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Seasteading Aficionado
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A theoretical dream for decades, the railgun is unlike any other weapon used in warfare. And it's quite real too, as the U.S. Navy has proven in a record-setting test today in Dahlgren, VA.

Rather than relying on a explosion to fire a projectile, the technology uses an electomagnetic current to accelerate a non-explosive bullet at several times the speed of sound. The conductive projectile zips along a set of electrically charged parallel rails and out of the barrel at speeds up to Mach 7.

The result: a weapon that can hit a target 100 miles or more away within minutes.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/12/ ... z17jjjaf00

I wonder if I can get one of these for open carry? I want one! :lol: :mrgreen:
 

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EJR914 said:
I wonder if I can get one of these for open carry? I want one! :lol: :mrgreen:
Radial Flyer the holster of choice there?

I think you'd be lucky to leave your fillings in the same zipcode as your shoulder! :shattered:
 

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CoffeeMate said:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bW0UWQh5Lk
Why couldn't this have been done on a scaled down version? Are we really going to construct a building every time we want to use one of these things? That building and all its contents easily cost 500 million, remember this was done by the govt, no way cost was of concern. Why in the hell are my tax dollars going to projects like this? I think this could have been done on a 100,000 dollar budget on a scaled down version.

It looks like it couldn't be used on a navy ship, the recoil would probably capsize the ship. Maybe I am way off here, but it seems like a waste of my tax dollars. I love the idea of having a weapon that isn't fuel propelled, but it still took a hell of a lot of energy to charge that think. The bill to charge the thing was probably 500k. Glad I stayed at the office until 9 tonight and will be going back tomorrow so I can help fund bs projects like this.
 

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foxtrotterz said:
Why couldn't this have been done on a scaled down version? Are we really going to construct a building every time we want to use one of these things? That building and all its contents easily cost 500 million, remember this was done by the govt, no way cost was of concern. Why in the hell are my tax dollars going to projects like this? I think this could have been done on a 100,000 dollar budget on a scaled down version.
This is the scaled down version. It follows a series of promising smaller test platforms. They do it that way so that the engineers can argue with the physicists while they work out the kinks before they spend $5B+ on a boat that only fires one shot before a strange clanging noise is heard and the whole thing folds in half and sinks. The gun, power circuitry, and projectile are pushing the limits of materials and electrical engineering.

foxtrotterz said:
It looks like it couldn't be used on a navy ship, the recoil would probably capsize the ship. Maybe I am way off here, but it seems like a waste of my tax dollars. I love the idea of having a weapon that isn't fuel propelled, but it still took a hell of a lot of energy to charge that think. The bill to charge the thing was probably 500k. Glad I stayed at the office until 9 tonight and will be going back tomorrow so I can help fund bs projects like this.
Stability is less of an issue than shrinking and ocean proofing the power supply. As far as a waste of tax dollars, there is somebody in Iran saying the same thing about their nuclear program. Another way to say it is that history tells us that wars are fought and won every time a newer better technology is available. Don't fret this project though, you ought to see what is being spent on lasers.
 

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Lawyer and Gun Activist
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That's a heck of a lot of electrical equipment to fire a projectile the size of a 4 "D" cell Mag-Light.
It looks like the "gun barrel" is 50 feet long, six feet tall and wide, and the power supply that charges the barrel fills about half the warehouse.

I don't see them making a concealable firearm with this technology anytime soon, but maybe a home defense gun.... :flame:
One that never leaves your home because it weighs more than your house!
 

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In the age of compact nuke's and gps delivery systems ? Who needs this ?
Dumber than building a bunch of $3B aircraft carriers, but cheaper I suppose.
 

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There are enormous political and strategic consequences from using nuclear weapons.
Even small -yield tactical nukes. Even one shot, one nuke-tipped missile, could turn what would be a skirmish involving a couple of ships into a world war.
Nukes are NOT a substitute for good conventional weapons.
 

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The video was from a ~10 MJ test in 2008 and the projectile was moving at 8200 feet per second. They didn't show the latest 33 MJ test.

Once they get it built, they plan to put Tomahawk amounts of damage down range for bullet only prices. Unlike a missile though, there currently isn't any way to intercept and destroy the bullet once it is launched.
 

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foxtrotterz said:
CoffeeMate said:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bW0UWQh5Lk
Why couldn't this have been done on a scaled down version? Are we really going to construct a building every time we want to use one of these things? That building and all its contents easily cost 500 million, remember this was done by the govt, no way cost was of concern. Why in the hell are my tax dollars going to projects like this? I think this could have been done on a 100,000 dollar budget on a scaled down version.

It looks like it couldn't be used on a navy ship, the recoil would probably capsize the ship. Maybe I am way off here, but it seems like a waste of my tax dollars. I love the idea of having a weapon that isn't fuel propelled, but it still took a hell of a lot of energy to charge that think. The bill to charge the thing was probably 500k. Glad I stayed at the office until 9 tonight and will be going back tomorrow so I can help fund bs projects like this.
lol, I guarantee you would have said the same thing about the atom bomb
 

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pml said:
foxtrotterz said:
CoffeeMate said:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bW0UWQh5Lk
Why couldn't this have been done on a scaled down version? Are we really going to construct a building every time we want to use one of these things? That building and all its contents easily cost 500 million, remember this was done by the govt, no way cost was of concern. Why in the hell are my tax dollars going to projects like this? I think this could have been done on a 100,000 dollar budget on a scaled down version.

It looks like it couldn't be used on a navy ship, the recoil would probably capsize the ship. Maybe I am way off here, but it seems like a waste of my tax dollars. I love the idea of having a weapon that isn't fuel propelled, but it still took a hell of a lot of energy to charge that think. The bill to charge the thing was probably 500k. Glad I stayed at the office until 9 tonight and will be going back tomorrow so I can help fund bs projects like this.
lol, I guarantee you would have said the same thing about the atom bomb
Keep in mind we actually had leaders who had a pair and would defend this country by ending someone else's life during wartime when the A-Bomb was being invented. The atom bomb cost approximately 25 billion in todays dollars, I am sure we will double or more the costs of experimenting with the rail gun. If we were a nation that declared war when we meant war and stayed at peace when we were not at war, that would be another story.
 

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You do realize that things like this are not really the "navies" right? Sure, their name is on it, some of their folks may be working on it and it may be being designed for use in a Naval vessel, but most projects are civilian run and funded, with military liasons, researchers, etc there. Sure, some of our money is used in these types of research, but most of it is funded by investors. Grants are given from the .gov for a small portion of the research. If the product is successful, that grant money is more often than not repaid to the .gov.

ETA: Why the need for something that only fires "one shot", especially in the laser guided, GPS age? How heavy are those bombs? How much space do they take up? Weight=fuel needed to propel ship. Less fuel weight, less go juice needed right? Look at how much space the projectile takes up, very little compared to the bombs. Once all the technology is worked out, it may even be a guidable weapon, and more compact for a HUMVEE, tank or even man pack.
 

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45_Fan said:
Unlike a missile though, there currently isn't any way to intercept and destroy the bullet once it is launched.
This. Once you get it right you can send things (maybe just the "normal" bullet, maybe something that goes boom when it impacts) that can't be stopped. That puts you back on top of the heap. Heap of what, I'll leave to you.
 

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gruntpain1775 said:
You do realize that things like this are not really the "navies" right? Sure, their name is on it, some of their folks may be working on it and it may be being designed for use in a Naval vessel, but most projects are civilian run and funded, with military liasons, researchers, etc there. Sure, some of our money is used in these types of research, but most of it is funded by investors. Grants are given from the .gov for a small portion of the research. If the product is successful, that grant money is more often than not repaid to the .gov.

ETA: Why the need for something that only fires "one shot", especially in the laser guided, GPS age? How heavy are those bombs? How much space do they take up? Weight=fuel needed to propel ship. Less fuel weight, less go juice needed right? Look at how much space the projectile takes up, very little compared to the bombs. Once all the technology is worked out, it may even be a guidable weapon, and more compact for a HUMVEE, tank or even man pack.
My nephew actually works on either this or a similar project as a civilian. I have seen a couple of pics of a semi trailer sized device of some sort from him out in the desert some where. Check out Sam Barros' http://powerlabs.org for some interesting experiments on this and other subjects. Sam is not my cousin.

The physics may be theoretical but the fun is real!
 

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foxtrotterz said:
CoffeeMate said:
It looks like it couldn't be used on a navy ship, the recoil would probably capsize the ship. Maybe I am way off here, but it seems like a waste of my tax dollars. I love the idea of having a weapon that isn't fuel propelled, but it still took a hell of a lot of energy to charge that think. The bill to charge the thing was probably 500k. Glad I stayed at the office until 9 tonight and will be going back tomorrow so I can help fund bs projects like this.
Even if the 33 megajoule weapon was one hundred percent efficient, firing it would only be enough to accelerate a destroyer to five miles an hour. A Tomahawk missile costs $570,000, the railgun can be fired for $1000.
 
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