Well, Patrick Priebe might have outdone himself with this one. In the past, the German cyberpunk weapons-maker has brought us such creations as a wrist-mounted mini-crossbow, a laser-sighted rotary-saw-blade-shooting crossbow, and a flame-throwing glove. His latest nasty futuristic device? A video game-inspired electromagnetic weapon, called the Gauss Rifle.

Priebe told us that he took his inspiration from the K-Volt weapon, featured in the game Crysis 2. While he liked the look of the game’s version of the gun in first-person view, he wasn’t as keen on how it looked when placed on the ground ... so, he made his own version.

The 400-volt semi-automatic Gauss Rifle is what’s known as a multistage coilgun. It shoots 5.7-mm steel ammunition, from a built-in 8-slug clip. Priebe did his best to explain to us non-weapons-makers just how that ammo is fired.

“You charge a capacitor (high voltage preferred), and discharge it through a coil made of copper wire,” he said. “You will get a short electromagnetic pulse, which pulls the slugs through the coil. My rifle holds four banks of capacitors and four coils ... at the entrance of the last three coils are contacts made of spring-wire, reaching into the barrel. When the projectile touches, the pulse discharges and the coil accelerates the projectile, pulling it through to the next coil.”

This results in the slugs leaving the muzzle at a claimed velocity of approximately 100 meters (328 feet) per second.

The Gauss Rifle's 8-slug ammunition clip

Power is provided by four 3.7-volt lithium-ion cells, which allow for about 30 to 50 shots per charge. Despite its relatively lightweight frame, the gun still weighs in at a hefty 3.2 kilograms (seven lbs) – given that most of that weight is held out in front of the user’s extended arm, carrying it could get tiring before too long. Indeed, should the user’s arm start to shake, the rifle also features a 30-milliwatt green aiming laser.

According to Patrick, the Gauss Rifle “clearly shows weapons potential.” Fortunately, he has no plans on developing it commercially, or on telling other people how to make one of their own.

You can see it in use, in the video below. Evidently, you would not want to be a watermelon in its presence.

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