Laser Guns, Do you want one? Please read first...


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Titan6
February 25, 2007, 09:25 AM
A post the other day got me to thinking about something. We are far closer to lethal laser rifles than most people realize. I have some knowledge in the field and while I am not going to go into it I can assure you we are quite close (say half a generation) from a weapon about the size, weight and price of a high end AR capable of adminstering either fatal thermal burns or blinding someone with a couple of a couple of seconds from great range; much greater than your average 30-06 anyway.

Wether you believe it or not go ahead and make the assumption that such a weapon exists. Do you want one?

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sacp81170a
February 25, 2007, 09:55 AM
I can see it now! Not only could you kill the wabbit, you could fwicasee him at the same time. (But only if he was a fwicaseein' wabbit and it was fwicaseein' wabbit season.) ;)

Alan Fud
February 25, 2007, 08:20 PM
There are already handheld blue lasers (the beam is blue as opposed to green or red) that can, according to claims, set a match on fire with only a second or two aimed at the match's head.

Doggy Daddy
February 25, 2007, 08:30 PM
I would assume that having a proper backstop is extra important. :D

Imagine. Muzzle velocity of 186,000 miles/sec!

grimjaw
February 25, 2007, 09:01 PM
My answer depends on what kind of lasers weapons we're talking about.

Is it a short pulse? Something that only lasts for a second and then stops, or are we talking burn and slash until your finger gets tired of holding down the button on the shiny Destructo pistol?

The second category is similar to a flame thrower, and I have reservations about opening that up to just anybody. The former I'm less concerned about.

jm

Sheldon J
February 25, 2007, 09:06 PM
http://www.wickedlasers.com/ been drolling over one for a year now.:evil:

Cesiumsponge
February 25, 2007, 09:06 PM
We've had blue colored lasers for a while as a subtype of argon-ion lasers, which are kind of fussy. They have solid state gallium nitride lasers that output in the blue range as well. Argon-ion lasers are often used as light shows and some are already FDA class IV lasers which can cause blindness and severe burns. There are a lot of very powerful DPSS lasers in the IIIb and IV class as well now I believe. As a practical personal-issued weapon, I don't think it is very safe for anyone. Why?

Assuming we use something in the visible wavelength, or supplement an infrared (ie 1064nm typical of pulsed Nd:YAG type or DPSS lasers) with a harmless visible laser for visual confirmation, the reflections or scattering of the laser beam off any various surfaces in the environment are JUST AS hazardous as being directly exposed to the beam itself. Whereas a ricochet has a minimal chance of killing you (and its likely the bullet will fragment and not be as powerful in the event it does make it back to you), laser light is not going to loose a measureable amount of power if it comes back at your face.

Wether it is a continuous wave or a pulsed laser, it's still going to be pretty bad. CW lasers could potentially cause issues if someone "sweeps" the beam around carelessly. Pulsed lasers, while with lower average power, will probably be Q-switched and have extremely high peak power and be problematic in it's own right.

Laser beams of different wavelengths react to surfaces differently. They don't all reflect or absorb off the same materials. One absorbent material for one wavelength might reflect a different wavelength. You have no time to react and you're screwed unless you're completely outfitted yourself head-to-toe with material rated high enough to dissipate the thermal energy from that laser. Maybe you can wear a suit comprised of retroreflectors :p

I've only played with lasers in the 50mW range (large Siemens HeNe gas laser) and I've already had a few "oops" with my hands crossing the beam. 50mW won't hurt you at all with skin contact (probably would if you peeked at it directly or off a reflection) but its still extremely, extremely easy to be put at ease when working around them because the beam isn't generally visible and you need a proper backstop or beamtrap to prevent accidental reflections. Once it reflects off something, where it bounces to is anyone's guess.

SoCalShooter
February 25, 2007, 09:18 PM
E-11 blaster w/ glow rod
Blastech DH-17
DLT-19 heavy blaster rifle
E-11 Blaster Shotgun
T-21 rifle
DC-15A

One of these listed above will suffice...prefferable the DLT-19 :)

average_shooter
February 25, 2007, 09:28 PM
...the reflections or scattering of the laser beam off any various surfaces in the environment are JUST AS hazardous as being directly exposed to the beam itself.

So maybe those tinfoil hats really are useful for something. Especially if the super smart apes living deap in the Congo get their hands on these lasers. :eek:

ctdonath
February 25, 2007, 09:32 PM
Why yes I'd like the latest in personal weapons technology.

First question is: what is the power consumption & source? How long do I have to plug thing thing in, and what's my next electric bill gonna look like?

There are really very few kinds of weapons; this would be a new one.
- Rock throwing (that's about all guns really are, super high-tech refined rock chuckers)
- Cutting (perfected long ago in the katana)
- Poisons (too dang tempermental)
- Nukes
- Directed energy (lasers, microwaves)

mattw
February 25, 2007, 09:37 PM
If we don't buy them then we are put as a serious disadvantage if that horrible time ever comes that we need to make use of our 2A rights. Everyone should have at least one laser rifle! Its your patriotic duty! Keep the politicians scared!

The Deer Hunter
February 25, 2007, 09:49 PM
Can they shoot down planes and derail trains? then yes i want one!

trapperjohn
February 25, 2007, 09:50 PM
I just cant get excited about a weapon that can not impart any momentum to its target and that wounds be burning so that many arteries and viens are carterized.
Think about what actually takes down an animal or a person. Firearms incapicitate and kill view eiether blood loss or shock. An arrow tends to kill viea blood loss. A laser "shoots" a beam of high energy light that has no mass and therefore can not impart any shock which eliminated one mode of incapitation. IT also tends to carterize minimize blood loss, minimizing the second mode of incapicitation.
So it can light a match if the match remains in the beam for 1 second. how many live targets are going to hold still that long so that all the energy is focused on just one spot?
Yes, lasers have the advantage of having a trajectory that si just a straight line but, i see many drawbacks as far as incapicitation is concerened.

cajun47
February 25, 2007, 09:51 PM
"Everyone should have at least one laser rifle! Its your patriotic duty!"

100% agree

Lucky
February 25, 2007, 09:53 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6380789.stm

Crazy thing is that if a Laser hits you the expanding gasses created will be like a firecracker going off. Ergo if it's a deep pulse, that's a hell of a cavity it's going to create.

mattw
February 25, 2007, 09:57 PM
Just a thought:

These laser rifles will probably be classified as destructive devices and immediately banned for civilians.

JLStorm
February 25, 2007, 09:58 PM
These laser guns will of course be banned for civilian use from the beginning, so only police and military will be using them. Then the price of ammunition will rise and be heavily taxed for civilian use so that we cannot afford to defend ourselves making us defenseless against the laser wielding authorities....wonderful.

sam59
February 25, 2007, 10:01 PM
What would you do with the "Laser Rule" of firearms safety? I guess it would take on new meaning.

Chris Rhines
February 25, 2007, 10:10 PM
I'd certainly want to have one, but directed energy weapons should absolutely be prohibited to the police and military. The freakin' government is dangerous enough as is.

- Chris

Cesiumsponge
February 25, 2007, 10:13 PM
Class IV lasers are already regulated by the FDA. They aren't firearms unless the laws are revised to include it.

Current lasers that have me impressed is Lawrence Livermore's NIF laser facility that we're currently building to replace NOVA. It'll initiate fusion with temperatures over 100 million degrees from 192 laser beams that converge on a singular point. 500 trillion peak watts from a 10 nanosecond pulse, about 10 times the electrical production capability of the USA.

Titan6
February 25, 2007, 11:16 PM
I am quite serious about these weapons. The 'toys' posted on the wicked laser site are a bit behind what other parts of the government has developed. I believe that we will see these on the street in our life time restricted to the military and maybe certain LEOs.

These weapons are very dangerous and the problems of back stoppage. reflection and other issues alluded to by cesium are immense and a lot more troublesome when you are dealing with a dangerous range of a 100 miles (or much more) as opposed to a couple of thousand yards. Without proper training and equipment I deem the potential to cause an unintentional catastrophic event virtually certain. This is what limits their military and LE use. There are few people I would find trustworthy enough to have one.

That said this is also a stealth 2A poll. Wherever you voted is where you ultimately stand in the end. If you voted for number 5 I believe this is wishful thinking. The sad truth is that there has not been a weapon invented that has not be used and if we don't someone else certainly will.

If you voted number 4 you might want to give that some thought. I believe that some day directed energy weapons will be something that we will wish we could 'uninvent'.

Green Lantern
February 25, 2007, 11:42 PM
Forget lasers...I want a Phaser!

Sure, it's not as "cool" (tacti-cool?) as Han Solo's trusty DL-44...but even if us civvies are limited to "stun-only" models, it'd still be the ULTIMATE nonlethal weapon! :D

Then again, seeing how the maroons in some cities regulate stun guns and pepper spray, I can imagine that you'd need permission from the .gov to even carry one of those when they become real. I can see it now:

Newscaster in 23rd Century: "And in other news, Sarah Brady the Fourth called on a ban on stun-Phaser sales to civilians, saying that otherwise every city will be reduced to "a scene in Star Trek" :uhoh:

mattw
February 25, 2007, 11:51 PM
Newscaster in 23rd Century: "And in other news, Sarah Brady the Fourth called on a ban on stun-Phaser sales to civilians, saying that otherwise every city will be reduced to "a scene in Star Trek"

Its sad because its true.

Glockfan.45
February 26, 2007, 12:30 AM
I guess we would need to add a L to the BATFE ;) .

I voted for nobody to have them, not even military or LEOs. First let me say the question itself is rather silly since the technology for man portable lasers with the capability to kill is a long, long way off. The problem comes from lack of a proper power source. Even the most advanced batteries we have today are either too large to be carried into the field, or lack enough power for more than one or two shots.

I voted against them in all cases since I can promise you they will not be civilian legal for long after they come out. Some localities have laws against directed energy weapons on the books already. Since they wont be available to us serfs I dont want to be outclassed by military and law enforcement to that degree. As it is now aside from destructive devices we are not too far behind the military and law enforcement as to what is available to us serfs. Laser type weapons would be a huge advantage on their side that I would rather they not have.

BigBlock
February 26, 2007, 12:51 AM
I'm holding out for a light saber.

Doggy Daddy
February 26, 2007, 03:12 AM
Glockfan.45
I voted for nobody to have them, not even military or LEOs.

If lasers are outlawed, only outlaws will have lasers.

kludge
February 26, 2007, 11:29 AM
Safety Rules

What would you do with the "Laser Rule" of firearms safety? I guess it would take on new meaning.

It gives "Keep your frickin' finger off the trigger!" a whole new meaning.

random thoughts...

There should be a piece that is removeable so you can "open the action" and "unload".

With the right electonics you can verify the range to the target and adjust the energy before you shoot, of course with coherent laser light, this should be moot within reasonable distances.

No more doping the wind!

No bullet drop!

With the right optics there are no need for "tracer" rounds.

Use the right "color" laser and it will penetrate flesh but not walls.

It doesn't have to be shaped like "a gun".

It can be put on a robot, and you can play it like a video game.

OK, I'm scaring myself now...

Roccobro
February 26, 2007, 01:30 PM
Would it still be called a "fire arm" if it doesn't use fire or explosion to propel anything? An air gun isn't a fire arm, and a "light gun" doesn't have any rules or laws specifically naming it so (yet).

Justin

JesseL
February 26, 2007, 01:35 PM
An effective laser weapon would be cool, but I think I'd rather have a light-gas gun in a package as portable as a typical sporting rifle. :D

JesseL
February 26, 2007, 01:45 PM
grimjaw

You know that flamethrowers are virtually unregulated, don't you?

Owen
February 26, 2007, 01:54 PM
lasers wouldn't cauterize anything, because the damage is caused by the struck material vaporizing explosively. Almost no heat would go into to the tissue around the struck area. At least that is the case with welding and cutting lasers.

The momentum from a bullet does nothing to the target except make sure that the bullet keeps penetrating.

mrmeval
February 26, 2007, 02:14 PM
To overcome the trivial protections that can be used to thwart a laser you'd need one that could impart as much if not more energy than a standard chemical powered rifle. It can be reflected, various kinds of smoke will scatter it, and simple materials will provide a heat sink against them. It will most likely need multi-frequency capability up to X-Rays to punch through such obstacles which may consume more 'ammo'. Going back to lead shot filled flak protection that is as shiny as a gay chorus line is going to really endear the soldiers to them. :)

I don't see a functional man portable laser rifle for 20 years and doubt the military will use them even then due to inertia and capabilities. To overcome institutional inertia you'd have to show they are more capable, cheaper, more reliable and then go squash or buy off all the special interests who would lose out on the new fangled gizmo. We may see a man portable tank killer or anti-air device but it will more than likely be single shot.

The military does have an experimental mobile chemical laser which is not too large works reliably. It has logistics issues with chemical transport and reloading but is impressive.

Big Calhoun
February 26, 2007, 02:28 PM
To one of Cesiums point, the idea of some fool playing 'star wars' and indiscrimately sweeping people is just a little much to bear. Besides, I like things that go 'BOOM!".

SoCalShooter
February 26, 2007, 02:37 PM
It can be put on a robot, and you can play it like a video game.

This is the best part of what you said. Thats exactly what we need robots with fricken lazer beams...why not sharks next?

ReidWrench
February 26, 2007, 07:35 PM
Cauterizing my prey from a mile away and spraying photons at the target is not, in my opinion, sporting , and furthermore I dont really see the need for the average hunter to be brandishing them in the woods terrorizing other hunters . It makes the whole of us look bad . I know I will catch some flack for this , but I say ban them ! Nobody should have one .

Stevie-Ray
February 26, 2007, 09:02 PM
Why yes, give me the "blaster" size.:D

Autolycus
February 26, 2007, 09:15 PM
Originall posted by Green Lantern:


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Forget lasers...I want a Phaser!

Sure, it's not as "cool" (tacti-cool?) as Han Solo's trusty DL-44...but even if us civvies are limited to "stun-only" models, it'd still be the ULTIMATE nonlethal weapon!

Then again, seeing how the maroons in some cities regulate stun guns and pepper spray, I can imagine that you'd need permission from the .gov to even carry one of those when they become real. I can see it now:

Newscaster in 23rd Century: "And in other news, Sarah Brady the Fourth called on a ban on stun-Phaser sales to civilians, saying that otherwise every city will be reduced to "a scene in Star Trek".

http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e134/JovanJ347/KirkNRA.jpg

Roccobro
February 27, 2007, 12:52 AM
Cauterizing my prey from a mile away and spraying photons at the target is not, in my opinion, sporting , and furthermore I dont really see the need for the average hunter to be brandishing them in the woods terrorizing other hunters . It makes the whole of us look bad . I know I will catch some flack for this , but I say ban them ! Nobody should have one .

HEY! When did Zumbo get an account on THR? :D I don't remember "sporting use" being in the 2nd A wording anywhere.....


Remember, this will be just like cloning humans. Sure it's outlawed in every nation and just plain "wrong". But if you have enough money, and it is already scientifically doable, somebody IS doing it/selling it. So make our beloved "blasters" too expensive for the average Joe, and place a ban on them because they are "scaring hunters in the woods". SOMEBODY will still have them, just not us responsible citizens. I'll sleep fine with whatever I've been training with by my side (as long as the force is with me!) :D

Justin

kd7nqb
February 27, 2007, 01:06 AM
go ahead and start my BG check ASAP I want one. But I want it mounted in liue of my highbeams on my truck so I can clear traffic at the touch of a button.

Glockfan.45
February 27, 2007, 07:32 AM
and a "light gun" doesn't have any rules or laws specifically naming it so (yet).



Not true. As I said before some states already have laws regarding "directed energy weapons".

CNYCacher
February 27, 2007, 09:24 AM
Game, set, match (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroreflectors)

Owen
February 27, 2007, 10:33 AM
CNY, you'd have to have a pretty spiffy cooling system on those retroreflectors to get them to last for very long

Autolycus
February 28, 2007, 11:54 PM
Well I myself want a lightsabre. I dont think it would be as deadly as a laser gun but I am a Star Wars nerd until the end.

rickomatic
March 1, 2007, 01:05 AM
Senator Chuck Schumer: "Ladies, and gentlemen...these LASER WEAPONS are the gun of choice of street gangs, and we must institute new anti laser gun legislation to ensure the safety and security of our nations children"

:evil:

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