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Working Handheld Homemade Pulse Laser Weapon

Like, not a toy one. Like, will punch a hole in a piece of thin metal with one shot. Like, kids, don’t try this at home.

This quote from maker Patrick Priebe is via Alan Parekh’s Hacked Gadgets:

It holds a small pulse laser head, capable of generating aMW-pulse [sic] of coherent infra-red light. One shot can punch through a razorblade, plastic, 5mm styrofoam when focussed [sic]. Effective range on 3m (dark surfaces)…you will see a stinging flame and a 5mm stain will remain on target. The goal was, to create handheld device…AS COMPACT as possible. Its 320mm long and weights about 2 pounds.

Materials used: Plexi for the center-plate, and brass / aluminum for the casing. Each and every part, handmade…took about 70 hours of work.

The claim of penetrating a razor-blade impresses me, although I note the only metal penetration in the video is thin aluminum, which has been painted, possibly so that it will absorb more light energy. There’s also some cool shots capturing the pulse’s plasma ball in midair.

32 thoughts on “Working Handheld Homemade Pulse Laser Weapon

  1. It needs a sighting laser pointer, running parallel to the IR laser. One trigger to activate the red pointer while the capacitors spool up, then a second trigger to fire the IR pulse. This would be good for shooting womp rats killing roaches.

  2.  Of course it’s highly regulated, as any dangerous device or weapon is.  I actually heard that the Import of Lasers (and possibly sale, etc.) is regulated by – get this – the FDA!  Argument is that advent of Laser usage commercially was for Medical Purposes and that’s how they acquired their foothold of control.  Typical Government BS…

  3. Impressive stuff. Takes some engineering to get a 1 Mw pulse. That is (1.9×10^24 to 3.8×10^24) (photons per second). Unless I miss my guess: 1×10^6 J/s (joules per second)×0.0001 seconds = 100 J (joules) Last I calculated, a pistol bullet is at around 325 joules… not too shabby (could be off by an order of magnitude time scale and it would be 10 joules then).

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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