Cast Iron Cap Guns

Cast Iron Die Cast Cap Pistols Toy Cap Guns


Toy guns pre-date the American Revolution in the United States. These wooden colonial toy guns had a ratchet that made a “Rat-a-Tat-Tat” sound when the trigger was pulled. The first toy gun patents were issued in the 1850s and in 1859 a J. & E. Stevens Company (1843-1950) catalog lists several “Fire Cracker Pistols” made of cast iron. A “Fire Cracker Pistols” was really a fire cracker holder equipped with a punk for lighting. The fire cracker was usually enclosed safely in the gun barrel.

Stevens Lion Cast Iron Cap Guns
Stevens Lion Cast Iron Cap Guns

Toy cast iron cap guns did not play an important role in the American toy market until after the Civil War. When weapons companies lost their contracts with the United States Goverment some modified their percussion cap guns into toy cap guns. Some of the leading manufacturers of toy cap guns included Ives, Dent, Grey Iron, Hubley, Kenton, Kilgore and J. & E. Stevens. Cast iron single shot cap guns and figural Cap Guns were very popular between 1870s and the early 1900s.

Stevens Lion Cap Gun

A nice example of an 1880s Ives Manufacturing Company Plymouth, Connecticut (1868 to 1932) figural cap gun. A cap place in the Chinaman’s mouth was exploded when the man with derby strikes the Chinaman in the rear.