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Since 1935, the NRA Museum collection has become one of the world's finest museum collections dedicated to firearms. Now housed in three locations, the NRA Museums offer a glimpse into the firearms that built our nation, helped forge our freedom, and captured our imagination. For more information on hours and locations of the NRA National Firearms Museum, the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops, and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest visit NRAmuseums.com. Follow us on social media! instagram.com/nramuseums youtube.com/c/NationalFirearmsMuseum

GUN OF THE DAY - Iver Johnson "Hammer the Hammer" Revolver. A good slogan can make or break a firearms's popularity and ...
06/30/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Iver Johnson "Hammer the Hammer" Revolver. A good slogan can make or break a firearms's popularity and with our GOTD, having a reliable safety system was foremost. Many of the early revolvers that had their firing pins mounted in their hammers were subject to accidental discharges if they were dropped. Iver Johnson's transfer bar safety design prevented the firing pin from contacting a cartridge until required. For those that wanted a safer .32 or .38, this was a powerful marketing feature. Just how powerful? Consider that most modern Colt, Ruger, and Smith & Wesson revolvers have similar transfer bar or hammer block safety features currently incorporated in their mechanisms.

GUN OF THE DAY - CZ75 Pistol.  We wanted to keep going with the Czech theme and while our GOTD was introduced in 1975, C...
06/29/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - CZ75 Pistol. We wanted to keep going with the Czech theme and while our GOTD was introduced in 1975, Czech shooters were not able tp purchase them until 1985. This steel frame double-action 9mm pistol had a lot going for it, and modern practical pistol shooters favored the "cocked and locked" capability that this design offered. The CZ75 was one of the first "wonder nines" on the market that offered a double-stack magazine and by 2007, more than a million of these pistols had been produced.

GUN OF THE DAY - CZ52 Pistol. Our GOTD is one of about 200,000 pistols manufactured in Czechoslovakia from 1952-1954. Th...
06/28/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - CZ52 Pistol. Our GOTD is one of about 200,000 pistols manufactured in Czechoslovakia from 1952-1954. This model, chambered for the 7.62x25mm cartridge used in the Tokarev pistol, incorporated a vertical pair of roller cams for its short recoil locking system, which allowed for the use of powerful cartridges. Despite some advanced features including a hammer decocker, the use of materials with inferior heat-treating and general wear and tear sometimes resulted in damge to components. Once imported to the American market, aftermarket conversion barrels allowed easier obtained 9mm ammunition to be utilized.

GUN OF THE DAY - Galesi .25 Pistol.  Our Italian GOTD came from a company in Brescia that started production after Italy...
06/27/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Galesi .25 Pistol. Our Italian GOTD came from a company in Brescia that started production after Italy entered WWI. In short order, the firm was making semi-automatic pistols based on the Fabrique Nationale Model 1906. Available chamberings were to eventually include three different.22 rimfire calibers, .25 ACP and also .32 ACP. The production run for this firm continued until 1991, but the vast majority of these pistols were manufactured in the 1960s and 1970s.

GUN OF THE DAY - PAF Junior .25 Pistol. One of the many foreign copies of John Browning's .25 ACP pistol design, this GO...
06/26/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - PAF Junior .25 Pistol. One of the many foreign copies of John Browning's .25 ACP pistol design, this GOTD has its own right to fame by being the first South African commercial firearm manufactured in 1954. But fame is fleeting and in the case of the Pretoria Arms Factory's pistols, a frame flaw resulted in many slides and barrels flying off when a retaining lug broke off. To add insult to injury, the polymer blend selected for the pistol's grip panels shrank and cracked fairly rapidly. Due to these defects, the firm went into bankruptcy rapidly.

GUN OF THE DAY - BYF44 P38 Pistol. A year later and this Mauser-made P38 shows how the war was going for Germany.  Bombi...
06/25/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - BYF44 P38 Pistol. A year later and this Mauser-made P38 shows how the war was going for Germany. Bombing raids were starting to impact on vital resources and the bakelite grip panels were made of materials substituting for the petroleum/rubber products in short supply. By the end of the conflict, the finely polished and blued surfaces had been dispensed with and thin stamped steel grip panels were in usage. Mauser was one of three firms producing these 9mm semi-auto handguns for the Third Reich.

GUN OF THE DAY - BYF43 P38 Pistol.  Today and tomorrow's GOTD posts will show you what difference a year can make. This ...
06/24/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - BYF43 P38 Pistol. Today and tomorrow's GOTD posts will show you what difference a year can make. This Mauser manufactured P38 pistol was built in 1943 and has the German WWII code "byf" stamped on the slide. At this point in the war, things were still going comparatively well for Germany. The fit and fine finish on this semi-automatic pistol reflects that. This double-action design had replaced the classic Luger P08 pistol in military issue and by this point was widely distributed in German military forces throughout Europe.

GUN OF THE DAY - Browning Baby .25 Pistol.  John Browning's diminutive pocket semi-auto was known as the Model 1905 (FN ...
06/23/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Browning Baby .25 Pistol. John Browning's diminutive pocket semi-auto was known as the Model 1905 (FN Model 1906 in Europe), the Vest Pocket and even the "Baby." But its popularity resulted in a lot of imitation from armsmakers in Belgium, Italy and Spain. The redesign was to eliminate the original's long grip safety, but introduce a magazine safety preventing firing if the magazine was removed. In addition a cocking indicator was fitted that would protrude when the slide was cycled in loading.

GUN OF THE DAY - Belgian Brevet Consul Revolver. Belgian gunmakers regularly produced copies of arms made in other count...
06/22/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Belgian Brevet Consul Revolver. Belgian gunmakers regularly produced copies of arms made in other countries, sometimes under formal licencing and other times without approval. When officially sanctioned, these brevet firearms often carried the name of the firm that was being copied. An unwary purchaser might however be led to believe that the gun was not a copy, but an original. This cased .455 centerfire revolver was likely made in the 1880s and followed the pattern of a British revolver.

GUN OF THE DAY - Para-Ordnance LDA Pistol.  Canada is where our .45 ACP caliber GOTD's story began, where a former paint...
06/21/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Para-Ordnance LDA Pistol. Canada is where our .45 ACP caliber GOTD's story began, where a former paintball gun company founded in 1985 began to manufacture high capacity .45 pistols. One of our staff once built a pistol using one of their first alloy frames made and discovered that while parts were mostly interchangeable with other 1911 style pistols, finding the double-stack magazines was another thing entirely. Eventually, Para-Ordnance was to offer pistols in .38 Super, 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP chamberings and brought out a Light Double Action (LDA) variant intended for law enforcement applications.

GUN OF THE DAY - Hopkins & Allen Safety Police Revolver. Time for a hard luck GOTD.  While it was actually called the Tr...
06/20/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Hopkins & Allen Safety Police Revolver. Time for a hard luck GOTD. While it was actually called the Triple Action Safety Police, this double-action revolver only saw a limited production run from 1906 to 1915. While made in .22, .32, and .38 versions, the H & A company had a major disaster of a fire that destroyed much of their tooling, then in 1905 lost all of their inventory in a warehouse robbery. The crowning blow was when Germany invaded Belgium after that country had awarded the company the manufacturing contract for their new military rifle. The resulting bankruptcy resulted in Hopkins & Allen folding in 1917.

GUN OF THE DAY - Colt Commander Pistol (Texas Ranger). Rounding out our presentation of five Texas Ranger sidearms, we w...
06/19/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Colt Commander Pistol (Texas Ranger). Rounding out our presentation of five Texas Ranger sidearms, we wanted to conclude with a favorite, Colt's smaller Commander pistol. With a shorter barrel and slide, the Commander was offered in both steel and alloy frame variants, and could be ordered in 38 Super, 9mm, or .45 ACP chamberings. Like the larger Government Model, this semi-automatic handgun came with a 7-shot magazine as standard. This GOTD has a custom set of stag grip panels added, inset with miniature Ranger Association Foundation badges.

GUN OF THE DAY - Colt 1911 Pistol (Texas Ranger)  Over the years, Colt's 1911 pistol has become associated with the Texa...
06/18/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Colt 1911 Pistol (Texas Ranger) Over the years, Colt's 1911 pistol has become associated with the Texas Rangers, with many officers who had originally carried a variety of sixguns changing to a semi-automatic that offered faster reloading. Much as their revolvers had seen embellishment, so did their M1911s and our GOTD bears an engraved set of Mexican silver and plated brass grip panels. Across the border, Rangers could easily acquire grips like these and their presence came to be a part of the informal uniform, much as the converted silver five-peso coin that served as a badge.

GUN OF THE DAY - Sig P220 Pistol (Texas Ranger).  In the past, all a Ranger needed was a Colt single action and a Winche...
06/17/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Sig P220 Pistol (Texas Ranger). In the past, all a Ranger needed was a Colt single action and a Winchester rifle, but with modern times come modern solutions. Our double-action GOTD is chambered in .45 ACP and was part of a group of pistols imported by InterAmerican of Sacramento, CA. This semi-automatic handgun comes with an eight-shot magazine as standard and with its alloy frame, offers a little weight reduction over a Colt 1911 pistol.

GUN OF THE DAY - Colt Mark IV Series 70 Government Model Pistol (Texas Ranger).  Next in our series of Ranger sidearms i...
06/16/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Colt Mark IV Series 70 Government Model Pistol (Texas Ranger). Next in our series of Ranger sidearms is this semi-auto .45 ACP with custom trigger and grip safety accents. But for some, the presence of a miniature silver Texas Ranger badge mounted in the right grip panel is the best feature. While legal in 49 states, only the Rangers can bear this badge design in the Lone Star State by law.

GUN OF THE DAY - Intercontinental Arms Maverick Derringer (Texas Ranger)  Today, we are starting a series of special GOT...
06/15/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Intercontinental Arms Maverick Derringer (Texas Ranger) Today, we are starting a series of special GOTD pieces that are associated with Texas Rangers and were received as part of a collection. This Maverick derringer is a modern Italian copy of the Remington over-under design and was offered in several chamberings. Our .45 Colt example would offer a two-shot backup capability when needed, although stout recoil in its small size might hinder the speed of the second shot. But tucked into a pocket or boot for concealed carry, it could have been some Ranger's "ace in the hole."

GUN OF THE DAY - EM-GE MkIII Pistol.This break-open action German made 6mm pistol traces its heritage back to Gerstenber...
06/14/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - EM-GE MkIII Pistol.This break-open action German made 6mm pistol traces its heritage back to Gerstenberger & Eberwein of Guseenstadt. Originally this firm made tear gas handguns in the 1930s, but the postwar restructuring of German arms companies resulted in another company purchasing the EM-GE brand name and marketing a line of starter pistols in the 1960s. These inexpensive blank-firing arms were widely distributed, with some being converted later to fire regular cartridges on the black market.

GUN OF THE DAY - Belgian Cowboy Ranger Revolver.  Sure, everybody wants to be a cowboy (or a Texas Ranger) and back befo...
06/13/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Belgian Cowboy Ranger Revolver. Sure, everybody wants to be a cowboy (or a Texas Ranger) and back before the start of WWI, Belgian gunmakers wanted to make that somewhat possible by producing an inexpensive revolver styled roughly along the lines of the famous Colt Single Action Army revolver. But there were some changes. Caliber was .38 (S&W and Long Colt cartridge cartridges were specified on the barrel) and the design was altered for double-action operation. But in keeping with the inexpensive nature of this model, they were offered through catalog houses including Sears & Roebuck, and Montgomery Wards up through the Depression years.

GUN OF THE DAY - A "Lefty" Randall .45 Pistol.  For two short years, 1911 fans had the chance to obtain a stainless 1911...
06/12/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - A "Lefty" Randall .45 Pistol. For two short years, 1911 fans had the chance to obtain a stainless 1911 pattern pistol from a new company. But even better for left-handed shooters, the Randall company tooled up to produce southpaw editions of the pistol, creating 17 components, including magazines, that were uniquely produced for these pistols. While the left-handed line of pistols only was to represent about 1% of Randall's 10,000 guns manufactured in Sun Valley, CA, once it turned to May of 1985 - the company shuttered its doors.

GUN OF THE DAY - Engraved Colt M1849 Revolver.  Any engraved Colt handgun has a real appeal to collectors, with those th...
06/11/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Engraved Colt M1849 Revolver. Any engraved Colt handgun has a real appeal to collectors, with those that can be determined to be actual factory-engraved examples meriting special attention. This .31 caliber cap-and-ball GOTD was made in 1854. A punched "dot" that appears near the serial number was the Colt factory's way of identifying arms in that period of time that would receive special embellishment. A supplemental "2" that also is marked on this percussion revolver's frame may indicate that this was once part of a set of two pistols.

GUN OF THE DAY - Mauser Parabellum Pistol. Since its introduction, Georg Luger's pistol has been a classic design.  Adop...
06/10/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Mauser Parabellum Pistol. Since its introduction, Georg Luger's pistol has been a classic design. Adopted by several nations and utilized in two world wars, German manufacture of this semi-automatic pistol came to a close in 1942. Postwar collectors and shooters had to settle for used examples. In the early 1970s, Sam Cummings' firearms company Interarms, possessing title to the brand name "Mauser," decided to support the production of a line of .30 and 9mm caliber pistols following the Swiss grip frame pattern. While not possessing a stock lug on the frame, the newly made handguns had grip safeties and did not garner much interest from the marketplace when they were introduced.

GUN OF THE DAY - Airgun Cane. Sometimes having a gun that didn't look like a gun could come in handy for a poacher.  Whi...
06/09/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Airgun Cane. Sometimes having a gun that didn't look like a gun could come in handy for a poacher. While pretending to be strolling innocently down an estate's border, Mr..Poacher might spy a doe deer within close range. Popping off the endpiece and taking quick aim, the game could be taken with no loud noise to signal gamekeepers on patrol. Circa 1840, this .38 caliber British airgun required many pumps to pressurize to full capacity, but a researcher felt this cased item might be able to deliver two or three full-power shots before pressure fell too low for effective use.

GUN OF THE DAY Flintlock Staff Arm.  Maybe it has never been your ambition to aspire to walking around with a staff that...
06/08/2020

GUN OF THE DAY Flintlock Staff Arm. Maybe it has never been your ambition to aspire to walking around with a staff that includes a flintlock firearm, but our GOTD might change your mind. Imagine have a .50 caliber single-shot and for extra capability, you can add on a bayonet and even a belt hook. We admit that sighting on this linear piece could be a challenge, but if this was what you were carrying around circa 1800 - you might have been happy. There appear to be Arabic letters/numbers engraved on this piece.

GUN OF THE DAY - A "Scottish" Percussion Pistol? Our GOTD is a bit of an enigma. Most of the all-metal Scottish pistols ...
06/07/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - A "Scottish" Percussion Pistol? Our GOTD is a bit of an enigma. Most of the all-metal Scottish pistols encountered naturally have been made in Scotland and also feature flintlock ignition. But this .54 caliber example is percussion ignition and was actually manufactured by British gunmakers Gameson & Williams, who had their operation at 67 Threadneedle Street in London. The nice engraving embellishment and the usual touchhole pricker concealed in the pistol's butt continue the classic Scottish format, but we believe it to be a later English copy of around 1850. By the by, the Royal Bank of Scotland was also located on Threadneedle Street.

GUN OF THE DAY - Katar Double Pistol.  The katar is normally encountered as a triangular-bladed arm that when pressure i...
06/06/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Katar Double Pistol. The katar is normally encountered as a triangular-bladed arm that when pressure is applied to the crossbar, splits open the main blade to reveal a trio of edged sections. Despite having all that blade goodness, someone must have figured that adding two percussion pistols would be even better. Our GOTD has only a single fixed blade, but each of the two .36 caliber pistols point forwards and appear to angle slightly, enough that the point of impact for both barrels could converge together at close range. Our hunch is that this innovative creation, which also features concealed/folding triggers, dates around 1860-1880.

GUN OF THE DAY - Bordchardt Pistol.  In 1893, our GOTD became the first of the commercially mass-produced semi-automatic...
06/05/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Bordchardt Pistol. In 1893, our GOTD became the first of the commercially mass-produced semi-automatic pistols. Both Hugo Borchardt and his assistant Georg Luger claimed credit for the design, but only about 3,500 pistols were created by Ludwig Loewe of Berlin and by DWM. The 7.63mm bottle-necked Borchardt cartridge was considered too long by DWM when time came to manufacture the Luger pistol, but Borchardt refused to alter any aspect of his design and DWM had to call in Georg Luger complete this project.

GUN OF THE DAY - Elgin Cutlass Pistol. Mounting a wide blade under the barrel, this single-shot percussion pistol is bel...
06/04/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Elgin Cutlass Pistol. Mounting a wide blade under the barrel, this single-shot percussion pistol is believed to be a later copy of the "cutlass pistol" that saw limited service with the United States Navy in the South Seas during the Wilkes Expedition of 1838 to 1842. Having an all-in-one .54 caliber handgun that combined the best attributes of a boarding pistol with a cutlass may have been a good idea at the time, but the Navy elected to only purchase about 150 of these arms. Later collectors enthusiastically sought them and it is known several individuals later recreated versions for the market..

GUN OF THE DAY - Knife Pistol. Sometimes you need a pistol; sometimes you need a knife.  Our GOTD is made for both those...
06/03/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Knife Pistol. Sometimes you need a pistol; sometimes you need a knife. Our GOTD is made for both those times. With its .38 caliber percussion barrel, this single-shot offers only close-up capability, but sometimes that may be all that is necessary. Probably used far more often was the folding blade on the other end of this combination arm. We believe this is a modern-made item and this example is the only one of this pattern that our staff has encountered over the years.

GUN OF THE DAY - Iver Johnson Purse Revolver. The catalog house of Sears & Roebuck offered in their 1905 publication a s...
06/02/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Iver Johnson Purse Revolver. The catalog house of Sears & Roebuck offered in their 1905 publication a similar item to our GOTD that was being marketed to the women of America. Nicely packaged inside a suede leather clasp purse, this .32 Iver Johnson double-action revolver has probably been stored inside this container ever since the two were combined together. For personal protection, this small revolver might never have been called on, but having it easily accessible contributed to peace of mind.

GUN OF THE DAY - New Haven Volcanic Pistol. Connecticut is where our unusual lever-action pistol hails from and if it lo...
06/01/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - New Haven Volcanic Pistol. Connecticut is where our unusual lever-action pistol hails from and if it looks familiar - it can be considered the "grandfather" of the popular line of Winchester lever guns. But unlike those later Winchesters, our GOTD utilized a .31 caliber projectile that contained both primer and powder. The tubular magazine underneath the barrel would retain a series of stacked bullets, each individually fed into the chamber in turn. Both rifle and handgun Volcanic versions were marketed during 1855 and 1856.

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