The Future is Here: Portable Coilguns

It seems that not only the US Navy is experimenting with electromagentic guns. Personal inventors are doing said same. I present you with the CG-33 Portable Coil Gun, the best EM gun to be presented to the world as of yet. And the funny thing is, it was made by an independent inventor named Jason using simple OTS (off-the-shelf) electronic components. These include a 12V Nickel-metal battery, a series of capacitors and a bolt action loading system.

You might want to study up on mechanical and electrical engineering before attempting to build one of these, but the results are impressive. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jason got a call from Heckler and Koch or some other gun manufacturer in the near future!

The Future is Here: Rail Guns!

Naval Surface Warfare Center test, January 2008
Naval Surface Warfare Center test, January 2008

Officially, it’s known as an electrically-powered artillery gun, a system that uses high-powered magnets and electrical charges to accelerate a conductive projectile to hypersonic speeds. The projectile runs along a set of magnetic rails and is then hurled at targets at a velocity of 2.4 kilometres per second (or 5,400¬†mph).

For years, the US Navy and other national militaries have been experimenting with the concept. The benefits are obvious, and range from the lack of propellants, to range, to sheer destructive power. Unlike an explosive shell, a railgun projectile can punch through walls of concrete and steel with ease while also ensuring less in the way of collateral damage.

As a concept, the railgun has a solid presence in the field of science fiction. It’s first mention was in the 1897 science fiction novel A Trip to Venus by John Munro. In this story, Munro describes a device known as an “electric gun” which is used to launch spaceships from Earth into orbit. In the 1955 novel Earthlight, Arthur C. Clarke described how an electromagnetically gun was used to defend a fortress from an attacking warship.

Railgun from Halo 4

More modern examples include Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, Redemption Ark by Alastair Reynolds, the TV series Babylon 5, and the Wing Commander and Halo gaming universes. Here, as in elsewhere, EM guns make an appearance as either railguns, “mass drivers”, or “asteroid guns”.

And let’s not forget movies like Eraser, Demolition Man, and Transformers II (ick!). In these films, the concept was also used, either in the context of a futuristic infantry weapon or as a ship-mounted weapon. However, outside of science fiction and pop culture, the concept was considered purely experimental. As far as developers and civilian administrators were concerned, the technology was too theoretical, too expensive, and too… well, science fiction-y.

But as of the new millennium, the US Navy began conducting actual tests under the name of Project “Velocitas Eradico,” which roughly translated is Latin for Killing Speed. As of January 2008, the Navy began conducting their first true field tests, which involved the firing of conductive projectiles to test their overall velocity.

And then, in February of 2012, the US Navy unleashed the first true railgun, meaning an electromagnetic artillery weapon that actually resembles a deck gun. Video evidence showed the weapon being test fired within a lab and eviscerating a target located on an outside test range. I’ll think you agree, the footage is impressive, but that was the point! With these most recent tests, the Navy hopes that Congress will approve funding for further development.

Cool Guns (vol.3)

Finally, I’ve found it! After much searching and digging, I finally found my way to the lasergun from the Akira movie. And I got to say, between anime, live action, and the gaming world, this weapon is about the most realistic take on a lasergun I’ve yet to see. Used initially by military forces in Neo-Tokyo to stop Tetsuo (unsuccessfully, I might add), the protagonist Kaneda would later use one as his personal weapon.

Powered by a portable battery pack, this weapon would fire a lancing beam of focused energy at its targets. In addition to being able to cut through metal and concrete, it was also capable of hewing off limbs. And it did too! Seriously, that scene where the army opens fire on the mob, ick and whoa in equal parts!

EM-1 Railgun:
Even thought I didn’t think the movie was that hot, these guns did inspired to learn more about coilguns, gauss rifles and EM technology. Known as the EM-1, this weapon was a prototype railgun that was featured in the movie Eraser. Basically, it was this advanced technology that set up the plot, and provided Arny with an excuse to do some Terminator-style double firing!

Running on the concept of a coilgun, the EM-1 would use a super-charged magnetic tube to accelerate a caseless slug to hypersonic velocities. This gave it incredible punch as well as range, and could eviscerate man, machine and solid matter with ease. An x-ray scope was also attached to let the gunner see through solid objects, which was handy considering that this weapon was designed to punch through obstacles and kill whatever was on the other side.

Guitar Case Rocket Launcher:
Here’s a movie I never expect to take anything from. Desperado, the Mexican western-style shoot-em-up directed by Robert Rodriquez, featured a lot of cool guns. But in the end, I’d have to say the coolest were the ones sported by his band members, which came embedded in their guitar cases. Where one man relied on cases that had built-in automatic weapons, the other fired rockets out the front!

I’ve looked it up and can’t find any info on how they rigged this case to do this. Probably just a launch tube and some fire crackers. But it was still pretty cool, and not entirely ludicrous either. Assuming you don’t mind ruining a few guitar cases, this weapon would probably make a great conversation piece and its owner a hit at parties!

Ah, my favorite of the bunch! Known as Joshua, this BFG is named in honor of the Hebrew warrior who led the Israelites to victory over the Caananites, in brutal, genocidal fashion! It’s essentially a massive long slide, chambered for the mighty .454 Casull round which is used primarily for hunting wild game. BIG wild game!

In Alucard’s case, the gun was also fitted with silver-tipped bullets for hunting vampires and demons. So in addition to packing a massive punch, it could also turn the undead into ash with a single blast. And of course, Alucard’s super-human strength gave him the ability to endure the weapon’s massive kickback!
What do you know, it’s two for one day! Here we have Alucard’s second gun of choice, known as the Jackal. Officially, it’s known as the ARMS 13mm (.51 cal.) Anti-freak pistol, and in many ways represented a step-up from the earlier Joshua. Also produced by Walter, the Hellsing organization’s own gunsmith, this weapon was made in response to Alucard’s request for something “bigger”.

And that’s precisely what he got! In addition to having less kickback than its predecessor and firing spent casing to the left (so as not to obscure Alucard’s view of the target), this gun also fired 13mm (.51 cal) bullets and came in a sleek, black gunmetal design. In addition, it also had the words “Jesus Christ is in heaven” scrawled on the side, no doubt a comical reference to the man Alucard intended to use it on!

Leonhearts Gunblade:
Is it a gun, it is a blade? Well… yes. The property of Squall Leonheart, from Final Fantasy VIII, this weapon is basically a stainless steel broadsword with an inset .44 magnum revolver. Firing this gun off in the midst of a sword fight not only has the potential to punch a big hole in the enemy, it also produces a wild vibration in the blade that makes it cut even better.

Much like Cloud’s Blade from FF VII, it is heavily oversize, though not as much. Though even the designer claimed that it had an “odd appearance” in hindsight, and the configuration makes it look a little unwieldy, you can’t deny that its pretty damn cool!

Prosthetic Leg Gun:
Now here’s a novel take on both movie guns and prosthetics! Taken from the movie Planet Terror, is essentially a Bushmaster Carbine with the addition of an M203A1 grenade launcher.

This gun made its appearance when the character Wray gives Cherry Darling (played by Rose McGowan) the assault rifle grenade launcher combination as a replacement for her prosthetic leg. She put it to good use, alternately kicking and blowing bad guys away with it!

Pauza P50:

The Robocop franchise was nothing if not good at popularizing cool guns! And this one was no exception. Known as the P50, this .50 cal semi-automatic sniper rifle was featured repeatedly throughout the film. Intended as a shout out to the “Cobra Assault Rifle” from the first movie, this weapon had the same things going for it, namely explosive, punchy firepower!

It’s first appearance was during the robbery of the gun store at the beginning. It later appeared in the hands of some of Cain’s thugs who used it to blow Robocop’s hand off during his initial confrontation with the crime boss. It was then used by those same thugs later on Robocain himself. Robocop then confiscated it and used it against Robocain during their final confrontation. With one clean hit, he managed to destroy Cain’s autocannon’s with this baby. Always great when accuracy and firepower come together!

The Samaritan:
Named in honor of the fact that it puts monsters out of their misery, Hellboy named this one “The Samaritan”. Although the caliber is not listed, the bullets appear to be at least one inch (25mm or 1.00 cal) in diameter, glass tipped, and filled with holy water.

In addition, the construction of the gun is heavily consistent with the name. The metal is forged from a combination of Irish church bells, cold iron from crucifixes, blessed silver, and other mystic metals. The handle wood of the grips is believed to be that of the cross of which Jesus Christ was crucified on. Holy religiosity Batman!

It weighs ten pounds, making it double effective as an impact hammer. And of course, the size of the gun also gives it a kickback which would be capable of breaking a regular man’s hand off. Hence, nobody but Hellboy even takes it out for an evening of monster killing!

Wow, a third installment! Did NOT see that one coming. And I’m really trying to get off this guns and robots kick, I swear! I’ll be back tomorrow with something else… maybe!