There are more strange developments from the company making what many call the “laser AK-47.” A video has emerged from the company showing what is supposed to be proof of the gun’s existence. In the video someone fires the laser downrange and then the camera moves in to see what kind of carnage the beam has inflicted.
It isn’t difficult to understand the issues with the video. The first can be summed up with a look at production value. The video is terribly poor quality. There are cuts between some of the shooting and the looks at the targets. There is no footage of the prototype ZKZM-500 actually firing that shows it and the target, too.
Beyond that, there is the obvious question about the company itself ZKZM. They are building the new gun at the Xian Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shaanxi province. Why would a company capable of building a working laser rifle not have the business acumen to produce decent marketing materials?
The video was released, reportedly, to prove the existence of the gun. News about the new blaster had emerged and gone viral last week. After doubters ridiculed the concept, the company tried to silence its critics.
“Experts are not convinced by the Chinese company’s claims its laser-powered weapon can fire beams up to a kilometer and ‘burn through clothes in a split second’,” The Daily Mail writes.
Yet even the press isn’t quite sure what to make of the news. Many are struggling for metaphors to describe the idea. Some turn to Star Wars analogies. Others simply parrot the “laser AK-47” idea, even though the gun bears no resemblance to anything in the Kalashnikov family.
If the video is to be believed, though, the laser can burn holes in small object. Cardboard appears scorched. The footage shows a flaming tire, too.
Still, the experts remain unconvinced. Dr David James, a senior lecturer at Cranfield University, is a laser expert. His assessment for The Daily Mail was dismissive. “If the targets clothes are not very absorbent at the laser wavelength, non-flammable or fire retardant, or if there is mist, fog or rain, the laser power delivered to the target will be seriously reduced,” he said.
These factors would reduce “the effective range as well as perhaps making the target harder to see in the first place.”
“As for the effect of being hit by the laser this would primarily be the burning of clothing and/or skin, prolonged exposure to multiple shots would increase the severity of any burns but would actually be unlikely,” he added.