Espionage: No Sale to SMERSH

Almost as light as a highball tumbler, silent as a hummingbird's flight—yet with twice the wallop of a .45—the Gyrojet rocket handgun sounds like the secret agent's dream. Costing only $1 to massproduce, with a mechanism so simple and rugged that it can be fired under water and requires practically no maintenance, the gun—as advertised—could prove an equally deadly weapon for combat troops.

So, at least, reasoned two Washington-based Russian military attachés after reading reports on what its developer calls "the world's most accurate unguided rocket." Though they could easily have bought a...

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