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Common Tau'ri name: Zat, Zat Gun

Full name, with alternate spellings: Zatn'kitel, Zat'nik'tel, Zat'n'ktel, Zat'nik'katel

The Zat is a one-handed weapon, presumably of Goa'uld origin, used primarily by their Jaffa. It is capable of incapacitating, killing, or disintegrating most living beings, depending on how often and how quickly the Zat is fired at them. It is also able to alter, disable, or disintegrate non-living material, including active technology. The SGC has captured numerous Zats, and SGC teams sometimes use them within the SGC and on missions.

Stargate References

The Warrior

Teal'c introduced the Zat to SG-1 when he found a crate of them on board Apophis' ship bound for Earth (1.22 "Within The Serpent's Grasp Part 1"). Teal'c described it to O'Neill as a weapon using a different form of energy, less powerful than that of a staff weapon. He said the first shot would cause a person great pain, disabling but not killing him, and that a second shot would kill most subjects. Later, O'Neill was surprised to learn by witnessing it that a third shot would disintegrate the body of the person, including their clothes, weapons, etc.

The Zat has two positions, coiled closed or armed and open. Activating a button opens it with a distinctive sound. When fired it makes a different sound and emits a narrow blue beam. When the beam hits something, it disperses into an electrical field that envelopes the target. Thus it is not necessary to aim the weapon carefully; hitting any part of the body or object is effective.

The Zat can be fired repeatedly with no re-charge time. Presumably it is naquadah-powered and thus has a very long life, with no need to add ammunition. It is not clear how far the beam will fire before losing integrity. It is always used in short-range firing situations.


The effect of the weapon on the subject varies considerably. In some cases he is left unconscious for a considerable length of time, for example when the disguised alien Tyler zatted Daniel at very close range and Daniel had to be awakened by Carter sometime later (5.04 "The Fifth Man"). In other cases the person is disabled for only a few moments, for example when Anubis used Carter's body to zat Daniel in an SGC corridor. He was in pain but appeared never to lose consciousness, and he was able to stand a short time later (8.03 "Lockdown").

Also unknown is the maximum length of time that can pass between shots for the second shot to be fatal or the third shot to disintegrate the subject. Clearly if the second shot is within a few seconds, a typical human subject dies. If the subject has recovered from the first shot, it is assumed that the second shot is not fatal. Humans in extraordinary circumstances may survive a rapid second shot, as Carter did when she was possessed by an alien consciousness and O'Neill was forced to zat her twice (4.20 "Entity").

There appear to be no long-term physiological effects from being zatted, and the weapon is used sometimes with minimal provocation, for example when Daniel could not bear the continued consciousness of Vala Mal Doran and zatted her simply to stop her from talking (8.12 "Prometheus Unbound").

Some beings are not affected by the Zat blast. While he at first pretended fear of being fired upon by a Zat, the humanoid bounty hunter Aris Boch shot himself with one, and it had no effect other than perhaps to tickle him (3.07 "Deadman Switch").


At times the Zat has been used on a subject for a positive purpose. Teal'c fired upon his son, Rya'c, to cause him pain and break the spell of Apophis' brain washing; the treatment worked (2.08 "Family"). Teal'c shot O'Neill so that the resultant electrical charge on O'Neill's body would repel the swarming, deadly fireflies long enough for him to activate the gate on M4C-862 (4.19 "Prodigy"). In a political example, Daniel gave Chaka a Zat gun to use in the fight against his human slave-masters. He did this to show Chaka that the Unas could win without killing the humans (5.07 "Beast of Burden").

SGC personnel have used Zats many times on non-living material and active technology to achieve various aims. Here are a few examples:

  • Teal'c and O'Neill fired on the lock mechanisms within a chamber on Apophis' ship in order to fuse it and lock the Jaffa out (1.22 "Within The Serpent's Grasp Part 1").
  • To erase any record of their presence in the past, O'Neill zatted two boxes holding all of their confiscated equipment three times, disintegrating them. He also used a Zat to increase the output from their campfire (2.21 "1969").
  • Teal'c used a Zat on the lock of the door into the stasis chamber full of Eurondans, and it opened (4.02 "The Other Side").
  • O'Neill used Carter's Zat to power up the crystals on Ronan's ship that Jack had modified with his Ancient knowledge (7.22 "Lost City Part 2").
  • Daniel used a Zat to disable the shield generator crystals on board the Goa'uld ship under control of the Trust (8.10 "Endgame").


Related Characters

Related Articles

Related Links

The Wikipedia's Zat Article

--Michelle 21:40, 16 Oct 2005 (PDT)