A projectile fired from a spacecraft would continue on its trajectory for millions of miles without loss of momentum. Conceivably that projectile could slingshot around a planet and return to the point of origin destroying the spacecraft that launched it comic book style.
An excellent point. Space travel would have enough problems with space junk that was accidental in nature without adding projectiles flying all over the place.
Would it not be the same for the laser?
You fire a three second laser pulse and you have that 3 second length of laser beam continuing thru space until it hits something? Granted after a few light years it may be dissipated?