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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

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."
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.

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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