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Old February 3, 2008, 03:45 PM   #26
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SDC - getting close to your target may not pose a problem for escape. It all depends on how patient your assassin can be. Using a .22LR cartridge and pressing the muzzle against the victim's spine through a heavy coat will muffle the noise of the shot. Though most .22 assassins seem to have preferred the muzzle under the ear technique. If you equip the unit with a small suppressor it'll have the sound volume of a facial slap.

Many "Mob" assassinations used a .22LR pistol, like a Beretta 72 or Browning .22LR, modified with a suppressor and a slide-lock to prevent ejecting the empty case. The victim would be confronted alone in an elevator, alleyway, parking lot, etc. and removed from the gene pool quietly. The problem, of course, was if the authorities got ahold of the pistol and could track its purchaser.

Pen guns were used for a time since they could be made by any competent machinist and disposed of in a folded newspaper or even disassembled and tossed away in a crumpled cigarette pack. But if the attempt failed, the assassin had to resort to less stealthy means to finish the job.

A pen gun is either an assassin's weapon for use up close and personal, or it's a last ditch surprise weapon, much like the .32 caliber Palm Guns of the 1880's.

A museum once displayed a "cane gun" for espionage use that was quite ingenious. Single shot, of course, but when deployed both a front post and rear V-notch sight would pop up on the cane and be triggered by a stud on the handle. The barrel was some 20" long and the last several inches housed a suppressor that "sort of" worked. Accuracy was pretty good out to about 80 yards.
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Old February 3, 2008, 04:37 PM   #27
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Really i was surprised to see a student request information on the design of such a simple machine . After all at the root its a piece of tubing , hopefully a breech , a striker , a spring , and a wish .

Then i read
university student from Edinburgh in sunny scotland
I then realized that in fact in all likelihood the request was sincere. In all likelihood this student has not only never held or fired a firearm , but cannot find a way to just run out and do either as research . How do you explain to a person such as this that a .22 short round will be safely contained by the case tho develop no velocity to speak of , a .22 lr will split the case with little danger and thusly can somewhat be " geurilla " engineered into a zipgun with the use of a car antenna as a barrel with minimal danger as well as minimal accuracy . Over the years i have been lucky to have been able to hold and fire some fine pen guns , cane guns , and improvised weapons many of which fall under the AOW umbrella . Some of which even were regestered , others were holdouts in various ranches ect around 4 states .

To the OP a " pen gun " can be built with a .22 ctg , a sharp nail , a coil spring ( or i suppose even rubber bands ) and a telescoping car antenna or similar tubing . Better ones can be built by all means and if you have a mill and lathe to work with the sky is the limit . However if you give me kitchen matches and a tube i can and will eventually make something that will go bang enough to kill a rat , or if close enough for that matter a person .
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Old February 3, 2008, 06:02 PM   #28
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If your friend brought a pistol back from SVN are you sure it wasn't this?
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Old February 3, 2008, 06:59 PM   #29
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Pen guns were not designed as assasination weapons. They would fail miserably in this role. They were concieved as clandestine escape weapons, not likely to be found during an initial search.
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Old February 3, 2008, 08:41 PM   #30
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here is my pen gun... american derringer
front site press

Last edited by postal1911; February 3, 2008 at 10:37 PM. Reason: adding a word
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Old February 3, 2008, 08:46 PM   #31
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I agree with BillCa that they could be used for assassinations. I was thinking more about political assassinations than "hits."
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Old February 4, 2008, 07:57 AM   #32
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In response to Jim Keegan's comments about Liberator pistols- the only one I know of actually came home with a Vietnam Veteran in the 60's- I have no idea how it got to SVN.
Possibly via the OSS. The US government actually supported Ho Chi Min in his guerrilla fight against the Japanese during WWII.

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Old February 4, 2008, 11:51 AM   #33
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Does anyone remember the pen gun that was introduced sometime in the '90's that was a .22 that looked like a Cross style mechanical pencil? It was a $5 stamp AOW. I seem to recall it acrually wrote and had an eraser over the muzzle designed to be shot out when fired. It was triggered by pulling it along its axis and allowing the striker portion to spring forward. I saw an ad once and never heard much more about them. It looked very convincing as just a stainless steel pencil.

Last edited by HKuser; February 4, 2008 at 01:44 PM.
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Old February 22, 2008, 05:14 PM   #34
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I'm curious as to whether or not would a muzzloading pengun be legal as it would not be classified as a firearm by ATF? I know it would constitute a dangerous weapon under certain state laws but not federal law right? And no I'm not planning on building one!
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Old February 23, 2008, 03:58 AM   #35
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Muzzle loaders are not regulated as firearm as long as the ignition system is not considered modern. This means fuse/flintlock/caplock but not modern primers.
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Old February 23, 2008, 08:56 AM   #36
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Man this thread brings up memories.
I am only 33 but in the mid 90's I owned a pengun. Looked like a cross pen. Paid $100 bucks for it as I thought it was merely a novelty.
Sad t I say because it looked like a pen, I either lost it, or somebody took it. I only shot it once, and I was misearbly inaccurate with it.

Now I wish I had that little pen.
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Old March 9, 2008, 02:34 PM   #37
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I've got a MAC SSSW (Single Shot Survival Weapon). It's an actual pen gun, vs the other pseudo pen guns that have to be bent to shoot. Supposedly MAC made a bunch for the CIA back in the early '70s and then made a couple thousand for the civilian market once the CIA contract was complete.

It's chambered in .22LR and has a 1" smoothbore barrel. The groups are about 3' wide at 10'. The lack of accuracy means the only effective way to use it would be for the shooter to do something like sneak up behind their target, press the gun to the target's neck and shoot. Of course, if they're that close to their target they might as well use a knife, which could be easily used again (the MAC takes about 20 seconds to reload if you do it really fast) and a knife wouldn't make a loud noise either.
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