Introduction: Micro Gauss Rifle

Picture of Micro Gauss Rifle

A tiny gauss rifle built from only a few strong magnets. (It's not a coil or rail gun since its got no electromagnets, so I went with gauss rifle.)

Step 1: Acquire Magnets

Picture of Acquire Magnets

You will want some strong rare earth (Neodymium) magnets of two sizes. The larger size should be a ring magnet. The smaller magnet can be a ring or cylinder, and should fit snuggly into the first one. You can actually stack together several magnets, but single cylinders might work better.

I get my rare earth magnets from

Step 2: Arrange Magnets

Picture of Arrange Magnets

Place the smaller magnet(s) end to end with the larger ring magnet(s). It should attract end to end but be off center as shown. If you attempt to join the magnets at the wrong ends, they will repel. (Although if you try really hard you can get the smaller ones stuck in the bigger. That's not what you want to do.)

Step 3: Load Rifle

Picture of Load Rifle

Load the rifle by forcing the smaller magnet(s) into the larger. It will go in, but may take some work. Ideally you'll have some of the smaller magnet(s) sticking out both ends, as shown. This is the locked and loaded (and potentially dangerous) state. Be careful.

You'll want to make sure the inner magnet(s) fit into the outer. It should be a snug fit, not loose. It should also not be so tight that it can't shoot back out.

Step 4: Fire!

Picture of Fire!

Holding the rifle by its sides, point one flat end at a nice, soft, non-living target. The Neodymium magnets are fragile and will break, plus they can hurt people so be really careful.

Firmly push the inner magnet(s) into the outer and it should pop out the other end with greater force.


number 1 usher (author)2006-10-04

another sorce for magnets is

iceng (author)number 1 usher2016-04-04

no more

Cheezpaper (author)2010-10-03

some form of RAIL GUNZ FTW!!!

sythe511 (author)2009-05-29

um sorry to burst your bubble, dude 'but magnets, no matter how strong, never, and i mean never, keep their polairity forever.''

mettaurlover (author)sythe5112009-08-15

true, but it would last a really really long time.

Inmate1440 (author)mettaurlover2009-12-09
Actually this would not work at all in order to cause the magnet to go far enough into the other magnets field to be repelled by it you would need to give the magnet more force than the other magnet was capable of producing other wise the magnet would simply repel the other magnet back before it could pass through and be propelled to the next magnet in line. it may work for a while the initial force you give it but eventually the extra bit of energy required to pass through each magnet will stop it. Perpetual motions machines are never going to work because of the fact that energy is always lost. The second law of Thermodynamics states that entropy is always increasing and if you were to build a machine capable of perpetual motion you would be breaking that very law. so unless you plan on rewriting the laws of Thermodynamics then perpetual motion machines are not realistic. 

“The law that entropy always increases, holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.” — Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

mettaurlover (author)Inmate14402009-12-10

True, but if you gave it a large enough initial force, it would continue for a very long time and quite possible generate power for longer than a human live.

Inmate1440 (author)mettaurlover2009-12-12

Hypothetically but in order to make electrical energy you would need to somehow harness the kinetic energy and since nothing is 100% efficient it would slow it down faster, and unless you gave it a crazy amount of initial force it would have to generate only a trickle of energy other wise it would stop to quickly to be useful.

mettaurlover (author)Inmate14402009-12-13

I mean get it up to the speed of light fast and unstoppably hard. Then it would move forever and generate energy forever. If it decided to go in a circle around a large electromagnetic coil, that is.

it's impossible to make it go the speed of light. Because it would (according to law) grow ever more heavier and heavier so your device will explode/implode.

ANCIENT POST. You shouldn't have replied. We were speaking theoretically instead of practically.

lol, sure.

Inmate1440 (author)mettaurlover2010-04-11

 But your still only storing energy. you would have to put the energy in to it in the first place and since you lose energy recapturing it you would be better off just using the initial energy and not wasting the time with a rather pointless device. Unless you wanted to change kinetic energy into electrical energy in which case i would work but the scale would be pointlessly large and this type of device already exists.

mettaurlover (author)Inmate14402010-04-11


Phizicsguy (author)2008-04-01

Michaeldnash, I read your first blot on march 13. It would be impossible to generate force in that situation, because it takes just as much force to put the projectile into the launcher as the launcher exerts on the projectile at launch. I wish it was as simple as that, but because of also the fact that the projectile would switch poles as it moves in order to align with the rings of the magnetic rings, it would doubly not work. This effect could be changed by using magnets that couldn't rotate in the tube because of there shape, but rule #one would still be in effect.

Malifactor (author)Phizicsguy2008-05-30

I guess u b reffering to 1st law o thermaldynamics...forgive my spelling...I've been thinking about these strong nib mags, and I have a thaught experiment here. Imagine the Earth with its wonderful oceans...the moon wich provides the gravitational tug resulting in waves....just loaded with energy, kinetic I think. Most of us know the process. What about a magnet for the moon and a volume of dense diamagnetic fluid for an ocean...could I in effect have a perminate wave generator? I know the concept isn't practicle, but thats not the point really.

mdgnys (author)Malifactor2009-06-04

Wow try it. submit it to NASA and tell them to make a giant magnet to send into space!

n00b001 (author)mdgnys2009-11-01

It would work for (depending on how accurate the orbit is) a few thousand years, or maybe a few million, but by then the magnetism would have gone... And if you made it out of Iron (I think it's iron, maybe steel) and created a GIANT electromagnet (The iron holds it's magnetism when the electricity dies), and has thrusters keeping it in perfect orbit, then yes - it would stay there, as a magnet - for ever but it would take far more energy to do these things than just buy lots of water-proof bulldozers to plough the sea.

Good Luck anyway

geeklord (author)Phizicsguy2008-11-29

Isn't his Idea going into the idea of an infinite energy source? Then couldn't we make a particle that goes faster than the speed of light destroying everything???? There was a movie on some genius that did that and the world about went down the toilet.

j626no (author)geeklord2009-01-22

in theory it would accelerate exponentially; however, eventually you'd get to a point where the magnets would just shatter because of the force.

geeklord (author)j626no2009-01-23

didn't Phizicsguy just say that it wouldn't really even move?

j626no (author)geeklord2009-01-24

I thought you were referring to more of a traditional gauss rifle.

geeklord (author)j626no2009-01-24

i don't really even know what a gauss rifle is except that it uses magnets to shoot things.

michaeldnash (author)Phizicsguy2008-04-01

Awesome! Thanks for the info :)

greenbean (author)2009-09-19

You need to go to college, Mr. Toilet cleaner. LEDs are used in every stoplight in America, plus in most flashlights. Magnets are one of many ways to counter gravity. Ever seen an airplane? The only thing that uses magnets cost effectively is a levitation train. And when exactly did anyone say that a constant wouldn't be found? All of these things HAVE been done. P.S. I want my Big Mac with NO LETTUCE this time!

Lftndbt (author)2008-03-17

"MAGNETS ARE THE FUTURE" i've being saying this same thing for many years... The human race have two elements to help us in achieving perpectual cycles. Magnetism and gravity. If we can overcome the laws of force with the properties of magnets and gravity, we will achieve perpetual motion. It will become a reality, it's just a matter of time.

Jonny Katana (author)Lftndbt2009-07-09

There are (at very least) two problems with perpetual magnet-driven generators. First, as has already been stated, all magnets wear out eventually. Being exposed to an opposing magnetic field only worsens this problem. Secondly, the law of conservation of energy is inviolable. The total lifetime energy output of a "perpetual" generator would be dwarfed by the amount of energy it took to magnetize the magnets used. Perpetual motion is not possible in this universe. This is not something against which one can use a defense like "It was once said that flight was impossible." Perpetual motion would violate several physical rules that have never been observably violated before. To put it succinctly, the laws of physics must change significantly before perpetual motion is a possibility.

Lftndbt (author)Jonny Katana2009-07-09

"Perpetual motion is not possible in this universe. This is not something against which one can use a defense like "It was once said that flight was impossible." Perpetual motion would violate several physical rules that have never been observably violated before." Didn't someone once say "What goes up must come down"? Tell that to the ISS astronauts. I believe the essential problem with this never ending debate is that in fact nothing last forever, except nothing. Therefore no "machine" built by man could ever last for ever. Heck the earth doesn't last for ever. So basically we need to cull the term to a really really long work machine. This has already been achieved, we just need a few more hundred years of evolution before we refine the method.

Jonny Katana (author)Lftndbt2009-07-14

The ISS is planned to come down in 2020. And I'm not trying to be a jerk, but that's a totally different issue. Astronautics does not violate the laws of physics, it merely stretches our ability to supersede the obstacles they present to human technology. Overcoming the pull of gravity when you blast off in a space shuttle does not mean that gravity is a lie, it merely means you exerted enough force in an opposite direction to put yourself into orbit. But if perpetual motion was achieved, then it would throw the second law of thermodynamics completely out the window. It would prove that law outrightly false. And when everything we've seen so far has proven it categorically true, that presents a serious problem. Your claim that nothing can last forever is dead on, though. Even if perpetual motion were possible, the machine would have to be made of frictionless materials and operate in a vacuum. Neither frictionless materials nor absolute vacuum are things we have in our neck of the universe (the latter is available only in a black hole, something which usually frowns upon the orderly arrangement of matter).

SG1Oniell (author)2009-06-14

hate to burst your bubble, but this does not qualify as a rifle.

AlbinoBlackSheep (author)2007-06-19

now you need to tell us how to make a mini (or not :) ) railgun!

mdgnys (author)AlbinoBlackSheep2009-06-04

They have the railgun! search it

Sgt.Bacon (author)2009-05-17 brain hurts now......

knotmuch (author)2009-03-11

I'm more pro Nuclear

knotmuch (author)2009-03-11

Once we find a way to assassinate friction, perpetual motion will have a chance. Even if your machine where set up in a COMPLETE vacuum it could run along time unattended (assuming near perfect alignment), now for the dreaded word,
once you attach it to a generator to make electricity you are going to add resistance and/or drag to the system and that will kill the self sustaining hope just as quickly as friction

I'm not trying to be mean or negative.
We can only further our designs and ideas through re-examining them and expanding the scope of variables we take into consideration.

"We are not perfect. There is no complete or absolute solution, only what was good enough the day before."

pyroarchist (author)2009-02-24

no, gauss rifle style perpetual motion is impossible because everything has to be reset.

Thundertydus (author)2009-02-12

Look up "Coil Gun"

Kryptonite (author)2008-12-09

Ok, great idea but this is impossible, to fit the inside magnet into the outside ones needs a fair bit of force, but if it shot out the end it would not have the speed to go into the next set. Sorry to burst your bubbles. -Kryptonite

szechuan53 (author)2008-06-26

i personally think hydrogen is the future... PRAISE THE ALMIGHTY "H"

kibbler (author)szechuan532008-10-18

Noooooo! It's the Human Element!

szechuan53 (author)kibbler2008-10-19


I agree. my hho generator turned into a hho BOMB last friday and exploded about a foot and a half away from my face. now i have to build four more for my science fair project because my generator turned into a BOMB. at least all the generators are going to be 100% identicle this time. hho bombs are cool unless they are your hho generator and go off in your face, soaking you in lye!

yes, something like that happened to me once, and it was complicated slightly because it occurred in my "shed" which contained all my chemicals, tools, etc., including 5 ampoules of bromine, which were rather close to the generator. thankfully, only one broke.

_soapy_ (author)2006-05-05

You can do a lot better than this design! Buy regular, cheaper neodynium magnets without holes in the middle. Take a bag of steel ball bearings, and some strong glue, and get something to use as a rail, either wood or aluminium. Secure the magnets to the rail three ballbearing sizes apart, with 4 stages. Prime it by adding two BBs to the same side of each of the three magnets. Take a seventh single BB and take aim. Hold the BB a distance from the end of the rail without the BB on it, and roll it towards the magnet. You will fire the BB from the other end across the room! The upper limit is that the magnets shatter when hit too hard. This could be avoided with some lathework, however, for a truely formidable weapon. To "reload" you need to move the BBs back, so it's slower than the above method, but far more powerful, and you won't wory about losing a BB, unlike the expensive magnetic bullets above.

MasterChief22530 (author)_soapy_2008-08-15

Hi Soapy you said he can do better than this design and you said about BBs flying across the room, i want to know how you make your design because i wanna try it out you have a site that teaches you how to make the BB + magets projectile?

Ark (author)_soapy_2006-05-07

Yup, I already did that. Built the base out of LEGO parts. Used lots of small cube magnets (I think cylinders of the same size as the balls would work better) and steel bearings. I actually think this rifle is more powerful than the standard gauss rifle, at least based on the number of magents used. This one shoots several feet, though I need to get better measurements.

Here's a link to the design you mentioned:

Father Christmas (author)2008-07-08

schweet i love neodymium magnets.

wotot2 (author)2008-07-01

Could This system be used to launch some sort of toy roller coaster? like maybe knex?

TMan0314 (author)2008-06-21

thats similar to how some roller coaster launches work and how some of their brakes work.they all work with magnets somehow.

cdawg14 (author)2008-05-21

what about developing this design into a self defense type weapon? i mean, does this have the kind of power you need to actually shoot someone and do damage?

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