Watch: OSS “Stinger” Covert Cigarette Guns

   09.24.18

Watch: OSS “Stinger” Covert Cigarette Guns

The OSS (Office of Strategic Services) was the precursor to the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), and as you would expect it has a shady history, most of which we will probably never know. So to see something like this is kind of a treat. It’s the “Stinger” cigarette gun (not to be confused with the Stinger pen gun).

Ian takes a look at these itsy-bitsy firearms which were essentially scrawny .22-caliber rimfire guns that consist of little more than a barrel. For this reason, thay’re referred to as “cigarette guns.”

Here’s what Ian says in the video description:

During World War Two, the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) was the primary US clandestine operations organization. It was responsible for making all sorts of unique weapons, including these “Stinger” cigarette guns. They were single shot disposable 22 Short pistols.

The first pattern was contracted and manufactured entirely by the OSS, and 25,000 of them were manufactured early in the war. They proved to have a myriad of minor to moderate problems, though, including failures to fire and burst barrels. A second version was produced by the Ordnance Department in 1944, with a strengthened and improved design, and 25,500 of those were made.

I have not found any documentation of these being actually used, but then again not much documentation exists on the use of any OSS weapons. These sorts of things were often provided to infiltration agents who might never be heard from again, or dropped to partisan or resistance groups who weren’t exactly writing field reports on their gear.

Factory-loaded with a measly 22 Short cartridge and meant to only be fired once, they were clearly intended to be easy to conceal while providing the carrier with almost enough oomph to defend him- or herself — or to assassinate someone. In fact, about the only effective use I can think of would be to place this thing against someone’s noggin or bare chest.

Problems arose with these quickly-designed guns, and they were redesigned. There’s no telling how many folks were hurt using these guns, both on the giving and receiving ends.

Enjoy the video.

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