3D Printed Portable Rail Gun

Here is an interesting project. A portable rail gun that was mostly 3D printed.

Below is the CAD drawing. Everything in gray was 3D printed.




The blue capacitors combined weight is 20 lbs. It looks like a Neill Blomkamp weapon from District 9.



Here are the projectiles. The railgun is capable of firing copper plated tungsten, aluminum, carbon and teflon/plasma. Here we have copper plated tungsten armatures.





You can check out a breakdown of the build here.


Thanks to Bryan S. for the hat tip.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • Tyler McCommon

    It only shoots at 100 m/s so it’s basically a very expensive pellet rifle. Still cool tho.

    • iksnilol

      I thought it shot at about 200-250 m/s?

      • Giolli Joker

        “WXPR Test 3 – 1″ long 0.25″ aluminum sabot (1.1g total mass). 1.6kJ
        caps, 500 psi injector. 36″ distance to target: angled 3/4″ plywood
        board with 1/4″ mild steel backplate. Made a 1/2″ deep indent in target
        and bounced off. Speed was above 250m/s.”
        From the youtube description.
        Yep, 250 m/s, with a very light projectile.
        I’m curious about the tungsten ones.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Naval Surface Warfare is working on this for real.

  • Rex Krom

    Wasn’t this posted on here a few days ago?

  • Shmoe

    Neat and all, but the performance doesn’t seem to justify it. I’ve seen coil/Gauss guns (a different, simpler tech) achieve similar or better results in a cheaper, lighter package. Does look like it’s straight out of sci-fi, and I’d love to get my hands on those capacitors!

    • JSmath

      I agree with what you have to say, but I do think it’s interesting in itself that it is an actual railgun (instead of yet another coilgun project) and can fire (copper-coated) nonferrous projectiles. Next on the list, scientists, is force fields and teleporters.

      • Shmoe

        Fair enough…these things need to start somewhere.

  • Harley Criswell

    my brother was in the marines and got to see one of he test fires he sade i t was inpresiv

    • Mike

      Was he a Delta MARSOC SEAL spaceshuttle door gunner level III in flight missile repairman 14th class?

  • Cruel but true

    These headlines is what is freaking people out. You don’t get to the “mostly” until your past the headline and people only read headlines and then tweet it. I own a 3D printer and we can make all the parts to a gun. including the spring. It will fire a real bullet BUT I would lose most my hand. If you had the strongest plastics and lucky it made it through one round, i guarantee the second you would watch your thumb fly away.

  • rocketman

    A very long way from a device that is practical for military operations. i would still like to get my hands on something like a Klingon disruptor rifle.

  • Secundius

    My only concern is, what happen’s if you get “Caught” with this “Beast”. IN Jail or UNDER It…

    • Evan

      For what? I guarantee that there isn’t a single law on the books in the US prohibiting or even regulating ownership of rail guns.

      • iksnilol

        Soo… Full auto?

        • Kyle

          If you could recharge and refire the capacitors quick enough to simulate our ideas of ‘full auto’ but Fully Automatic for this in it’s current state would be… low rate.

          • iksnilol

            “This baby fires full auto… at a blistering rate of fire… that is 4 rounds an hour… all that by just keeping the trigger down”.

            You’re right, the sales pitch needs some work.

          • noob

            hmm what if you had belt fed fully charged capacitors and ejected the spent capacitors? then policed up the spent capacitors for reloading at your nearest power source?

      • Secundius

        @ Evan.

        John Aristotle ” the Atomic Kid” Phillips age 21 in 1976, designs an Atomic Bomb while attending Princeton University is contacted by the Pakistani Government after Publishing his design.

        David “the Radioactive Boy Scout or Nuclear Boy Scout” Hahn age 17 in 1994, builds a Homemade Nuclear Breeder Reactor in his Backyard. Need is say more…

        • vetww2

          Aw c’mon. You know that was a hoax. What’s happened to you?

  • vetww2

    PERFECT ARMAMENT FOR HUNK-A-JUNK (LCS). That cabinet behind it is the battery. 3D printing is great for appropriate applications (which are increasing) BUT I could stamp 1000 high strength steel parts in the time and at the cost of 1 printed gun in Al.

    • BryanS

      Yeah, but could you make the die for the prototype and all the changes at the same cost in the same timeframe?

      • vetww2

        Easily. You are assuming frequent, major changes, which are not the case in gun design. Examples: AK-47, M-1, Mauser 98, 45 auto, Luger, P-38……

        • BryanS

          So your argument against rapid production of prototypes is that old deigns are just fine and aren’t changed?

          Some of those never changed because of the military buying process, licensing processes, and in the case of the mauser, because some things are simple and can be handled in a simple way.

          It is still a lot better to print a sample, and get it back in a day, than it is to wait for the machine shop to get back a week later. You use the 3d printed part to verify before it goes to the machine shop, and save money in costly mistakes.

  • Sianmink

    He looks like a 6″ action figure holding a gun designed for a 9″ figure. What’s up with the huge grip and excessive length of pull?

  • vetww2

    The “RAIL GUN” is a linear motor, just like the successful electric aircraft catapult, developed by the Navy at Lakehurst, N.J.and the Mag lev trains/ OOOOOLD principle, even used in elevator design and space launch. Gun application was rejected inm1975 by NAVSEA, after a careful, impartial study. This study also recommended the A/C catapult.