A friend of mine got a new Microwave oven, and let me have his old one. As a hobbyist engineer, I'd of course love to use the magnetron within to build a small Microwave Gun, which for example to use to light Light bulbs at a distance, or to blow up small batteries.

As the device, however, can be quite dangerous to both health and belongings, damaging electrical systems and using high voltages and currents, I was just wondering if they were legal.

  • 2
    I doubt there is anything specific about being stupid with a magnetron. But if anything goes wrong you are likely to run into more general civil and perhaps criminal negligence. Aug 31, 2020 at 10:46
  • Then I think I'm good to go. I'm certanly not planning on putting anyone in danger.
    – Mat NX
    Aug 31, 2020 at 11:42
  • If you were the military, it's banned under Hague and Geneva
    – Trish
    Aug 31, 2020 at 14:22

1 Answer 1


§1 WaffG (weapons law) defines what a weapon is mentioned to be. Based on that definition, your microwave gun would be a weapon.

... weapons are items designed by their very nature to eliminate or reduce a person's ability to attack or defend himself through direct action ...

Nevertheless, none of the remaining law paragraphs mention this kind of weapon. Also, §17 WaffG does not mention any restrictions on this type of weapon (like e.g it's done for brass knuckles).

So, I don't think that it would be a problem.

But based on SPG (security police law), it's not allowed to carry it everywhere around. That's because, for some areas weapons are forbidden generally. (e.g. Prater, Vienna)

  • I suspect, but don't know, that there are regulations in Austria prohibiting the manufacturing of electronic devices that emit electromagnetic waves above a certain strength that aren't shielded outside of a device contained in some sort of safety regulation (just as microwave ovens themselves must). A custom made microwave gun would probably violate these safety regulations even if it isn't considered to be a weapon under laws designed to regulate weapons.
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 28, 2022 at 5:25
  • 2
    Yes, you're right. I didn't think about that. Regarding the amateur radio law, the maximum output power for frequencies in the range of 1-40GHz must not be above 1µW. Nevertheless, I believe, that there is some kind of special regulation for 2.4GHz (because of access points) as well, but I can't find it yet (just a note about 100mW). So, your modified microwave probably emit too much electric energy on the 2.4GHz frequency band.
    – Chris
    Feb 4, 2022 at 10:16

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