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DIY Rail Gun

DIY Rail Gun

Who's crazy enough to make lethal homebrew weapons? Watch the video clip to find out...

As soon as we saw this video clip, there was no question that it would make it onto our blog. I mean how many other rail guns have you seen? Let alone DIY rail guns.


Colorado Springs, CO maker Ravi Gaddipati has spent the last year working on his own DIY railgun, and while it might not be as powerful as the Navy’s rail gun (read our original article here), it sure packs some power – 5.6kJ to be precise. The clip below shows Ravi’s homebrew weapon in action.


So, don’t get the wrong idea, by no means are we suggesting that you go out and make yourself a rail gun. These things are highly dangerous (as is obvious from the clip) and highly illegal, or at least capable of being use in an illegal manner. For this reason we are not listing step by step instructions, although they are available on his site for the ultra inquisitive –

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  1. I was wondering where i could get the plans on how to build this. I have a physics project that i need to make a railgun but i cant find plans for one anywhere

  2. the creation or buiding of a railgun is not illegal unless stated within your local state laws, considering the funds and knowledge needed to manufacture a reliable railgun the US has no worries from the general public unless a personal railgun is developed and is reliable, then the laws will change to include these types of weapons to controle EM weapons platforms such as the rail gun.

    Personaly I do not think the US will have an issue with handheld Railguns in the hands of criminals and if anyone did create a handheld version and sold it to criminals for illegal use then they would be stupid to think they would even get away with it for long. In any case I would think twice before playing around with one if you do not understand the velocities they are capable of and do not have a safe area to fire them in.

  3. There is no issue regarding a hand-held rail gun. No such thing is feasible. The underlying principal of rail guns is to obtain the projectile accelerating energy from a source external to the weapon rather than from a shell. This concept simply does not scale downwards. The upper limits of chemical oxidation to propel a bullet or projectile have long ago been met and only by obtaining the energy (in the form of electric current) from massive external sources can hyper-velocity guns be built.
    While in theory a small hand weapon might be constructed, possibly using some miraculous battery in the handle, say, what would be the point since powder propelled bullets are entirely satisfactory in weapons of that size.

  4. The point of a handheld railgun is because railguns are cool. Really cool. Science means not stopping to ask how practical something is. 😀

    In addition there are some advantages to railguns – the ammo is arguably cheaper, and all you need apart from that is electricity. As such, instead of having to find bullets all you need is a power socket or a generator.

    Perhaps a small-scale railgun could come with a portable battery, i.e. one in a rucksack, to power it? Admittedly you would get a short life considering how much current these things draw but it’s worth a try.

  5. “There is no issue regarding a hand-held rail gun. No such thing is feasible.”

    In the immediate future this is certainly true. massive scale rail guns are hardly plausible at this stage of the technology. It is quite possible we will never see a handheld rail gun in our lives. a car battery would take a tremendous time to recharge a capacitor or a compensated pulsed alternator enough to provide enough juice for a second shot at 12V. a (somewhat)more feasible option would be to carry fully charged capacitors around which could plausibly provide you with 3-20 rounds. capacitors that powerful 6kj+ would be pretty heavy.

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