The application of a polycrystalline ferroelectric ceramic Pb1-xLax(ZryTiz)1-(x/4)O3(called PLZT) electrooptic shutter is described for controlling the giant pulse emission of a ruby laser. The PLZT material hady = 65percent,z = 35percent, and the value ofxwas in the vicinity of 8 percent. Half-wave retardation switching was not possible with the PLZT shutter when 10-ns rise-time 70-ns-duration voltage pulses (fastQswitching) were applied. The increase insertion loss, due to less than half-wave retardation, resulted in laser pulsewidths that were wider and contained less energy than predicted by fastQ-switching theory. Since the PLZT material was damaged at relatively low power densities of between 5.6 to 8.5 MW/cm2, respectively, its use is restricted toQ-switching small output power.