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"Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn't often, on their own, the hard way."
- Robert Heinlein

Atom-Gun  
  A handheld device that sprays atomic fire.  

When visiting the satellites of our solar system, defensive weapons are a necessity.

Crane sighted at one of the ocher creatures in the lead, pressed the firing button of his atom-gun, saw the Greenie fall as the thin, crashing bolt of atomic fire streaked and struck...

The atom-guns began to crackle again, this time in irregular rhythm... He fired. The streak of fire from his weapon brought a distant scream of agony.

From Revolt on the Tenth World, by Edmond Hamilton.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1940
Additional resources -

Of course, there are a great many variations on the blaster idea (first mentioned in When the Green Star Waned (1925) by Nictzin Dyalhis); consider the annihilator beam from The Conquest of Gola (1931) by L.F. Stone, the de-atomizer) and the >disintegrator from Garrett P. Serviss' 1898 novel Edison's Conquest of Mars.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Revolt on the Tenth World
  More Ideas and Technology by Edmond Hamilton
  Tech news articles related to Revolt on the Tenth World
  Tech news articles related to works by Edmond Hamilton

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