Short-wavelength chemical lasers (SWCL's) have been pursued in many laboratories, following the great success achieved with infrared chemical lasers utilizing simple atom molecule exchange reaction. However, all efforts to obtain SWCL's (< 1µm) have failed to date. The reasons for failure and possible ways to overcome the difficulties are discussed. In particular, a novel approach to obtaining SWCL's based on a premixed fuel-lasant capable of producing high energy pulses, is described. Electronically-excited nitrogen molecules are produced by detonation of metal azides. Lasing is excepted via energy transfer from the nitrogen molecules to metal atoms or within the nitrogen molecules. Preliminary results obtained by detonation of metal azides are presented.