This is topic Building a rail gun? in forum Science! at The Geek Culture Forums!.

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Posted by serishema (Member # 4481) on November 05, 2005, 16:49:
I've been reading behind the principles behind how railguns work, like the lorenz forces and the like.

I'm wondering is it possible to do this on a small scale for experimental purposes?

All the ones i've seen designs for on the net are quite big and use a microwave oven transformer and a huge capacitor bank for power. This looks really dangerous.

I'm also wondering how i can get around the problem of needing to get the armature onto the rails at speed so it doesn't just weld onto the rails.

I suppose pretty much every geek as tried to build a railgun at one time or another.
Posted by i_need_a_pillow (Member # 2765) on November 05, 2005, 18:02:
Most of the designs I've seen use a pneumatic injector to get the slug moving.
Posted by littlefish (Member # 966) on November 06, 2005, 02:34:
I saw something on the net where you could make one on a tabletop with a battery. It used tin foil for the rails, and was probably linked from

EDIT: Here you go!
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on November 06, 2005, 07:21:
Very cool link, littlefish!
Posted by BronzeG3 (Member # 2590) on November 06, 2005, 15:05:
Do some searches on, I think they had some good stuff from a while ago. this is a recent one Rail gun
Posted by serishema (Member # 4481) on November 07, 2005, 00:12:
Very cool. I'll have to get some magnets and give it a try.

I wonder how fast it would go if i used an old flash unit as a power source instead of a 9 volt battery.
Posted by guy_insane (Member # 4544) on November 07, 2005, 17:35:
some person in scotland built one that fired a shell at mach 6
Posted by The real Stealth (Member # 4615) on November 15, 2005, 19:49:
I found the basic concepts in the book "24 gadgets for the evil genius" I think the book is available at ThinkGeek: Electronicgadgets for the evil genius . I havent gotten around to building the contents of the book yet but I plan on soon. I also plan on experimenting with the base design to see how powerful I can make it. The basics of the design are:
I recommend checking it out.

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