The paper demonstrates experimentally that subnanosecond pulses can be created, whose duration is limited by the long recovery time of the saturable absorber. To this end, a ruby laser with a standard mode-locking configuration is used. The cuvette containing the saturable absorber is formed by the totally reflecting mirror, a wedge ring of nylon nearly 1 mm thick, and a window of high-quality glass, all pressed together. The detection system of combined rise time of about 300 psec consists of an ITL fast photodiode coupled to an oscilloscope. The saturable absorber used is the cryptocyanine dye. It is concluded that since one can easily control the viscosity of the solvent of the dye (by mixing glycerine and methanol in different proportions, for instance), the technique described could be extended to generate laser pulses of any duration between a few picoseconds and the subnanosecond region.