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Patrick Priebe, a German hobbyist with a knack for making laser weapons, has done it again and this time he’s gone and built a Laser Gatling Gun.
Constructed out of durable aluminum, the gun’s spinning turret boasts six 1.4-watt Class 4 blue lasers. For aiming purposes, a 100-mW green laser has been mounted on one side of the gun. Although it looks like it could blast through five layers of concrete and steel, the gun is only strong enough to pop balloons.
Four ball bearings spin the turret, which is controlled by a knob on the underside of the gun. Eight AA batteries power the aiming laser and motor, while the six blue lasers get their juice from four lithium-ion batteries.
Original Gatling guns were invented just prior to the Civil War and were some of the first rapid fire guns. Hand cranks were used to rotate six barrels and fired ammunition when each barrel reached the top slot. However, with Priebe’s creation, the Gatling-like rotation is purely ornamental. Despite how cool it looks, the gun’s rotation actually decreases the beams’ intensity, since lasers work by focusing on a single point with a heated stream of photons.
But since the Laser Gatling Gun remains only a proof-of-concept whim, who cares about its lack of damage-inflicting abilities? Besides, for the sake of humanity, it’s probably for the best that the gun’s bark is worse than its bite. Priebe has no plans to sell the gun or share the gun’s blueprints, so video of this balloon massacre will have to suffice.