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"Science fiction and science have always danced around each other. Science fiction is the subconscious of science."
- Greg Bear

AM-280 Needle Rifle  
  Device shoots a stream of steel needles.  

Very handy when fighting alien caterpillars the size of buses.

"The rifle was an AM-280 with tunable laser sight. The output was set high in the UV and I had to wear an EV-helmet with retinal-focused eyepieces to see the beam. It spat high-velocity bursts of eighteen-grain needles, as many as three thousand per minute. You pointed the beam at your target and pulled the trigger. The needle burst would tear holes in a steel door. They said you could slice a man in half with a 280. I didnít want to try."
Technovelgy from A Matter For Men, by David Gerrold.
Published by Simon and Schuster in 1983
Additional resources -

This is probably a deliberate upgrade to a weapon like this one - the AM-180.

Speaking of giant alien caterpillars, I ran across this creature in a 1963 edition of Amazing Stories:


(QUINQUEPEDALIAN by Piers Anthony)

Thanks to Odon for the quote and the video.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Matter For Men
  More Ideas and Technology by David Gerrold
  Tech news articles related to A Matter For Men
  Tech news articles related to works by David Gerrold

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