A "burp gun" is a slang term for a specialized sort of low-velocity gauss gun or other slugthrower which fires flechettes or other non-armor-piercing ammunition, designed for use on board starships and shuttlecraft. Although starship hulls are generally well-armored and pressurized living spaces often buried deep within the hull far away from vacuum, and thus firing a gun aboard a dreadnought is unlikely to cause a hull breach, shuttles and cutters are not so sturdily built, and even on a warship (or perhaps especially on a warship), lots of the equipment and piping behind your average bulkhead probably doesn't react well to bullets. You wouldn't want to shoot a hole in a pure-oxygen pipeline or a liquid neutronium duct, or damage other vital equipment, so you need a gun which will damage flesh but not metal and plastic. The Burp Gun is the result, a high-tech rough equivalent of a shotgun which fires clouds of small needle-like flechettes or razor-edged metal discs which are great for tearing through space suits or flesh, but not likely to shoot through the bulkhead and cut the cooling lines for the main fusion reactor. Unfortunately, this means they are unlikely to do much damage to soldiers in power armor, but they are still the preferred weapon for most Marine boarding parties when, for example, enforcing customs regulations by searching the ships of suspected smugglers.
Behind the ScenesEdit
Inspired by the flechette guns and other specialized boarding weapons seen in the Honor Harrington series.