The technology of hot-pressed Cr2+:ZnSe ceramic preparation is reported. Comparative gain-switched lasing of hot-pressed ceramic and CVD grown Cr2+:ZnSe samples with slope efficiencies up to 10 % and output energies up to 2 mJ were demonstrated. This is a milestone in the development of future large scale mid-IR laser systems based on ceramic TM2+:II-VI materials. This evolving technology has excellent potential as media for practical low cost, high power mid-IR laser applications. © 2006 Optical Society of America.