Several scaling generalizations for a high-pressure CO electric-discharge laser (EDL) are presented and compared with experimental data from a pulsed e--beam-stabilized device. It is shown that the transient evolution of the CO laser medium is mainly dependent only upon the total energy deposition per CO molecule as a function of time. Results of theoretical calculations for CO/Ar mixtures are presented which show that, for temperatures 100-300 K, laser threshold occurs after J/1/torr (CO) has been deposited, and that steady state is attained after J/1/torr (CO) has been deposited, Experimental results for a variety of CO/Ar and CO/N2mixtures confirm these predictions for a range of excitation rates. These generalizations make it possible to predict the temporal power characteristics of a large class of both pulsed and flowing CW CO lasers without resort to extensive computer calculations. Characterization of the gain saturation as a function of total radiation intensity was also investigated. Results indicate that, after attainment of steady state, the CO EDL saturates with threshold level like a simple two-level system, with a scaled saturation intensity of W/cm2/torr2(CO) over the range of temperatures from 60 to 300 K ( is the fraction of CO self-broadening to total broadening).