NRA Museums

NRA Museums Join us daily for our Gun of the Day - a special feature from the extensive NRA firearms collection, and announcements from the National Firearms Museum.
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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 - Haight Fist Gun Prototype Pistol. It was intended to be a covert/personal protection item for the indiv...
05/19/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Haight Fist Gun Prototype Pistol. It was intended to be a covert/personal protection item for the individual who didn't have the capability to carry a rifle or pistol in the normal manner. While used by Seabee construction operators during the island-hopping campaign in the Pacific, most recently the Haight Fist Gun turned up in Quentin Tarentino's 2009 film, Inglourious Basterds. Hollywood's twist reflects Haight's patenting this "hand gun" in 1944 with U.S. Navy Intelligence and its potential use as an assassination device. Our GOTD is a rare .45 caliber initial version as most were .38 caliber.

GUN OF THE DAY - J. Lewis Arms Percussion Pistol.  It was one of many single-shot blackpowder handguns that came into be...
05/18/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - J. Lewis Arms Percussion Pistol. It was one of many single-shot blackpowder handguns that came into being as a target alternate to the more commonly encountered percussion competition revolvers. In the early 1970s, Lewis sold his design from his booth in Friendship, IN during blackpowder events. But shooters could get a similar .44 or .36 caliber item from Tingle, CVA, and others in that same time period. The marketplace decided what ones would survive and Lewis and his pistol disappeared.

GUN OF THE DAY - Heizer Defense Machined Concept Piece.  Firearms technology never stops and with our GOTD concept piece...
05/17/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Heizer Defense Machined Concept Piece. Firearms technology never stops and with our GOTD concept piece, the continuing trend to smaller and smaller handguns for concealed carry usage has reached a zenith. Imagine the PKO-45, a .45 ACP, five-shot semi-automatic pistol cut from a slab of stainless steel that comes in at just a hair wider than 3/4 of an inch. The cartridge itself is close to half an inch in diameter, and you just have to wonder just how much material thickness is the bare minimum. Since 2011, this company has been located in Peverly, MO.

GUN OF THE DAY - Thompson/Center Patriot Pistol.  Warren Center decided to bring out a line of muzzleloading arms about ...
05/16/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Thompson/Center Patriot Pistol. Warren Center decided to bring out a line of muzzleloading arms about 1970 and his rifle, the Hawken, became popular enough to tempt many other firms into offering a similar gun. But its companion, the percussion Patriot pistol, offered in .36 or .45 caliber, didn't see quite the same enthusiasm generated. Perhaps it was the double set triggers or the target styled stock, but this pistol's heyday came to a sad close in 1996, well after it was discontinued in 1987, as a fire at the factory destroyed all the tooling and parts and preventing any future re-introduction of the Patriot.

GUN OF THE DAY - Liliput M1925 Pistol.  Our GOTD is almost the smallest semi-automatic pistol in the world, but not quit...
05/15/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Liliput M1925 Pistol. Our GOTD is almost the smallest semi-automatic pistol in the world, but not quite. Chambered for a now obsolete 4.25mm cartridge, the Lilliput was made by Waffenfabrik August Menz in Suhl, Germany from 1923 to 1927. It was not a very successful product for Menz, who did far better selling his larger .25 and .32 caliber pistols in that same time period. Who would have owned such a diminutive pistol? No less than the infamous Adolf Hitler was given a gold-plated Lilliput after WWI.

GUN OF THE DAY - Reproduction Elgin Cutlass Pistol. There was considerable interest in the Elgin Cutlass Pistol in the l...
05/14/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Reproduction Elgin Cutlass Pistol. There was considerable interest in the Elgin Cutlass Pistol in the late 1830s, even beyond the 150 contracted for by the U.S. Navy and some of those made their way to the 1838-1842 Wilkes Expedition, which traveled extensively in the South Pacific. Classic Arms in the 1970s brought out several modern renderings of antique handgun designs, including this .44 percussion cutlass pistol replica that is our GOTD. While the originals came with form-fitting holsters, the reproductions did not. At present, these replicas reportedly have a prohibited status up in Canada.

GUN OF THE DAY - Lancaster O/U Pistol.  For some British officers around the year 1880, seeking a service sidearm, our d...
05/13/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Lancaster O/U Pistol. For some British officers around the year 1880, seeking a service sidearm, our double-barreled GOTD was their choice. Two shots of .455 could be quickly delivered and the oval bore that Charles Lancaster created for his arms reportedly offered the option of firing .410 shotshells as well. We also have a four-barreled version represented in the museum collection that would have doubled up the goodness.

GUN OF THE DAY - Whitney Percussion Revolver.  Whitney's percussion revolver was one of the early competitors to Sam Col...
05/12/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Whitney Percussion Revolver. Whitney's percussion revolver was one of the early competitors to Sam Colt's own line of handguns, beginning when the master patents of Colt expired in 1857. In the 1850s and 1860s, commercial sales were brisk and even the U.S. Navy purchased 4,300 .36 caliber Whitneys, which were sent to several vessels and the various Navy Yards around the country. Turnabout is fair play and Whitney's design also wound up being copied by Confederate gunmakers.

GUN OF THE DAY - Perkins Flintlock Pistols.  A pair of good pistols, back in the era of flintlocks, was a necessity for ...
05/11/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Perkins Flintlock Pistols. A pair of good pistols, back in the era of flintlocks, was a necessity for any well-to-do gentleman in London. And where else to shop, but at the Perkins establishment, where one could select from a fine selection of pocket and larger-sized arms suitable for the personal protection needs of individuals while on travel or in military service. A matched pair, like this .65 caliber duo offered two shots when required. For this GOTD, we decided to show the left side of one pistol and the right side of the other.

GUN OF THE DAY - High Standard DM-101 Derringer.  This two-shot derringer was first offered in 1962 and in that time fra...
05/10/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - High Standard DM-101 Derringer. This two-shot derringer was first offered in 1962 and in that time frame, production was based in Hamden, CT. Buyers had a choice of .22 long rifle or .22 magnum for the chambering of their flat, compact pistol. Our GOTD is the .22 WMR version. Later production gun were marked as being made in E. Hartford, CT. The last production runs were sold in 1984, with some having a V suffix to the serial number meaning "visually impaired, " but the guns were guaranteed to function correctly.

GUN OF THE DAY - Stoeger Luger Pistol.  Unlike yesterday's GOTD, this Luger is only a .22 rimfire pistol. Back in 1969, ...
05/09/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Stoeger Luger Pistol. Unlike yesterday's GOTD, this Luger is only a .22 rimfire pistol. Back in 1969, this semi-automatic was introduced and even had a toggle link action, like its centerfire counterpart. Originally it was offered with an aluminum frame, but that changed to steel in 1980. Stoeger owned the American rights to the brand name and to emphasize the connection with its military predecessor, "Luger" was engraved on the side of the receiver. Unfortunately, this pistol's production was discontinued in 1985.

GUN OF THE DAY - Sukalle Artillery Luger Pistol.  Despite having the normal longer barrel associated with the Luger vari...
05/08/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Sukalle Artillery Luger Pistol. Despite having the normal longer barrel associated with the Luger variants called "Artillery" models, our 9mm Luger pistol goes even further for sight radius with the addition of an aperture rear sight, mounted on a shelf behind the toggle. Phoenix, AZ gunsmith Bill Sukalle is the man who crafted the sight extension and from our donor's report, this WWI era pistol can deliver some extreme long range accuracy, thanks to its special sights.

GUN OF THE DAY - Colt Woodsman First Model Match Target Pistol.  Today's special feature on our GOTD is somewhat unique ...
05/07/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Colt Woodsman First Model Match Target Pistol. Today's special feature on our GOTD is somewhat unique and collectors call the grip style on our .22 Colt semi-automatic "elephant ears" for the projecting extension well below this pistol's frame. While other Woodsman grips today can be found in synthetic and natural materials, our vote goes for these fine walnut grip panels, even if inserting and removing a magazine is slightly more difficult on this circa 1941 handgun

GUN OF THE DAY - Bass Flintlock Pistol.  John Bass of London was a well-known gunsmaker, who produced some fine duellers...
05/06/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Bass Flintlock Pistol. John Bass of London was a well-known gunsmaker, who produced some fine duellers, brass-barreled gentleman's pistols and pocket flintlocks. But things got even better wihen Bass partnered with his father-in-law John Twigg in the 1780s to form the company of Twigg & Bass. The duo made fine longarms and handguns in the flintlock era, ending only with Twigg's death around 1790. Our GOTD is a .60 caliber flintlock pistol that came to the museum from the collection of the late Dr. Harold Cottle.

GUN OF THE DAY - Cased Miniature Colt M1851 Revolver.  Uberti made this diminutive Colt for the United States Historical...
05/05/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Cased Miniature Colt M1851 Revolver. Uberti made this diminutive Colt for the United States Historical Society and Sam Colt would likely be amused by the fact that Italian companies were having a great business producing his percussion revolvers, in full scale and in miniature, more than a century later. The case's identification plate is about the width of a dime for size. The .36 caliber Colt "Navy" model was a favorite revolver for Sam Colt and it is known that he made many presentations of this model to influential folks that might give favorable reports when it came time for military contracts.

GUN OF THE DAY - Cased Kynoch Revolver.  When William Tranter got out of the gun business in 1887, George Kynoch acquire...
05/04/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Cased Kynoch Revolver. When William Tranter got out of the gun business in 1887, George Kynoch acquired his factory and decided to not just manufacture ammunition, but to make a few top-break revolvers. Our GOTD is one of the later Kynoch designs, chambered in .380, it offered an enclosed hammer configuration, but fitted with a dual-action trigger that cocked and fired the gun. Another modern feature was its automatic ejection system. Possibly 600 of these revolvers were made before Kynoch's death in 1891.

GUN OF THE DAY - Ruger Old Army Revolver. The allure of shooting blackpowder in a modern percussion revolver continues t...
05/03/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Ruger Old Army Revolver. The allure of shooting blackpowder in a modern percussion revolver continues to attract individuals who also want to combine their fun with ease of cleaning. Fortunately in 1972, Ruger brought out their Old Army (which used .454 or .457 diameter projectiles) percussion revolver and later offered it in stainless steel. It was thirty-six years later, in 2008, that the company decided to end production on the Old Army, which had been made with either adjustable or fixed sights and with 5.5 or 7.5 inch barrels.

GUN OF THE DAY - California Gold Rush Colt Scout Revolver. 1964 was a good year in California, just 115 years after the ...
05/02/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - California Gold Rush Colt Scout Revolver. 1964 was a good year in California, just 115 years after the Gold Rush and the good folks at Colt decided to bring out a .22 rimfire commemorative. This revolver was one of the 500 manufactured in that edition and originally, you could purchase a nice gold-plated one for $80. Multiply that price now by several times, especially if the Gold Rush Scout still has its original wooden display case. This was one of the editions where Colt did not also produce a matching .45 centerfire commemorative revolver.

GUN OF THE DAY - Franchi 48AL Shotgun.  This Italian 12 gauge shotgun came into the museum collection this year as a don...
05/01/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Franchi 48AL Shotgun. This Italian 12 gauge shotgun came into the museum collection this year as a donation from a local member. The 48AL started off production in 1950, but that run, which included 20 gauge and 28 gauge smoothbores as well, came to a close in 2016 - unless you wanted a 12 gauge example and those guns ran out in 2001. But for those shooters who wanted a light (6 pounds, 9 ounces) autoloading smoothbore, this Franchi model was just what they were looking for, and could be had with a vent rib barrel as well.

GUN OF THE DAY - Smith & Wesson M29 Silhouette Revolver.  Dirty Harry would likely would have been proud to own this ten...
04/30/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Smith & Wesson M29 Silhouette Revolver. Dirty Harry would likely would have been proud to own this ten and 5/8 inch .44 Magnum revolver. But with the British proofmarks that this double-action handgun exhibits, we known that it once was sold in England. This long range target model was offered only from 1983 to 1991 and by the end of that period, handgun ownership in the United Kingdom became much more problematical and many pistols and revolvers came back to the USA. In any event, this "buntline" of a Model 29 has the longest barrel of any "N" frame Smith & Wesson in our collection.

GUN OF THE DAY - Nazi FN M1922 Pistol.  We'd be willing to bet that this semi-automatic pistol came home in a dufflebag ...
04/29/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Nazi FN M1922 Pistol. We'd be willing to bet that this semi-automatic pistol came home in a dufflebag after WWII. At some point the original grips on this Nazi-proofed Fabrique National .32 were tossed and a pair made from the windshield of an aircraft were substituted. While many of these grips once were transparent and some were fitted with photographs from home of sweethearts and wives, our former German issue GOTD's grips received a silvered interior finish that is very attractive, if opaque.

GUN OF THE DAY - Sterling Arms Corporation PPL .380 Pistol.  Here's the larger caliber "big brother" of yesterday's GOTD...
04/28/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Sterling Arms Corporation PPL .380 Pistol. Here's the larger caliber "big brother" of yesterday's GOTD. Collectors note that the awkwardly truncated PPL pistols were actually made by E&R Inc. of Gasport, NY. In 1973, E&R actually bought up all the stock for Sterling and it became a wholly owned subsidiary. In 1978, the two firms moved from Gasport to Lockport, NY. The .380 pistols were blowback operated semi-automatics. The barrel was actually built into the receiver and could not be removed.

GUN OF THE DAY - Sterling Arms Corporation PPL .22 Pistol. Following the design of a High Standard rimfire pistol, this ...
04/27/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Sterling Arms Corporation PPL .22 Pistol. Following the design of a High Standard rimfire pistol, this stubby-barreled .22 pistol was made in New York in the 1970s. At the same time, a centerfire handgun with near identical profile was also being produced, but with both guns, an unfortunate issue was soon noted. The ultra-short barrels did not allow fired projectiles to gain enough stabilization from the rifling and on targets, tumbling of the bullets was observed. The sideways impact of bullets on target was just one of the reasons this novel design had a short production period.

GUN OF THE DAY - Hungarian Tokagypt Pistol.  Chambered for 9mm and looking like a TT33 Tokarev pistol successfully blend...
04/26/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Hungarian Tokagypt Pistol. Chambered for 9mm and looking like a TT33 Tokarev pistol successfully blended itself with a Femaru, the Tokagypt was indeed intended for an Egyptian law enforcement contract in 1958. Unlike the original Tokarev design, the Tokagypt had an external safety lever that could also be utilized to safely decock the pistol when necessary. The pistols that didn't make it to Egypt were sold commercially - some under the brand name "Firebird." Aftermarket barrels were also offered to convert one's Tokagypt or Firebird for 7.62mm ammunition.

GUN OF THE DAY - Jo-Lo-Ar Pistol.  Our GOTD strangely turned out to be much more popular in Peru than anywhere else in t...
04/25/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Jo-Lo-Ar Pistol. Our GOTD strangely turned out to be much more popular in Peru than anywhere else in the world. But this 9mm Largo semi-automatic had a unique feature working for it - a hand-cocking capability thanks to a rotating side lever (palanca) (and no trigger guard) that allowed this pistol to be quickly cocked and loaded with just one hand. Well, undoubtedly the Peruvian Mounted Police were in favor of this manuever on horseback, but in the 1920s, things were different. Later imported by Interarms, most of the Peruvian Jo-Lo-Ars are held by American collectors today.

GUN OF THE DAY - Massachusetts Arms Adams Revolver.  Made prior to the American Civil War, this .36 caliber percussion r...
04/24/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Massachusetts Arms Adams Revolver. Made prior to the American Civil War, this .36 caliber percussion revolver was a five-shooter and about a thousand were manufactured. If this GOTD closely resembles British handguns of the day, remember to factor in that it was built based on Kerr's 1857 patent and Adams' 1858 patent. Even the Federal government buyers took a hard look at this double-action design and wound up purchasing about 600.

GUN OF THE DAY - Colt Model 1917 Revolver. Our double-action revolver is chambered for the .45 ACP, the same cartridge t...
04/23/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Colt Model 1917 Revolver. Our double-action revolver is chambered for the .45 ACP, the same cartridge that was being made for the Model 1911 pistols being produced for the Great War. Not enough semi-auto pistols could be turned out and contracts were let to both Colt and Smith & Wesson to crank out enough revolvers to make up the difference. As the rimless .45 ACP needed a bit of chamber help, "half-moon clips" were the solution, giving the same result as a sturdy rim around the base of the cartridge case. Later on, a rimmed .45 cartridge, the .45 Auto Rim, was created.

GUN OF THE DAY - Webley & Scott Commercial Mark III Revolver.  In addition to supplying the British Empire with arms dur...
04/22/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Webley & Scott Commercial Mark III Revolver. In addition to supplying the British Empire with arms during both world wars, Webley & Scott produced thousands of revolvers and pistols for the commercial trade. Customers could obtain a .38/200 revolver like this one that fired a military round or many other chamberings that were better suited for target shooting. No matter what they selected, the W&S "winged bullet" trademark on the side of the receiver let them know that Webley & Scott's craftsmen had provided their best workmanship.

GUN OF THE DAY - Colt Cobra Revolver.  Our First Issue alloy frame Cobra is chambered for the smallest cartridge availab...
04/21/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Colt Cobra Revolver. Our First Issue alloy frame Cobra is chambered for the smallest cartridge available in this model - .22 rimfire. This GOTD Colt "snake" gun was first manufactured from 1950 to 1972 and you had a choice of 2, 3, or 4 inch barrels with this revolver. You could also decide if you wanted .22, .32 Colt New Police, .38 Colt New Police, or the most popular .38 Special chambering.

GUN OF THE DAY - Gray Ghost P38 Pistol.  At the very end of WWII production for the P38 pistol, collectors recognize a v...
04/20/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Gray Ghost P38 Pistol. At the very end of WWII production for the P38 pistol, collectors recognize a variation called the "Gray Ghost." These 9mm pistols have a phosphate finish and often are fitted with steel grip panels. Our GOTD does not have those metal grips, but does retain its gray finish from 1945. Much of the Mauser machinery used to manufacture these handguns was carried off to France and production continued into 1946. A few were issued to postwar police but most went into storage, only being released onto the American market in the 1970s/1980s.

GUN OF THE DAY - Colt New Service Revolver.  Sometimes, a GOTD choice will let us tell a very neat story.  This plated N...
04/19/2020

GUN OF THE DAY - Colt New Service Revolver. Sometimes, a GOTD choice will let us tell a very neat story. This plated New Service Colt revolver in .44 Russian/Special chambering turned out to be the first gun our staff pulled out of an old trunk in the basement of a local donor a couple of years ago. Stashed in that container by the donor's father, this factory mother-of-pearl gripped handgun hadn't been handled in many years. We're waiting to hear what a Colt letter might reveal about its past history, but with the custom features it has - we may have even more interesting details to reveal to a Facebook audience at a later date.

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