Puckle Vindicated!

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by HE117, Dec 14, 2010.

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  1. The US Navy have just released some more footage of their rail gun project at Dahlgren..

    Square projectile obviously using the "Sideboard" column of the ballistic tables ?

    Some VERY sloppy reporting by the telephart by someone who obviously flunked Physics O level..

    Video: World's most powerful supergun 'can obliterate targets from 100 miles' - Telegraph

    Railguns are an interesting concept, but are only practical when you are sitting next to a power station with excess capacity (i.e. a warship..)
  2. Puckle is only vindicated if the target 100m away is a muzzy!

    Time to bring back the traditional gunboat? i.e. Small ship with one massive (rail)gun mounted on a fixed mount along the keel axis?
  3. Turks, I believe were the intended target..

    The heavy mortar boats were called "Bomb Ketches"

    You could only bring back the deployment of rail guns on small vessels with nuclear power plants..!
  4. A turk is still a muzzy...

    Imagine that, nuclear bomb ketches, I'd be lining up for a go!

    I wonder what the recoil on the thing is since the projectile is not accelerated by an explosion as such.
  5. Mostly Muzzie I grant you..

    According to Mr Newton, the recoil would not be that much different to a conventional gun. Most of the recoil is simply the balancing force of the projectile leaving given by good old half M V squared...

    The rail gun has no propellent, but if you look carefully the magenetic flux heats up the air around the projectile and there is certainly a significant gas flow out the muzzle (and from the blown gasket in the first picture of the gun firing). I would suggest the recoil generated form this would be roughly equivalent to that produced by propellent.

    The velocity of a "normal" gun is limited by the density of the propellent gases. There is a maximum velocity that can be achieved for any particular charge, based on the burning rate and the ability of the gas to expand. In the past, ultra high velocties were produced by filling the gun with a light gas such as helium, which was capable of very high levels of accelleration. In a rail gun, which does not use gas to accerate the projectile, this limitation is overcome. I am not sure what the limiting factor will be, possibly something to do with the hysterisis of the propulsion coils (steady at the back...!)

    To conclude, for a similar achievable velocity, a rail gun will recoil slightly less than a conventional gun because of the absence of the jetting effect from the propellent gas, however as rail guns are capable of delivering orders of magnitude greater levels of energy in terms of acceleration, then in most cases rail guns will recoil far more than conventional guns of the same calibre...

    Yes, there is no propellent, but this makes only a very small contribution - the mass and exit velocity of the propellant charge gases - which is never very much in proportion to the mass of the projectile.. (which is why you don't get much recoil from a blank..)
  6. Mr Newton is well known to me too. My question was more as to whether it would be felt in the same way due to the EM acceleration. So in short, yes, since you are still slinging a heavy thing very fast. I assume you would need a power plant to shoot the thing but also a powerplant to keep it from melting.

    Said railgun-ketch would probably be flung back a (nautical)mile with each shot!
  7. WatchingWater

    WatchingWater Old-Salt Book Reviewer

    Any ideas about price and usability/ease of maintenance at all?
  8. From what I understand Dalgrehn is now several yards further west than it used to be..
  9. I'm not aware of any militiary rail guns that have ever been used in anger, although I think they do use the technology to replace rocket sleds etc in the research community.

    Because of the need to feed them HUGE amounts of power, they are never likely to become small and gucci bits of kit. To reduce resistance in the working coils, they tend to be made from somethin expensive like silver or gold. There are no moving parts per say, but really you need to have a direct feed into a BIG poweplant to make them work. The only place on a battlefield you will find this in on board a nuclear warship.

    So - to answer your question

    1. Cost - They are a bit like iPods - fairly cheap in themselves, but the batteries cost a FORTUNE.

    2. Maintianibility - Should be fairly simple, but nobody has operationalised one yes, so dunno!
  10. Bet you the development team is itching to see the first real room-temperature superconductor...