Coil Gun

Sibling of the infamous Rail Gun, a coil gun launches ferrous projectiles at high velocities, that can seriously damage anything in its way!

Similar projects worth following
A coil gun is an electromagnetic projectile launcher. It’s more powerful sibling called the Rail Gun is already being tested in military applications, it is also one of the most powerful weapons in the Quake game series. Coil guns are also so powerful that they are going to be utilized in the future for launching satellites into orbit. Here , these instructions will show you how to make coil gun without camera circuit. Visit : for more details.

Coil Gun Working

                                                    Coil Gun Working

Coil gun consists of a series of conducting coils arranged along a straight line apart from each other. When current is passed through each of the coils, it induces a magnetic flux through their centers. As a ferro magnetic projectile approaches the magnetic flux lines created by the coil, it gets magnetised and hence is attracted or strongly pulled towards the center of the coil. 

Thus if a series of coils are arranged in such a way that the magnetic flux of the first coil pulls the projectile towards its center , after which that coil is switched OFF and the second coil is switched ON , which again pulls the projectile towards it; when this process is repeated through a succession of coils , the projectile reaches tremendous velocities as it gets accelerated after passing through each of the coils.

Before instructing about how to make coil gun without camera , keep in mind that it involves working with high voltages and fast moving projectiles, only people who know to handle them safely should make them. Also, I am not responsible for any injuries/harm that may be caused while working on this project. Proper insulation of all contacts and terminals should be done and safety gear such as rubber gloves, shoes and safety glasses should be worn at all times.

  • 1 × Coated magnet wire. (copper wire) of 20/21 gauge.
  • 2 × Capacitors 400V , 3300uF. High voltage capacitors, for preparing the capacitor banks.
  • 1 × SCR - 50RIA120. SCR of 50 A or more rating.
  • 1 × 400 V full bridge rectifiers. For rectifying the AC voltage.
  • 1 × 100W incandescent lamp. Acts as a high watt resistor.

View all 10 components

View all 2 project logs

  • 1
    Step 1

    Step 1 – Preparing the coils (DIY make coil gun without camera)

    Make Coil gun without camera

                                                      Making the coils for the coil gun

    Take the PVC pipe and cut it , to get a length of 30-40cm. After that, take the insulation tape and wrap around the pipe from a distance of 1-2 inches from its end. Wrap the insulation tape above the pipe in succession until it reaches a thickness of 4-5 mm. Next do the same thing from a distance of 3-4 cm from the first wrapping.

    Now take the copper wire and after leaving some slack on the beginning, start wrapping around the pipe, the wrappings are to be tight and close to each other with no gaps between them. After wrapping the first layer, cover it with insulation tape, then start wrapping on top of it for the second layer. The copper wires should be wrapped side to side in the same direction , either clockwise/anti clockwise. Repeat the process for 6-7 layers. 

    For multiple coils, a spacing of 3 cm is required from the first coil . After preparing the coil, using sand paper sand the ends of the coil to remove the coating , to make them conducting.

  • 2
    Step 2

    Step 2- Making the capacitor charger

    Camera flash circuitry and capacitors can also be used for this project, but since a large number of them are required, I found it easier to buy some high voltage capacitors and make a dedicated charger for them ; thus making a coil gun without a camera. To make the capacitor bank charger for the 400V, 3300uF capacitors, prepare a circuit as shown in the schematic :

    Make Coil gun without camera

                                                Coil gun charger circuit

    Set up the bridge rectifier as shown in the schematic , I have used a 600V D3SBA60 bridge rectifier. After looking at the marking in the rectifier wire the ac pins of the chip to live and neutral lines of your AC supply. The + and – marked pins on the chip provide the DC voltage, the positive voltage passes through a 100W incandescent bulb , acting as a high load resistor, a switch is used to toggle on/off the charging of the capacitors. When using multiple capacitors, always choose them with the same rating and connect in parallel to increase the current supplied.

    Make Coil gun without camera

                                                   Finished charger circuit setup

  • 3
    Step 3

    Step 3- Making the coil gun circuitry

    Make Coil gun without camera

                                                      Coil gun circuit

    The coils on the coil gun have to be wired up based on the given schematic. Here an SCR (Silicon Controlled Rectifier) or thyristor is used to control the high voltage supplied to the coil, it acts like a switch. I am using a 50A rated stud type SCR , 50RIA120, smaller SCR’s like the TYN616 can also be used if 5 or 6 of them are connected in parallel as each provides a surge current rating of 200A. Conventional switches or relays cannot be used as it usually burns the contacts in them due to the high voltage and current.

    Make Coil gun without camera

                                                        Coil gun SCR

    The working of an SCR is simple, when a voltage is applied to its gate via a small battery the diode is activated and the cathode and anode can be connected to the coil just like a normal diode. A switch that controls the gate voltage being applied to the SCR essentially controls the current going to the coil and acts as our trigger to the coil gun. 

    Even if you are having a lot of capacitors hooked up in parallel , without an SCR capable of handling high current, you will not be able to supply the full power. High gauge copper wires should be used while connecting the capacitors and the coils. 

    All connections and terminals should be properly insulated to prevent yourself from getting electrocuted accidentally. While choosing an SCR , choose one with a high value for “Surge Current/Itsm”, after checking its datasheet.

View all 5 instructions

Enjoy this project?



nishimotosonkirven542 wrote 09/14/2023 at 07:59 point

Your endeavor is incredible. This endeavor has given me a lot to learn. I'd want to distribute it to the  nerf rival xviii-700 jammed  team so they can read it and apply something fresh to our ongoing efforts.

  Are you sure? yes | no

lantramnamcodon wrote 07/03/2016 at 11:07 point

in my country is not have the 3000f capacitor or higher 500f,i don't want to buy in another countries .Do you know what product have these capacitor in side or  should i make one?thank

  Are you sure? yes | no

Arvind Sanjeev wrote 07/25/2014 at 14:14 point
Your absolutely right , Jonathan. However, I called the coil gun as a sibling to the rail gun, since they both work with the principle of electromagnetism. And thanks for your awesome feedback :)

  Are you sure? yes | no

J Groff wrote 07/24/2014 at 17:00 point
Theres alot of confusion between the terminology. A rail gun is actually not a gauss gun or coil gun as it uses no 'coils'. It uses electromagnetic 'rails' that are explosively compressed along their length. I think if you can find a way to pump about 50KW through your device in the space of a few hundred microseconds it will probably work at least as well as a .22 rifle. Once. Still, take care.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Arvind Sanjeev wrote 07/24/2014 at 05:58 point
Visit : for other cool tutorials.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates