What excactly is a Coilgun?

Title says it all. I heard some guys in the Tech catagory talking about this.

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kelseymh8 years ago
Take a set of rings, and wrap wire around them to create electromagnets (like you might have done wrapping wire around a nail in science class). Make sure they're all wrapped in the same direction, so that the north-south poles line up. Set up some very high-charge capacitors and switch circuitry in such a way that you can power up all the rings at the same time. Now put a chunk of metal at one end, behind the "first" ring, and throw the switch. The magnetic field will pull the metal toward the center of the ring. Since it's open, the chunk will fly right through it and on to the next ring, which will also attract it in turn. And so on, and so on. If you've done it right, with precision guide rails to keep everything centered, the metal chunk will go flying out the far end like a bullet.
TigerNod (author)  kelseymh8 years ago
Oh, and one more question: Is a coilgon the same as a gauss rifle or rail gun?
No. A railgun is not the same as a coilgun. A gauss rifle, however, is the same as a coilgun.
TigerNod (author)  seandogue8 years ago
Well, in that case I think I'll have to release another question: What excactly is a Railgun?
definitions can be found at



similar isn't equivalent

equivalent is the same
Yes. The name just depends on which science fiction author you happen to be reading :-)
TigerNod (author)  kelseymh8 years ago
Ah, ok, thanks for this clear and simple description, I select this as best answer.
seandogue8 years ago
What dilandou said... Also known as a magnetically driven kinetic weapon. Basically a solenoid on steroids. ferrous (iron based) material s are used for projectiles because of their high magnetic permeability...or said another way, they respond to magnetic fields very easily. The first time I heard of the technology was when I was just a youngster in the late 1960s when someone suggested the use of magnetic accelerators for launching spacecraft and materials from the lunar surface. lol...Today's sports crowd just wants to make weapons. And people wonder why we don't have Lunar bases and aren't living on Mars.
TigerNod (author)  seandogue8 years ago
Um... What? I'm sorry, the only part I understanded was when you were talking about that lunar tech in the 1960's...
that's ok...Kelsey gave you the answer you wanted to hear.
dilandou8 years ago
A coilgun is essentially a gun that fires a ferrite slug/bolt/projectile by means of a high intensity electromagnetic field.