Can a pen really be mightier than the sword as Edward Bulwer Lytton, the English playwright popularly said in 1839? Well, there is one scenario where that is true in the literal sense. If you watched the legendary James Bond movie “Never Say Never Again”, then you probably know where this is headed. The Pen gun is everything its name suggests. It’s a single shot pistol which looks just like a pen and can be folded open to access the trigger. It’s more commonly known as the Braverman Stinger; a title it got from its inventor, R. J. Braverman.
As stated earlier stated, the Pen gun appears exactly like a 6-inch pen by default and cannot fire shots while in this configuration. To fire, it needs to be converted into a pistol by pulling and pivoting of a cylinder located on the hinge joint to the conventional barrel (2 inches). Once that is done, the guns identity is revealed by a small trigger. You can then fire by pointing the muzzle end at the target and pushing the trigger upward.
Because the Braverman stinger does not fire when assuming the pen mode, the ATF categorized it as a handgun rather than an NFA regulated AOW (Any Other Weapon) device. This made the Stinger relatively easier to get without the need to go through the hassles of filling out form 4, acquiring CLEO signatures, tax stamps and other requirements for obtaining more exotic firearms.
Production and Sale History
Bob Braverman, the brain behind the stinger pen gun started selling his invention in 1991 having filled for a patent with American Derringer Company (ADC) the year before. He soon left ADC and established his R. J. Braverman Corporation which was in full operation until 1997. In that time, the company produced and sold the gun in several calibers. These included pen guns 22 Magnum, .22 LR, .25 ACP, .32 ACP as well as the .380 ACP. At the time, you could even get a special gold-plated model if you are a big fan of James Bond. The company also produced a folding revolver which is like today’s Chiappa Firearms Rhino.
The Corporation went out of production for about six years, but production of the Stinger began again in 2002, under a new name; the Stinger Manufacturing Company which had ties with R. J. Braverman, the original inventor of the pen pistol design. That company also went out of service after a couple of years. The actual number of Stinger Pen Guns manufactured under the three different names is largely unknown. One thing is for sure, the fact that not many of them were made and there is only a handful of them left today.
So, can you get one today?
Production of the Braverman Stinger has ceased for nearly two decades. Back in the days, you could walk into an armory and get one for around 100 US Dollars. Today, the prices are considerably higher because there isn’t a lot of them out there. You will need to part with over 500 US Dollars to buy a rimfire model while the 0.32 and 0.380 models will cost you almost double that amount.