Museums with Arms
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Antique and Collectable
Firearms and Militaria Headquarters
[Under Construction- suggested additions welcome]
This is not a list of every museum that has a few guns on display.
These are locations that have significant exhibits that will appeal
to arms collectors and should be considered for inclusion in your travel
plans if possible.
(U.S. locations listed by state, followed by foreign museums)
Rock Island Arsenal- John M. Browning Small Arms Museum. Exceptionally
complete collection of issue and oddball U.S.military arms. Notebooks
in front of displays with detailed notes to satisfy your thirst for added
Fort Walt Beach (Hurlburt
Field) U.S. Air Force Air Weapons Museum- Comprehensive examples of aviation
armament as specific topic, rather than being an unseen part of an aircraft.
Extensive but unfocused small arms collection there is poorly displayed
and can be skipped to spend time on the main attractions.
Pensacola- (Naval Air
Station)- Naval Aviation Museum. Limited arms content but overall scope
of U.S. Naval aviation makes it an interesting visit. Civil War Ft. Barrancas
Aberdeen- U.S. Army Ordnance Musuem (Aberdeen Proving Grounds)-
Best place in the world for the study of armored vehicles and artillery,
with excellent small arms collection as well. Much of the large items
are sadly deteriorating in the weather, and the small arms were mostly
"deactivated" by idiot bureaucrats, but still well worth the
Springfield- Springfield Armory National Historic Site- Mecca
for U.S. martial arms collectors with superb exhibits of virtually every
important small arm. Videos especially well done. Small selection of new
and changing exhibits justify repeat visits (if you need an excuse). Private
tours of off limits storage areas occasionally available by prior arrrangement
for a fee.
Chadron- Museum of the Fur Trade. Focus is on the North American
continent prior to 1850, with an amazingly comprehensive collection of
artifacts, inslucing arms, and an extensive research library.
New York City- Metropolitan Museum of Art has an outstanding
collection and exhibit of mostly very antique arms and armor, sure to
impress even the non-collector.
West Point- U.S. Military
Academy Museum. Well done exhibits of some especially historic arms, both
U.S. and those of enemies. Captured cannons all over.
Pittsburgh- Veterans Memorial- Wonderful sampling of Civil
War relics plus niceU.S. military smal arms collection. Fort Pitt nearby
and well worth the visit, also Ft. Ligonier tu understand the importance
of this frontier area in the French and Indian War.
Valley Forge Military Park-
Finest collection of Revolutionary War arms anywhere, thanks to a generous
donor who acquired them when researching for his respected books on that
Ogden - John M. Browning Firearms Collection at the Union Station
Museum. The Utah genius' handmade prototypes of many of the most successful
firearms designs in history. Trains, cars, geology and other huge exhibits
for any non-gun collectors in the family.
Fairfax- National Firearms Museum (NRA Headquarters Building)-
Superbly presented collection that will appeal to the whole family, as
well as the specialist. Top rate changing exhibits (currently "Real
Guns of Reel Heroes"). Excellent cafeteria in adjacent building.
Quantico- U.S. Marine
Corps Air-Ground Museum. Covers full range of USMC arms with emphasis
on the "air ground team" which evolved from World War Two. (closed
in winter months)
Hampton- Fort Monroe
Casemate Museum- although emphasis is on the Civil War, good coverage
of coast defense for the artillery enthusiast.
Cody- Buffalo Bill Historical
Center- probably the finest firearms museum in the world with fantastic
exhibits of western art, natuarl history, and Indian artifacts as well.
Located 70 miles east of Yellowstone, and the scenic drive alone is worth
the trip. Plan on a full day here, maybe longer. Access through Yellowstone
to Cody is cut off in winter months.
Fort Bridger - Historic
fur trade rendezvous site (and mountain man camp reenactment every Labor
Day weekend) and later a stop for wagon trains and an Army fort. Great
family visit but arms collectionis marginal for inclusion in this list.
Foreign Arms Museums
UK- Premier collection of historic arms in the UK, including the study
collection from the Tower of London. Truly a King's collection!