Coil gun revolver

[Sam] sent in a coil gun revolver – a feature we’ve never seen on a coil gun build before. The gun is based on a cheap toy revolver and is powered by a 9 Volt battery connected to an “electrified fly swatter tennis racquet” instead of the usual disposable camera build.

The revolver mechanism isn’t perfect – [Sam] has to advance the chamber with his thumb while the capacitor is recharging. This is only because of the mechanics of the plastic toy his gun is based on, though. He figures a small motor could do the work for him, but he’ll be forgoing that project to work on the MK II version.

Most of the coil gun builds on Hack A Day have been muzzle or breech loaders, so with [Sam]’s revolver we’re probably seeing the evolution of firearms mirrored in coil gun advancements. Does anyone want to take a guess and predict when we’ll see the equivalent of a this .50 caliber beast?. [Sam] says his next project is going to be a rifle, so he might have his work cut out for him.

33 thoughts on “Coil gun revolver

  1. I love a goocd coil gun build! Good work. Reminds me of something out of the TV series Firefly. I imagine you can use the back EMF from that coil of yours to power a small coil/motor to rotate to the next chamber. I’d love to see a video of this thing in action. Best of luck on your next build!

  2. Haha you know what I built this just after watching that series, could say it influenced it a bit, I was originally going to use a 9mm toy pistol but chose this instead lol

  3. Oh an if you check my blog for updates I’ll try get some videos of it firing , plus I have a new design in mind . You think this is cool just wait and see……

  4. The thought that instantly crossed my mind was using the hammer to strike a piezo crystal and have that power the coil, but I suspect that the pulse would be too short and not have enough power unless the hammer had a heck of a spring force behind it. Even then, at that point it’d seem better to have the hammer directly strike the projectile.

    Anyway, enough rambling. Nice build! Now find a way to have a capacitor-per-projectile so you can rapid fire. ;)

    1. Using a piezo is actually an excellent idea, because the faster the pulse, the more efficient it is.

      Only trouble is that the energy in a piezo strike is in the millijoules.

  5. The rifle is already incorporating rapid fire, and multiple coils, just tweaking final design and coil size ect, ordered some nice larger capacitors. I built this to get a better understanding and with each design I’m jotting down things just keep getting more crazy so this is the first of many hopefully, if anyone has any suggestions for design features ect feel free to message me on my blog , let’s get coil guns more functional and more practical for everyone!

  6. I used the capacitor that was soldered onto the board already, i can only tell you what was printed on the side of the cap”4000v 223j” , I wasn’t to concerned with the power of this model , pretty much just a stepping stone ,just trying to find a viable reloading mechanism

    1. How about you use a solenoid and a magazine to recreate the loading action of a real firearm (if this is for a rifle form coilgun) like that guy from Another coil gun site did.

    2. Hmmm, that’s a much higher voltage than the 300v that can be found in cameras… I’ll have to look up what I used when I built mine and see how it compares in total energy and capacitance.

  7. Should do a write up on my ideas/theories and post them online? Does anyone think that’ll help out? Can’t do an actual build. My school wouldn’t be to happy about me building and testing electronic weaponry in my dorm. jaja.

  8. what’s with the lack of video on cool projects lately? you can’t see how it works.. i’m guessing that after charging the bugzapper (which can be had for like $2 at harbor freight tools if you catch a sale), pulling the trigger connects one end of the coil to one end of the zapper, and the other end of the zapper is permanently connected to the other end of the coil. wish i would have thought to do this when i disassembled my flyzapper tennis racquet, instead of just shocking myself til it became too badly damaged for just solder to fix.

    1. i’d like to see it in action before i go gutting another flyzapper.. don’t want no pansy coilgun, i’ll go scavenge some parts from power lines to make my CANNON

    1. “Antimatter!

      I want my antimatter-powered water pistol! Who cares if I die nanoseconds after firing and the water boils before it reaches the end of the barrel?! I want it now!” j/k

      When someone makes a gun like the zapper on Stargate, then I’ll be… err shocked. :P

  9. Sam,

    Beautiful, build, excellent use of available pieces from other things. This kind of thing why I come to HAD, its something that anyone can now make thanks to your idea. Keep up the great work, I look forward to seeing your other builds.

    Thank you.

  10. Easiest way to rotate the cylinder would be mechanical: make a sear action for it. Attach a stiff wire (maybe a paper clip?) to the rear of the trigger (internal portion of trigger, not the visible part). Every time you pull the trigger, the wire will push on a hypoid or bevel gear (like the kind found in the winder mechanism of disposable cameras) mounted on the back of the cylinder. The trigger reaches it’s full pull “firing” the circuit, when released, the end of the wire follows with it and stops at a new face on the gear. A wd-40 straw tube will keep the wire in alignment.

    1. Actually, nix the camera gear. In retrospect I don’t think they would have the correct gear, let alone the correct size. A gear isn’t really necessary, I guess, as you could just glue a bunch of small wedge shaped bits of plastic.

      If the trigger pull is too short, mount the wedges closer to the center.

  11. So…how long until we see coil miniguns? Not that it would be terribly useful…but I would love to see the video of some 100lb hacker trying to hold a 400LB gun still as 300LB of it spins around at high speed.

  12. Huge Honkin Capacitor Bank + coils made from hollow wire coated with superconductors encased in a shell with liquid helium pumped around it to kool it + a Krytron Ignition system = Who shot my satellite? Hey I can dream can’t I?

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