I thought I should write a little something about my visit to the NRA Museum in Fairfax, VA, USA to enlighten the SD members should you ever be in the vicinity of Washington / Northern Virginia.
I will offer my apologies now as I doubt it will be anything like the quality of Pinemartens write ups which I know we are all becoming fans of.
At the end of last year myself and my family moved to the US on secondment with my work for 2-5yrs settling in northern virginia some 35 miles west of washington DC.
Unbeknown to me at this time was that the NRA's head quarters is only 30 minutes from my house and located within its first floor is a museum which houses some of its collection. The museum is open to the public and admission is free.
So this week I finaly got time to take a visit, Mrs H and younger Miss H went off to Orlando to meet friends and do the Disney thing and left me alone for some man time, result.
First thing to report is the quality of the museum and the articles on display it really is first class, clearly benefiting from many years of donations of collections and funds.
The next thing which striked me was the diversity there really is something for all who love shooting and firearms and even for those with a slight curosity; shotguns, pistols, rifles, flintlocks, muzzles loaders even a gattling gun! in both civilian and military applications.
I'm an english gun nut and at the moment the museum has some of Petersons collection on display wow! Purdeys, Boss's, Holland and Hollands the list goes on in various high grades and rare small guages. Now I'm fortunate to have a father who deals in these things so have seen and shot most of them but I have never seen them in this quantity the guy was collecting high grade english guns like kids collect football cards!
You also get a real handle on the importance firearms played on the civilisation of the US from the first colonist's arriving, there are some stunning long rifles on display. Likewise early transisitonal firearms are there and a very big collection of military pieces from the various conflicts up to iraq with a .50cal Barnett.
Likewise Annie Oakleys shotgun and pistol are on display along with Rosevelts collection and some more humbling displays such as the Smith & Weston pistol from 9/11 found in the debris and for those with a passion for cinema you have the various guns used in the actual films ranging from westerns to dirty harry to no country for old men.
It really is overwelming and I'm really glad that I live nearby so can visit a few more times to take it in.
So for those SD members who are ever visiting Washington ot Northern Virginia I can really recommend a visit. Likewise for those passing via Dulles airport as its only a 30minute cab drive away (also worth noting there is a large shopping mall about a mile or so away so handy to entertain the other half).
I have attached a few pictures to give you an idea (apologies not much of a photographer).