Railgun technology has not only been a popular concept in science fiction for decades, but also a realistic and achievable one since around World War I. While the U.S. Navy has put a lot of time and effort into researching the use of large-scale railguns on their ships, a YouTuber named Ziggy Zee and his friends put time and effort into building one of their own. The video above shows the first test conducted on firing the homemade railgun, but Ziggy’s YouTube page contains about a dozen more test videos so far. They’ve shot the contraption at a block of ballistics gel to see what kind of impact it makes, but have also blown up piggy banks, cell phones, and ceramic dinner plates just for the hell of it.
Ziggy’s railgun is a muzzle-load design, which means it can only fire one projectile before needing to be reloaded, but their ballistics gel test proved just how lethal having the thing fired at someone could be. The 250-pound device utilizes 56 capacitors, each generating 480 joules, which are driven by a 400-volt power source; the 45 9-volt batteries seen in the first video. The railgun is capable of launching its aluminum projectiles with 27,000 joules, or 900 pounds, of force. Those figures alone make the whole thing a mixture of fascinating and terrifying at the same time.
Ziggy has also created an Imgur page, detailing his various firing tests, as well as the process he followed to build the device. He refers to it as the most powerful railgun build by a non-government entity…and he just told everyone on the internet how to make their own. Luckily buying 45 9-volt batteries isn’t exactly cheap, and something tells me they don’t last too long when putting out that much power for each shot.
What do you think of Ziggy’s build? Let us know in the comments below!
HT – Popular Science
Images – Ziggy Zee via Imgur