search line). Take a look at the efficiency number, and run that backwards for flux density and current in the coil, temporal duration, etc.... Even 'throwing rocks' is so many orders of magnitude greater, it makes a bad comparison. If you spit really hard, maybe?

What you think of me for pointing that out is not relevant.

Yeah, I can be an ass. I like it. Try not to lose your objectivity because of it. Hmmmm, maybe that's why I'm an ass here and not there........

On point: energy density. Same problem with cars. Not even remotely close to feasible.

Now, homemade railguns, those are pretty darned cool if not short-lived. Still, energy density.... But at least there are results that border on being able to provide gun-ish projectile weights and velocities. Making a brick into the shape of a gun doesn't make it 'the future of guns.'

I've seen a few multi-coil coil guns with optical sensors and the such that are a bit more powerful, but for the small power plant needed to power them, you're still better off with a CO2 laser or throwing rocks for any kind of weapon-ish-ness.

Converting a solid directly into a gas with no in-between liquid stage still produces WAY more kinetic energy than anything else thus far discovered by man. Nothing else even comes close. Even nuclear fission releases less power in these package sizes.
 

Dreamer

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Point of Note:

The MetalStorm weapons are NOT railguns.

They are still, essentially, traditional firearms, launching the projectile with burning propellant. The primary differences between Metalstorm firearms and "traditional" firearms are this:

1) the propellant charge is ignited electronically, not through a mechanically-initiated chemical reaction (they use no primers), and

2) the barrel IS the magazine, so there is no "feeding mechanism" per se, which tremendously increases speed of fire and reliability.

The major drawback to the MetalStorm technology is if a propellant charge fails for some reason to ignite and then the next one behind it DOES fire. The resulting increase in pressure could cause catastrophic failure of the barrel, and could, in theory, cause multiple simultaneous propellant ingnitions. Personally, I don't want to be holding 20 rounds in my hand when they all go off because of a "failure to fire"...

Rail guns use NO propellant to launch their projectiles. They use electromagnetic pulses cycled through a series of coils.

The DOD has been working on rail gun-based artillery for decades. Some of the experimental units ARE capable of launching impressively large payloads with tremendous velocity--far exceeding that of "traditional" artillery. The part of rail gun technology that is holding these weapons back in terms of field deployment is that they require unfathomable amounts of electricity to operate, and tend to have a relatively low cyclical rate of fire compared to traditional guns, and have an unacceptable MTBF service life, compared to traditional guns.

Rail guns might someday become practical, but for the foreseeable future, they are inefficient, unreliable, and impractically bulky.

Useable hand-held railgun weapons of ANY practical type are several decades away, and even then, they will still have a much lower rate of fire and terminal velocity of their projectiles than traditional firearms of similar size, weight, and cost.

Same goes for "energy weapons" like lasers, masers, or sonic weapons.

There are some "practical" uses for rail guns. They might be VERY effective launch platforms for unmanned space vehicles like satellites, or cargo ships. But they can not be used to launch humans into space, because the acceleration needed to lift a manned vehicle out of the gravity well would create, as they say in the medical field, "a condition incompatible with life", meaning, you'd be killed by the G-force of the acceleration...
 
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