Thursday, March 04, 2010

Well, what do you think about this?

Russia’s Defense Ministry has shown interest in the new electomechanical rifle the performance of which exceeds that of sniper weapons. The rifle was invented by a schoolboy in the city of Ufa.

Maxim Kotelnikov, an eighth-grader, designed his weapon after he had seen a TV program about the use of similar rifles in the USA and Korea. It took the boy a year to design the new weapon. He used his friend’s broken game rifle as the basis.

The rifle weighs nearly six kilos; it fires special cartridges that need to be magnetized in advance.
“This weapon is unique for it fires noiselessly. There is no shock of discharge and a shot does not produce a flare. No other sniper rifle can do it. I designed my own system, which I called the “Nucleus System,” the boy said.

The rifle is based on the principle of accelerating coil. The rifle is powered with electricity only. A bullet gathers speed immediately, PolitOnline reports with referecne to
Sounds like the railgun principle: using cycling magnetic fields to accelerate the projectile, in this case the magnets being built in coils along the barrel. We know that works; the questions are
How much power needed?
What velocity does the projectile get to?
Can it be powered by a man-portable(without getting a rupture) powerpack?
I do have a question: since you'd be using mag fields to accelerate it, would there be much in the way of recoil?

Thanks to Theo for finding this


Anonymous said...

does it accelerate the projectile above the speed of sound? If so, it is no longer quiet. An air rifle will do what this rifle claims to do. And "Sniper Rifle Accuracy?" I've seen real, honest to God sniper rifles that were no more accurate than a half decent slingshot.

News reports of this sort written by government paid hacks often give little to no actually useful information. Much like the Noo Yawk Slimes.

Go figure.

Gerry N.

Phelps said...

It's Pravda, first of all.

Second, there's nothing there that repeals the Newton's third law of motion. That means that you are still dealing with recoil, and dealing with it in the standard ways. A recoiless rifle, for example, transmits the energy into the air behind it. If this thing is on a railgun principle, then all the recoil energy is transferred into the rails.

The powerpack isn't that big a deal, if you have high-energy capacitors discharging to power it. The real question is rate of fire -- how long do those caps take to charge?

It looks like Just Another Railgun. If you want to build one yourself, I would start with this book (it's a ton of fun):

The laser mic and EMP generator have multiple uses as well.

Keith said...

The guys have covered it, I can only say the same things in different words.

"To every action there is an equal but opposite reaction",

so, unless it is shooting something out the back too, it will recoil, though the recoil will be due only to the projectile, not to the 30 to 40 grains of propellant gas a conventional service calibre rifle puts out.

Silent - not if there is a sonic crack, and that is suprisingly loud, even from a .22rf out of a moderator (no NFA taxes on them in England!).

Lithium batteries are pretty amazing, the RC model aeroplane guys use them now instead of glowplug ic engines, and for flights of a few ninutes, the battery and motor is lighter than the equiv power engine plus fuel.

That said, how long does the coil take to cool? and what is the recharge rate of the capacitors? what is battery life? and with an instrument like the storm scopes that even instrument equipped light aircraft have, the discharge pulse should be pretty easy to locate to drop a grenade on.

The smokeless powder rifle has been mature tecnology for over 100 years now. I'm not saying we won't get a breakthrough to replace it, but this one can't live up to the claims being made for it.

EgregiousCharles said...

Railguns use Lorentz force not cycling magnetic fields. Coilguns use cycling magnetic fields.

Noiseless probably indicates that the projectile is subsonic, as the other commenters said. No "shock of discharge" probably indicates a light projectile, though as Keith said some of the recoil comes from the propellant gas. The gas moves faster than the bullet it's pushing so I've seen that estimated as half the recoil.

Recoil is the momentum of the projectile plus the momentum of the propellant gas; momentum is velocity times weight. Kinetic energy is velocity squared times weight, which means that energy goes up faster with velocity than momentum (and recoil) does. If you double velocity, you double recoil but quadruple KE. KE is the determinant of the potential damage to the target (although bullet failures at higher velocities prevent the KE from turning into effective damage.)

Rail and coil guns have less inherent limitation on velocity than propellant gas, plus no recoil from gas, so they are the future. They are still kind of far future, though; the batteries and capacitors aren't there yet, and current small-arms projectiles still fail with the velocities we can create with propellant gas.

Coil and/or railguns will be useful to the Navy first; there's a powerplant aboard ship, and DU armor-piercing projectiles can take more velocity than we can give them with gas. Also the high velocities are useful for antiair and antimissile purposes.

Keith said...

There is a big trade off between reducing weight to increase velocety over the short range, and the need for high sectional density (allong with aerodynamics suited to that velocety) to allow good retained velocety at longer range.

as an example, current 70grain 5.56mm and 156gr 7.62mm military ball rounds, despite muzzel veloceties of around 2,700 FPS (5.56 is slightly faster than 7.62 and both bullets have similler ballistic coefficient), drop to sub-sonic at around 900 to 1,000 yards, the changes in aerodynamics during the drop to subsonic really messes up the accuracy.

To get consistent supersonic at 1,000 yards, users of 7.62 go to 190gr bullets, but for 1,200 yards, 210gr+ is needed, these have the advantage of flatter trajectory over THAT range, allong with shorter time of flight and therefore less wind drift.

For artillery use, there is much greater sectional density (allong with much better shape) required to allow velocety to be retained over useful ranges.

There was an excellent article about this from the late 1990s by Geoffrey Kolb, owner of border barrels; but then you'd expect his to be good (saying as he's a PHD Physicist, as well as shooter and barrel maker!)

One of the huge advantages of rockets and especially multi stage rockets is that a significant part of the boost can be given at high altitude, away from the air resistance of nearer to sea level.

Firehand said...

I couldn't figure how they'd get 'no recoil' out of, well, anything; even if there's no powder burning the weapon still has to remain stationary while the projectile is accelerated, and it seemed that even if you're using mag fields that would still generate recoil.

Part of the problem is that this is a 'news' story pushing "How great we are", so some of the information is either lacking or sounds like a used-car salesman. Very interesting idea, but like you say, lots of questions.