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Hardware Technology

Building a Full-Auto Gauss Gun 285

Posted by Soulskill
from the science-is-fun dept.
Okian Warrior writes "Adding to the 3-D printed gun/rifle controversy, Delta-V Engineering built a Full-auto Gauss gun (aka 'machine gun'), capable of firing 15 steel bolts from its magazine in less than two seconds. At 3% the muzzle energy of a .22, it's still in the prototype stage. Bullets are made from turned-down nails, and the gun uses no chemical propellants. The builder has posted the design notes online. Video of the gun in action is pretty interesting."
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Building a Full-Auto Gauss Gun

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  • by tocsy (2489832) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @02:40PM (#44500653)

    "Adding to the 3-D printed gun/rifle controversy"

    How? Neither the Hack A Day article nor the design notes mention "3d" or "printing," and the fact that it's a gauss gun implies that metal is pretty central to the design... which can't be 3d printed at this point in time.

  • by Feyshtey (1523799) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @02:44PM (#44500729)
    Saying that this contributes to the "3-D printed gun/rifle controversy" is a falacy. This weapon has limited components associated with 3D printing. The majority of the device appears to be machined aluminum. Not to mention the large about of electronics and power technology incorporated in the design. This has about as much to do with the "3-D printed gun/rifle controversy" as it does the "electrical engineering controversy".
  • by bugnuts (94678) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @03:10PM (#44501109) Journal

    In the US, it is legal to make a gun. A real gun that fires real bullets (one at a time).
    But it is illegal to sell it, unless you're a firearms manufacturer.

    Most people don't realize this, and is the heart of the 3D printed gun "controversy". The only reason it's a controversy is that most people don't know this. The ATF isn't very concerned, because the 3D printed guns will not really change the amount of guns in circulation... they're a one-off and will not last for generations, unlike a real gun.

    I don't believe a gauss gun qualifies as a firearm. Thus, the laws against fully-automatic firearms (or firearms at all) don't apply, and is more akin to a BB gun, paint pellet, or airsoft gun. But this gauss gun has the potential of actually firing lethal rounds because it's not limited to the speed of expanding gases, which I find interesting.

  • Re:3% velocity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pruss (246395) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @03:29PM (#44501431) Homepage

    The muzzle velocity is 40 m/s according to the article, i.e., 131 ft/sec or 89 mi/h. I wouldn't want to be hit with that.

    The 3% figure refers to the kinetic energy, and perhaps reflects a less massive projectile than the .22 shoots.

  • Re:NFA? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EmperorArthur (1113223) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @03:35PM (#44501499)

    Yes it is.

    For the purposes of the National Firearms Act the term Machinegun means:

            Any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger

            The frame or receiver of any such weapon

            Any part designed and intended solely and exclusively or combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, or

            Any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person."

    This clearly falls under the the first point.

    Ehh, who needs mod points.

    By that definition, then nerf and airsoft machine guns are illegal. Clearly you're missing something. Either that, or the US laws really are that bad, and the only reason why everyone is not in jail is because of selective enforcement.

    For those who don't realize it, selective enforcement means the government and police can throw anyone they dislike in jail. It's a major enabler of tyranny.

  • by jxander (2605655) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @04:16PM (#44501947)
    You know that. I know that. Does Fox news know that? Do they care?
  • You're ignorant (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ShooterNeo (555040) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @04:38PM (#44502169)

    The drawbacks you mention apply to rail guns, not Gaus guns. Gaus guns have serious problems of their own (most of the prototype designs aren't powerful enough, the only design I've read about that would probably have truly useful velocities requires superconducting magnets. If you read the wiki article, apparently there's serious problems with iron projectiles.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coilgun [wikipedia.org]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railgun [wikipedia.org]

    http://www.askmar.com/Massdrivers/Superconducting%20Quenchgun.pdf [askmar.com]

    On Page 6 it has an interesting table of the actual mass and physical dimensions of the accelerator. Note that muzzle energies far greater than proposed for the Navy's railgun project are possible (the smallest one is 1820 megajoule's, the navy wants a 64 megajoule railgun) but also notice the huge size and bulk of the launcher : 147 meters long.

    But there's no arcing problem, and the proposed design is supposed to be reusable.

  • by bmk67 (971394) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @04:46PM (#44502239)

    Read more carefully. There is far more law that goes into the definition than what is presented here as well.

    A) It does not meet this definition.
    B) Must be a part of A) - does not meet this definition, either.
    C) Isn't a muffler or silencer (which are defined elsewhere) - doesn't meet this definition as well.
    D) "Destructive device" is also defined elsewhere, and no, this does not apply.

    This isn't a firearm under federal law any more than an air gun is.

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