Tag Archives: pen gun

Can I borrow that pen?

Pen guns have (officially) been around since 1925, and were likely in circulation well before then. And by “pen gun,” yes, I do mean a gun-shaped to look as if it was a pen.

Thus:

The OSS Stinger of WWII fame.

While most in-line guns of this sort are illegal if they are not made on a Form 1 (and a tax paid) and transfer on a Form 4 (with another tax stamp) under the AOW section of NFA-regulated devices, there was a breed of transforming pen guns that morphed into a traditional Title I pistol and needed no such stamps.

Behold, the Braverman:

More on this bad boy, which I recently got to play with, in my column at Guns.com.

Lord Montbatten’s pen with a bang

pen gun

Here we see the personal pen of Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC, FRS,) better just known as Lord Mountbatten.

In case you aren’t familar, Mountbatten was a dynamic legend of military history. Joining the Royal Navy as a 16 year old middy during World War One, he first saw the elephant aboard the battle-cruiser HMS Lion in 1916. Instead of becoming a wealthy playboy following the war, he instead spent two decades bobbing around various surface ships of the fleet, working his way up to the command of a destroyer and becming ADC to King Edward VIII (remember this).

After having his destroyer almost sunk from under him in the first part of WWII, Mountbatten was made Commodore of Combined Operations by Churchill. This was the group that directed the Commando raids on France as well as any number of small scale ops on the coastlines of occupied Europe.

After the war he became the Governor-General of the independent Dominion of India, where he ran into the Maharaja of Jodhpur, who quickly became a close friend. Hence the pen, which he gave to the 48-year old swashbuckler should he ever get in trouble.

rossparry.co.uk/syndication/Yorkshire Post Picture shows Nicholas Holt with an amazing pen which hides a secret pistol. The gold-plated pistol Pen was given to Lord Mountbatten for his protection by his friend The Maharaja of  Jodphur in case he ever fell into the wrong hands. The handmade pen - worthy of a James Bond-type scene - is due to go under the hammer once again at an auction in March, and is estimated to fetch between 5-7,000 pounds. Nicholas Holt, founder of Holt’s Auctioneers, which is selling the item said: "The Maharaja of Jodphur built it for his friend in case he got himself in a position where he had to sign something which he did not wish to sign - either  to kill himself or the enemy."

rossparry.co.uk/syndication/Yorkshire Post Picture shows Nicholas Holt with an amazing pen which hides a secret pistol. The gold-plated pistol Pen was given to Lord Mountbatten for his protection by his friend The Maharaja of Jodphur in case he ever fell into the wrong hands. The handmade pen – worthy of a James Bond-type scene – is due to go under the hammer once again at an auction in March, and is estimated to fetch between 5-7,000 pounds. Nicholas Holt, founder of Holt’s Auctioneers, which is selling the item said: “The Maharaja of Jodphur built it for his friend in case he got himself in a position where he had to sign something which he did not wish to sign – either to kill himself or the enemy.”

The pen was ordered by Hanwant Singh, then the Raj Rajeshwar Maharajadhiraj Shri of the Indian princely state of Jodhpur. His father, Umaid Singh, was a Brigadier General in the British army and had served as the ADC to the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) in the 1920s (small world). Hanwant himself was a well-known polo player and star of several cavalry teams in the British Indian army and in 1948 became the Indian National Congress MP from his region, where he came into contact with Montbatten.

The pen looks to be a .22LR caliber pistol that still functions as a pen. Designed and handmade in India by ‘Gun Shop Jodphur’ in 1948, the gun was sold by Mountbatten’s family in 2013 at auction.

The Stinger Pen Gun: Actually, it’s a handgun…

While English playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 probably meant something different when he coined the well-traveled phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword,” that phrase defines the Stinger pengun.

Since the 19th century, firearms have been disguised to hide inside of innocent items such as canes, lighters, belt buckles, clothing and even jewelry. By the 1920s, the first pen guns, fashioned to the same general size as fountain pens but capable of firing a single handgun round, typically a low powered .22, were fashioned.

These guns were used by spies on both sides of occupied Europe in WWII and then later in the Cold War between East and West. James Bond even sported a pen gun in Never Say Never Again but these guns could get you 10 years or more if they aren’t registered as an AOW (Any Other Weapon) with the ATF under the National Firearms Act (NFA). This however does not keep them out of the hands of criminals around the world.
Unlike the true penguns mentioned above, the Stinger was NFA-friendly and even ATF-approved

Read the rest in my column at GUNS.com