flame pistol n.

a pistol that shoots flames; cf. flame gun n.


  • 1930 ‘H. Vincent’ Explorers of Callisto in Amazing Stories Feb. 1008/1 page image Harl Vincent bibliography

    In a rage he grasped the flame pistol that depended from his belt and trained it on the Lunarians. There was a brilliant spurt of scarlet and one of the attackers was consumed in the angry flame that struck him full in the chest.

  • 1939 ‘W. Callahan’ Machine That Thought in Science Fiction Mar. 73/1 page image Raymond Z. Gallun bibliography

    Several of them carried flame pistols, the muzzles of which, threateningly directed, glinted in the starlight.

  • 1946 ‘R. Rocklynne’ Bottled Men in Astounding Science Fiction June 84/1 page image Ross Rocklynne bibliography

    Gull came to his feet with vigor. He took up his flame pistol, adjusted the valves. A long smoky flame leaped out. Gull adjusted the valves again and it settled down to an inch-thick sword of flaming, violet-blue energy. Gull directed this against the dome of the natural bottle, held it there.

  • 1947 ‘M. Leinster’ Skit-Tree Planet in Thrilling Wonder Stories Apr. 46/1 page image Murray Leinster bibliography

    He reached the metal wall. He pulled out his flame-pistol and tapped at it. The wall was solid. He backed off five paces and sent a flame-pistol beam at it. The flame splashed from the metal in a coruscating shower. But nothing happened. Absolutely nothing. When he turned off the pistol the metal was unmarred. It was not even red-hot.

  • 1951 F. M. Robinson Untitled Story in Astounding Science Fiction Sept. 76/2 page image Frank M. Robinson bibliography

    Lehman had a flame pistol in his hand and Hayssen promptly dropped to the ground. A beam of purple light flared through the air, cutting through the spot where he had been.

  • 1993 J. Noon Vurt (1994) 113 page image Jeff Noon bibliography

    His beams swung in from every corner until they pulled in a tight focus on The Beetle’s gun. Flame pistol. 0.38. Fully loaded. Six bullets. [...] Beetle shot him. Beetle shot him! And all these miles and days away, I’m still listening to that shot of flame.

  • 2015 G. Nix By Frogsled and Lizardback to Outcast Venusian Lepers in Old Venus 349 page image Garth Nix bibliography

    ‘Here,’ said Jat, handing over a flame pistol, the bigger military version of the heat-beams Kelvin and Vinnie carried. ‘You never know; Theodore might have missed something.’

Research requirements

antedating 1930

Earliest cite

Harl Vincent, "Explorers of Callisto", in Amazing Stories

Research History
Fred Galvin submitted a 1935 cite from Stanley G. Weinbaum's "The Lotus Eaters".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1932 cite from Thomas D. Gardner's "The Last Woman".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1947 cite from Murray Leinster's "Skit-Tree Planet".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1951 cite from Frank M. Robinson's "Untitled Story".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1939 cite from William Callahan's "The Machine that Thought".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1946 cite from Ross Rocklynne's "The Bottled Men".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1976 reprint of Ross Rocklynne's "The Empress of Mars"; Mike Christie verified it in the 1939 original appearance.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1931 cite from "Invisible Ships", by Harl Vincent [pseudonym of H. V. Schoepflin]
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 1993 cite from Jeff Noon's "Vurt".
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2015 cite from Garth Nix.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1930 cite from Harl Vincent's "Explorers of Callisto", in Amazing Stories.

Last modified 2023-08-23 14:44:00
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.