Direct nuclear pumping of the 1.45‐μ line in neutral carbon has been achieved using the 10B(n,α)7Li reaction. Lasing was observed in mixtures of both He‐CO and He‐CO2. The laser has the lowest neutron flux threshold to date, ∼4×1014 n/cm2 sec, and a 20‐msec lasing time. Lasing occurred at pressures from 20–800 Torr He with partial pressures of CO and CO2 from ∼1–21 mTorr. A delay, increasing to ∼5 msec for lower total pressures, was observed between the peak of the neutron pulse and the peak of the laser signal for mTorr partial pressures of CO2, and for mTorr partial pressures of N2‐CO mixtures.