China Unveils Handheld Railgun That Looks Straight Out Of A Sci-Fi Movie

chinese electromagnetic portable handheld railgun


The future of handheld weaponry is apparently here as China reports it has created a portable handheld electromagnetic railgun.

The railgun, which is said to be designed for riot control purposes, not killing people, “marks a development trend for future weapons,” reports Global Times.

According to a program on China Central Television (CCTV), the gun uses nine lithium-ion coils to accelerate coin-shaped projectiles, which are stored in a magazine behind the coils.

These projectiles are designed this way for use in riot control rather than causing lethal damage. They will cause less penetration damage and have a larger spread than typical firearm projectiles. They do not require the use of gunpowder, making them safer to store and transport.

In addition to riot guns, electromagnetic launch technology can also be applied to other weapons such as lethal guns, from handheld guns to large-caliber artillery, a Beijing-based military expert told the Global Times on Monday, requesting anonymity.

China has reportedly been testing a warship-mounted electromagnetic railgun. Another possible application is for air defense, due to its high rate of fire, the expert said.

The railgun’s built-in lithium battery allows it to “fire hundreds of rounds consecutively before a fast recharge” and “temperature has little effect” on its performance.

There are three buttons on the front of the gun that allows the user to switch between different firing modes: automatic mode, a semi-automatic mode and a shotgun mode.

It also has a small screen which shows its status, including battery usage, munition usage, temperature and firing mode.

While the report doesn’t state a specific number, it does say China’s handheld railgun has a top rate of fire of up to several thousand rounds per minute.

The United States military has been developing electromagnetic railguns for several years now for potential use on its warships.

A 2017 demonstration showed the the Navy’s electromagnetic railgun has the ability to fire at speeds that exceed MACH 6 and can travel distances of over 100 nautical miles.

Douglas Charles headshot avatar BroBible
Before settling down at BroBible, Douglas Charles, a graduate of the University of Iowa (Go Hawks), owned and operated a wide assortment of websites. He is also one of the few White Sox fans out there and thinks Michael Jordan is, hands down, the GOAT.