(Please, not part of a legal discussion on cane guns) My friends cane display was four tables away from am FFL table at the gun show and nothing was said. Part of an eclectic gun collection that has a French cane gun in it. The tip of the cane has a pair of tongs in it and you pull the tip off. You then twist the cane handle off and place a shell in the stick part of the cane. Y
ou put the cane handle back. Take one of the tongs and cock the trigger (third and second picture from the end) A trigger will pop out and ready to fire.
Thanks for looking,
I've heard that the umbrella guns were used for duck hunting when it's rainy out.
Seriously, according to the last Flayderman guide, Remington Arms made percussion cane guns in the 1850's and then rimfire canes in the 1870's. The two models each had the same mechanics, but came with several handle/head styles from a plain knob to carved dog heads. The guide which was printed back in 2007 says that production of all from the two periods might have total about 4500 each and then lists the values from $3500 to $8500 according to handle design rarity and condition.
He even includes one of their adverts which leads off with the strange statement of:
"just the thing for taxidermists"
followed by "for protection against dogs and highwaymen"