Children first used their arms, hands, fingers, and imaginations for toy firearms
They also used long sticks for rifles and forked sticks for pistols. Among the earliest toy firearms were “firecracker guns” made in the 1850s and air rifles (“pop” or “cork” guns) became available by the 1860s. Dentist and inventor Edward Maynard patented his “Maynard Tape Primer” for percussion infantry rifles in 1845; today “Maynard Tape Primer” is better known as “roll caps” used in toy cap guns of all types. Before World War II toy makers made cap guns in cast iron and after the war turned to zinc.