The Dude Who Built His Own Steampunk Gatling Gun Just Built A Railgun
Firearms tinkerer and car nut Alex fascinated the internet with his do-it-yourself steampunk gatling gun and now he has upped the ante significantly to what he says is his own homemade railgun. The contraption looks like a weapon right out of the movie District 9 and appears to work incredibly well in the test videos he just posted.
Alexís railgun apparently operates by producing a magnetic field spread along a double helix rail system. A projectile made of a copper sleeve attached to gas-filled vacuum tube filled with neon gas then flies down that rail once the field is energized.
The result is an electronic cannon with rounds that can penetrate fairly thick metal plates and his design seems much more streamlined than other garage-built rail guns that have been popping up lately.
Alex elaborates further on his invention:
ďIts basically just a big four foot long railgun. It just plugs into a 220v outlet and charges up a capacitor bank. Iím not sure if the neon gas is actually ionized into plasma or not since I canít see it in flight. But ionizing gas into plasma isnít too uncommon, just shooting it is (since plasma dissipates instantly unless contained within a vacuum or magnetic field). So I donít know how exactly its penetrating the metal (plasma burning through it or the copper sleeve just blasting through it) but ya, Iím sure railguns will be more and more portable and powerful over time, itís just hard to store enough energy to fire multiple shots or have it compact.Ē