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There are a number of definitions. Caps for toy guns are stripes of paper with a small amount of gunpowder and a friction substance. It make a small bang and a bit of spark.

In early days, after the flintlock, a cap was a small brass cap that fit over the hollow nipple that went into the firing chamber. It contained a small amount of gunpowder with the same sort of friction material to set off the main charge.

Today the cap is in the cartridge, making it much easier to load and fire a weapon.

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Q: What are gun caps?
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