This Weird Purse Is Actually a Gun

Forgotten Weapons sees a lot of odd firearms, from a machine gun that Italian troops would mount to bicycles to Uzis that look like horseshoes. But the Frankenau purse gun takes the cake for pure strangeness.

One side of the purse is functional and can hold coins. The other houses a five-shot pinfire revolver with the trigger hidden next to the hinge. Presumably 1876 was a rough year, because as the description states “[f]ew were sold, and most saw a lot of use.” It’s an interesting trinket from an engineering perspective though we don’t endorse the use of weapons to solve conflicts, least of all small change disputes.


Many Frankenau purse gun, including this one, do not function anymore. But would you expect from something almost a century-and-a-half old? Even still, a purse gun in this condition is potentially worth $4,000-6,000.

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Bryan Menegus

Senior reporter. Tech + labor /// bryan.menegus [at] Keybase: Securedrop: http://gmg7jl25ony5g7ws.onion/

PGP Fingerprint: 1905 9104 D967 2EB7 C3F5 68F9 9108 1434 C917 C1B9