Introduction: Coilgun

This is an easy to make coilgun which I made for my 8th grade science project. You will need to have some soldering skills, and a heavy duty power supply.

I am not responsible for any burns, electrical mishaps, or any other injuries that happen while building or conducting this project.

Last thing, I have entered into some of the contests, and I would love to have your vote to win. Just look at some of those entries, they are pretty pathetic, so if you don't feel like reading this whole big project explination, just let me explain this, vote for the 8th grade kid with the weapon ;)

If you don't..... I WILL FIND YOU AND I WILL KILL YOU!!!!!!

JK, but vote for me :)

Step 1: Tools

To make this, you will need:

Barrel Portion
- a 3/4 inch non magnetic tube
- a 22 gauge lightly insulated copper wire
- any flat surface, I used 80x20

- 1/8 or 3/16 in ball bearings
For spacing of the ball bearing vs the wire for shooting, I found the best place to put the ball bearing is right behind where you started wrapping the wire.

Everything else
- 3, 1 foot alligator clips
- an on/off electrical switch
- a - capacitor
- a - resistor
- more of the insulated wire
- a volt generator that will give a a consistent amount of current and volts each time.

- Solder
- Soldering Pen
- A ban or hacksaw if you plan to cut the tube or barrel

Step 2: Electrical Parts

Just incase you want to see the volt generator, or the parts and where they got soldered into.

Step 3: Our Blueprint

Step 4: Starting

Now we will start our barrel portion, you will need to take your barrel, and measure about 2 inches away from the barrels end, and mark that off. Now front that mark, you will want to measure off about an inch or 1.5 inch away from the first mark, and mark that. This will be where we wrap the wire.
Take your insulated wire, and wrap it around the tube starting from the front, and working your way to the back, and then keep rewrapping until you get to the front again.
Leave about an inch off the wires, and strip the wires down to the copper.

Step 5: Next

Now take the leads of the wires, and strap them to two separate alligator clips, it doesn't matter which one goes to your switch and which one goes the the - resistor. Now take one of your alligator clips, and attach the other end of it to one side of the switch. And take another alligator clip and attach it on the other side of the switch.

(See first picture)

Now go to the 1000 microfarad capacitor, and take your ± 0.25% resistor, and solder one of the leads onto the capacitor lead.

(See second and third picture)

Take the other alligator clip, the one from the switch, and attach it the lead of the resistor that was not soldered. Now take your extra insulated and wrap it around any end of the resistor.

(See fourth and fifth picture)

Now on the end of the alligator clip from the barrel that hasn't been used yet, and attach it to a new insulated wire. Now take that insulated wire and solder that on to another (unused) lead of the capacitor. Now take a new and final piece of wire, and solder that on the same lead of the capacitor as the last wire you just soldered in.

(See sixth picture)

Finally, take the insulated wire on the resistor, and take the final lead and attach it into the positive (+) lead on your power supply. And now take the other unused wire from the last step, and attach it to the negative (-) lead on your power supply.

(See fifth and sixth picture.)

Step 6: Finally, Shooting

To shoot, make sure your switch is off, and turn on your volt generator (power supply). Turn up the voltage to between 55-60 volts, and current to between 0 and 0.5 (not really sure, you can test). Then put your projectle in the barrel (you will want it right where you started wrapping the coil. And the you can SHOOT.

Step 7: Congrats

Congratulations, you have made a coilgun!!!


Any questions? Conserns? Suggestions?

Just comment me, and I will respond to you. Remember, I am only in 8th grade, so I won't know everything, but I will try.

Step 8: Please Vote for Me!!!

Just remember to vote for me so I can make more stuff, Thanks :)

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    9 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    mmmmmmm i still have some brass square rods and 5X 3100uF 360volts...... maybe a railgun is better? or is a coilgun design like this one better?


    Reply 3 years ago

    it depends on the aplication and willing to build


    6 years ago on Introduction

    BTW, you may want to make a strong metal cap for the breech with a
    small magnet to hold the projectile in the right position. If the projectile slides
    forward before you hit the switch it will fire out the back end....


    6 years ago

    Nice project
    I have made one but ot a littl bit crazy cuz it uses 1F cap bank and that makes the projectil go crazy .
    Keep trying you will get it to shoot about 100M.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I keep up-sizing mine. it takes a bit of effort.

    My latest is almost ready. Big capacitor is done with heavy buss bars and 2AWG jumpers but I'm still working on the spark gap to fire it.

    I started an ible on it but I dont know if i'll ever post it.

    on another ible I posted i got so many complaints about how dangerous it was it kinda turned me off to these projects.

    I'm glad to see others are doing them and enjoying them


    6 years ago on Introduction


    you can take an old disposable camera and reuse that as your power supply. its over 300V so you have to be careful not to shock yourself. It has a decent size cap and a charging circuit that runs off a single AA battery.

    really portable


    6 years ago

    Always wanted to make one of these! After this one, maybe a rail gun with cascading coils? You'd have to play with timing of the coils, sensing position of the projectile, pulse duration vs speed at each coil maybe. Just thoughts. Awesome project :-)


    6 years ago