$3,375 Electromagnetic Gun Declared "A Serious Weapon" During Expert Range Report

While the rifle may not pack the punch of a traditional firearm, a review of the ArcFlash Labs GR-1 shows why it is not a toy.

Arcflash Electromagnetic Gun Test
Youtube Screencap

A video review appeared online yesterday for the ArcFlash Labs GR-1, an electromagnetic Gauss rifle that surfaced last year when its manufacturer began taking pre-orders from the general public. We did a story about it then which you can read here. While the largely 3D-printed battery-powered rifle may at first glance appear to be almost toy-like, the review makes it clear that it is anything but.

The full video can be found on YouTube and was made by small arms expert Ian McCollum, who is a researcher for Armament Research Services and runs the popular blog Forgotten Weapons, the latter of which focuses on obscure, experimental, and prototype small arms. In the review of the GR-1, he walks through the Gauss rifle’s features and capabilities before taking it to a range for target shooting. 

In a Forgotten Weapons blog post accompanying the video review, McCollum writes that the term ‘rifle’ is technically a misnomer in this case. Rifles are typically defined as having a spiraling (or helical) pattern of grooves cut into the inner wall of their barrels. The GR-1 is technically a smoothbore, as its barrel is smooth and lacks these grooves.

The GR-1 was first listed for pre-sale in August 2021 and was described as the “world’s first and only handheld Gauss rifle.” At the time, the price was listed as $3,375, which still appears to be the case according to the rifle’s website. The weapon uses a series of electrified coils to generate a magnetic field that accelerates ferromagnetic, or iron-rich, metal slugs with diameters under half an inch to speeds up to 75 meters per second, or 240 feet per second. The GR-1 feeds ammunition from a magazine that can hold up to 10 such slugs.