Lipstick Pistol - The Kiss of Death


June 4, 2004

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The link between the international espionage and outlandish gadgetry that continues to inspire Mr. Bond and co. is no accident - assassination devices like this KGB issue Lipstick Pistol from the mid-60's are proof of this deadly Cold War ingenuity. Part of the new International Spy Museum collection in Washington, D.C., the 4.5mm single shot weapon disguised as a tube of lipstick was referred to as "The Kiss of Death. Used by KGB operatives during the Cold War, the existence of the weapon was first detected at a border crossing into West Berlin.

Lipstick was one of many options for concealing weapons during clandestine operations - torches, pens, tobacco pipes and cigarette packets were also used, but if we had to choose one device NOT to use it would be the KGB's single shot Rectal Pistol which was encased in rubber and hidden exactly where the name suggests. Not something you want to go off prematurely.

The International Spy Museum opened its doors in April 2002 after more than 30 years in development and is the first public museum in the US solely dedicated to espionage and the only one in the world to provide a global perspective on the profession.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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