With naysayers mounting over claims that a Chinese company is set to produce a legit man-portable blaster, the developer has ponied up some test footage of the weapon.
As previously reported, the AK-47-sized ZKZM-500 laser rifle is said to be able to “instantly carbonize” human tissue, set a person on fire, and make them feel “pain beyond endurance” at ranges reaching some 800 meters. Built by ZKZM Laser, the weapon, expected to cost about $15,000 when it reaches production, is powered by a “rechargeable lithium battery pack similar to those found in smartphones” and could fire some 1,000 shots, each lasting about two seconds.
In the above footage, the invisible laser is shown burning quietly through paper, an Adidas printed tee and a rubber tire in a low production value clip. According to the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based English language media outlet, the footage was shot on a rooftop in Xian in China’s Shaanxi province, in May.
While news of the rifle has blasted through social media, in the West, reception to the laser ranged from mildly amused anime and space opera references (the gun is a dead ringer for one seen in Akira) to full-on debunking. Kelsey Atherton, writing for C4ISRNET, called the weapon a “dangerous gimmick at best” while Popular Mechanics concluded, “It’s probably best to be skeptical about this alleged wonder weapon.”
In other words, the odds that you will see one for sale at Harbor Freight next week are pretty slim.