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The ZKZM-500 is the subject of a July 2018 article in the South China Morning Post describing a laser gun purported to have been developed by Chinese researchers of the Xian Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shaanxi.[1] The article described the device in conflicting terms, both as "non-lethal" but also capable of “instant carbonisation of human skin and tissues".[1] SCMP also published a video demonstrating what appeared to be a laser setting fire to various objects at tens of meters distance.[2][3]

Outside of China, universal doubt was expressed regarding the existence of such a weapon.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

See also[edit]

  • ZM-87, a blinding laser weapon designed by the PRC.


  1. ^ a b China brings Star Wars to life with ‘laser AK-47’ that can set fire to targets a kilometre away
  2. ^ "'Laser AK-47'? Developer answers sceptics with videos of gun being tested". South China Morning Post. 2018-07-04. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  3. ^ "Chinese 'Star Wars' guns zap targets". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  4. ^ Dymoke, Ned (July 2, 2018). "Science calls bullshit on China's 'AK-47 laser gun'". Big Think. Realistically, the battery alone would have to weigh several hundred pounds to provide the energy needed to fire a hot laser beam a kilometer.
  5. ^ Coldewey, Devin (July 2, 2018). "Chinese company claims its 'laser AK-47' can set you on fire from half a mile away". TechCrunch. There’s just no way that a laser powered by a lithium-ion battery that a person could carry would be capable of producing the kind of heat described at point blank range, let alone at 800 meters.
  6. ^ Atherton, Kelsey (July 2, 2018). "China's prototype laser rifle is a dangerous gimmick at best". C4ISRNET. “To make this work, you need a serious battery pack, some even more serious capacitors, optics that can take all this without turning back into sand at these energy densities, and rugged enough that you can treat this like military hardware,” says Broughton. “This is a ‘best case scenario operation only’ weapon if there ever was one.”
  7. ^ Bowler, Jacinta. "China Has Allegedly Produced a 'Laser Rifle' That Can Burn Human Flesh From a Long Distance". ScienceAlert. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  8. ^ Trevithick, Joseph. "No, China Hasn't Built A Laser Assault Rifle That Can 'Carbonize' People". The Drive. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  9. ^ "China Claims This 'Laser AK-47' Can Set You On Fire. That's Probably Bullsh*t". Task & Purpose. 2018-07-02. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  10. ^ Roblin, Sebastien (2018-07-08). "Is China's New 'Laser' Rifle the Ultimate Weapon or a Paper Tiger?". The National Interest. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  11. ^ Mizokami, Kyle (2018-07-03). "China Claims to Have a Laser Assault Rifle That Can Set Clothes on Fire". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 2019-02-08.