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"It's hard to tell stories about critters that are not human. John W. Campbell tried it, in "Twilight," and everybody says it's a wonderful story, and nobody ever reads it twice."
- Jerry Pournelle

Needle Gun  
  A weapon that fires thin slivers of metal.  

This is as far as I know the first use of this term in science fiction. This term was also used to denote a hand-held gun,

I rammed home the final plunger, and the bee-wing took off flapping up into the thin air and forward with such speed that in a matter of seconds Cammint was a dot of light in the darkness, and the city of Jador was sprawled in fantastic shadows below. I went blind, without lights, never knowing when some similar craft might blunder out of the encircling darkness full tilt into me. I set my course for the Royal Palace, and had my forward needle guns set for any who dared offer me hindrance.
From The Empress of Mars, by Ross Rocklynne.
Published by Fantasti Adventures in 1939
Additional resources -

From Slacker's Paradise, by Malcom Jameson, published by Astounding S-F in 1941:

Her armament was so inadequate as never to have given him a qualm. It consisted simply of a 10 mm. needle gun, fit only to detonate a stray mine.

Readers might also check out the needle pipe from Ray Cummings 1928 story Beyond the Stars for an earlier use of this concept, and a bit more detail on other uses.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Empress of Mars
  More Ideas and Technology by Ross Rocklynne
  Tech news articles related to The Empress of Mars
  Tech news articles related to works by Ross Rocklynne

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