When it comes to guns, the common idea was that “the bigger, the better,” and for reasons backed up by Science. As Sir Isaac Newton said in his third law of motion, “when two bodies interact, they apply forces to one another that are equal in magnitude, and opposite in direction,” which applies if, say, you’re choosing a smaller gun for the purpose of avoiding recoil. As All Outdoor wrote in an article, “The main problem is that a ‘small,’ sub-compact gun half the size and a quarter the weight of a full-sized handgun is typically not shooting a round 50% – 75% less powerful.” With that, could the world’s tiniest gun, C1ST, measuring 5.5 cm long, 3.5 cm tall, and 1 cm wide, weighing only 26g, possibly kill you?

The C1ST

According to Guinness World Records, the official smallest pistol gun is a Swiss Mini Gun called C1ST, built by Carlos Balbiani of Zapala, Neuquen, Argentina, in 2002. The gun barrel is 45.2 mm, and the bullets measure .58 mm in diameter, the same size as the ballpoint pens. The Swiss Mini Gun could be fired at a range of 16 ft with its caliber of .68 mm. It is also a non-automatic pistol that uses gunpowder, kind of like a scaled-down version of the Luger P-08 hand pistol of the 1900s— made of steel, plastic, and rubber grips.

C1ST Steel version set. Photo from SwissMiniGun Website

Acquiring One

With its size, the gun is fairly easy to hide— in your shirt, in your pocket, maybe in a bigger wallet, or even in your hair if you have a fairly thick mane. For that same reason, it is not permitted to be imported (and thus, carried) into countries like the United States and Britain. And if you’re allowed to buy one, the next challenge would be actually affording it. The C1ST, according to its website, was at 6,500 Swiss francs (roughly $7,000). It also has a special 18K gold version “hand engraved, delivered in a luxurious green-tinted maple wood presentation box in which are fitted, an 18k Gold key holder, a green rocket-launcher tube, 48 cartridges, 24 live and 24 blank and 36 luminous rockets, 12 of each red, green and white and a cleaning set.” The price would depend on the quantity and the finishing but would expectedly be more expensive.

Swiss Mini Gun 18K Gold version. Photo from SwissMiniGun Website

Could It Kill

C1ST incorporates the technology commonly used to make jewelry and watches, and although it is small, it has all the features of any other regular pistol. That saying, could it actually be used to kill, if not fatally shoot, someone, given its size?

According to an article written by Business Insider, weapons and ballistic expert Steven Howard think it could. The gun has a power of less than one joule, compared to the 9 mm pistol, for instance, with 467 joules. As per Howard:

If your shot is absolutely perfect and you hit the thinnest part of the skull at point range and under perfect conditions.

This means if you are going to fire it from a distance, it’s less likely to seriously harm someone, but if you fire it near the brain, then it could possibly be fatal. Other than that, as Howard added, “They’re perfect for finishing off a trapped mouse or dealing with an overly aggressive cockroach.”

So why would you want to buy one, you ask? I’d say it’s because they’re pretty cute. If you’re interested to see it in action, check this out: