Jump to content


Photo

Tear Gas Pen?


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Readymade

Readymade

    .. the (ink) stains become a warning...

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,666 posts
  • Location:Singapore
  • Flag:

Posted 12 January 2010 - 12:40

Came across this pen-related oddity, now on eBay. No affiliation whatsoever. Simply thought it curious and wanted to share it with my fellow pen-lovers :)

Apparently it fires tear-gas? But no pictures of the nib so maybe you can't even write with it in the first place :P

http://cgi.ebay.com/...ME:B:SS:US:1123
Singapore Fountain Pen Lovers - Facebook; Pens in SG FAQ

#2 HLeopold

HLeopold

    "Prints Of Darkness"

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 454 posts
  • Location:Topeka, Kansas

Posted 12 January 2010 - 13:23

Came across this pen-related oddity, now on eBay. No affiliation whatsoever. Simply thought it curious and wanted to share it with my fellow pen-lovers :)

Apparently it fires tear-gas? But no pictures of the nib so maybe you can't even write with it in the first place :P

http://cgi.ebay.com/...ME:B:SS:US:1123


No nib, this thing would be pretty much like a shotgun chamber, and extremely short barrel. Takes a special type of small shot shell that is loaded with a small charge of powder and the tear gas (actually some kind of powder that the burning powder charge will burn on firing, the powder charge also fires the resulting gas out of the chamber.) The rear of the "pen" unscrews, the cartridge (shell) is put in, the rear is screwed back on, and when needed the bolt is pulled back ("pen" is now cocked). To fire a small button is pushed releasing the firing pin in the bolt. There were many variations made by many companies, none very good, nor very safe, but possibly useful in an extreme case, just don't depend on them to actually work as advertised.

The one I have handled was about 5" long, less than an inch in dia. Called a "pen" only because you could carry one like a pen clipped to a pocket, and it MIGHT be confused with a fountain pen on a dark night, in a coal cellar by a blind, black cat.

Probably was fired once, which was most likely by accident in the owners home, which may, or may not, have driven him/her out of the room. It had obviously never been carried much if at all.

Shells for these are non-existent for the vast majority made, there MAY be a few examples still around, but those would be worth far more as collectibles than the "pens" they were to be fired in.

Illegal in many, if not all states,(possibly most countries as well) even though their usefulness was pretty much nil. (Have not found one case where one was used for its' intended use, and where I have found mention of them, it seems that they were fired by accident and at best caused a stink (literally) or burned the person firing it at worst.)

Just checked the link, this one is almost identical to the one I handled, and in the same condition. I do note though that it does have the rest of the stuff the one I checked out did not, box/papers and cartridges, looks like 2 were fired, or may be something small died in the box. I do know that nothing could get me to try out any of the remaining cartridges in that thing, not even with someone else's hand doing the shooting.

Edited by HLeopold, 12 January 2010 - 13:28.

Harry Leopold
“Prints of Darkness”

#3 ZeissIkon

ZeissIkon

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,247 posts
  • Location:North Carolina

Posted 13 January 2010 - 01:07

Illegal in many, if not all states,(possibly most countries as well) even though their usefulness was pretty much nil. (Have not found one case where one was used for its' intended use, and where I have found mention of them, it seems that they were fired by accident and at best caused a stink (literally) or burned the person firing it at worst.)


The main reason these were outlawed in many jurisdictions is that it was trivial to make many of them fire a projectile, making them legally a firearm even if they were "intended" to fire only tear gas. I believe they were made Federally illegal by Gun Control Act of 1968 (because they're a "handgun" with smoothbore barrel), but a grandfather clause allows legal possession of examples made before the law changed (same as "Snake Charmer" shotshell pistols).

I agree, far less effective and more hazardous to the user than a small can of Mace or pepper spray -- and never intended to write.
Does not always write loving messages.
Does not always foot up columns correctly.
Does not always sign big checks.

#4 EricB

EricB

    Behind the wheel of a V12 Karmann Ghia

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 156 posts
  • Location:Wichita, Kansas
  • Flag:

Posted 15 January 2010 - 17:58

Can you imagine picking that sucker up by accident and trying write with it only to have it go off on you? THAT would be an enlightening experience to say the least!!
Looking for Vintage Conway Stewart pens in blue marble to buy or trade.....

#5 Johnny Appleseed

Johnny Appleseed

    Collector of Eclectic Knowledge

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,791 posts
  • Location:Pacific Northwest, USA

Posted 15 January 2010 - 20:48

The main reason these were outlawed in many jurisdictions is that it was trivial to make many of them fire a projectile, making them legally a firearm even if they were "intended" to fire only tear gas. I believe they were made Federally illegal by Gun Control Act of 1968 (because they're a "handgun" with smoothbore barrel), but a grandfather clause allows legal possession of examples made before the law changed (same as "Snake Charmer" shotshell pistols).


Just a few quick corrections about US firearms law:

The Gun Control act of 1968 did nothing to restrict the ownership of any particular type of weapon - it's main thrust was to restrict certain individuals from owning or posessing firearms (eg. convicted felons, aliens without visas, persons judged mentally incompetent, etc.) and with restricting certain imports.

The restrictions on short-barreled shotguns and rifles, machine-guns, smooth-bore pistols, silencers et. al. was the National Firearms Act of 1934 (pen guns, cane guns and other disguised firearms were specifically included in the restrictions). It did not contain a grandfather clause, as one of it's principle thrusts was to restrict firearms popular with the prohibition-era gangsters. It also did not outlaw these firearms, but imposed a tax and licensing system for the manufacture and sale of these items. It is legal in the US to own machine guns, short-barrelled shotguns, and silencers today, provided that owner pay a tax ($200) on transfer of title and have an extensive background check by the ATF, and the transfer of title can only be done through someone with a Class III Federal Firearms License.

There is an exception for "Antique" firearms, which covers most muzzle-loaders, as well as for firearms defined as "Curios and Relics" - though "Curios and Relics" are not automatically exempt from NFA status (eg. a WWII era machine-gun is considered a C&R firearm, but still requires tax and permitting as a an automatic weapon). I am not sure if a pen-gun of this nature would be exempted as a Curio and Relic or not - some short-barrelled rifles from the 1920s and 30s have gained Curio and Relic status and are exempted from the NFA classification, so a pen-gun that is older than 50 years old may be exempted as well.

Additionally, as mentioned, there are state laws that may be more restrictive and outright prohibit certain NFA firearms.

And I mention this simply to clarify the law in question and not to engage in debate over the pros and cons of any firearm restrictions - any debate of that nature is prohibited on the board (though I believe that additional clarification of the law is permitted).

John
So if you have a lot of ink,
You should get a Yink, I think.

- Dr Suess

Always looking for pens by Baird-North, Charles Ingersoll, and nibs marked "CHI"

#6 JerryVK

JerryVK

    I get the point!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 202 posts
  • Location:Indiana

Posted 16 January 2010 - 12:48

I have one. I bought it for my wife (who was my girlfriend in 1967). She walked to college and there was a big, bad dog that wasn't leashed and caused her alarm. I tested the unit, and it fired nicely. Then I gave it to her and showed her how to use it, which she never did. She took a more humane approach and daily gave the dog a piece of her sandwich. The dog was happy, and she kept slim.

The reality is that she knew what worked for her.
Jerry

#7 MGKatz036

MGKatz036

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 33 posts

Posted 16 January 2010 - 19:45

As a 10 year old, I used to stay at a babysitter's house every day after school. She had a great old house, which she let me fully explore and play around in... One day, I was looking through a desk drawer in a spare bedroom, when I found a very unusual looking pen. When I clicked it, *BANG*! Explosion, dust, and I ran out of the room. I had no idea what I did. Baby sitter came running. Apparently, this was one of the described pens, she had from her college days. No adverse effects from the tear gas. :-) Maybe it was old.

#8 buffalowings

buffalowings

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,128 posts
  • Location:belmont

Posted 16 January 2010 - 23:47

As a 10 year old, I used to stay at a babysitter's house every day after school. She had a great old house, which she let me fully explore and play around in... One day, I was looking through a desk drawer in a spare bedroom, when I found a very unusual looking pen. When I clicked it, *BANG*! Explosion, dust, and I ran out of the room. I had no idea what I did. Baby sitter came running. Apparently, this was one of the described pens, she had from her college days. No adverse effects from the tear gas. :-) Maybe it was old.



that must have been one cool babysitter :notworthy1:
I'm a little hot potato right meow
"no they are not making littler ponies, they are EMBRACING"
I opened a box of cheerios and planted them. I thought they were doughnut seeds. They didn't sprout :( (joke of the week)

#9 ZeissIkon

ZeissIkon

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,247 posts
  • Location:North Carolina

Posted 17 January 2010 - 00:36


As a 10 year old, I used to stay at a babysitter's house every day after school. She had a great old house, which she let me fully explore and play around in... One day, I was looking through a desk drawer in a spare bedroom, when I found a very unusual looking pen. When I clicked it, *BANG*! Explosion, dust, and I ran out of the room. I had no idea what I did. Baby sitter came running. Apparently, this was one of the described pens, she had from her college days. No adverse effects from the tear gas. :-) Maybe it was old.



that must have been one cool babysitter :notworthy1:


I'm not sure "cool" is the word I'd use for someone who doesn't unload a weapon when putting it away in a house where children will be (to clarify: I keep my guns loaded, but I don't have children in my house, ever). Just as with a blank gun, if the business had been pointed toward flesh, serious injury would likely have resulted.
Does not always write loving messages.
Does not always foot up columns correctly.
Does not always sign big checks.

#10 Ernst Bitterman

Ernst Bitterman

    Nil Magnum Nisi Bonum

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,051 posts
  • Location:The Flat Bit, Canada
  • Flag:

Posted 27 January 2010 - 21:33

I just found an article concerning these things from 1929 on Modern Mechanix.
Ravensmarch Pens & Books
It's mainly pens, just now....

Oh, good heavens. He's got a blog now, too.

#11 ZeissIkon

ZeissIkon

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,247 posts
  • Location:North Carolina

Posted 28 January 2010 - 01:44

I just found an article concerning these things from 1929 on Modern Mechanix.


That's rather different from the pen gun in the original post; the Modern Mechanix article is about a dispenser for liquid tear gas, disguised as a pen, while the original posting was about what amounted to a blank gun (rather thinly disguised as a pen) sold with tear gas in powder form propelled by blank cartridges. I expect the liquid form to be much more effective, and far less hazardous to the user when the "pen" is actually used. Of course, there's the hazard of grabbing the wrong object from a purse or pocket and, instead of subduing an attacker with tear gas, merely marking them and their clothing with ink. Say, do you suppose this is where those dye packets now used for robberies originated?
Does not always write loving messages.
Does not always foot up columns correctly.
Does not always sign big checks.

#12 nkk

nkk

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 797 posts

Posted 29 January 2010 - 03:55


I just found an article concerning these things from 1929 on Modern Mechanix.


That's rather different from the pen gun in the original post; the Modern Mechanix article is about a dispenser for liquid tear gas, disguised as a pen, while the original posting was about what amounted to a blank gun (rather thinly disguised as a pen) sold with tear gas in powder form propelled by blank cartridges. I expect the liquid form to be much more effective, and far less hazardous to the user when the "pen" is actually used. Of course, there's the hazard of grabbing the wrong object from a purse or pocket and, instead of subduing an attacker with tear gas, merely marking them and their clothing with ink. Say, do you suppose this is where those dye packets now used for robberies originated?


I can tell you that is not where they originated :P . I know the guy who invented them, and I am pretty sure he is not into firing fountain pens at people, even if they are robbing him.

Nkk

#13 MiamiArchStudent

MiamiArchStudent

    Elegance and Sin.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,390 posts
  • Location:Midian
  • Flag:

Posted 01 February 2010 - 06:42

that's pretty awesome!
What I'm looking for: Montblanc 132, 234 1/2, 235, 422 and 432. Any help would be most appreciated.

#14 EvanSei

EvanSei

    Near Mint

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPipPip
  • 29 posts
  • Location:Longview, WA

Posted 03 February 2010 - 17:22

a pen gun sure sounds interesting and I would not mind owning one, but I would not want to use one, they seem dangerous and I like having 10 fingers.

#15 ZeissIkon

ZeissIkon

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,247 posts
  • Location:North Carolina

Posted 04 February 2010 - 02:22

a pen gun sure sounds interesting and I would not mind owning one, but I would not want to use one, they seem dangerous and I like having 10 fingers.


Several years ago (okay, it was around 1980), I owned a flare gun that was sold as a "pen gun" -- it used the simple latch trigger found in YouTube "zip gun" videos, and the flare cartridges screwed into the end. When fired, they sounded rather like a medium caliber revolver going off (I'd say .38 Special, but a target load rather than a +P), but even with the very small, light gun, the recoil was manageable and it didn't seem any more dangerous than a small pistol-shaped flare gun would have been. Based on that experience, I'd say a pen gun that fired either actual cartridges (Federally restricted type of weapon) or one that fired gas cartridges (probably tarred with the same brush) shouldn't be terrible to fire.

BTW, I'm not sure how the flare gun I had got around Federal regs that would effectively ban a firearm of similar configuration, but it was apparently 100% legal; I bought mine in a sporting goods store, and they were still being sold at least as recently as four or five years ago.
Does not always write loving messages.
Does not always foot up columns correctly.
Does not always sign big checks.

#16 Flounder

Flounder

    Forum Moderate

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,615 posts
  • Location:Glasgow, Scotland

Posted 04 February 2010 - 16:43

After reading this thread, I have a curiously strong impulse to get one of these; preferably one that emits a lurid purple gas, as I say "Gotham City will be mine! So long, Bat-Brain! Wacwacwacwac!"

Latest pen related post @ flounders-mindthots.blogspot.com : Jinhao 321 giveaway


#17 Newb

Newb

    Peaceable Assembler

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 149 posts

Posted 05 February 2010 - 04:52

very interesting pen. Highly collectible.
Killing me softly with his pen

#18 avenger1949

avenger1949

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Bronze

  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 12 October 2012 - 14:55

very interesting pen. Highly collectible.

Any idea of the value of these tear gas pens?

avenger@cox.net

#19 rhodialover

rhodialover

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 132 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:26

Cool sounding pen.