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"Fuzzy logic tries to get machines to think like people do, with inexact fuzzy terms."
- Bart Kosko

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.
Technovelgy from Invisible Ships, by Harl Vincent.
Published by Amazing Stories Quarterly in 1931
Additional resources -

Another example, from Parasite Planet by Stanley G. Weinbaum, published by Astounding Stories in 1935:

It’s invulnerable to bullets; nothing less than the terrific blast of a flame-pistol will kill it, and then only if the blast destroys every individual cell. It travels over the ground absorbing everything, leaving bare black soil where the ubiquitous molds spring up at once—a noisome, nightmarish creature.

Ham sprang aside as the doughpot erupted suddenly from the jungle to his right. It couldn’t absorb the transkin, of course, but to be caught in that pasty mess meant quick suffocation. He glared at it disgustedly and was sorely tempted to blast it with his flame-pistol as it slithered past at running speed. He would have, too, but the experienced Venusian frontiersman is very careful with the flame-pistol.

It has to be charged with a diamond, a cheap black one, of course, but still an item to consider. The crystal, when fired, gives up all its energy in one terrific blast that roars out like a lightning stroke for a hundred yards, incinerating everything in its path...

He snatched his flame-pistol and sent a terrific, roaring blast into the horror, a blast that incinerated tons of pasty filth and left a few small fragments crawling and feeding on the debris.

The blast also, as it usually does, shattered the barrel of the weapon. He sighed as he set about the forty-minute job of replacing it—no true Hotlander ever delays that—for the blast had cost fifteen good American dollars, ten for the cheap diamond that had exploded, and five for the barrel.

(Thanks to Winchell Chung of Project Rho for the tip on this item.)

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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