I Tried to Use the GR-1 Anvil at the BUG Match…

So, I took the GR-1 to this month’s Backup Gun Match…but all did not go as I’d hoped. We blew a fuse in the gun (it is still an alpha prototype, remember), and were not able to get it repaired in time to complete the match. We did get it fixed, and some of the other folks around had a chance to try it out, which was fun.

Anyway, next month I’ll be back for another try!


  1. Blown fuse? All you need is a copper penny. Some of us are old enough to remember that. The rest are saying “huh?” Anyway a very cool gun and eventually the Mobile Infantry and Space Marines will get theirs.

  2. BUG Match is the right place. It’s something Rico’s Roughnecks would carry. “Bugs, Mr Rico! Hundreds of them!!”

  3. Don’t watch the terrible, movie, read the book. Everyone in the 82nd has a copy. It might be issued a Basic Airborne at Benning. “Everybody jumps, everybody fights”

    • You said it. I’ve got my copy and it beats the movie (which I have never seen). But given the chance, I think I’d take a good old cartridge rifle over a coil gun. At least the cartridge guns can’t be affected by electromagnetic pulse generators!

  4. Also read WASP…”The funniest terrorist manual ever written”

    “The war has raged for nearly a year and Earth desperately needs an edge to overcome the Sirian Empire’s huge advantage in personnel and equipment. That’s where James Mowry comes in. Intensively trained, his appearance surgically altered, Mowry secretly lands on one of the Empire’s planets. His mission: to sap morale, cause mayhem, tie up resources, and wage a one-man war on a planet of 80 million–in short, to be like the wasp buzzing around a car to distract the driver…and causing him to crash. “I’d have given anything to have written Wasp.”–Terry Pratchett.”

    Some great lines from military SF

    “”We outnumber the Terrans by a million to one, we should start worrying now”

    Twenty years later that didn’t seem funny anymore” – Isacc Asimov


    “They outnumber us a thousand to one. It’ll be a massacre!!”

    “That’s the spirit!”

    “I’m alone, a million light years from home and my only companion is a gung ho lizard!” – The Last Starfighter

      • Daweo, You are correct and I apologize to Mr Clarke. Thank you. I can just plead that I am recovering from my second bout of Covid-19 (and yes, I’ve been jabbed three times between number 1 and 2) and a fifty year old memory

  5. I loved it when in several shots, the projectile could actually be seen leaving the barrel and travelling down range. Yes, there are still issues with muzzle velocity.

  6. Advanced Camp Ft Riley 1973. Firing Crew on 105mm Howitzers. You’d look up after firing and see a black streak at the top of the trajectory. Hypnotizing

    And I remember from my readings that “LOOSE!” was the command to the bowmen

    • Back in my sheriffing days if you stood directly behind the firing line during shotgun equals you could see the 12 gauge slugs going down range. Nobody carries shot guns any more but back in the day the muzzle end of an 870 was pretty intimidating.

  7. Ian, you’re concerned about pacemakers, what about insulin pumps? Be interested in what it does to Apple watches, laptop screens & chronographs as well.

  8. Not safe with any electronic devices in the vicinity would be a basic precaution that should be labeled on the weapon. I am not sure that it can qualify as a gun with the projectile having no contact with the barrel.

    • “…projectile having no contact with the barrel…”(С)
      Judging by how vigorously the projectiles are tumbling, it is very yes contact.
      A straightforwardly launched cylinder, quite stable in flight.

      What caused the fluctuations themselves is a separate question.
      To which, whether you like it or not, you will have to look for an answer.

      • In one shot was shown a clear tube over the trigger that the projectile entered as it left the magazine. It was jumping all over the place. Looked like a flexible tube. That will start the projectile bouncing against the barrel. This might be intended as a view port on the prototype to make sure that the projectile is getting fed from the magazine. But seems like a flaw. Also there was one slo-mo shot of the muzzle and it was dancing all over the place.

        Maybe the bounce is caused by the air trying to escape the barrel. Some port holes should fix that without compromising the safety issues.

  9. Some fins would probably help stablize the projectile, but feeding something like that through a conventional box magazine would be an issue. Of course, if you fitted it with a Lewis gun-style drum…

    • A box magazine might be workable if the bulk of the projectile was still a straight cylinder. The front could be pointed and the fins are a separate end section which is no wider than the main portion of the projectile. Yes a pan magazine would work better.

  10. After watching the demonstration and this video I imagined a similar demonstration of a metal crossbow to a king in the 17th century. He sure is impressed and it definitely packs a punch and certainly is the development of well-known technology to a more modern standard.

    Alas, black powder-muskets and rifles will outclass it for simply being cheaper, more portable and reliable. Also doesn’t require too much training. 18th century air-rifles also come to mind.

    But what do I know about the future…

    • By the 17th century black powder firearms were already more prevalent than crossbows on the battlefield. You’d need to imagine 12th if not 11th century, for “first steel crossbow”.

  11. Ian, from your videos and the discussions here, two problems with the gun are obvious: overheating and the projectile tumbling. The two problems, and their solution, may be interconnected.

    The tumbling of the projectile indicates that it is scraping against the barrel. This would both cause friction and tumbling. Also, I am thinking that as the projectile moves down the barrel, it is compressing the air in front of it. This will cause the air to heat up and expand. The expanding air has to go somewhere. Trying to push the air out of the barrel will slow down the projectile. The air might also try to exit by going backwards around the projectile. This will cause drag to slow down projectile and also destabilize it so it bumps against barrel even more. As the air is compressed in front of the projectile an area of lower pressure will from behind the projectile, contributing to the suckback.

    Also, I don’t know the mechanics of how the projectile is moved from the magazine to the barrel, but for I can’t see that gravity will cause it to rest on the bottom of the barrel, even for the briefest of time. So the projectile starts out in a bad position.

    1. Have a “shelf’ on the bottom inside of the barrel going down the first few inches of the barrel just high enough to start the projectile centered in the over all barrel diameter. This will allow the projectile to keep centered until the magnetism accelerates the projectile sufficiently for the velocity to keep the projectile centered. This shelf should be made with a “slick” material to reduce drag on the projectile.

    2: Drill ports in the barrel to allow the are to exit the barrel in front of the projectile. This will also allow air to come into the barrel behind the projectile so to prevent low pressure behind the projectile. There may be some aerodynamic advantages to having the ports pointing forward or backwards, relative to the outside of the barrel, that would provide less resistance from the air escaping the barrel or advantages to give the projectile a little bit of a push from behind. The structure of the gun would have to be changed to allow the vented air to exit the gun so not to build up heat inside the gun.

    3: Another way to deal with the compression of the air in front of the projectile might be to drill a hole the length of the projectile to let the air pass through the projectile, rather they trying to push the air ahead of the projectile. There may be aerodynamic advantages if the one end of the hole is wider than the other, with the wider opening on one end or the other of the projectile.

    4: If a hole is drilled through the projectile, cutting grooves along the hole or inserting vanes into the hole, might provide a way to get the projectile to spin.

    • UPDATE: A single “shelf” to start the projectile centered in the barrel would not work. The projectile would just fall to one side of it. A minimum of three spacers, equally distributed around the circumference of the barrel would be needed.

  12. Read Lewis & Clark’s original diaries, watch FW on the airgun that made it from the Mississippi to the Pacific and back again. I’d sooner take that to a BUG match or an 8K mile adventure than the toy seen here.
    I don’t really understand the “wow” factor here. Sure, rail guns are a thing for the Navy for specialized applications in development right now but hand-held projectile weapons using non-superconducting coils…nope, never. By the time you get a power plant small enough to carry in an individual weapon, it will be irrelevant.

    • Somewhat with you here. This is an interesting “maybe one day it will lead to something useful” gizmo. But I am not going to drop my hard earned money on such for a long time.

      I think the wow factor is that is embodies a technology dreamed about due its use in sci-fi stories. But I think the luster would wear off quickly when you actually can’t get much use out of it.

      I can see that this technology might make air guns more practical and powerful. But that is not the direction this set of developers would ever go.

      Two down sides here for combat use:
      1: Recharging many of these in the field under adverse conditions. “Sergeant, where’s the plug?”
      2: A portable EMP generator would disable all weapons.

      I have to go back to the line about “The more sophisticated the technology, the more susceptible it is to crude sabotage”.

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