Home-Made Gauss Machine Gun Debuts On YouTube

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Home-Made Gauss Machine Gun Debuts On YouTube

Nothing says "home defense of the future" quite like a fully-automatic weapon that uses electromagnetic coils to fire ferrous metal slugs.

In Mechwarrior lore, the Gauss rifle is one of the most feared weapons on the battlefield. It fires metal slugs at extremely high velocities for unparalleled range and accuracy, and because it doesn't rely on ammunition propellant or explosives, it's relatively safe and easy to keep fed. The downside is that it takes a whole lot of power to move those slugs at a useful speed, making them big, heavy weapons - not the sort of thing you carry around in your back pocket.

Jason Murray's Gauss gun doesn't pack enough of a punch to bring down a giant fighting robot (and possibly not even a guy in a heavy winter coat) and the accuracy doesn't appear all that hot either, but the simple fact that it works as well as it does is mightily impressive. Powered by a pair of 22.2 volt Lithium-polymer battery packs, his "CG-42" fires caseless steel slugs at a rate of 7.7 rounds per second with a muzzle velocity of just under 140 feet per second - a small fraction of the 1400-ish ft/s velocity of a conventional handgun round but still enough to mess up your day, especially if it hits home in a sensitive area.

But more important than any of that, it's stupidly cool - this is an actual Gauss machine gun, designed and built by a single guy who has a thing for "making concepts from science fiction become reality." It looks great, too. I'm not really what you'd call a "gun guy" but this is definitely something I'd love to have hanging on my wall.

Source: Delta-V Engineering

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Getting a lot of tumble on the projectiles, but the construction quality of the rifle is VERY good!

I've often considered trying to build something like this, but my plans involved a hopper of ball bearings. The clip idea is super-sweet though. Really like the bullpup configuration.

Hmm, why not have all the magnets on upon initial firing and have them turn off in sequence as the projectile moves through? Could be a power supply issue I guess.

The gun seems to be about as powerful as a bb gun or paint ball gun. The lack of noise makes it appear less powerful as well.

The only thing missing is that loud BEEeeeeewwwwwwwww noise as the capacitors charge up, I love it! Begs the question on how would you add a spin to the projectile though, can't exactly rifle magnets in a way that would generate useful rotation. Finned round?

I hate to be a spoilsport, but people have been making homemade coilguns for years, why is this special?

MinionJoe:
Getting a lot of tumble on the projectiles, but the construction quality of the rifle is VERY good!

I've often considered trying to build something like this, but my plans involved a hopper of ball bearings. The clip idea is super-sweet though. Really like the bullpup configuration.

It's probably due to lack of rifling... It isn't shown, but I doubt it is (also no mention of bullet spin on the guns stats over on his page). I'm a complete layman when it comes to projectile physics so excuse my ignorance if I'm wrong, but he probably would have been better with Ball-bearings, as you had considered. The length vs its width and breadth would have a sever impact on it's trajectory. Heck a shorter bullet would have probably worked better.

That said, it looks pretty sweet, but there is something abjectly terrifying about watching someone fire a homemade gun.

fix-the-spade:
The only thing missing is that loud BEEeeeeewwwwwwwww noise as the capacitors charge up, I love it! Begs the question on how would you add a spin to the projectile though, can't exactly rifle magnets in a way that would generate useful rotation. Finned round?

Yeah, something akin to missile ballistics maybe.

But is there no way to generate spin WITH magnets? Like, maybe a strip on the bullet (perhaps curved slightly around the bullet) that acts against the magnets pull but inefficient enough to adversely affect acceleration? (Think like how too + magnets meet they repel each other)

Just like ballistic physics, I'm a complete layman when it comes to magnetism.

Here at Aperture we fire the whole bullet. That's 65% more bullet, per bullet!

Come on - you know the guy was thinking it. :7

I think that barrel needs to be rifled, that would help with the projectile tumbling and instantly increase the power of the weapon.

Other than that, the question is, how is this superior to gunpowder weapons? Off the top of my head, easier to produce the ammo (it's just metal slugs), a lot less noise, would work in a vacuum (for all your Space Marine action). On the downside, there's plenty of electronics that can get messed up and field repairs are pretty much out of the question (I doubt soldiers will be carrying around space circuit boards in their packs), while regular guns don't really have much that can go wrong (other than the occasional jamming problem).

All in all, the weapon would have to provide a noteworthy increase in firepower to be worth the added risks and hassle of all the electronics. Perhaps we'll get there one day, but not soon...

Ragsnstitches:

It's probably due to lack of rifling... It isn't shown, but I doubt it is (also no mention of bullet spin on the guns stats over on his page). I'm a complete layman when it comes to projectile physics so excuse my ignorance if I'm wrong, but he probably would have been better with Ball-bearings, as you had considered. The length vs its width and breadth would have a sever impact on it's trajectory. Heck a shorter bullet would have probably worked better.

That said, it looks pretty sweet, but there is something abjectly terrifying about watching someone fire a homemade gun.

There is no rifling on a coil gun, it's one of the drawbacks to the design.Don't quote me on this, but I'm not sure the bullet would be able to spin properly anyways since it's being pulled through the barrel progressively instead of pushed from the back.

JamesBr:

Ragsnstitches:

It's probably due to lack of rifling... It isn't shown, but I doubt it is (also no mention of bullet spin on the guns stats over on his page). I'm a complete layman when it comes to projectile physics so excuse my ignorance if I'm wrong, but he probably would have been better with Ball-bearings, as you had considered. The length vs its width and breadth would have a sever impact on it's trajectory. Heck a shorter bullet would have probably worked better.

That said, it looks pretty sweet, but there is something abjectly terrifying about watching someone fire a homemade gun.

There is no rifling on a coil gun, it's one of the drawbacks to the design.Don't quote me on this, but I'm not sure the bullet would be able to spin properly anyways since it's being pulled through the barrel progressively instead of pushed from the back.

Okay then, thanks for that. I edited a bit more into my post. What if one was to use the magnets to cause the spin? Like a small slightly curved magnetised strip on the bullet (or in the barrel?) that acts against the coils pull but not enough to affect acceleration?

Ragsnstitches:

Okay then, thanks for that. I edited a bit more into my post. What if one was to use the magnets to cause the spin? Like a small slightly curved magnetised strip on the bullet (or in the barrel?) that acts against the coils pull but not enough to affect acceleration?

Don't know, I'm not a physicist ^^ I'm not sure if the coil around the barrel "locks" the bullet in place or how much energy would be lost fighting against that tendency if that were the case. I'm sure if it were effective, someone would have done it already. To be fair, the rounds from this gun go WAAAAY slower than an actual bullet. At actually lethal speeds, the spin might not be necessary. Railguns, for example, don't spin their shots (since they are on a rail I know, but still :P). Who knows, it might end up being more a shotgun in terms of range and accuracy and less a rifle if the tech ever gets there.

While it may not be powerful enough to kill someone, I'd say it would be a useful non-lethal weapon perhaps a step above rubber bullets.

Elate:
While it may not be powerful enough to kill someone, I'd say it would be a useful non-lethal weapon perhaps a step above rubber bullets.

Then don't bring it to Florida: They'll throw you in jail for firing a gun UNLESS you kill someone.

Ragsnstitches:
I'm a complete layman when it comes to projectile physics so excuse my ignorance if I'm wrong, but he probably would have been better with Ball-bearings, as you had considered.

Well, the accuracy wouldn't have been any better, but penetration would be higher (less surface area at impact).

That said, it looks pretty sweet, but there is something abjectly terrifying about watching someone fire a homemade gun.

Not as terrifying as that YouTube video of the guy test firing a gun he made with a 3D printer! ;)

So far as getting the long bullets to stop tumbling, some fin stabilization or even a drogue ribbon (like a kite tail), would help. It would decrease projectile velocity though.

It's all trade-offs really. Depends what you're trying to accomplish.

And this guy has accomplished a pretty slick system. IMO. :)

MinionJoe:

Ragsnstitches:
I'm a complete layman when it comes to projectile physics so excuse my ignorance if I'm wrong, but he probably would have been better with Ball-bearings, as you had considered.

Well, the accuracy wouldn't have been any better, but penetration would be higher (less surface area at impact).

That said, it looks pretty sweet, but there is something abjectly terrifying about watching someone fire a homemade gun.

Not as terrifying as that YouTube video of the guy test firing a gun he made with a 3D printer! ;)

So far as getting the long bullets to stop tumbling, some fin stabilization or even a drogue ribbon (like a kite tail), would help. It would decrease projectile velocity though.

It's all trade-offs really. Depends what you're trying to accomplish.

And this guy has accomplished a pretty slick system. IMO. :)

Another way would be taking the design of the APFSDS round that most tanks use. firstly make it fin stabilized, possibly with a tilt on the fins to create a spin after it leaves the barrel. Then have some kind of sabot that would still be affected by the magnets, this might mean a redesign since it would need a larger barrel, thus larger magnets, but the power increase for a small round could possibly increase the velocity.

Still though, the guy made a reloadable, rapid fire gauss rifle that doesn't explode, so he already has done more than I have.

Would really like to see his later versions have higher velocities of course.

Did anyone else read the title as "Home-Made Glass Machine Gun?".

Anyway I got to say that is an impressive and leathal looking gun!

Ukomba:
Hmm, why not have all the magnets on upon initial firing and have them turn off in sequence as the projectile moves through? Could be a power supply issue I guess.

The gun seems to be about as powerful as a bb gun or paint ball gun. The lack of noise makes it appear less powerful as well.

The lack of noise is probably due to the fact that it isn't a combustion gun. But I feel the need to point out that lack of noise doesn't mean lack of power. Either way, I wouldn't want to stand in front of it.

Ukomba:
Hmm, why not have all the magnets on upon initial firing and have them turn off in sequence as the projectile moves through? Could be a power supply issue I guess.

The gun seems to be about as powerful as a bb gun or paint ball gun. The lack of noise makes it appear less powerful as well.

The force exerted by a coil is directly proportional to the current. The more coils you have in parallel the lower current your power source can supply to each of them. That would be my guess for why switching is better, although through the black art of circuit building that might be fixed and you might be right on it just being a power issue

Jandau:
I think that barrel needs to be rifled, that would help with the projectile tumbling and instantly increase the power of the weapon.

Other than that, the question is, how is this superior to gunpowder weapons? Off the top of my head, easier to produce the ammo (it's just metal slugs), a lot less noise, would work in a vacuum (for all your Space Marine action). On the downside, there's plenty of electronics that can get messed up and field repairs are pretty much out of the question (I doubt soldiers will be carrying around space circuit boards in their packs), while regular guns don't really have much that can go wrong (other than the occasional jamming problem).

All in all, the weapon would have to provide a noteworthy increase in firepower to be worth the added risks and hassle of all the electronics. Perhaps we'll get there one day, but not soon...

As low powered as this gun is, adding rifling would only really add drag, slowing the projectiles more. Fins or groves on the projectiles for self stabilization would probably work better.

Mossberg Shotty:

Ukomba:
Hmm, why not have all the magnets on upon initial firing and have them turn off in sequence as the projectile moves through? Could be a power supply issue I guess.

The gun seems to be about as powerful as a bb gun or paint ball gun. The lack of noise makes it appear less powerful as well.

The lack of noise is probably due to the fact that it isn't a combustion gun. But I feel the need to point out that lack of noise doesn't mean lack of power. Either way, I wouldn't want to stand in front of it.

I am well aware of that. The silence is also likely due to the projectiles being subsonic.

I know sound doesn't equate to power. I said it 'makes it appear' less powerful. It's like sound design in a game. A pathetic sounding gun comes off as under powered even if does good damage.

That ending with the cake was great!

Obvious issues with accuracy and projectile stability aside, it looks like a viable weapon from where im sitting.

And if it works as advertised, then we can get a move on and make hybrid coilgun weapons a reality. Might not be so great for small arms, but for mounted guns, tank cannons and shipboard weapons, could be the next best thing until they come out with a proper railgun that doesnt have insane power requirements, and doesnt come dangerously close to melting on the first shot.

Upon watching the video, this was the first thing I thought of, but the thought was replaced with another of how the video is nowhere near realistic, because he's not missing every shot he fires, even at close range. :P
(That's an XCOM joke, not a slight against the video, that shit's impressive.)

Rblade:

Ukomba:
Hmm, why not have all the magnets on upon initial firing and have them turn off in sequence as the projectile moves through? Could be a power supply issue I guess.

The gun seems to be about as powerful as a bb gun or paint ball gun. The lack of noise makes it appear less powerful as well.

The force exerted by a coil is directly proportional to the current. The more coils you have in parallel the lower current your power source can supply to each of them. That would be my guess for why switching is better, although through the black art of circuit building that might be fixed and you might be right on it just being a power issue

That's true, but you can't put unlimited current through the coil. If the max power the coil can handle maxes out well below the output of the power source then you could power all the coils at the same time. I know the magnetic force decreases at a square of the distance from the source, you'd get less and less effect out of the farther magnets but you could still get some boost. So it is likely both, limited power makes it more effective to pump max power through them individually rather than in parallel.

Ukomba:

Rblade:

Ukomba:
Hmm, why not have all the magnets on upon initial firing and have them turn off in sequence as the projectile moves through? Could be a power supply issue I guess.

The gun seems to be about as powerful as a bb gun or paint ball gun. The lack of noise makes it appear less powerful as well.

The force exerted by a coil is directly proportional to the current. The more coils you have in parallel the lower current your power source can supply to each of them. That would be my guess for why switching is better, although through the black art of circuit building that might be fixed and you might be right on it just being a power issue

That's true, but you can't put unlimited current through the coil. If the max power the coil can handle maxes out well below the output of the power source then you could power all the coils at the same time. I know the magnetic force decreases at a square of the distance from the source, you'd get less and less effect out of the farther magnets but you could still get some boost. So it is likely both, limited power makes it more effective to pump max power through them individually rather than in parallel.

did you see the size of those wires! I did a project with coils, a 0,1 mm wire can carry upto 2A pretty safely (1,2 by factory standard) under continues load. It's hard to eyeball but with 2 or 3 mm wire there with on off load I think you could risk cranking those bad boys up to like 100A (although that would be pushing it I guess, risking you insulation layer) Also the force of coils that size is negligible outside of the solonoid, it's even worse then squared so anything after the adjecent coil will have pretty much negligible effect. So outside of circuit convenience I don't think having any more then 2 coils on will change force in any noticeable way. (edit: just discussing btw, no intend to call bullshit on your claim or anything agressive like that.)

I've been telling people that these may just have a future in our military. I've thought about putting the batteries in the magazine so that you wouldn't have to worry about charge in the middle of a firefight. Cool stuff, but way over my head in actually construction. Nice job dude!

Is it wrong that I was expecting it to fire a straight laser beam when I saw the thing? Impressive looking weapon.

140 feet per second comes out to a bit over 95 mph, if I did the math right. That may not be "handgun" velocity, but it definitely falls into the area of "fastball" velocity... I wouldn't want to stand in front of that thing, especially on full auto.

And we aren't developing these guns why?

Seriously, if we could get these guns to a point where they are on par with or surpass that of current guns we could end up having even more of an advantage.

Also, this doesn't just have to be small rifles. If this technology could be used in artillery or sniper rifles, not only would it be almost completely silent, but it would mean we wouldn't have to deal with the manufacturing of rounds and gunpowder. Just machine a completely metal round and you're good to go.

This looks totally badass! With some more tweaking, it could be more accurate and the slugs would fire faster.
What year was the Shadow Moses Incident supposed to take place? I thought we'd have METAL GEAR REX's nuke-launching rail gun by now.

uchytjes:
And we aren't developing these guns why?

Mostly because if you want to get comparable performance, they're a) hideously more expensive, b) substantially harder to maintain, and c) in violation of that core military principle known as KISS, or "Keep It Simple, Stupid", which is vastly more important in the military than just about anywhere else.

MinionJoe:
Getting a lot of tumble on the projectiles, but the construction quality of the rifle is VERY good!

I've often considered trying to build something like this, but my plans involved a hopper of ball bearings. The clip idea is super-sweet though. Really like the bullpup configuration.

That's one drawback it would be hard to correct.

As far as I'm aware it's impractical to rifle a gauss gun as you would a regular one to make the projectiles spin and thus keep their trajectory. The rotational action comes from the expanding gases squeezing through the grooves and forcing the projectile to spin (although I', sure most people already know this) and is the essential ingredient in making guns accurate and long range.

Agayek:

uchytjes:
And we aren't developing these guns why?

Mostly because if you want to get comparable performance, they're a) hideously more expensive, b) substantially harder to maintain, and c) in violation of that core military principle known as KISS, or "Keep It Simple, Stupid", which is vastly more important in the military than just about anywhere else.

Yeah. I guess that is a big trade off. But still, it would make for some pretty damn good big guns instead of rifles.

Agayek:

uchytjes:
And we aren't developing these guns why?

Mostly because if you want to get comparable performance, they're a) hideously more expensive, b) substantially harder to maintain, and c) in violation of that core military principle known as KISS, or "Keep It Simple, Stupid", which is vastly more important in the military than just about anywhere else.

Obviously not a smart choice for military use, but the issues you mentioned wouldn't be all that problematic for target shooting. I'd love something like this for competition shooting rather than traditional firearms. I'd love to have a casual competitive scene where people could bring their own constructions and test against eachother, and if you're not that handy you could get pre-built ones and tinker with them to your liking. It'd be a competition both in terms of accuracy and construction, so not as serious as traditional firearms competitions, but probably end up being way more fun.

vun:
Obviously not a smart choice for military use, but the issues you mentioned wouldn't be all that problematic for target shooting. I'd love something like this for competition shooting rather than traditional firearms. I'd love to have a casual competitive scene where people could bring their own constructions and test against eachother, and if you're not that handy you could get pre-built ones and tinker with them to your liking. It'd be a competition both in terms of accuracy and construction, so not as serious as traditional firearms competitions, but probably end up being way more fun.

Oh absolutely. For target shooting, Gauss weapons are just about perfect. The kind of meet & greet you're talking about here would also be pretty damn sweet. Would be pretty awesome to go to one of those.

Scrumpmonkey:
That's one drawback it would be hard to correct.

As far as I'm aware it's impractical to rifle a gauss gun as you would a regular one to make the projectiles spin and thus keep their trajectory. The rotational action comes from the expanding gases squeezing through the grooves and forcing the projectile to spin (although I', sure most people already know this) and is the essential ingredient in making guns accurate and long range.

That's why you use fins (or some other equivalent) on the bullet instead of rifling on the barrel. Stabilizing grooves carved along the round that force air aside and use the bullet's own momentum to turn itself would probably be ideal for this situation, but I'm no expert on aerodynamics, so I could be wrong.

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