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The Gauss Rifle (Question)

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posted on Mar, 7 2005 @ 03:16 PM
Obviously it wouldn't be made out of a wooden ruler, (that was just a site to show how easy they can be made)

(Anyone feel like explain the difference between a Rail gun and a Gauss rifle?)

I watched a young man on the discovery channel, he showcased and fire it. He was a studetn or graduate of MIT.

What really surprised me is the sound it made, it actually resembled the sound you hear in science fiction movies. It was crazy.

The barrel itself was made out of some sort of alloy, it had copper wire netted all the way down the barrel. It was about 1 meter long. The battery pack istelf was about 2 ft square. The amps he was making were crazy high.

I might be able to find a pic. ahhh crap I was on "the daily planet" on the discovery channel...i looked through all of january and december for the video of it...but i cant remeber when it was...maybe it was october....or november....its on there somewhere....

posted on Mar, 7 2005 @ 06:42 PM
Rail gun uses rails and electricity to move the slug, gauss rifles use magnets and momentum to move the slug.

Look up powerlabs for more stuff on rail guns....

posted on Mar, 12 2005 @ 07:31 PM
I've just come across this thread while randomly trawling the 'net and thought I would say how the Gauss Rifle could work as a practical weapon.
The way the Gauss Rifle most of you have seemed to see worked was on kinetic transfer (hitting the magnet and passing kinetic energy through the magnet to the following ball) thus requiring all the balls to be reset after each shot making the weapon infeasible. However a more practical method is readily available such as used in a CRT device (TV or Monitor) or Mag-Lev Trains of electromagnet coils meaning a magnetic shot passes through the centre and has the added effect of being repulsed by the previous magnet as well as being attracted by the next.
This makes Gauss rifles have a faster muzzle-velocity and it will be quite accurate. Also with the lack of friction as the slug would levitate when fired and no explosives used in firing would make the gun silenced and the effect of breaking the sound barrier would create a small pop and ripping sound due to the small size of the slug - but would only be heard after it passed you.
As to the power source a small electromagnet capable of performing this would not be excessive I believe under 100v should suffice (with efficient electro-magnets perhaps much less) and would have a drawback of requiring a computer chip to regulate the electromagnets.
If the voltage required is this low then it would be fairly hard to detect and Heat-Scanners would give a position much more accurately.
The only Weakness I found with this design of gun would be the fact that a powerful magnetic field may cause problems with the firing mechanism of the gun.
As to the reason the US military is not developing one, who’s to say they aren't? Being British I am not familiar with the Politics in America but perhaps the fact the gun would be expensive to research/produce put people off or maybe they have a better weapon in the pipeline? Who knows

Soz for the long post but I thought it may interest some of you

P.S. Don’t diss Terrans Gauss-Rifle (Starcraft) they rock!

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 03:00 AM
Actually, the most effective Gauss rifle doesn't use balls at all. The Gauss Rifle is a coilgun, not a railgun, using a series of circular magnets, switched on in series, to accelerate a projectile. The biggest problem with coilguns at this point is that a coilgun with the ability to, say, punch a fist sized hole in an Abrams, is that the generator is the size of a two-car garage.

posted on Feb, 19 2009 @ 01:50 PM
One thing that I just want to point out because I see alot of you mixing up rail guns and Gauss guns

They are two completely different things.

First lets look at a Rail gun:
a weapon consisting of a pair of parallel conductive rails, using a magnetic field and electric current to launch projectiles at very high velocity.

Now a Gauss gun also known as a Coil gun:
a type of projectile accelerator that uses one or more electromagnetic coils to accelerate a magnetic projectile to high velocity

See the difference???

posted on Feb, 19 2009 @ 11:14 PM
reply to post by GrOuNd_ZeRo

If the sound is from it breaking the sound barrier, a silencer won't help unless it slows the projectile down to subsonic speeds.

Anyway, the kind of "gauss rifle" the OP seems to be talking about is actually just a little toy showing off the ideas of magnetism and momentum transfer. if you actually got it long enough to get the ball bearings to an appreciable speed, they'd shatter the magnets, which are made of a brittle rare earth material.

a REAL Gauss rifle is composed of one or more electromagnets around a barrel. The strength of an electromagnet is dependent entirely on the current through it. It will require a bank of capacitors, and a powerful, heavy power source if you plan on firing again in the foreseeable future.

No gauss rifle I know of can match the power, firing rate, and accuracy of a sporting rifle a tenth the weight and a fraction the cost. Quality capacitors and any sort of SCRs are expensive, after all. copper wire and IR sensors and diodes are cheap, as can be the driving circuit and frame. But there are a few components that drives the costs into the hundreds or thousands if you want it to pack more punch than a pellet gun.

Linear accelerators like Gauss rifles and rail guns are quite energy efficient. While a handgun can expect to produce 500 1000J at the muzzle from a little bit of powder. To get the same performance out of a coilgun, you generally need to put in four to fifty times that much energy, and chances are, you get that by burning fuel.

Vehicles have less of a problem because they already have engines, which, if they were made to handle linear accelerators, would come equipped with quality alternators or generators in order to charge the capacitors for the gun. People aren't so lucky.

Railguns are quite different in structure and the specifics operation from coilguns, but their overall effect is similar. They're much easier to build, but have many of their own problems that have proven difficult, such as rail erosion, and warping due to the stress that the magnetic field puts on the rails. The navy is still trying to solve these problems so that they can use railguns on their ships.

Perhaps in the future, but linear accelerators are far from a worthwhile replacement for guns at the moment.

posted on Feb, 20 2009 @ 12:02 AM
I think they have those thingys, in Unreal Tournament. Check it out.

[edit on 20-2-2009 by troylawson]

posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 09:03 PM
What happen if Every Conventional Firearms are Replaced by Railguns, Coilguns and Directed Energy Weapons?

posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 07:06 AM
I don't see it anytime soon in regards to infantry and even light vehicles. The power source would need to be made of unobtanium, and even the latest lithium polymer batteries aren't going to have enough endurance.

Also what's lighter? Yea number of consumable conventional jacketed rounds you carry (which become less and less) and a fairly lightweight 2-5 lb firearm? Or a EM-kinetic gun that weighs in excess of 20 lbs because of all the electrical windings and power pack, and its relatively lightweight (compared to standard rounds) inert metal slugs? Also which rifle is more likely to survive getting wet and dirty, the hammering and vibration from riding on an off-road vehicle, being slammed to the earth when you drop for incoming, and other combat scenarios?

Larger vehicles, and perhaps forward operating bases... Maybe.
Tanks and some artillery might get them. But these are big guns, not the man-portable stuff. Static locations where you can plug into the grid or access surplus on-site power may get them too. Yet even in these cases more conventional arms are likely to be ready faster, require less support, and less resources to keep on standby.

So the issue of utility may be a matter of scale. Does it resolve itself better when going bigger? After a certain point it may actually take up less space than conventionally fired rounds. And the fixed weight may no longer be an issue considering the weapons platform you put it on as compared to other systems in use.

The most likely candidate for these electro-kinetic weapons seems to be the Navy. Ships are fairly large, and can accomodate the space and mass. As the ships are now, the weapons and propulsion systems in addition to radar and comms will allways need a surplus of power. Newer ships are even likely to dump the deadweight and useless space consumed by mechanical drive shafts and use direct electric propulsion at the screw. So all the power being made onboard will be distributed electrically. That also has the benefit of cleaner modular design and more shared componentry. Even the guys designing carriers are thinking of using electrolinear motor systems to replace the steam catapult. So even they may be on this list. Thus no more inefficiency to wasted thermal losses on nuke or other possible steam plant systems. All the steam stays in the down in engineering with the gennys and aux. In turn various heaters and hot appliances go electric, and the crew is a lot more comfortable. (Even with good insulation and pipes, heat just leaks with steam. Not to mention warmup time and getting fine control.) With this considered, future ships will even have way more than enough electrical power available under those design standards. (Just coast one of the screws long enough to fast-charge a capacitor bank, then power back up to normal.)

They seem cool and all sci-fi future-tech, but to be practical - I think you've got to look at the big guns. It's likely the tech will be deployed there first until further developments are made on the power system components.

posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 08:40 AM
The US Navy has worked on a Coilguns (Gauss guns) in the past but a rail gun is faster and takes less power.
This does not mean that the navy will not build a coilgun just not as a weapon.
The navy is taking the coilgun idea and planing to use it as a electromagnetic catapults (EMCAT)on carriers to Launch aircraft.

This is the rail gun the navy is working on now

As you can see the projectile is burning as it leaves the barrel and this is only at 5,640 mph or 1/3 power.
It'll be firing shots at over 13,000 miles per hour.
at full power it will fire a projectile 200+miles and hit a 5 meter circle.

200+miles would allow a ship to fire into space.

Put a guidance system on the projectile and you could hit a satellite in low earth orbit or a Iranian missile fired at Israel or europe.

posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 09:09 PM

Originally posted by e 2 e k 1 a 7

(Anyone feel like explain the difference between a Rail gun and a Gauss rifle?)

A railgun uses a pair of rails and electromotive force to fire a round that will take a charge. (Linear electromotive force is what you see in old monster movies - the device producing the arc. It's also the core of electric motors, but those are not linear.) Last time I checked, there was a site advertising the sale of them, and they mentioned a need for no metal-to-metal contact - possibly with graphite.

A coilgun uses a set of electromagnets that are fired in a coordinated series to accelerate a magnetizable shell (usually iron casing or framework around a solid object) or round to extreme speeds.

My guess is that a gauss rifle is one of the above with a cradle used to minimize jams. (The cradle would be reaccelerated back down the barrel to reset the gun.)

(An idea I had was a single pulse of current into a long, long wire that is wrapped around multiple electromagnets such that the pulse activates each like the coilgun above. But the winding would be difficult at best.)

Both should be able to be run on straight current, with a converter and a computer timer. For a wire-free version, capacitors would be a must; a portable may be feasible with a backpack, high amperage generator. And many railgun designs include capacitors for a burst of energy, rather than steady energy.

posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 10:20 PM
reply to post by masonicon

Everything shoots slower, requires more logistics to supply with energy, breaks more often, cannot be serviced except by highly trained engineers, and doesn't work as well in adverse conditions like fog or high humidity, depending on the type of weapon?

Except for specialist applications, directed energy weapons and linear accelerators are pretty worthless as weapons in the present.

posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 11:07 AM
I assume that the technology is very expensive to make a reliable, easy to produce, powerful gauss rifle. THe videos of them that I could find were created with magnets. That to me would be a very unreliable weapon system.

posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 11:30 AM
reply to post by e 2 e k 1 a 7

your talking about a young man called SAM barrows. go to his site
at to learn how to build a rail/Gauss gun
and also the drawbacks and positives to the concept.

i have messed with making various electromagnetic type
projectile fireing guns.they need plenty of power that is
one of the drawbacks.

as for the rail gun the rails degrade so fast due to heat/friction
that they need to perfect this for them to be true auto weapons.

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 04:44 PM
reply to post by pauljs75

this is a very well written piece that deserves the
star it got.

that is the real deal as to the drawbacks and
the reasons put forth for future use are totally correct.

posts like these make me buzz at my fellow ATS colleges.

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 08:25 AM
I remember a nuclear physicist friend of mine talking about this with me a few years ago, i never see him now as he basically had to turn his back on his old life as soon as he obtained his DV clearance (highest UK security available, probably due to him working around nuclear weapons). Apparently according to him the US navy had a rail gun prototype mounted on a submarine, if theres any truth in it however i have no idea

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 08:51 PM
the Gauss rifle or canon the only problem is trying to find the best way to reload and recharge the gun. if i had to chouse i wouldnt us a gause rifle but a rail gun witch both fire on almost the same consept. what i've herd they both us magnetic feilds to propel a projectile down a tube

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 12:42 AM

Originally posted by TheCuriousOrange
I remember a nuclear physicist friend of mine talking about this with me a few years ago, i never see him now as he basically had to turn his back on his old life as soon as he obtained his DV clearance (highest UK security available, probably due to him working around nuclear weapons). Apparently according to him the US navy had a rail gun prototype mounted on a submarine, if theres any truth in it however i have no idea

it couln't be true

posted on Jul, 5 2010 @ 11:42 AM
Id like to add a couple of things
more than 20 years ago a college proffessor of mine worked on the US's "rail gun" project while it was still a civillian program.
He has a 1" thick piece of armor plate that was penetrated by a 10mm lexan projectile. That particular device was what some people call a coil gun. The barrel consisted of a series of electromagnetic rings whose polarity was computer controlled,ie alternating between pos and neg. The lexan projectile had a posative static charge. the magnet in front would be neg and the magnet behind pos and being switched as the projectile moved down the barrel.
They would get 2-3 shots before the barrel came apart from the repulsive forces of the of the like charges in the magnet rings. They were hitting muzzle velocities of 23K + feet per second, so fast the the lexan projectile would turn to plasma as it left the barrel.

the so called "guass rifle" is a video game invention.

all EM launchers work on the same principal, that like magnetic charges repel and dissimilar charges attract.
The same principal that is used in high speed monorail trains in japan.

Current rail guns use a rail because the compressive strength of the materials used is much much graeter than their tensile strengths. Its much harder for the forces to crush the materials in a rail than it is for them to explode them in a ring.
The heat generated in the shot has also been an issue.
The navys newest rail gun uses a staticly charged sabot to carry the projectile down the barrel, the sabot falls away as the projectil leaves the barrel.
Energy storage and generation issuse mean that rail guns will be relegated to ships or large static installations until a fundemental break through has been made in those fields, not any time in the near future.

Even with the US navys work on table top sized fusion reactors a chemical reaction to move a projectile at high velocites will still be hard to beat for vehicle mounted weapons, ie tanks.
20 years ago the british were getting muzzle velocities of nearly 15k feet/sec with "cold gas" guns , i beleive they were using super compressed gasses ignited electonically to achieve these super high velocities.

any way thats my $.02 worth

posted on Jul, 5 2010 @ 12:59 PM
Comparing the magnet type gauss rifle to a REAL gauss rifle is like comparing a rubber band gun to a 30.06.

A REAL gauss rifle also called a COIL GUN uses electromagnets and needs firing capacitors to dump large amounts of power into the coils. We are talking power in the KW and even the MW range.

A Gauss rifle is a linear induction motor. Each electromagnets grabs the projectile and throws it to the next which grabs it and throws it to the next one each time gaining speed.

So the answer to the question is POWER

[edit on 7/5/2010 by fixer1967]

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