Popular Mechanics dubbed him a “mad scientist”, and Ziggy Zee has delivered on expectations by building a 110kg, 400 Volt railgun which shoots aluminium slugs.
The gun itself weighs just under 23kg, while the remaining weight is made up by a bank of 56 400V, 6000 microfarad capacitors.
Zee said it took him about two years to acquire all the capacitors he needed. Each capacitor costs around $850, meaning the whole bank (with two spares) cost approximately $50,000 (R700,000).
An aluminium slug is accelerated onto the gun’s copper rails with compressed carbon dioxide, after which it is propelled down the barrel electromagnetically.
The slug emerges semi-molten from the barrel, giving it a short range, but Zee said he is working on finned, Tungsten projectiles.
In an Imgur post documenting how he built the electromagnetic gun, Zee posted the following disclaimer:
I am providing information on how I created this project, but I cannot recommend anyone try this, EVER. High-voltage capacitors are extremely dangerous. High speed projectiles are dangerous. 9-volts are dangerous. Nothing in this project can be made absolutely safe. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!
A video of the gun’s first trial run is embedded below.