The Lightning Gun, or Tesla Gun, is a video game staple, but it's also a real thing that you can build for yourself with enough know-how and a well-equipped local hackerspace. Rob Flickenger shows the world how to create a hand-held weapon that shoots lightning bolts, from scratch. As Rob says: you pull the trigger, and lightning comes out the front.
A Tesla Gun is just a kind of Tesla coil that you can carry around with you, aim, and fire. It's powered by an 18-volt cordless drill battery that feeds a bank of capacitors and a transformer salvaged from an old television that pumps that 18V up to a much more exciting 20,000V.
Much of what makes this gun so cool is the level of detail involved in its construction. For example, the body of the gun is made of cast aluminum, using a DIY molding process based on the housing of a plastic Nerf gun. The "heart" of the Tesla Gun is the high voltage switch, which Rob cast out of porcelain using sand molds he whipped up with a 3D powder printer.
There's a detailed safari into the whole build process at the link below, and for a video of what a Tesla Gun looks like in action (not this particular one, but a similar design) check out the video, also below.