Properly built, railguns could be a world changing weapon. Electromagnetic forces accelerating projectiles at high speeds means powerful guns could one day again line the decks of ships. And the Navy has taken note. It is investing in railguns for the future, and is already building ships that would someday carry the sophisticated weapon. This 250 pound railgun, built by YouTube user Ziggy Zee, though, is not that kind of a tool. Zee's craft built, muzzle-loading single shot circuit-frying railgun is very much not that. Here's the gun's first shot:
The first test showed that the gun worked, but the voltage fried all circuit connections and even dislodged the wires from the railgun itself. The team behind the railgun set to work to further refine the design. For test number five, the railgun was powered by 27,000 Joules. Here it is firing a shot into a block of ballistic gel (slowed down for dramatic effect):
Further tests see the railgun destroying smartphones, pumpkins, ceramics, and even, in a video released yesterday, a piggy bank.
The railgun is the result of two years of work, with videos for at least 12 firing tests from the past month. The railgun itself is only half the system, with 56 400-volt capacitors providing the electrical power that makes the whole machine work. While it’s presented in the form of instructions, even the gunmaker attaches this rather explicit disclaimer to the project:
I am providing information on how I created this project, but I cannot recommend anyone to try this, EVER. High voltage capacitors are extremely dangerous. High speed projectiles are dangerous. 9-volts are dangerous. Nothing in this project can be made absolutely safe.
DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!