Pistol hidden in a Zippo case

This tiny pistol hidden in a Zippo lighter case sold at auction in 2006 for $6,810.00 to an unknown bidder. It fired 6MM cartridges tooled to fit in a standard Ronson flint case. *Rare "Zippo" Lighter Gun Together with Ronson Flint Dispenser with Ammunition (via Neatorama)


  1. “An unknown bidder”? Feh, it was clearly Scaramanga. Didn’t the auctioneer notice the superfluous papilla?

    1. That’s only the the N64 video game The World is Not Enough.

      The gun assembled from a lighter, not the third nipple.

      EDIT: Oh, didn’t realize that’s in the movie, too. I’ve only read the book.

  2. Not 6mm. It says “4mm Kurz”. 4mm kurz is a German rimfire round related to Flobert ammo designs and used for training purposes. The ammo is still available, but rare, as is the 4mm Lang pattern.

    1. The auction site (whom, I assume, measured the rounds) identifies them as 6mm: “Sold together with faux Ronson flint dispenser containing 8 individual
      copper-cased 6mm cartridges.”

      1. The description of the item in the auction site is contradictory:
        “4mm, the “Zippo” brand lighter… containing 8 individual copper-cased 6mm cartridges.”

        So is it 4mm or 6mm… Look at the last two pictures showing the bottom of the device that inserts into the Zippo jacket, it is clearly marked 4mm Kurz. Plus just from educated eyeball estimation I can tell you those are not 6mm rounds.

  3. What does one use such a tiny bullet for anyway? Can you still seriously harm someone, or is it more of a distraction to use against an assailant?

    1. Its similar to 22 short, a very anemic round.
      MOSSAD used its slightly bigger brother 22 long rifle in suppressed pistols for close in “wet work”, you aimed for the face and neck and emptied the pistol.
      So yeah 8 round of this, up the nose, in the eye or ear, may do the job

      1. One would presumably would use this contraption by “offering a light” to the intended victim, who would them place a cigarette in his mouth and lean over the device.  At this point, the victim’s upper face/ forehead would be about  4 inches from the weapon. So mechanistically, this thing is almost a plausible  murder/mutilation weapon despite the laughable muzzle velocity.

        However, I have NO IDEA how the murderer could escape undetected.  The victim will surely scream, there will be blood everywhere (head wounds tend to bleed profusely, albeit not in the “Hollywood” manner), and the murderer is literally standing there.

        So I, too, have doubts this was ever an effective assassination tool.

        1. To be honest, there are often times when you and someone else are smoking alone outside a building. Not only that but unlike the movies, very small guns make about the same noise as say…a hockey puck hitting a wall, with less echo because the sound wave is less spherical.
          Outside a building…noone around for at least a handful of blocks…at night…rain maybe, with a beige trench coat and saxophone accompaniment…

    2. They are used mostly for indoor firing practice. Similar Flobert designs are still popular in Europe where they are treated more leniently than full powered handguns as far as legal possession goes. Can you harm somebody with it? Yes but it would be extremely difficult to cause serious injury. Still we just had a case with a kid that died after being accidentally shot in the heart with a 4.5 mm air-gun, an extremely rare occurrence, but a 4.5 mm air-gun is still way more powerful than a 4mm Kurz.

  4. Looks like you need to get on your fixie and get a new set of horn-rims Cors, the site says both 6mm and 4mm in the description and in the pictures it shows “4mm Kurz” mared on the lighter body.
    I doubt that a round like that would develop much velocity out of such a small barrel, probably wouldn’t penetrate my thick air of superiority!

  5. I’ve read about building these and the stupid things are as likely to blow up in your hand as fire. Also, to hit anything if they do fire you have to be like a foot away to be sure you’d hit

  6. I visited the International Spy Museum a couple of weeks ago.  They have a couple of similar items on display.

  7. And then there’s the real gun that looks like a lighter… That a mom used as a lighter and accidentally shot her daughter. http://www.39online.com/news/local/ktla-banning-gun-lighter-mixup-shooting,0,2999098.story

  8. Many tiny/hidden “spy gun” type weapons aren’t assassination devices- the point of them is to incapacitate someone who has a real gun for long enough that you can take it away from them and then use that.

    And if you want a *really* small gun, take a look at http://www.swissminigun.ch/home.html
    Absolutely useless as a weapon (it is less powerful than a BB gun and might not even break the skin), but neat nonetheless. I think Boingboing posted about it when it first appeared.  Interestingly enough, it is legal in many European countries, where its low power sometimes even means that it is not considered a firearm, but not in the US where its small size makes it illegal.

Comments are closed.