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The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) performs basic and applied research on high power railguns as part of the US Navy EM Launcher program. The understanding of damage mechanisms as a function of armature and barrel materials, launch parameters, and bore geometry is of primary interest to the development of a viable high power railgun. Research is performed on a 6-m, 1.5-MJ railgun located at NRL. Barrel studies utilize in situ diagnostics coupled with detailed ex situ analysis of rail materials to provide clues to the conditions present during launch. Results are compared with coupled 3-D electromagnetic and mechanical finite element analysis models of railgun operation. Results of several experiments on rail wear will be discussed.