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Cap Gun Treasures
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Cap Gun Toys

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The Nichols Stallion 45!
The Nichols Stallion 45 MK-II toy Cap Gun is one of the best Cap Guns ever and certainly one of the most famous toy cap pistols ever made—proclaimed by experts as the finest die-cast toy cap pistol the world has ever seen! Collectors of Cap Guns the world over collect this one. A beautiful example of a Colt 45 Peacemaker. For sheer raw beauty and fine workmanship, this famous Cap Gun just can't be beat. It also had a wonderful silver and blue hinged box that in itself is quite valuable. For goodness' sake, if you have a Stallion 45 MK-II box, then put it by itself and take care of it!!! Even the reproduction boxes like Dan and Karen Dozier make are very valuable. (See their Ad - They Are The Best "Repro" Boxes in the World!.) There were actually a couple of versions of the boxes, and this Cap Gun also came boxed with a Dyna-Mite! A PERFECT original G-45 box is worth about as much as a used car! Please send me yours, as my G-45 has just a normal box. Uncle Talley: What were you thinking???


There are over 8,000 pages (including those from thumbnails—and the site is still growing!) on this website that will give you more information plus BIGGER PHOTOS!
Rare Stevens 49-er in BRONZE!
(then go find it!)

(Thank you for some of you have contributed generously and have helped us stay alive!)
Normally I don't grovel and beg for money, but I am past that stage, as the site is so difficult to keep up.


Believe me, even small contributions help! This is the only site where you are likely to find most of the Cap Guns ever made. The site will always be free to use, but it's not free for me.

(Contritubutions start at only $10, but you can make it more if you can afford it.)
(And we absolute refuse to put you on a mailing list or sell your e-mail address.)
Thank you "History Buffs & Collectors"—Mike Nichols, Texas

This BRAND NEW (totally unused) Nichols Stallion 45 MK-II Cap Gun was
given to the author by Talley Nichols, the beautiful case by my son.

I purposefully made these "thumbnails" small enough that you will be forced to click on them to see them full-sized. The full-sized drawings are simply too good! Many thanks to our friend Rodney Timms for drawing them. He's pretty doggone good. By the way, if you want to know what in the world is the difference between the two drawings, well I had to ask myself. It's the little pusher spring for the pawl. It's a different spring and located in a different spot.

A Stallion 45 Mark II Story
by Jed Niederer

It was my 9th birthday, June 6, 1957 in Longview, Washington. When I awoke that morning I rolled out of bed and played with my Collie Dog, Prince, who always slept on the round, rag rug on the wood floor next to my bed. Soon I began to dress for my last day of the 3rd grade. After pulling on my blue jeans, black cowboy boots and a white T-Shirt, we walked together down the wide hall, Prince and I, to the kitchen for breakfast as usual. But something was different today. Mom and Dad stood in the kitchen with big smiles and shouted, "Happy Birthday!" "Come into the living room", my dad said. So, I made turned away from the kitchen and walked straight into the sunlit family room. My parents followed me in. There on the Danish Modern (very popular furniture in 1957) couch under the huge mirror was a big box wrapped in red paper and secured with wide, white ribbon. My mom said smiling, "Open it up, son."

I was quite surprised by all this. I really didn't know what to expect. I hadn't asked for anything for my birthday. But I tore into the wrapping paper on the box just the same. With the paper and ribbon strewn everywhere, I carefully lifted the lid…

…I was shocked! Inside the sturdy cardboard box was a light brown leather, beautifully scrolled, dual holster set holding two Stallion 45 Mark II cap pistols. The pistols were bright silver with smooth, shiny, white pearlescent grips. I'd never seen or even dreamed of anything this glorious! There were little round, red and silver buttons encasing silver "N"s at the top of each side of the white grips.

My father helped me pull one of the 45's from its holster and we began to carefully handle it and admire it together. He showed me how the cylinder cover opened to reveal the bullets. He deftly popped one out by pushing the ejector rod and he pulled the bullet pat. I was so excited I could hardly speak. Prince was excited too and wanted to see, so I helped him smell the package with all its precious and still unbelievable contents.

Then my dad and mom began to tell the story...

During the month before, they had been on a short trip to Portland, Oregon - not far from our home in Longview. They happened upon the Nichols pistols set in a Portland department store. They marveled at the workmanship, realism and sheer beauty of the Stallion 45 Mark IIs. "Mother, let's get this for Jed's birthday!" my dad whispered to my mother and she agreed.

They proceeded to make the purchase and took it back their hotel. They laid the treasures across the bed admiring the authenticity, exquisite beauty and quality workmanship of the pistols and the finely tooled and well-made holsters.

The hotel doorbell rang and my dad opened it for their room service order. The waiter brought in the tray and looked at the bed. He stood up straight abruptly and asked, "Are you with the FBI, sir? My dad laughed and asked, "Why would you ask that? Oh, you mean the guns?" "Yes, sir", the waiter replied.

"Oh they're not real. Here, let me show you." Dad told him. Even as my father explained to the waiter that they were really just toys, the waiter found it hard to fathom. Dad ejected the zinc & brass bullets from the cylinder and explained how they worked with round caps. But the waiter wasn't completely convinced - those guns sure looked and worked like the real thing!

While my dad was telling me about their Portland adventure, with my mother confirming, I was pawing over my new treasures - feeling and smelling the leather holsters and hefting the Stallion 45 Mark IIs. Never mind breakfast… …and too soon it came time to ride my Schwinn Jaguar Mark II bicycle to school. Poor Prince, the wonder dog, had to stay at home. But he was actually the lucky one - he was with our new pistols!

It was the last day of school. I was completing the 3rd grade! But all I could think about the whole day long was what awaited me at home - realistic pistols, the likes of which I didn't even know existed!!! I was in a daze of wonder waiting for the final school bell. If my teacher, Mrs. Jacobson, said anything I'm sure I wouldn't have heard her. I was dreaming the day away until I could get home. Images of the beautiful pistols kept appearing in my mind's eye. I was consumed with anticipation. Even recess was a blur! At last the bell sounded and I raced home! I had never peddled my bike faster!

When I got to my house I flung open the back door and ran through the kitchen into the living room. And there they were, still on the couch, the finest cap pistols the world had ever seen! Prince ran in and joined me while I handled the magnificent gifts gently and lovingly. Then I tested the heavy pistols outside with the round caps. Bang! Bang! Bang! Prince didn't like that much. So, we went back into the house and I tried on the holsters. Perfect fit, of course. It was an amazing day, all right. And my memory of it is so vivid it seems like yesterday. The joy that Nichols Industries, the Nichols brothers and their family helped to bring me then is unforgettable. The impact of my parents' generosity and understanding was overwhelming for me too. I played with those masterpieces, the Stallion 45 Mark IIs, for long hours on into my teens. Those toys taught me to respect and care for the real thing. When I became "too old" for toys I passed my trusty pistols onto my nephew. He enjoyed them for countless hours as I had. Ultimately, the Stallion 45 Mark IIs found good homes, I'm sure, through the Goodwill Industries.

Today, as a serious hobby, I search for "Nichols works of art" on eBay. And I have won a fair collection of several different Nichols models to date. And of course the near mint, pearl gripped, Stallion 45 Mark II that I happily won is my favorite.

Shortly after my birthday in July 1957, my mom took the photo below. I had seen the 1957 film, "The True Story of Jesse James", with Robert Wagner as Jesse James (photo below mine). Here I am attempting to dress like Jesse, sporting one of my Stallion 45 Mark IIs and wearing its fine holster.

Here's an ad from somewhere. They did get it right when they said it was the finest Cap Pistol ever offered. All of the books say so.
Thanks to John Iannuzzi.

Or you could go all the way in getting your Stallion 45 MK-II and have it tattooed on your arm like my cousin Josh. It's not every day that you see one of these at a birthday party for your aunt. My photo. Lots of artwork, huh? Probably the only one of its kind in the world. Forever!!!

Stallion 45 MK-II
Please Click On Each Thumbnail For An Enlarged View!
Many thanks to Ken Rigler for these photos!
Though there are several variations of the Stallion 45 MK-II Cap Gun that are covered in Jim Schleyer's book, Backyard Buckaroos, for space limitations we are only going to consider them "as a whole."
This cap pistol was the 45 from Pasadena taken a step up and was manufactured in Jacksonville, Texas. The triple-plated chrome is evident, as it really shines. The details are enhanced and it has a most distinctive feature—a Nichols Circle "N" in a clear circle of plastic and a red background. Several other cap pistols have this feature, but this one also came with 2 sets of grips. Pearl white and jet black. Perhaps to tell the Good Guys from the Bad Guys? It also came in a special silver and dark blue cardboard presentation box with (of course!) 6 bullets and a clip for them.
A very rare store display
for the Stallion 45 MK-II
Contributed by Jamie Linford
Stallion 45 MK-II parts all laid out for a cleaning and refurbishing. As stated elsewhere, one of the nicest things about Nichols Industries Cap Guns, and Stallions in particular was that even the average kid could take them apart and put them back together. A little cleaning; a little oiling and they were kept in prime condition.

However, some dealers specialize in restorations and refurbishing.

Thanks to Jim Turner for the photo

If you're one of the Bad Guys, then it's better to see this end than the other!

I just put this photo on here because it is the first time I have ever seen a photo of this end of a Stallion 45 MK-II.

Thanks to Jim Turner for the photo

I just couldn't resist putting another photo of a display rack for the Stallion 45 MK-II AND the Stallion 32. You'd be surprised at how rare these are. This is the first Stallion 32 rack I have seen like this one.

This photo is by Belinda Quan from Chuck Quinn's collection.

A pair of really (!) rare MK-II Stallion 45 Cap Guns.
The gun on top has the same gold "Circle N" as the G-45 and is a blued Nichols gun.
The one below is more from the Kusan era and is called "gray."
Contributed by Jamie Linford

This is a blued Nichols/Kusan era Stallion 45 MK-II in the "shadow box." I zoomed in on the photo and think it says, "$3.75" for the sale price. If that's so, then it might say, "$5.00" for the regular price, but it's hard to see.

This photo is by Belinda Quan from Chuck Quinn's collection.

Here is a scan (though I've reduced it in order that it is a tad sharper) of something I hadn't ever seen before. This is from a 1975 Kusan catalog and the Nichols Stallion 45 is the one with the dummy bullets. It is in a shadow box and is labeled "THE COLLECTOR'S SERIES."

This was submitted by our friend Harold Utley.

Here's a rare type of Stallion MK-II, a black one of the "Notch-It" series. Wooden grips (I guess so you can notch them!)

These photos are by Toby O'Brien.

Here is an Olive Stallion 45. You will note that it has unusual red inserts, but this seems to be a GENUINE Nichols product. It was probably from late in the Nichols/Kusan years. I photo-edited it just a touch in order that you folks could see what it should look like when coming from the factory. This is from Chuck Quinn's collection, who got it from Herb Taylor.

This was submitted by Belinda Quan.

At the bottom of every page is a Circle "N" Logo and when you click on it, it will take you back to the top of the page.

Electro-Chemical Plating

Since this gun has been called, "The King Of The Die-Cast Guns," then a word about the triple-plating process might be in order. These guns were cast out of a zinc alloy. Since chrome would not "stick" to the zinc, they were first copper plated. Then nickel plated and finally chrome plated. Here's how it worked. Imagine a series of vats that looked like modern day dumpsters—all in 2 rows (most vats on one side). Down the center of these 2 rows was a LONG racetrack that resembled an amusement park roller coaster. The connected wheels followed the contours of the track. The track had hills where the edges of the vats were and no hills where the centers were. There were racks attached to this chain. The guns were placed on the racks by ladies as it was moving and the racks were in the air. As they left the ladies, the hills forced the wheels to raise the rack up over the edges of the first vat. As they passed the edge, the track went "downhill" and the rack was lowered into the vat. The first few vats were cleaning vats. Then, after acid baths to clean them, they plunged into the copper vat. When they came out (an electrical charge made the metal stick to the guns), they were like gleaming pennies—all shiny!!! Then after a few more cleaning baths they went into the nickel plating vat because now the nickel would stick to the copper. Suddenly they were blindingly shiny! They looked like chrome. But, as you know, nickel won't stay shiny long. So eventually they went into the chrome plating vat. A thin layer of the hard chrome was all it took and now, after a few rinses, they were ready. By now they had circled the track and were close to the beginning. Then ladies would take them off of the racks and put them into barrels—awaiting assembly. Watching this magical process was one of the most exciting events of my young life.  —MN

Simply a fantastic set of Stallion 45's MK-II in a special presentation box. The little plaque says, "Guns by NICHOLS." Apparently this one was presented by the factory to one of their special clients, so it is genuine and not a "Third Party" like you see so often. This is what makes it rare. You will just never see a Cap Gun anywhere that was any better than this. All of the books proclaim it and I believe it.

This photo is by Belinda Quan from Chuck Quinn's collection.

The Stallion 45 MK-II, in pristine condition, sells for a pile of money, but it has a sibling that is probably the most expensive toy gun ever made, the "Royally Famous" Stallion 45 MK-II Gold Plated Limited Edition Presentation Model. For those lucky enough to own one of these jewels, it has beautiful pearl blue grips, a gold background for the Circle "N" and IS GOLD PLATED! (real gold, by the way) The cylinder is still chrome, but most of the gun is gold plated. There were less than 200 of these ever made, and I have only seen a few. Like mine! Though Schleyer's book shows a photo of the presentation box with the gold stripe, I have never seen one of these, and although my box doesn't have a gold WAS given to me by my Uncle Talley! We have handled ours far more than made sense, but then we are not going to sell our family heirloom. In MY opinion, you shouldn't let one of these go for less than $6,000.
Here are some photos of the G-45, as it's called in the trade.
Photos all contributed by Ted Dietrich

Here's an even nicer (and larger) G-45 box.
Photo contributed by Zach Otto

I bet you didn't know that the Stallion 45 came in a box like this. Well, I didn't either. But Jack Rosenthal did and he contributed this photo. That a Stallion Model 61 with it. And for you city slickers, that's a genuine red bandanna.

Here's the regular Stallion 45 MK-II box, of course. The whole secret to purchasing a box is to make sure that the corners aren't broken and the paper hinge is still intact. In all of the Cap Gun world, this is one of the best boxes ever designed. Uncle Talley took a lot of pride. I only wish I had collected more of these boxes myself. I had the chance, but now it's another one of those cases of 20/20 hindsight. Most of you are sort of in the same boat.

Stallion 45 MK-II Gold Plated Limited Edition
And here are photos of my G-45.
Please Click On Each Thumbnail For An Enlarged View!

Some Great G-45 Photos
Here's another series of photos of a really nice G-45 set. I just can't quite get enough of this Cap Gun. Really, the only thing that I regret is that I don't have the money to afford another one. If any of you have a nice spare, I would appreciate it. Especially a box! My Uncle Talley gave me the regular box, when it should have been the correct one with the stripe and sticker on the back.

Photos by Rich Hall
Please Click On Each Thumbnail For An Enlarged View!

The Famous G-45 Special Box
The reason that this box is special is from two things: (1) It has a gold identification strips on its end and (2) it has a disclaimer on the bottom of the box so that it wasn't subject to the excise tax at the time.

Photos by Rich Hall
Please Click On Each Thumbnail For An Enlarged View!

Here is that famous sticker on the bottom of the G-45 box that supposedly was to protect retailers from the excise tax at the time. Now the main thing about the super thin gold plating is what helps you to know that it is real.

Another photo by our friend Rich Hall.

This is a great comparison photo showing the MK-II (G-45) and its younger sibling, the G-32 and a set of grips. The set of grips is worth as much as a real pistol!

Photo by Thomas Lynn.

This proud owner of the G-45 liked it so much that he built himself a custom wooden presentation case for it.

Photos by Don Raker.

Got bullets? Jack Rosenthal did and he sent me this photo to scan. Jack has had so many Cap Guns and such during his phenomenal career, but most of his photos were before the digital age. Remember Kodak Brownies?

These two photos show you special Presentation Models of the Stallion MK-II versus a standard mint version of the same gun. The presentation version were hand selected and then buffed up to really look their best! They did the same basic touches to the G-45.

Photos by our friend Steve Arlin.

Here's a scan of an ad for the G-45 Stallion. Nobody seems to be sure as to whether or not the G-45's were actually sold in stores, or if so, how many. I haven't yet had a person tell me that they actually bought one in a store.

Okay, you wanted to see one that is PERFECT! Well, here's one and we'll even up the "ante." This one has a hidden treasure inside! Click on the box to find out what!

Special Stallion 45 MK-II and Box
All photos thanks to Rich Hall

Stallion 45 MK-II's are so popular that people who do special restorations have even made special boxes for them like this offering from Jim Turner of

And finally we have a really nice Stallion MK-II in the original box. I decided to put a really BIG photo on here, but make it a pop-up so that it wouldn't slow the page loading time any more than is absolutely necessary.
Photo thanks to Ken Thompson

Customized Stallion 45 MK-II by Elvis Morehead
These photos show what can really be done with a good Cap Gun to begin with. Elvis has revamped this Stallion 45 MK-II to really look like a Centennial Model sold by an auction house or something.

Photos by Elvis Morehead
Please Click On Each Thumbnail For An Enlarged View!

And here is the same custom Cap Gun, but with the darker grips on it and a CUSTOM Nichols display setting. Bill calls it, "The Elvis Special."

Photos by Bill Blecke

We will be happy to list toy shows and the like (free), if you will please send them to me at: .
Should you have some nice photos and/or some text, please send them to me at: .

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