32-Megajoule Rail Gun

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

Like every other red-blooded American boy, I enjoy the notion of propelling a piece of lead at up to Mach 8 and at “extreme” ranges. That’s why I was glad to hear that BAE Systems has delivered a rail gun capable of such feats, and that the US Navy signed for the package

Not exactly a firearm but I won’t discriminate against any device that can hurl lead and twice the speed of a .204 Ruger 🙂

Mind you, the Navy isn’t like pissing its pants for joy that it gets to play with a 32-megajoule rail gun. This is America, after all. What the Navy really wants is a 64-megajoule rail gun. But since that might take 13 years and would require, yep, 6 million amps per shot, the Navy’s gonna have to quit bitching and enjoy the toys it has, at least for now

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Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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3 of 6 comments
  • Gerald Gerald on Jun 02, 2010

    Has nothing to do with moving the projectile with magnetic fields. Basically, there are two strips of metal (rails) that are squeezed together via a magnetic field. As they are sqeezed together, a projectile is propelled down the rails, like a bar of soap shoots from your hands when you sqeeze it too tightly. The effect is a massive velocity that vastly exceeds chemical propellants. The downsides are that the rails wear down very quickly due to the immense friction, and the immense power usage of the device.

  • Gerald Gerald on Jun 02, 2010

    Further, you are thinking of a Gauss gun, which the projectile must be magnetic. This is an entirely different (but also electrically powerd and magnetic) design then a rail gun.