The NRA National Firearms Museum, in Fairfax, VA, is home to more than 3,000 firearms spanning nearly 700 years of firearms. If you're a fan of guns or history, you owe it to yourself to come see this museum's absolutely amazing collection.
The NRA's National Firearms Museum has been around since the 1930's but didn't move to Fairfax from Washington DC until 1998.
The Museum focuses on firearm history with a special emphasis on the American experience. The 15,000 square foot facility's 15 galleries span different time periods in American history. "Old Guns in a New World," "The American West," and "The Road to Liberty" are just a few of the gallery titles.
Some of the galleries include life-sized dioramas of scenes like a WWI trench on the Western Front, a 19th century rifle maker's shop, or a shelled-out town square in WWII Normandy. The galleries also tell stories related to gun manufacturing, hunting, and shooting sports.
Popular Displays at the Museum
One of the most absolutely eye-popping displays in the museum is the "The Robert E. Petersen Gallery," which opened in 2010. This space features some of the most stunningly beautiful and detailed firearms you will ever see. It includes masterpieces of engraving, American classics, one of a kind pieces, the largest public collection of Gatling guns, and much more.
"Hollywood Guns" is another popular display. Here you'll see 120 famous guns from the last 80 years of movies and television. Arms like the .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson carried by "Dirty Harry," Mel Gibson's "Lethal Weapon" Beretta, and the first revolver John Wayne ever used on camera.
Other highlights include Presidential guns, Napoleon Bonaparte's flintlock fowler, and Olympic gold medalist guns. There's even a wheellock carbine that came over with the Pilgrims on the Mayflower! You'll also see guns owned by historical figures like "Buffalo Bill" Cody, Annie Oakley, and General W.T. Sherman.
NRA National Firearms Museum
11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030
Open 9:30am to 5pm, daily - Closed Christmas Day
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