Chances are, at one point or another, you stumbled across a laser gun. They are scattered across science fiction. From the particle beams of Arthur C. Clark to the phasers of Star Trek, for decades, people have been imagining ways that we can use light to kill each other in horrible ways. And if you didn't know, the technology is real.
Well, kind of. We do have laser guns, but they are a far cry from what you see in science fiction.
Case in point, recently, YouTuber Drake Anthony (who uses the name Styropyro on YouTube) built a laser shotgun. At least, Anthony calls the device a laser shotgun, though it's certainly not a shotgun in the conventional sense.
Instead of firing shots or slugs with powder, this weapon fires light and operates via 8 parallel 5W laser beams. These beams are brought together via rather large lenses. Anthony asserts that this feature is where he got the name from, as the device that manipulates the beams functions, "sort of like how a choke modifies the spread of a shotgun blast."
However, as previously mentioned, although watching the device in action is pretty awesome (from an engineering stand point, if nothing else), Anthony won't be taking over the world with this gun anytime soon. The laser doesn't blast holes in objects, and it even takes the gun a little bit (a few seconds) to pop a balloon.
However, it is pretty good at setting things on fire. See it in action in the video below.
I probably shouldn't have to say this, but unless you are a engineer, please don't try to make one of these. If you already made one, please don't point it at anything that is living/may one day be living/you don't want to set on fire.