The Coilgun

WARNING : Coilguns are very dangerous things! Don't try anything unless you really know what your doing!!! Not only could you shoot someone, you also (more probable) might get electrocuted . The "experiments" described below are incredibly dangerous and should not be attempted by anyone who is not thoroughly familiar with the many safety procedures involved when working with lethal high voltages and high energy electrical impulses.Your first mistake will be your last mistake. Everything you try from this site is AT YOUR OWN RISK!!! Should you ever try to operate or make something similar, please include me in your last will.

The coilgun. Everything theoreticall that needs to be said is here. Now on to the practical part:

To create a amatuer coilgun you need:

Some capacitors (450V / 2200uF, real bargain, makes good sparks:-) :


Something to trigger them (I don't know anything about this one, than that that's a tyristor, if you know more about it than I do, please mail me, and if you have any extra do the same...):


A coil is very usefull too (made of 1mm thick wire, granddad's supplies) :-).

And to be more childish you need a childrens toy rifle from the Chinese fleamarket (not this one exactly:-):


Here's the schematic! It's so complex 🙂 :


(I don't remember the values, and the schematic may not be as accurate:-) This is NOT a foolproof schematic! To use it: Swithc the S1 on, wait till the voltage on the cap rises up to your desired value, turn the charging off, aim and press the trigger. If you'd press the trigger when charging would be active, you'd burn the transformer, or the resistor R2.

And behold:




The results are quite predictable. Coilguns have a very small efficiency (around 3% I think) so the capacitor is nice but the energy of the projectile is about 2-6J maybe? That can do a lot of damage, but it isn't what I expected or wanted...grrrr.... The weapon is either very inaccurate, or I'm not a sharpshooter. Whatever the case I hit a small taget 3m away from me on the third time. I'm gonna try a new type of projectile, but I don't think it'll change much...
I got the best results when charging the cap up to about 300V. I tried also two caps parallel, but that didn't work well.

The most destructive thing I've done with it was shooting through a plastic box

I found these ways a person could hurt himself or his surroundigs with this doomsday device:
- Because it contains many small parts a child could choke on it
- You may get electrocuted. 450V/2200uF (222J) DC is a quite fine way to commit suicide 🙂
- Trip over it.
- The laser scope on it could hurt your eye, but it probably wont.
- You might shoot a projectile into a eye, probably the only part of the body in danger with this "weapon"
- It might fall on your or someone elses foot!
- You might point it at me and I will die of laughter.
- and so on... you can say that it's a very dangerous weapon:-)

01.06.2006 : New tests in my friends (Ludwo) garage!

The tests have a quite clear outcome: The "rifle" is useless. More effective than shooting someone with this would be if you asked him nicely to commit suicide. Throwing stones is better than this. 99% of man made weapons are more useful, including a stuffed penguin! The rifle has a range of about 7 - 10meters and is completely innacurate!

A picture of me aiming at something:



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