This past May I happened to be out in Virginia doing some historical touring when I stopped in at the National Rifle Association’s Headquarters—specifically to visit The National Firearms Museum (Fairfax, VA). Folks, let me tell you…if you ever find yourself out in the Washington D.C. are you owe it to yourself to check out this museum. What a gem…and best of all, IT’S FREE!!!
Known as "The Mayflower Gun," believed to be one of the first guns to arrive to the New World.
My tour guide for the experience was Senior Curator, Doug Wicklund, who walked me through the entire exhibit and explained the many interesting tidbits of information on display in the museum. From an Italian Wheel Lock Carbine carried over on the Mayflower all the way to the Lightsaber used by Luke Skywalker in the movie Star Wars…this museum seemingly has it all when it comes to firearms and weaponry.
Actor Mark Hamill used this Lightsaber in the movie Star Wars.
My only regret was I had limited time for my tour as I needed to catch a plane back home a few hours later. I would certainly suggest a bare minimum to allocate 3 hours for the experience. Quite honestly, the various galleries are extensive enough a person could easily spend the better portion of a day walking through this unique historical treasure.
I took several pictures as I walked through the museum mostly just to provide an overview as to the appearance and content. One thing I learned was that attempting to take high quality pictures of the individual firearms (which are all secured behind thick glass) was not often practical. Still, it’s all part of the museum experience unlike any other to be found.
Here’s the LINK to my photo gallery. (87 pictures, 1 video)
All right, I would be remiss if I didn’t also point out that on The National Firearms Museum website you can actually view a close-up of all the guns on display. It’s an awesome website. Be sure to check this out, too.
Someday I will definitely be back to The National Firearms Museum for a second look. Whether you enjoy history or firearms…but especially if you enjoy the history of firearms, you’ll want to make time to be one of the 40,000 annual visitors who stop by to view this great treasure owned and operated by the NRA.
©2011 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.