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"I can remember when the first pulsars were discovered. I was able to go and sit down and listen to graduate students talking about what their theories, to explain what pulsars really were."
- Vernor Vinge

Flame Pistol  
  A hand-held weapon that incinerates opponents.  

As far as I know, this is the first use of this phrase.

Masters bounded into the circle of light by the manhole connection, sending streamer after blinding streamer into the darkness from his flame pistol. By its light they saw that he was battling a dozen of the ugly creatures that were the highest form of life on the planet Mars.
From Invisible Ships, by Harl Vincent.
Published by Amazing Stories Quarterly in 1931
Additional resources -

Here's another example, this from The Empress of Mars (1939) by Ross Rocklynne:

“Truly, Darak of Werg,” he exclaimed, “it were well I did not see fit to use the one remaining charge in my flame pistol on the intruder who boarded us last night.”

Compare to the flesh gun from The Computer Connection (1974), by Alfred Bester.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Invisible Ships
  More Ideas and Technology by Harl Vincent
  Tech news articles related to Invisible Ships
  Tech news articles related to works by Harl Vincent

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