There’s only one place in the country where you’ll get the chance to see over 700 years worth of firearm history, and that’s Fairfax, Virginia’s National Firearms Museum.

Owned and operated by the National Rifle Association, the National Firearms Museum has 15 different galleries that separate the guns by era. If you want to see guns from World War II, they have an entire section dedicated to WW2 era weaponry called the “Ever Vigilant” gallery. 

“Each gallery is evocative of a period of time in American history, from the stockade fort at Jamestown to the gun factories of New England.  Life-sized dioramas include a nineteenth-century riflemaker's shop, a trench on the Western Front in WWI, and a shelled-out town square in Normandy in WWII.” - nramuseum

The museum also has a exhibit dedicated to the history of guns in films, aptly named the “Hollywood Guns” gallery. With over 120 guns that have appeared in over 80 years of film and television, the collection is amazingly impressive. They even have the very first revolver John Wayne used on camera, as well guns that have been used in movies like No Country for Old Men, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, and the .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson Clint Eastwood used in Dirty Hairy… and that’s just scratching the surface. 

One of the most impressive exhibits is the the “Ancient Firearms” gallery that displays weapons that date all the way back to 1350. However, one of the coolest on display is called the Vampire Hunter’s Colt, the “ultimate sidearms for any vampire hunter”. Not only was the gun made to be kept in a tiny coffin, it also came equipped with a wooden stake, silver bullets, holy water, and live rounds in the shape of vampire heads. 


You don’t have to be an avid gun collector to appreciate the National Firearms Museum. If you’re a history lover, movie lover, or just a fan of strange weaponry, the NFM is an interesting look back at the history of guns and the impact they’ve had. 

Featured image credit: Joe Loong

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