The megajoule shot took place Friday aboard Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division.
"Today's railgun test demonstrates the tactical relevance of this technology, which could one day complement traditional surface ship combat systems," said Rear Adm. Nevin Carr, chief of naval research.
"The 33-megajoule shot means the Navy can fire projectiles at least 110 nautical miles, placing sailors and marines at a safe standoff distance and out of harm's way and the high velocities achievable are tactically relevant for air and missile defense," he said.
"This demonstration moves us one day closer to getting this advanced capability to sea."
A megajoule is a measurement of energy associated with a mass traveling at a certain velocity. A one-ton vehicle moving at 100 mph equals a megajoule of energy.
The Navy said the ONR in 2008 conducted a 10-megajoule shot for media and visitors at Dahlgren.
The new demonstration, it said, showed researchers are steadily progressing toward developing a gun that could hit targets almost 20 times farther than conventional ship combat systems and potentially with a Mach 5 velocity.