We have now demonstrated and characterized gas-filled hollow-core fiber lasers based on population inversion from acetylene (12C2H2) and HCN gas contained within the core of a kagome-structured hollow-core photonic crystal fiber. The gases are optically pumped via first order rotational-vibrational overtones near 1.5 μm using 1-ns pulses from an optical parametric amplifier. Transitions from the pumped overtone modes to fundamental C-H stretching modes in both molecules create narrow-band laser emissions near 3 μm. High gain resulting from tight confinement of the pump and laser light together with the active gas permits us to operate these lasers in a single pass configuration, without the use of any external resonator structure. A delay between the emitted laser pulse and the incident pump pulse has been observed and is shown to vary with pump pulse energy and gas pressure. Furthermore, we have demonstrated lasing beyond 4 μm from CO and CO2 using silver-coated glass capillaries, since fused silica based fibers do not transmit in this spectral region and chalcogenide fibers are not yet readily available. Studies of the laser pulse energy as functions of the pump pulse energy and gas pressure were performed. Efficiencies reaching ~ 20% are observed for both acetylene and CO2.© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.