What bullets would this Electric Machine Gun used?


#1

What bullets would this Electric Machine Gun used ?

Is this from the 1930’s or 40’s ?


#2

Steel ones?


#3

This question has been running about for years and without an answer yet as far as I know.


#4

Might look at this on Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railgun

Anyone ever seen a centrifugal MG that shoots steel ball bearings? An old idea, but still kicking around. I saw someone exhibiting one he invented while I was at the NDIA small arms meeting in Little Rock, I think maybe in 2000 or 2001. It’s one of those things that looks good at first glance, but you can’t change the laws of physics to make it practical.


#5

That picture shows one of the later types of this machine gun (1936) but the original model was designed in 1933. Projectile was described as “steel body with soft edge [point] and may be filled with explosive”.

Model of 1933:

Projectile for 1933 model:

Another picture from 1941:


#6

Exactly so. The inventors claimed it was “recoilless”, which shows a lamentable grasp of Newton’s Third Law: to every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The bullets go forwards, the gun is pushed backwards.


#7

So, in the case of the rail gun, since the magnetic field is alternately pulling the projectile forward and not pushing, would the gun itself be also pulled forward? Un-coil? Cheers, Bruce.


#8

No. The magnetic field is acting to push the projectile forwards and the gun backwards. Since the gun is much heavier and is firmly mounted, it’s the projectile which moves.


#9

Agreed, there has to be an equal and opposite force. However since the forces would have to be progressive ie a series of pushes that may be where the term recoil less came from.

I seriously doubt what final velocity could be achieved without a much longer barrel and enough power to light the downtown city centre of Boston at Christmas. You would have approx two thousandths of a second to impart enough magnetic force to get that projectile from naught to about four thousand feet per second. Imparting enough energy to launch something that could bring down a plane would require massive amounts of electrical force. You would plunge whole neighbourhoods into darkness every time you fired it.

A lot of these things were feel good stories to leak to the press who loved a good new secret weapon. Almost Sci-Fi. Look what our boffins have come up with now. You can all sleep easy in your beds, our boys are on the case. The public lapped it up. Superman has one and Buck Rodgers has ordered two.


#10

Tony, the Physics problem for a centrifugal MG goes beyond recoil. A simple kinetic energy balance to determine the horsepower requirement of such a device indicates that it would require a very large electric motor to get performance approaching that of a conventional MG. I guess a centrifugal MG might theoretically work if you hauled it, along with a massive electric generator set, around on a truck (or maybe several trucks). I spoke to the guy at the NDIA conference about energy requirements, and all he did was deny that there was a problem. Sort of obvious that he was aware of the shortcomings of his idea, but facts never deter a dedicated con man.

Just got to thinking - this idea actually goes back to before David and Goliath.


#11

Where was this published ?


#12

Oh sure, the recoil in a conventional gun can be spread out over time given the right gun mechanism, so that it’s more of a steady push than a series of sharp kicks, but the total recoil force remains the same.

Electromagnetic guns have seen significant advances in recent years but they’re still a long way from service-ready. The most promising application is in warships which use hybrid electric propulsion, so the engines are nothing but huge electricity generators. Power can be switched to the guns when required.


#13

Forgive my nerddom, but the 1930’s ‘railgun’ is totally steampunk/Jules Verne/Brisco County. Awesome.

I recall seeing a ‘Star Wars’ SDI mockup a long while back which fired cube-shaped projectiles…if memory serves they were supposedly going to use a very light alloy (titanium) to assist in making their ludicrous-speed velocities.


#14

[quote=“DennisK”]Tony, the Physics problem for a centrifugal MG goes beyond recoil. A simple kinetic energy balance to determine the horsepower requirement of such a device indicates that it would require a very large electric motor to get performance approaching that of a conventional MG. I guess a centrifugal MG might theoretically work if you hauled it, along with a massive electric generator set, around on a truck (or maybe several trucks). I spoke to the guy at the NDIA conference about energy requirements, and all he did was deny that there was a problem. Sort of obvious that he was aware of the shortcomings of his idea, but facts never deter a dedicated con man.

Just got to thinking - this idea actually goes back to before David and Goliath.[/quote]

There was one made and patented in the US Civil War era. I will post more when I find the file.


#15

A site relevant to this thread:

powerlabs.org/railgun2.htm

A rather bright lad, yes?