The US military is currently developing large railguns for use on ships and aircraft. The new types of weapons use powerful magnetic fields to accelerate objects to extremely fast speeds without the need for an accelerant such as gunpowder or rocket fuel.
As impressive as those weapons are, they are large and require an enormous amount of power. Well, it looks like a DIY inventor has developed a handheld version of the railgun technology. While it is a fraction of the power of the military versions, it is impressive nonetheless.
According to Yahoo News:
Little is known about Imgur user “NSA_Listbot” beyond the fact that he’s just short of being a wizard with AutoCAD and a 3D printer. The man took to Imgur over the weekend to share what may very well be one of the most amazing and terrifying DIY projects that has even been attempted. And he didn’t just attempt it, he built it.
Using a combination of 3D printing and widely available components, the man built a functioning handheld railgun that houses six capacitors and delivers more than 3,000 kilojoules of energy per shot. What does it shoot, you might be wondering? So far he has tested the gun using metal rods made of graphite, aluminum and copper-coated tungsten
The device can accelerate various projectiles to around 550 mph (compared to 13,000 mph on the military weapons).
The user also posted several test videos of the device in action.