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Incredible real-life Tesla Gun is more a piece of art than a weapon of war

Tesla GunMeet Rob Flickenger. Amongst other things, he calls himself a “mad scientist,” and if his latest creation is anything to go by, it’s an accurate description, as he has built a Tesla Gun.

You may already be familiar with Nikola Tesla, the man who developed the modern AC electrical current system, and the creator of the Tesla Coil; however you may not have heard of The Five Fists of Science.

It’s a graphic novel set in a steampunk world where Tesla, along with Mark Twain and Bertha von Suttner battle evil to bring about world peace. In the book, Tesla uses twin pistol-sized Tesla Coil guns.

Inspired by this image, Flickenger decided to make his own version. In case you’re unsure what such a weapon could do, he sums it up perfectly on his blog: “You pull the trigger, and lightning comes out the front.” That’s that settled, then.

Tesla Gun SideThe result is nothing short of incredible, as you can see in the picture above, which perhaps contains more awesome than we can legally show. In essence it’s a miniaturized Tesla Coil mated to an aluminum gun body, which was adapted from a plastic Nerf gun.

You can read all about the build here, or watch a fascinating talk on how the Tesla Gun came to be in this Vimeo video. If you’re less interested in the science, and more interested in the lightning, then you’ll want to check the demonstration video below.

When there’s no earth point nearby, the Tesla Gun has a beautiful fringe of blue sparks around the end, but will shoot bolts of electricity between a distance of 8-inches and 24-inches depending on the environment.

With a range like that, you’ve probably guessed the Tesla Gun has the potential to do more harm to its operator than to an attacker, and you’d be right. The gun is more a piece of art than a weapon of war.

It’s also phase one of the project, and in the next version we can expect an improved housing, solid state modulation for more gun-like effects, and most fittingly for any mad scientist, more power.