Laser Guns or Rail Gun

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posted on May, 14 2004 @ 07:23 AM
this link has pictures of a railgun firing and it creates a fairly impressive plasma field. you can also download a movie of a railgun firing somewhere on that site...

the problem with lasers is you have to be abke to have a direct line of sight to your target. in other words you can't shoot over the horizon. a railgun can either be used as a line of sight weapon or like an artillery piece where it can shoot in an arc.

i wouldn't say plasma looked like water coming out of a rail gun but i suppose it could under certain circumstances...

[Edited on 5/14/04 by NothingMakesSense]

posted on May, 15 2004 @ 05:13 PM
Good post turn over you guys got here. Since you seem to understand why it wouldn't be effective for the Navy and airforce I'll just explain the Armies problem.
Power, each shot takes about 22.8 kW of power, which was solved by these people by just building a big capasitor bank, they only need one shot, not 1 shot a min(yes I know that effective use would require even more then this). For an hour of fire...... yeah it's getting ugly at 1.37MW, I looked up what current big diesel generators are putting out...... 2MW. So theoretically we could power this rail gun that shoots its 25x25x6mm projectiles, but there would be no point, as the aluminium one is turn to plasma before getting very far. Also using tougher projectiles would induce more wear on the rails, in short we can just power a 15mm canon with pathetic rate of fire. This would however require having the engien running all the time just for power generation, no shooting and moving. Artillery with this technology even if given the power would be near useless due to the rediculous arcs that would take place at shorter ranged (less then 100km?). A gauss gun(projectile powered by electromagnets) might be useful for this purpose bun once again power will be a problem. I think it will be quite some time before we can see this type of weapon system off a serious power grid.

posted on May, 16 2004 @ 08:56 PM
Well, Lasers and Rail Guns have high military applications, a rail gun is un able to fire repedeatly for one reason, the energy required to fire a slug round can not be fit into as a single implement, you would need a tank of some sort with all slots open for the power to be stored.

A laser yes, can be magnified to different magnitudes to provide certain amounts of energy per shot, a laser is capable to fire repedeatly hand held, it does not need to be placed on a tank platform.

Keep in mind, a simple rail gun is not complicated, all it does it direct a shot on a straigh trajectory, such as using an orbital cannon to fire asteroids, if you have seen Justice League(the 2003 version) the episode with Savage becoming the king of Kasnia, he takes control of an orbital rail gun and fires a warning shot to the U.S.S Hornet a carrier(Completely fictional).

The asteroid's course is maintained as it falls towards Earth, that is the capability of a large rail gun, very destructive.

Shattered OUT...

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 02:39 AM
how many (complete)space stations do we have in orbit currently. Yes, these weapons would be useful in certain situations but currently we don't support that role within our military. It's kinda like a land-locked country developping really great naval guns, yes they could go an capture a port, developpe naval technology to the point that they can put the guns on something and then build the ships. However, currently that nation has little use for it. Yes the U.S. has no need to ursurp anyones control, but they do have a lot of tech they have to developpe before they can efficiently deploy anything like this.

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 02:59 AM

Originally posted by SiRiNO
A laser in use would look pretty cool, but you cant beat the insane speed of a railgun projectile

Last I heard they had mounted an experimental railgun on a battleship, pretty big.

So your saying a railguns projectile is faster then LIGHT? ... erm ...

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 10:45 AM
I got a little confused with one comment, I thought a rail gun was the same thing as a gauss gun. How do they differ? Also, I think that with lasers your would have to worry about the beam getting wider as the distance gets farther. -Muzz

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 10:58 AM
Rail guns would be beteer if they were equipped on a tank or something like that.

Laser guns would be better for infantry.

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 11:00 AM

Originally posted by muzz
I got a little confused with one comment, I thought a rail gun was the same thing as a gauss gun. How do they differ? Also, I think that with lasers your would have to worry about the beam getting wider as the distance gets farther. -Muzz

LOLOL you been playing to much Unreal Tournament

Yeah, lazers require damn good lenses, but defusion of the beam isn't that bad if your beam is really powerfull It still should reach quite some distance.

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 12:07 PM
Railguns have a very poor fire rate. And a very small projectile. They work using extreme velocities of a high density projectile like a Ti/Cobalt/??? slug. Since it is basically a line of sight weapon it must be fired direct at a target. Using it as a lobed artillery piece would be ineffective as the "slug" is not very big and would lose all its impact velocity once it was traveling in the downrange, gravity induced arc. Granted that this would therotically be some 500 to maybe 1000 miles away. So you would essentially have a three to four pound slug falling at the rate of say 300 or 400 feet per sec. which is not going to do a lot of damage.

So therefore a railgun is a neat close range kenetic weapon that could be used for penetration of armoured or reinforced targets where HE casual effects are not wanted. But slow fire rate.

Oh, by the way there is no recoil on a rail gun, it works by using an electro-magnetic pulse to accelerate the slug. This requires either a REALLY long barrell or a REALLY powerfuly Superconductive Magnetic Accelerater which would use an insane amount of power to propel the slug at railgun speeds in a short barrell length.

A Chemical Laser is the way to go. Compact power source, low input power and a high intensity, short pulse laser. The ultimate sniper weapon, used to "disable" enemy troops. SFHK See,Fire,Hit,Kill. A lightspeed sniper weapon. So in cases like Iraq where our soldiers are fightining guys hiding in buildings over 400 yards away. A Laser weapon will allow you to kill them right when you see them instead of the half second to full second delay in the round arriving at the target. A laser weapon will allow for instant kills.

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 04:03 PM
actually even a small thing hitting the ground at high speed would cause a ig exsplosion
take a meteor they start at the size of cars yet some hit like the size of golf balls
also if u want to use a bigger round just increase the size of rails and power

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 04:22 PM
so then what is the difference between a gauss gun and a rail gun?

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 04:37 PM
Laser still requires a lot of power which is still difficult if not impossible to make portable enough these days.

I got a little confused with one comment, I thought a rail gun was the same thing as a gauss gun. How do they differ?

If I'm not getting things confused and totally mixed up rail guns work with two rails and lots of power making the shell in-between the two rails go forward because of some scientific oddity. Gauss gun I think would be like a big long set of electro magnets that are activated in front of the shell to make it go forward. Both allow for near relativistic speeds for their shells, but both need a lot of power.

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 04:49 PM
How about a combined traditional canon/railgun? The projectile is being shot conventionaly from the canon with explosive propelant but the canon has also some EM rails that can give the projectile greater speed (for example the projectile with liquid propelant is being fired with 2300 m/s and the rail will give it adtional 1000-1500 m/s that means 3300-3800 m/s). The point is you doesn't need that much energy as if you would have only pure railgun.

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 05:30 PM
It would have to be Gauss then, because the rails need to be close enough to conduct to the shell....... and that much electricity near gunpowder...... *wince*
However using standard propellents to get things going would be an effective hybrid idea, however it may not come out far enough ahead in the long run to be worth it. It really depends on how little power you can use while retaining the advantages.

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 05:48 PM
a gauss rifle is a set of magnets in a row and several "objects" are placed between each magnet
when a projectile hits the first magnet the force is transeferd and then amplified to the other objects on the other side of the magnet and this continues for a while until all magnets have been hit then the end 1 just flies off
quite interesting actually
all u need is 9 ball bearings,4 bigish magnets,a ruler and some ducktape/celetape

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 08:16 PM
ok.......... disregard my description of the Gauss gun. That is cool though, precludes using conventional propellent as well though.

posted on May, 18 2004 @ 05:09 AM
A bit of news about the US's ABL (air-bourne laser)

Laser Turret Ball From Brashear

Lockheed Martin said Thursday that it has begun final integration of the flight turret assembly for the Airborne Laser (ABL) program. ABL will be the world's first megawatt-class laser weapon system integrated on a specially configured 747-400F aircraft to autonomously detect, track and destroy hostile ballistic missiles.


Hopfully we will see some real world tests in the not to distance future.

posted on May, 18 2004 @ 07:19 AM
I have a question about lasers:

Since lasers are just concentrated light, could they be foiled by a mirror?

If so, the obvious defense is to coat all our armoured vehicles with a reflective substance.

posted on May, 18 2004 @ 08:14 AM
ah but where does the laser reflect to ?
and even if it refelcts the surface of the mirror would get hot, very hot
i like the idea but i dont think it would work nice try though

posted on May, 18 2004 @ 12:35 PM
It really depend on what is used though, if you use something with poor reflective properties then what you say is true it would heat up and still destroy the target, if you use the same reflective material that the laser uses to get the ray concentrated then it would work. Also a good cooling system would make this a non-issue, Liquid Ox tanks on the outside could actually become a good thing.

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