Semi-Automatic Rail Gun is a Laptop Killer

It’s huge, it’s unwieldy, and it takes 45 seconds to shoot all three rounds in its magazine. But it’s a legitimate semi-automatic railgun, and it’s pretty awesome.

Yes, it has its limits, but every new technology does, especially totally home-brew builds like this. The aptly named [NSA_listbot] has been putting a lot of work into his railgun, and this is but the most recent product of an iterative design cycle.

The principle is similar to other railguns we’ve featured before, which accelerate projectiles using rapidly pulsed electromagnets. The features list in the video below reads like a spec for a top-secret military project: field-augmented circular bore, 4.5kJ capacitor bank, and a custom Arduino Nano that’s hardened against the huge electromagnetic pulse (EMP) generated by the coils. But the interesting bits are in the mechanical design, which had to depart from standard firearms designs to handle the caseless 6 mm projectiles. The resulting receiver and magazines are entirely 3D printed. Although it packs a wallop, its cyclic rate of fire is painfully slow. We expect that’ll improve as battery and capacitor technology catches up, though.

Want to check out some more railgun builds? We’ve got them in spades — from one with $50,000 worth of caps to a wrist-mounted web-slinger.

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Propane-Powered Plasma Rifle

It may not be a “phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range,” and it doesn’t even use plasma in the strict definition, but it’s pretty cool nonetheless. It’s a propane-powered bottle-launching rifle, and it looks like a lot of fun.

[NighthawkInLight] sure likes things that go pop, like his watermelon-wasting air-powered cannon and cheesy-poof pop gun. This one has a little more oomph to it, powered as it is by a propane torch. The principle is simple: fill a soda bottle with propane, ignite the gas, fun ensues. The details are a little more subtle, though, and allowances need to be made to keep back pressure from preventing the projectile from filling with fuel. [NighthawkInLight] overcomes this with some clever machining of the barrel. The final production version in the video below is needlessly but delightfully complex, with a wooden stock and a coil of clear vinyl tubing helical plasma accumulator before the barrel; the last bit is just for show, and we have to admit that it looks pretty good.

Unless you count the pro tip on using CPVC pipe to make custom fittings, this one is nothing but fun. But we don’t have a problem with that.

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Coilgun with laser sights built in an Airsoft rifle housing

This coilgun started as a stock Airsoft rifle. The stock weapon cost about 40€ (just over $50), but we think it was well worth it since it provides plenty of room for all the coilgun components and solves most of the mechanical issues of the build like a body that is comfortable to hold, a trigger, etc.

The clear tube which serves as the barrel (the same setup as we saw in this coilgun guide) is protected by three stainless steel barrels which surround it. They each host a laser diode which results in a Predator-style aiming mechanism that is shown off in the video after the break. There’s even a night vision system that uses IR leds and a viewfinder attached to the stock.

A camera flash is scrapped for the transformer inside. This acts as the voltage generator, charging up a few capacitors. It seems to have no problem generating enough juice to work well, despite the fact that it’s only being powered from two AA batteries mounted in the magazine.

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Carrot gun packs a punch; improves eyesight

Just in time for your garden’s carrot harvest [Lou] shows us how to make a carrot firing rifle. It’s cheap, easy, and quick. If you’ve got 15 buck and 15 minutes you can have one to call your own.

The loading method is quite easy. Shove a carrot in the muzzle as far as it will go, then cut of the excess. Finish up by using a ramrod to push the carrot stub the rest of the way into the barrel. Once you’ve gnawed down the rest of the carrot nub and connected a compressor hose to the rifle you’re ready to do some damage. The video after the break shows a carrot fired all the way through a cardboard box, and penetrating a gallon jug of water.

[Lou] uses CPVC for the project. It takes just a few lengths of pipe, pipe fittings, a valve, and a threaded metal compressor fitting. After gluing everything together he threads the compressor attachment in place and heads to the firing range.

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3D Printed AR-15 Lower Works

Ar15.com user [HaveBlue] has been working for some time on a 3D printed lower receiver, and now reports that the parts are fully working. Using a Stratasys 3D printer from the 90’s [HaveBlue] managed to spin out a modified version of an already available model from cncguns.com. He strengthened the holes for the takedown lugs, which hold the upper and lower halves of the rifle together. Strengthened the bolt hold lugs, which when the magazine is empty lifts a lever assembly that catches the bolt as it springs back to push another round into the chamber. and added an integral trigger guard AKA the bar that surrounds the trigger.

Legally this print is a veritable gauntlet of state and federal regulations. At least in the US. The lower receiver is the part of the rifle that holds the spring and pins that operate the rifle’s trigger safety and hammer assembly, hold the magazine in place,  and mount the buttstock/return spring tube. The other key point about the lower receiver is that it contains the primary traceable identification markings, the serial number. All of the parts that are contained within the lower receiver can be ordered online (this varies state to state). In fact, every single other part of the rifle can be bought and sold freely. The only component of the rifle that can not be ordered online, and requires a background check at a gun store, is the body of the lower receiver (we have to keep saying that this varies state to state). Typically laws allow though for the manufacture of this part without a serial number so long as it is never sold to another individual (again, state laws vary widely).

There is some more info on the build at [HaveBlue]’s website here and here, but it is currently down.  This sort of steps up 3D printing past the nerf gun stage, but we have seen shot gun and pistol hacks.

Accelerometer may help make you a sharpshooter

[Chris Suprock] is interested in using technology to improve your accuracy with a firearm. To that end, he’s using an Accelerometer mounted to a gun to gather feedback about each shot.

The hardware setup is pretty simple. We don’t have specific details, but it looks like he’s using a QFN accelerometer chip like you would find in a cellphone. The milled aluminum mounting bracket that holds the board has ‘USB’ printed on it, although the connector is something we don’t really recognize.

In the video after the break [Chris] demonstrates the feedback he can get when the device is mounted on the stock of a Ruger Mini-14. The graph of the data makes it obvious when the trigger was pulled. The most useful part may be the period leading up to that event, as it shows any unnecessary movement prior to the shot. If you’re into sport shooting, this may be one more tool that will help give you the edge on your competitors.

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Hunting down farmyard pests with technology

hunting_with_a_camcorder_night_vision_scope

[Snypercat] makes no bones about the fact that she despises rats, and does everything in her power to keep them off her farm. We can’t blame her though – they spread disease, eat other animals’ food, and can get your farm shut down if there are too many running about. While most of us might hire an exterminator or set out a ton of traps, she chooses to take a far more hands-on approach, hunting down each and every one of those little buggers with an air rifle.

If you’ve ever gone rat hunting in the dark (and who hasn’t?), you know that it can be difficult to aim in the dead of night. Night vision scopes can be expensive, but [Snypercat] shows how you can make your own scope that gives you the added benefit of recording your kills along the way. She happened to have a Sony camcorder with built-in night vision capabilities, and with a bit of tweaking she was able to mount it on her rifle’s scope. An IR flashlight was mounted on the rifle as well, giving her enhanced visibility without spooking her prey.

Be sure to check out the pair of videos below to see how [Snypercat] attached the camcorder to the scope, along with how well it works in the field.

[via HackedGadgets]

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