This may take a little time to read through but a quick skim makes it seem quite compelling- a discussion about various science fiction weapons from a real world point of view. The whole website covers a remarkable variety of topics but the "sidearms" section is one that I'm most interested in.
Found it when I was reminiscing about reading 2000AD as a kid and I did a quick search for Dredd's Lawgiver. They seem to have updated the design in the comic with a Mk II. Loses the aesthetic appeal of the original as far as I'm concerned.