Bolt-action Coil Gun


TechEBlog has posted a few pictures of a student constructed coil gun. It’s bolt-action and includes a six round magazine. The gun only has a single stage to accelerate the projectile. While not as impressive as the portable coil pistol, it’s still more fun than most shop projects we’ve seen. You can find a video of the device below.

[via Gizmodo]

24 thoughts on “Bolt-action Coil Gun

  1. Showing a few snapshots, a dull movie clip, and a description even granny could understand is hardly “hack worthy”. Without construction details it’s just a fluff piece. As to punching a bb thru a empty pop can – meh, I can do that with a paperclip and a rubber band.

  2. It looks the the round tumbles as its fired. I guess there is no spin on on the round. Would it be possible to impart spin without any sort of rifling and still be basic enough to fit with what is a basic design?

  3. To vonskippy:
    It looks like a first-off “toy” made by a school kid, so you should cut him some slack.
    I’m not so sure that this is really a hack as such. Then again, why not?

    To splynn:
    I’ve had a little bit of a think on this and don’t really believe that there’s a simple way to impart spin.
    Perhaps BBs would be a better ammo than short pieces of rod?
    Simply because tumbling doesn’t effect the flight of BBs too much.

  4. to the detractors: its a prototype. of course it looks rough. and while it is a gun, it is also equally easy to kill someone with a rough end hammer as it is a gun. guns are tool just like hammers, humans are soft fleshy critters, get used to it.

    its an excellent proof of concept especially for a single stage coil gun. if you think you could do better then do so. or at least make helpful suggestions.

  5. From a military point of view:

    – No sound or flash, without need for a suppressor (due to no expanding gasses)
    – Ammunition is very simple and easy to mass produce (much more so than a regular bullet)
    – No moving parts (which makes it easier to manufacture, easier to clean, and more resistant to dust and dirt)

    – Low refire rate (I’m not saying “omg it isnt machinegun”, I’m saying that one round per second semiautomatic cycling rate would be preferred)
    – Portability (how many pounds of batteries would it take to fire 150 rounds?)
    – Sensitivity to moisture (how could the weapon be airtight, and yet still be able to be opened for cleaning?)
    – How many rounds can it fire before burning out something or another? (that is, how often would parts need replacing?)
    – Weight (the lower, the better, and that prototype doesn’t look very light)

    Just my two cents. As always, I reserve the right to be wrong. That being said, it sure looks like a fun project, and must be quite a conversation piece.

  6. Coil guns are pretty cool, but people need to start shooting cooler things. I’ve seen tons of videos of a shooting empty pop cans with a coil gun.

    Just some ideas:
    Full pop cans
    Through rings of fire
    Apple off head (didn’t get the idea from me though)
    Glass bottles

  7. lol, I love it when stuff that’s actually worth reading still gets hit with the “WTF THIS NO HACK! ME WANT HACK!” comments.

    What do you want, a japanese tutorial on replacing a netbooks screen hinges with spaghetti and hotglue using only tweezers and homemade materials??

  8. “i wich he would use his intelligens for Humen health Project not for guns…”

    HAHHHAAAA!! Just the kind of ‘intelligens’ I would expect from someone saying something like this….

  9. I’ve built two coilguns so far, One is found here: (section 5mm, #5.3)

    I am currently working on a 3 stage coilgun with 8.8 joule -> 35.2 joule -> 50.8 joule stages respectively, using IR transistors for triggering and a 12 V relay for the “injector” stage.

    coilguns, although powerful and cool have a very low efficiency rating and also have no way of magnetically inducing a significant amount of spin on the projectile… its new tech, getting better all the time ^_^

  10. Whoever said a gun needed rifling to stabilise its rounds? Modern high velocity tank cannon are smoothbore, and fire balanced, finned rounds.

    Grinding a little mass off the back end of a rod projectile and leaving the surface rough might move its centre of mass far enough forward of its centre of drag that it will fly (more or less) straight.

    It doesn’t take an engineering genius to come up with something a little more effective than that, if you felt the need.

  11. rifling would only work if it was using a gaseous pressurized system as far as i know its magnetic though. I’m looking to make a gauss rifle myself, but can’t figure out how to rig continuous fire. I want to use permanent magnets to reduce the heat emitted, but this seems impossible without electromagnets. any suggestions?

  12. To add rotational force add a rotational motor where the projectile is contained ( like the ones on a hotwheels track ). Though the projectile would have to be both lightweight and cylindrical to be effective. Food for thought

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