View Full Version : C&P Revolers are toys?

December 10, 2009, 04:19 AM
I've been looking around and I've found a much more relaxed state of affairs concerning firearms that are C&P in the community. I've even heard/seen them called toys multiple times.

I was wondering what you guys think led to the point of them being referred as toys. Is it the proclivity of them being a piece of American history? The fact that in many states they don't fall under the term of "firearms?" The amount of work that it takes to load them?

To me, it seems odd that a weapon that is just as volatile as any other weapon on the market is considered a "toy" by so many people and that it falls under completely differant laws than many other firearms.

I'm not meaning to start a debate about whether or not they're as dangerous/more dangerous/should be regulated/licensing and all that, I'm just wondering why others think they get pushed around the bottom rung of firearms laws and myths as less dangerous.

Doc Hoy
December 10, 2009, 06:27 AM
People own firearms for many reasons.

I think there is a segment of the firearm owning populous which chooses to own firearms because of the sense of power they get from it. I don't have a good feel for the demographics because as a person who is untrained in psycholgy (Even though I do teach one psyc course) I can't even say for sure that the statement is correct. It may be more correct to say that everyone who owns or even handles a firearm feels a power rush to some extent. I know that I do. I have not read all the literature and I have not done any tests so I can't swear it is true but I am pretty sure I am right.

These statements may originate in that segment of the firearm owning populous which includes people who only feel important or empowered when they are handling, shooting, demonstrating, or speaking about firearms....for whom this sensation is very strong. Therefore it forms the primary motivation to own the weapon. I have met these kinds of people in my life time and so, I am sure, have you. They are the type of people whose ego would not permit them to admit it but I am sure that in at least some I have met, it is true.

So this same need for power which is partially remedied by what amounts to literal or virtual brandishing (the use of a firearm to obtain and assert power over others) might also be the motivation for the belittling of others including others in the firearm owning population. What I am saying is that some firearm owners own firearms because it puts them in a population of "tough guys". In an attempt to keep the Tough-Guy group small, giving the impression that tough guys belong to a very exclusive club (I am being sarcastic here) they pooh pooh other firearm owners. I am describing a character flaw.

I happened to be in the Navy at the time when the Master-at-Arms rate ("rate" means "job") was first formed. It is the Navy equivalent of the Army's Military Police. Obviously in the beginning, the rate started with zero manning and had to fill the ranks quickly. Conversion to the rate from other rates offered immediate promotion in some cases, easy promotion in all cases, and unfortunately the screening of those who sought to convert to the rate was not carefully executed. My observation was that those who applied for conversion to the rate fell into three categories.

1) People who were genuinely interested in police and security work. Good reason.
2) Those who saw it as a road to quick promotion. Okay reason
3) Those who wanted the power rush of police work. Bad reason (These people were ineffective and dangerous)

I cite this example because it demonstrates the same character flaw (category 3) as I was trying to describe above. The MA rate has now been in existence for about thirty five years. I am confident that manning is at or near where the Navy needs it to be. I am also confident that the same tools the Navy uses to put the right people into other rates is also working well for the MA rate.

Thomme, I went the long way around the barn to say that I think the people you are describing are crazy.

Springfield Kid
December 10, 2009, 06:58 AM
As long as they are conisidered less that firearms and I can get them through the mail .
I`ll call mine cap guns .
I hope it never ends .:D

December 10, 2009, 07:57 AM
I like what you had to say Doc. I am a psychologist, though I also am not familiar with research on the subject. However, your hypothesis is sound. While all of us have a need to feel that we have some sense of control over our lives, some of us have a bigger need for that. It becomes more than just a need for control - it becomes a need for omnipotence. When a person with a need for omnipotence is interested in firearms, then I can certainly see them being more likely to denigrate others' firearms in attempts to bolster their own sense of power.

Also, I think that there is a general sense in the shooting community that "old" guns are not "real" guns anymore. I shoot my flintlock a lot, and most of the time I'm the only one shooting black powder. When I first joined my shooting club and brought it out, many people would look at it, ask questions, and then tell their friends standing there all kinds of weird "facts" about it that weren't true, but seemed to say that no serious shooter uses those anymore.

I think blackpowder guns are just seen as "play-things" because of the myth that they're inaccurate and unreliable. They think that if it doesn't use a cartridge and scope, or shoot hundreds of rounds a minute, it isn't for serious marksmanship and is just for tinkering around.

Uncle Buck
December 10, 2009, 08:21 AM
When my friends come over, we talk about our toys. In this case, we are referring to our guns. A toy to me is something you do not need, but really want.
After I retired, I did a little bit of work as a mechanic, I never referred to my tools as toys. They had a job to do (Make me money).
My vehicles have a purpose, to get me from point A to point B. Farm work, doctors appointments, visiting friends. My vehicles have a purpose.
My guns are not needed (MAYBE one pistol, one shotgun and one rifle would be sufficient), but are used for recreational purposes. They are my toys, I play with them (Target shooting mostly).

When the word 'toy' is used to describe a gun or guns, by people who own said toy, I do not have a problem with it. I figure they mean they have something to play with. It is not a tool, or a necessity, but something fun to do.

December 10, 2009, 08:24 AM
Well just to take this discussion to the next level, how many of you know gun owners even those who shoot quite a bit that don't really know anything about guns. I have met folks in my life that hunt and shoot every year and have never cleaned their gun. I have met people who were interested enough to learn to handload but always load as hot as possible and never develop loads for accuracy .Go look at the newsstand and see how many mags there are devoted to combat arms "Tactical" weapons and accessories and the latest multishot,plastic wonder guns. Heck it's hard to find articles on such nifty stuff as modern revolvers much less a "toy" like a cap and ball pistol.

December 10, 2009, 09:27 AM
I like my 'toy' guns and the fact i can drop them in the mail to ship across country, with a few exceptions. No logging in my black book when I buy or sell one.

They are just as deadly as any modern revolver I own but do take longer to reload, and you can work around that if you want.

December 10, 2009, 09:38 AM
It has oft been said, "The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys." :D

Doc Hoy
December 10, 2009, 10:11 AM
Yes...Very true.

Doc Hoy
December 10, 2009, 10:13 AM
Your post plus one.

Doc Hoy
December 10, 2009, 10:23 AM


Wouldn't it be even better if all firearms could be sent through the mail?

My first purchased rifle was a 7.62 Russian which I bought for $14.95 from Sears and Roebuck mail order. It was not blued it was painted. The first round I fired through it (Military surplus steel jacket) expanded so badly I had to use a ramrod to drive the expended case out of the rifle. My uncle (RIP) gave me some modern ammunition (.308?) and my shooting proceeded without incident. The rifle was among three stolen from me during a move from PA to my first duty station. (1971)

But....I digress.

Jim Watson
December 10, 2009, 11:20 AM
Mainly, legislators and bureaucrats are ignorant and they are the reason percussion revolvers are not restricted like cartridge guns. A few have caught on and there have been efforts to treat them like "real guns" but none have been successful... yet.

December 10, 2009, 12:32 PM
Hey after all they don't use any modern gun powder, just that old stuff blackpowder, and that aint powerful at all:D

December 10, 2009, 01:44 PM
Actually, Watson, I know that Washington and Illinois (no surprise there!) treat C&B guns as legal firearms.

December 10, 2009, 01:58 PM
What does 'C&P' mean?

In my experience the OP's thesis is incorrect. I do not find black powder guns referred to as 'toys', or in a casual manner suggesting they are not deadly weapons, in any greater instance than smokeless powder guns.

There is certainly a community of gun users that use the term 'toys' in referring to their guns in an affectionate manner. In my experience the percentage of people who do so in reference to smokeless powder guns equals the percentage of people who do so in reference to black powder guns, the basis for the percentage being the total number of users in each category.

December 10, 2009, 02:04 PM
In addition to what Doc Hoy stated, there's at least one other potential contributor. Testosterone. Studies show that it causes aggression and competitiveness. Although some people compete in terms of skill, workmanship, creativity or things like that, many compete in the "lowest common denominator." That might equate to brute strength, brute speed or even to the newest or the one made with the most fancy buttons, lights, and switches.

Yep, many of the modern arms can put out a whole lot more lead in a shorter time, but that's not what I value (although I doubt I'd turn down an AR-15 if it was given to me). I've long outgrown the need to prove that "my manhood is bigger than yours," whether that state of mind is prompted by insecurity or testosterone.

As far as the law, it seems to me that one of their concerns is public safety. Since C & B revolvers and muskets aren't as quickly loaded for use, it may be that they're perceived as less likely to be used to create public un-safety. Also it may be that they're perceived as something desired by a small demographic who happen to be less likely to engage in naughty things. After all, when's the last time any of us have heard of some member of a gang doing a drive-by shooting with an 1860 Colt replica?

December 10, 2009, 02:14 PM
sorry, I frequently refer to them as c&p instead of c&b. For me, it's more of a "cap and powder" than a "cap and ball," given the existence of conical bullets and frequency of the mini-bols. It's a strange bit of vernacular, I know, but it's not something that makes it impossible to communicate. I guess you and I run in different circles and take note of different things, Mykeal. I respect your observations, but they're not congruous with mine.

December 10, 2009, 03:15 PM
The reference to cap-n-ball or similar black powder firearms as "toys", in my opinion, has much to do with the perceived practicality or usefulness of them to the user.

toy (toi)

1. An object for children to play with.
2. Something of little importance; a trifle.
3. An amusement; a pastime:

I don't think anyone using the term "toy" in any seriousness consider them to fall into definition 1. However, I can see those who would believe definition 2 or 3 apply. In fact I do know people who look down on black powder firearms and call them "toys" as defined in definition 2. Personally, to me, they are a form of amusement and a pastime and thus fit definition 3 even though I don't refer to them as toys.

To answer the OP my best guess would be that the toy designation, for those who use it, comes from the realization that there are much more practical, reliable, and efficient means of getting "the job" done; whatever that may be. Thus the widespread availability and acceptance of modern cartridge firearms have relegated cap-n-ball firearms to the category of "toy" by many.

Here is an example that demonstrates my point.

My girlfriend asks me to repair something that requires a hammer. I ask her if she has a hammer. She says she has a hammer in her toolbox, reaches in the toolbox, and pulls out a tiny hammer that looks like it was made for a smurf. My response to her: "That isn't a hammer. That's a toy or something used to repair pocket watches and is not a real hammer used to do real work.

December 10, 2009, 03:36 PM
Re; Clembert's post:

And his girlfriend immediately posts a "poor me" video on youtube claiming that he's emotionally abusing her and threatened her with a hammer.


December 10, 2009, 04:20 PM
I'll be quite happy for leftists to continue considering cap and ball and flintlock rifles and pistols "toys." These anti-2nd amendment, gun grabbers have trampled enough of our rights.

long rider
December 10, 2009, 07:32 PM
I will agree with mykeal on that one , i dont think
the guys in the civilwar called them TOYS:p.

December 10, 2009, 07:57 PM
The anti's like Hillery have wanted to close the B/p gap for years, the only problem is they can't get the bad guys to use them to commit crimes, as there have been no documented cases of crimes done with b/p weapons, in the USA. As a devotee of the b/p, I also hope I can continue to get and send my b/p guns through the US mail.

December 10, 2009, 08:03 PM
Robhof, not too long ago a convicted criminal killed his family and then himself with a C&B pistol. The news just called it an "antique gun that didn't require a license"

December 10, 2009, 08:20 PM
the reason that percusion revolvers are considered to be mere "toys" by many people is that for most people, the following requirements need to be met before it becomes "serious"

must be chambered in cartridge that has "magnum" following a decimal #
must be featured in tactical magazines and tv shows
must be used by police/federal agencies
must look like the gun on the cover of the latest gun rag, and i mean rag in the offensive manner it implies.

December 10, 2009, 09:14 PM
If we could, we might ask any of the tens of thousands of men who were killed or wounded in the Civil War if they were shot with "toys." Although there were a few cartridge guns used, most were percussion types -- and were very deadly.

Furthermore, many gun owners today are focused on self-defense or hunting and cannot see any value or use for historic retro weapon technology, although many hunters enjoy the challenge of using percussion guns the way our ancestors did.

Shooting percussion and flintlock guns allow us to step back into history and understand a little of what it was like back then to use the best technology of the time for self-defense, warfare, and self-subsistance. That's pretty exciting to me.

December 10, 2009, 10:15 PM
Check out the definitions for toy in some of the slang dictionaries if you can handle the X rated humor. :D

Some of the mellowest ones are:

1. an underpowered device, machine, etc


2. An object that makes you happy.

3. Stupid, to be played with.

Derived from the futuristic world of Haddyn (Manhattan) in the Dark Horse graphic novel Fray, created by Joss Whedon (most famous for Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Also heard as (more mainstream) 'Don't toy with me.'
'This is toy!!'
as a replacement of

'This is a game!!'

4. A male who often flirts and receives return flirts from good looking female art teachers.
"Dude, Will's flirting with the teacher"
"He's Such a toy!"

5.Used to desribe someone as an ameteur or new to something. Can also mean uncool in general. Not good at any sort of hip hop-ish thing like spitting or graffiti etc. Someone that tries to hard at something they only do to look cool.
-He is a toy man, he's so crap at spitting
-He's toy at writing boy.

6. A piece, a gat, a gun, a grip, a shotty, a spitter, a firearm, etc.
-"Gripping on a toy that you won't find at KB (read: KB Toys)" Fabolous

-"Eyo shorty gimme that toy I'mma straighten this **** out when he come out the bodeg."

7. a toy is someone you just hook-up with not a relationship kinda of a friend with benefits. One can have many toys
Whoa, Kevin you have so many toys in your phone book that it's just awesome.

8. 1. a gun
2. A complex arrangement of metal parts that is capable of discharging a lead peice at very high speeds, high enough to penetrate fleash and thin slabs of wood. Serves as humankind's (so far) permanent replacement for spears, staffs, swords, daggars, etc. as most effective weapons. Most commonly used for self-defense, murder, killing hostiles, recreational shooting, the standard issue weapons for armies, militias.

toys are in the hood

9. a toy is the same as a gun
"i sleep with a toy cause i dont trust no mother***** body boy im a cutthroat" -Mac Dre rip

10. to mess with a persons feelings
You better not toy with me.

11. 1. someone that squeaks when you hug dem
2. your plaything ;)
she's my toy

12. a person who is a little on the joker side....a fool or a just a stupid ****
Jac Randal

13. something that is crap or **** ... used by coasties in OZ
that was so toy... next time get da good ****


December 10, 2009, 11:56 PM
ironically the largst demographic of people who live on slang, and devote their tiem and effort to creating more complicated ways to say something simple, are the demographic most likely to flunk out of school because they arent 'able" to apply themselves in school from sheer laziness.

December 11, 2009, 02:09 AM
Well, not to be controversial BUT..... who goes around saying a cap and ball revolver is a toy? I've never heard that? And, I do a lot of shooting. It is true that there have been a few crimes involving a cap and ball revolver but I believe there have probably been more screwdrivers, hammers, etc used in crimes than a C & B revolver. I think we have to ask ourselves why regular, modern handguns are regulated to the degree they are- probably because they are often the weapon of choice for the bad guys. That's not true with the C & B revolver- it is a non-issue. I am sure if they ever begin showing up in crimes to any measurable extent then things will change pronto. Right now to regulate them would be a lot of fuss and trouble for nothing.
One good aspect of all this is that although having only 5 or 6 shots is not very attractive for robbing a bank- 5 or 6 shots is still pretty good in a defensive situation to save your life, so- for now at least- I hope the Pols leave well enough alone. "Don't fix what aint broke":D

December 11, 2009, 02:43 AM
Newton, the concept of "slang" isn't just uneducated people being ignorant. Think about words like Soda vs. Pop before blanket statementing demographics who speak differently from yourself.

And there was a thread on here not too long ago asking to "see your toys" about blackpowder, but I've never seen any other guns refered to as toys on the forum, that's example A.

December 11, 2009, 04:40 AM
Wow ... some of y'all just need to lighten up a little.

As it applies within the gun world, there are two definitions of "toy".
1- Positive as it applies to something liked.
"I picked up a new toy at the gunshop on the way home from work today."

2- Negative as it applies to something of lesser value that is most often rooted in ignorance.
"C&B? That's just a toy. Check out my snazzy new mega-magnum tactical..."

Now, for those of you who wish to take things litterally ... would you consider this a "new toy" or a "potential vehicular homicide machine"? Before you answer, take into account that it's 535Hp w/ up to 400Hp Nitrous Oxide boost. (yes, it's available to be someone's new toy)


This swivel vise is a new "toy" for me to use for horn work ... how would it be classified if not as a "new toy"?


December 11, 2009, 05:23 AM
Granted, I didn't YET go through all the posts, though I intend to when it isn't 3AM... BUT, my take on it is this: My Hobbies are the things that do not fall into the category of work, chores, necessary "do" things... The things that make up my hobbies are my "toys". Another hobby besides shooting is armored combat (medieval style with live steel). I own many edged weapons besides all the ones I use in combat--most of which are hundreds of years old and are very much proven weapons of their day. These are also my "toys". I play with them, I get pleasure from them. It's really that simple. Are they all deadly weapons? Yup---depending upon HOW I play with them and why. ;) But I still call them my toys...

December 11, 2009, 06:11 AM
Another hobby besides shooting is armored combat (medieval style with live steel). I own many edged weapons besides all the ones I use in combat--most of which are hundreds of years old and are very much proven weapons of their day.

Pictures required! :D

Springfield Kid
December 11, 2009, 06:51 AM
Thats right we need a pic , dont Toy with us .

December 11, 2009, 11:20 AM
He who dies with the most toys wins.

For most men, toys can be fire arms, cars, airplanes, motocylcles, or anything that is not needed for normal life.

December 11, 2009, 01:54 PM

All right, this isn't mine by any means---but it IS a much better example than any of the photos I have. Can't seem to get it to embed directly, though, so just follow the link.

And I found another from TV coverage on CBS News a while back---pretty good also. That should give you a pretty fair idea what kind of other "toys" I play with ;)


December 12, 2009, 03:39 AM
Also, since we're showing off... Here is my other toy... ;)


December 12, 2009, 07:49 AM

That dude with the crossbow in the first clip looked like he was about to get serious.

How's about some pic's of the weapons too?

December 13, 2009, 01:17 AM
How's about some pic's of the weapons too?

Sure enough--gotta go through and update some photos for insurance purposes anyway, so I'll throw some up on here in a day or two. ;)