I would like to start with this sample for the reason that it is fairly simple, well, and because there is also my own little experience in trying to create such a weapon, and I must say, not the most unsuccessful.
Personally, I first learned about this sample of weapons not from the Stalker game, although it is thanks to her that millions know about this weapon, and not even from the Fallout game, but from literature, but from UT magazine. The Gauss gun presented in the magazine was the most primitive and positioned as a child's toy. Thus, the “weapon” itself consisted of a plastic tube with a coil of copper wire wound around it, which played the role of an electromagnet when an electric current was applied to it. A metal ball was inserted into the tube, which, when energized, sought to attract the electromagnet. So that the ball does not “freeze” in the electromagnet, the current supply was short-term, from the electrolytic capacitor. Thus, the ball accelerated to the electromagnet, and then when the electromagnet turned off, it flew by itself. An electronic target was offered to all of this, but we will not slip into the topic of what was previously interesting, useful and, most importantly, sought-after literature.
Actually, the device described above is the simplest Gauss gun, but it is natural that such a device clearly cannot be a weapon, except with a very large and powerful single electromagnet. To achieve acceptable speed missile projectile, you must use, if I may say so, a stepped acceleration system, that is, several electromagnets must be installed on the barrel one by one. The main problem in creating such a device at home is the synchronization of the work of electromagnets, since the speed of the projectile is directly dependent on this. Although straight arms, a soldering iron and an attic or a dacha with old TVs, tape recorders, record players and no difficulties are terrible. At the moment, running my eyes through the sites where people demonstrate their creativity, I noticed that almost everyone has coils of electromagnets on the trunk itself, roughly speaking, simply coils it. Judging by the results of tests of such samples, such weapons did not go far from the current publicly available pneumatics in terms of efficiency, but they are quite suitable for entertaining firing.
Actually, the question that torments everyone the coils on the barrel is the most troubling for me, it would be much more efficient to use electromagnets with cores that would be sent by these same cores to the trunk. Thus, it is possible to place, say, 6 electromagnets on a square that was previously occupied by one electromagnet, respectively, this will give a greater increase to the velocity of the projectile being thrown. Several sections of such electromagnets along the entire length of the barrel will be able to disperse a small piece of steel to decent speeds, although the installation will weigh a lot even without a current source. For some reason, everybody tries and calculates the time of discharge of the capacitor that feeds the coil, in order to coordinate the coils with each other, so that they can accelerate the projectile, rather than slow it down. I agree, sit down and count the lesson is very interesting, in general, physics and mathematics are wonderful sciences, but why not reconcile the coils using photos and LEDs and the simplest scheme, it seems there is not much of a deficit and you can get the necessary details for a reasonable fee, although you can count cheaper. Well, the power supply is an electrical network, a transformer, a diode bridge and several electrolytic capacitors connected in parallel. But even with such a monster weighing a kilogram under 20 without an autonomous source of electric current, it is unlikely to achieve impressive results, although depending on who has some impressionability. And no, no, no, I didn’t do anything of the kind (with my head down, I drove my foot in the slipper on the floor), I only made that toy from UT with one coil.
In general, even when used as a stationary weapon, say the same machine gun to protect an object that does not change its location, such a weapon will be quite expensive, and most importantly heavy and not the most effective, unless of course we are talking about reasonable dimensions, and not about a monster with a five-meter trunk. On the other hand, a very high theoretical rate of fire and ammunition at the price of a penny for half a ton, well, they look very attractive.
Thus, the main problem for the Gauss gun is that electromagnets are heavy, and, as always, a source of electrical current is required. In general, no one is developing weapons based on the Gauss gun, there is a project for launching small satellites, but it is rather theoretical and has not been developed for a long time. Interest in the Gauss gun is maintained only thanks to cinema and computer games, and even enthusiasts who love to work with their heads and hands, which in our time, unfortunately, are not so many. For weapons, there is a more practical device that consumes electric current, although it is possible to argue about practicality here, but unlike the Gauss gun, there are certain improvements.
RailGun or in our Railsron
This weapon is no less known than the Gauss cannon, for which you need to say thanks to computer games and cinema, though if everyone who is interested in this type of weapon is familiar with the principle of the Gauss cannon, then we don’t understand everything with the railgun. Let's try to figure out what this beast is he works and what are his prospects.
It all started back in the distant 1920 year, it was this year that a patent was obtained for this type of weapon, and no one had planned to use the invention for peaceful purposes. The author of the relsotron, or the more famous reilgan, is a Frenchman - Andre Louis-Octave Fauchon Vieple. Despite the fact that the designer managed to achieve some success in defeating enemy personnel, no one became interested in his invention, the construction was very cumbersome, and the result was so-so and quite comparable with firearms. Thus, for nearly twenty years, the invention was abandoned, until a country was found that allowed itself to spend enormous funds for the development of science, and especially that part of science that could kill. This is about fascist Germany. It was there that the French invention became interested in Joachim Hensler. Under the guidance of the scientist, a much more efficient installation was created that was only two meters long, but accelerated the projectile to a speed of more than 1200 meters per second, although the projectile itself was made of aluminum alloy and had a weight of 10 grams. Nevertheless, this was more than enough for firing, both in terms of enemy manpower and in unarmored vehicles. In particular, the designer positioned his development as a means of combating air targets. The higher speed of the missile projectile, in comparison with firearms, made the work of the designer very promising, since it was much easier to fire at moving, and constantly moving, targets. However, the design required further development and the designer did a lot of work to improve this sample, slightly changing the initial principle of its work.
In the first sample, everything was more or less clear and there was nothing fantastic. There were two rails that were the “barrel” of the weapon. Between them fit the projectile itself, which was made of an electric current passing material, as a result, when current was applied to the rails, under the influence of Lorentz’s force, the projectile aimed forward and under ideal conditions, which, of course, never achieved, its speed could approach the speed of light. Since there were many factors that prevented disperse the sweeping projectile to such speeds, the designer decided to get rid of some of them. The main achievement was the fact that in the last workings the projectile that was no longer tossed closed the circuit, did the electric arc behind the projectile that was propelled, this solution itself is still used, only being improved. Thus, the designer managed to get closer to the speed of the projectile missile speed equal to 3 kilometers per second, in it was 1944 year of the last century. Fortunately, the designer did not have enough time to complete his work and solve the problems that the weapons had, and there were a lot of them. And so much is not enough that they pushed this development to the Americans and did not carry out work in this direction in the Soviet Union. Only in the seventies, we began to develop these weapons with us and at the moment we, unfortunately, are lagging behind, well, at least according to publicly available data. In the US, they have already reached speed in 7,5 kilometers per second and are not going to stop. Work is currently underway in the direction of development of the railgun as an anti-aircraft defense, so that as a handgun the railgun is still fiction or a very distant future.
The main problem of the railgun is that to achieve maximum efficiency, you need to use rails with very little resistance. At the moment, they are covered with silver, which seems to be not so costly in financial terms, but given the fact that the “barrel” of a weapon is not at all one or two meters long, these are already substantial costs. In addition, after several shots, the rails need to be changed and repaired, that money, and the rate of fire of such weapons remain very low. In addition, do not forget that the rails themselves are trying to push off from each other under the influence of all the same forces that accelerate the missile projectile. For this reason, the structure must have sufficient strength, but at the same time the rails themselves must be able to be replaced quickly. But this is not the main problem. A huge amount of energy is required for a shot, so one car battery cannot get off the back, more powerful sources of electric current are needed here, which puts the mobility of such a system in question. So in the US they plan to install similar installations on destroyers, and they are already talking about automating the delivery of missiles, cooling and other amenities of civilization. At the moment, the claimed range of ground targets is 180 kilometers, while the air is silent. Our designers have not yet decided where they will apply their work. However, from scraps of information, it can be concluded that the railgun will not be used as an independent weapon, but the railgun has good prospects as a means that complements the existing long-range weapons, allowing you to add significantly the desired pair of hundreds of meters per second to the velocity of the projectile. and the cost of such development will be much lower than any megapushkas on their own ships.
It only remains to be asked whether we should be considered lagging behind in this matter, because usually what works is badly tried to promote in all possible ways “Schaub mustache was afraid”, but what is really effective, but its time has not come, is locked with seven locks . Well, at least you want to believe it.