The World’s Most Powerful Gun Has A Fatal Flaw – Things Don’t Look Good
Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division
Guns have existed for the better part of a millennium and are always advancing from their humble origins. Easily the most advanced form of projectile weaponry is the Railgun which can launch rounds at speeds over Mach 6. It may sound like a perfect science but unfortunately, there are some major drawbacks to the using the railgun.
The technology of the Railgun is relatively new and still has some bumps it has to smooth it is perfected. The main hurdle the railgun has to overcome is the effect of firing off rounds at such powerful speeds. The railgun actually begins to tear itself apart due to the immense force it produces and engineers are still struggling to contain this effect.
It boils down to a number of significant factors when the railgun is used. The first heat caused by firing the projectiles which often results in parts of gun itself to melt and undergo necessary repairs. Because the railguns use magnetism rather than explosive force the repulsion from the magnetic energy has a tendency to push apart rails to the point where they can only be fired once before needing maintenance.
This video from real engineering breaks it down to the raw science of what occurs when a railgun in an informative and entertaining way.