1. must be powered just by electricity
  2. must-have an effective range of 45 meters or more.
  3. must be easy to repair no fancy parts unless they last for a long time
  4. lightweight
  5. must cause damage no tasers or stun guns


A handwavium power source that can produce as much electricity as you need. bonus points if the weapon uses batteries.

  • $\begingroup$ define "fancy parts" $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 23:48
  • $\begingroup$ anything exotic eg an alloy or particular part that has to be custom made $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 0:11
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ How is this a question of worldbuilding? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 0:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't get how this is not a WB question but, for example, Q-es on vortex cannon, Kobold Cannon, radioactive weapon, weapon of maximum fluidity are. Someone care to explain? Maybe the Zeronineseven can correct it. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 17:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There is no question here, only a list of demands for what you want. This is all really something you should be researching yourself, any amount of googling will give possible answers right away. Once you have a better general idea, you can come up with specific questions to ask here so that we can help you refine the idea. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 16:37

4 Answers 4


Ammunition allowed? Look up a rail gun. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railgun and a taser is deliberately made safe - can taser-like weapons that stop you heart on purpose count? A laser can generate a stream of conductive plasma in the air, and you can pump as much juice through that as you want. Not sure anyone has DELIBERATELY made that lethal...


If the energy source is handwaved then the electrolaser is a serious contender.

It's a medium distance stun-gun/direct energy weapon, that rely on:

  1. creating a plasma channel which connects the target with the "muzzle". It uses a powerful laser discharge to ionize the air along the path
  2. a high-voltage discharge is then created along the plasma channel.

And no, "if you have a powerful laser, why do you need the electricity?" is not an option - powerful lasers overheat with prolonged usage and a 1GW laser pulse that only last 1 nanosecond (example) won't deliver enough energy to knock the target down. But it may (depending on the wavelength) be enough to ionize the air enough to create the electrical discharge channel.

The laser doesn't need to be bulky. For example, a Transversely Excited Atmospheric laser uses just two parallel electrodes (and a good/ultrafast capacitor - the larger the capacitance, the larger the energy in a pulse).
Granted, you may want to add:

  1. a pressurized lasing cavity - the larger the amount of lasing medium, the larger the energy/power in the pulse. And you can lengthen the electrodes (the "barrel" so to speak) only within some limits, thus better increase the density of the medium.
  2. a gas recirculation pump - the lasing medium ends in a metastable state in which it stays for some (tens of?) microseconds, making the pulse repetition low. Bringing fresh gas for the next discharge won't only allow it to "recover" its lasing capabilities but will also help cooling it.
  3. some optics for focusing/collimating the laser - UV transparent glass will be necessary, but they aren't something fancy.

All of this elements as simple enough to qualify for "easy to repair no fancy parts". Plus, using "atmospheric" gases makes it more efficient in ionizing the gasses in the atmosphere.

Now, the electrical part of it (both TEA laser and the attacking discharge) require some pretty high voltages. If you try to use trivially available materials to crank up the voltage, you're pretty guaranteed to end with a thing that's too bulky to be used as a handgun (vehicle mounted weapons are possible within the today's technology).
But if you use "really really honest to God room temperature superconductors" as the thin wires for your coils and some materials with high magnetic saturation for the cores, the electrical part may allow you to obtain something of the "automatic rifle" form. (I doubt the pistol form factor is possible, you still need mechanical strength to overcome the the repulsive forces caused by the magnetic fields in those coils).

Of course, if your "handwavium power source" is already able to deliver high voltages, you are already there, not much except triggering needs to be added.

Yes, it can work with batteries, but:

  1. raising the voltage will imply efficiency loss and lower firing rate
  2. the amount of energy you can get from batteries may limit the number of shots you get from them.

Electricity with ammo: a coilgun or railgun uses electromagentism to shoot solid slugs.

Pure electricity: A tesla coil just shocks people, but very short range.

You can look up youtube videos on how to build any of these.


Metal Storm

It fits the rules but doesn't shoot bolts of lightning.

  1. must be powered just by electricity - Metal Storm uses electrically fired bullets.
  2. must-have an effective range of 45 meters or more. - Has a range the same as any gun the same size
  3. must be easy to repair no fancy parts unless they last for a long time - Has no moving parts beyond the trigger.
  4. lightweight - Sizes from a pistol to an anti aircraft gun
  5. must cause damage no tasers or stun guns - Blows big holes like a normal gun

For the bonus points it uses batteries.

See Metal Storm

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Interesting, but fire storm is still powered by explosive, even if it is triggered electrically. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 4:17
  • $\begingroup$ Technically, you could get away with no moving parts: the trigger could be a capacitive switch or if you want to live even more dangerously, an infrared proximity sensor. $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 7:57

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