A Zippo Lighter with a Punch
Portable lighters have been around for over a hundred years. In fact, the Zippo Company of Bradford PA has been making them since 1932. While they have made over 500-million lighters in their time, there are a few modified versions that will do more than light your Marlboro.
The 4mm Zippo
A few years ago, an enterprising gunsmith took a standard production Zippo windproof lighter and made a few changes of their own. Inside the lighter was a small rimfire pistol mechanism.
The barrel fit downside the wick and the original flint-striking wheel acted as the trigger. The caliber of choice? 4mm (.12-caliber) rimfire. This pipsqueak round lies somewhere between a nerf gun and a .177 BB in strength. However, getting shot with any pistol, even a .12 caliber one, would suck. Heck, this one could even put your eye out. Maybe.
It came complete with a Ronson flint dispenser that had been modified to carry eight reloads for the single-shot lighter gatt.
This curio was sold by Gregg Martin Auctions in 2006 for $6,810.00. When you consider than an entry-level zippo costs $14 and an entry-level Ruger LCP costs about $299 in most gun stores, you can buy 20 of each and still have change left. Then stick one in your left pocket and one in your right, changing out sets every day for three weeks.
Nevertheless, would it be as cool?
Is this legal?
(Fake guns, which are actually cigarette lighters that just look like the real thing are perfectly legal, but kinda silly. However, fake lighters, which hold actual guns, can get you some real prison time unless they are registered as Class III Firearms with the ATF...)
Guns of this sort, which are made to look like anything but a gun, fall into the BATFE's classification of an "Any Other Weapon." This includes such things as penguns, walking stick guns, tie clasp guns, knife guns, and even sawn off shotguns. As such, they are regulated under the NFA and are Class III. You can own, buy, and sell things like these, provided you have all of the right paperwork. This includes a $5 tax stamp and a Class III dealers getting involved with a legally made (and registered!) AOW.
While this is not the zippo in question, it's a slightly different .22LR version that is no less an AOW.
Other lighter guns
Movie bad guy Christopher Lee in 1974 was set to assassinate one James Bond in the film The Man With the Golden Gun.
Lee's gun was made from a solid gold fountain pen, which became the barrel. To this was added a trigger from a solid gold cufflink and a magazine that was formed from a solid gold cigarette case. What held it all together? Well the frame including the hammer, action, and bullet chamber came from a solid gold cigarette lighter of course.
We won't ruin the classic spy movie to tell you if it worked, but hey, it's James Bond.