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Hydrogen fired guns

2811 Views 27 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Gyroboy01
I was watching some science tv today about a rocket program, where hydrogen gas was touted as the most powerful and lightest fuel used in rocketry.
I wondered if hydrogen gas could be used in firearms to any benefit. Wikipedia has an article on an artillery cannon fired by a hydrogen charge, claiming it has greater muzzle velocities than traditionally propelled firearms.

Do any of you think it would be worth the trouble to adapt it to small arms? What are y'alls opinion on it?

Now that I think about it, loading would be a bit of a pain: It would probably require a hydrogen bath to push out the air in the case, be ferried into a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen for even and consistent results. That, and we'd miss out on the smell of gunpowder.
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I've always thought a propane fueled autoloading cannon would be a neat experiment.
I can't understand why they would use nitrogen in a light gas gun. As a diatomic molecule, it is just as heavy as carbon monoxide and heavier than water vapor and some other gunpowder gas species. The lab I visited with one of these light gas guns used supercompressed helium. Not as light as hydrogen, so it only got its projectiles to 17,000 fps, but then, helium doesn't become explosive when mixed with air, so you don't have to worry about muzzle blast. It also bears mentioning the gun was 40 feet long and about ten inches in diameter and suspended on air bearings for manipulation. Not exactly a concealed carry candidate.
Maybe because of Helium shortages and the cost?
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