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.
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.
Ian over at Forgotten Weapons put this out on the Stinger Pen Gun a while back and I thought it was really neat-o.
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