A rapid-scan spectrometer employing a silicon-target vidicon detector was used to study the time-resolved emission spectra of laser-ignited metals. Bulk specimens of Ca, Mg, Zr, Ti and several Ti alloys were ignited with a 90 W cw CO2 laser in air or under a gentle flow of oxygen. Line and band emissions observed between 300 and 1100 nm during combustion help to identify vapor phase reactants and products and their locations in the flame. Disappearance of discrete spectra during the transient combustion of Ti and Zr gives information on the accumulation of molten oxide products. Observations of the continuum radiation emitted by laser-irradiated flames indicate a laser-stimulated luminescence from condensed metal oxide particles.