By David O. Heishman –
Pistol caps. Remember those little red paper coils with dots of black powder enclosed. Smash one of those dots with a rock or a hammer or the hammer of a cap pistol when the trigger was pulled and you got a satisfying “Bang” with a little puff of smoke.
Cowboys and Indians. I’ve imagined wild Indians hiding all over this farm. I’d sneak up on a lilac bush beside Big House’s tall end chimney and blast away at the feathered warrior that jumped out at me. All this before the days of television when comic books ruled. I’d sneak around a corner of Big House and duck down to go “pop, pop, pop” at the thieving Redskin under back porch. Cap pistols were my main peacekeeping weapon right up until I got my first Daisy Red Ryder lever action BB gun.
Cap pistols came in all shapes and sizes. Some resembled automatic pistols. Lots of them came from Japan’s early attempts to restart its industrial production and economy after World War II. In those days, many cheap metal toys and consumer goods had “Made In Japan” stamped on them. I remember one small semi-auto firing pistol made of folded, slotted and tabbed thin metal. When Cousin Jamie Hilbrink and I pried it open to repair it, we found the inside surfaces were those of a painted beer can, WWII vintage.
Guns I liked best were cowboy guns, six shooters, like Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Tom Mix and The Lone Ranger carried. Big heavy silver cast metal revolvers. They came with holsters and belts. Single holster belts or real gunfighter rigs with twin guns and holsters.