The most powerful railgun ever to be built by an organization that’s not also a nation was built on idle weekends by a DIY hobbyist known as Ziggy Zee, who probably now eats dinner on paper plates, based on the video below.
Explaining his deadly build on Imgur, Zee described the 250-pound mag-cannon as being built in two parts: A 50-pound barrel with firing mechanism and a 200-pound bank of 56 400-volt, 6,000-microfarad capacitors. The cannon loads a projectile into the electrified barrel using CO2, before it bursts out in a semi-molten state.
At a speed of 50 miles per hour, the projectile’s range is short but deadly, as Ziggy Zee wrote in a a section of the testing titled, Launch #5 Lethality Confirmed:’
“The railgun is tested against ballistics gelatin. It is proven to be absolutely lethal.
We used military standard gelatin: 20% by weight at 50°F is the Nato standard for simulating muscle tissue.”
Here’s the weapon vs. a defenseless Galaxy S3 strapped to a pumpkin.
And here it is taking out a set of plates. Take that, plates.
Showing off the two-year project on Reddit, Ziggy Zee gave the impression anyone could do it with the right books and some spare time.
“Figured out the math. Did a little research. Spent month and months planning. Put together something mostly unique with the help of $4,000,” he writes.
Railguns operating on the same principals the Navy has been using for their own weapons have become popular with personal defense enthusiasts lately. Just this October, another DIY’er going by the name NSA_ listbot showed off his/her own 3D-printed rifle.
So if you don’t have your own high-powered cannon capable of lethal force by this time next year, you only have yourself to blame.