This month we are going to step out of the norm of “This Old Gun”. This month’s gun is not necessarily old, but it is a gun, and it is unusual, and it is somewhat obscure. It is a RJ Braverman Corp. “Stinger” Pen Gun.
The gun is just under 6” long when in the “pen” form. When unfolded into the “pistol” form it packs quite a punch firing a single .25 ACP round. They also offered the pen pistols in .22 LR, .22 mag, .32 A CP and .380 Auto.
Loading of the Stinger is accomplished by unscrewing the barrel with the “pen” in the straight position, dropping a shell into the chamber, then screwing the barrel back into place. To fire the gun you pull the barrel about 2” out of the receiver and turn the handle down at about an 80° angle. This puts the gun into the “pistol” position. You then rotate the safety ring in the center to the right, then lift up on the trigger until the gun fires.
To unload the gun you need to fold the gun back up into the pen position, reopen into the pistol position, and back to the pen before you can unscrew the barrel to unload, and then reload the gun.
Braverman was in the business of manufacturing pen guns in Meredith NH circa 1990-1997. A U.S. patent on this gun was issued in November of 1991, but has Braverman Corp. at Winthrop Mass. The instruction sheet with the gun shows a Meredith address.
This particular gun has the distinction of being the only legal pen gun. This is due to the fact that it must be manipulated into a “pistol” form before it can fire. At least that is what the BATF stated in a ruling made in 1990. At this time these particular pen guns are still considered legal.
The allure of the pen gun dates back to the mid 1800’s when the first cane guns came onto the market. Then, as now, the appeal was to have a fully functioning firearm that looks like something else.
John Thomas of Ilion NY is credited with the invention of the cane gun in 1858. His first cane guns used a percussion cap and fired a .31 cal. ball. Later Remington added .22 and .32 caliber rimfire cartridges.
Remington was the only major arms manufacturer who made cane guns. Other smaller firms, and individuals also made cane guns in the mid to late 1800’s. Original cane guns are legal as they fall under the BATF classification of curios‘.
Cane guns become popular among men living in town. It could be used both as a walking stick and a gun to defend themselves against stray dogs and human attackers. Imagine the surprise of a would be attacker when a gentleman would simply tap his stomach with the end of his cane and deliver a .31 caliber blast!
Values of the Braverman Stingers seem to range from about $300 and up. I saw one on a recent internet auction that sold for whopping $1,500!