On a recent business trip to the Washington DC area, I had a couple of spare hours to visit the National Firearms Museum. It’s in the NRA headquarters building in Virginia, just west of Washington DC. For those with street mapping GPSs, a good map or who are familiar with the area, the street address is 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA.
As a handgun enthusiast, I was pleased to find a large variety on display including many of amazingly odd designs. For example, there were several with flippable dual-barrels as well as a revolver with a side-mounted cylinder. It was also interesting to note that the oldest handguns required a wrist angle very similar to today’s free pistols.
Although there was no section devoted to Bullseye nor any of the other shooting sports except the Olympics, many of the handguns we all recognize were to be found in various displays. Indeed, finding all the 1911s took a bit of searching but the computerized indexes scattered around the museum made it easy to look up any particular gun’s details.
All in all a very enjoyable, and free, two hours.
Also, the museum’s gift shop has the best collection of shooting-related publications I’ve ever seen in one place, and of a much higher caliber (!) than those commonly seen at gun shows.
If you are in the Washington DC are, I recommend a visit. It’s open seven days a week and is completely free.
And lest I forget, the NRA headquarters also houses a very nice 50 yard indoor range complete with sound-proofed waiting and visitors room. Bring your iron!
Wow, just imagine having a shooting range right where you work! That’d be even better than Lockheed-Martin in Littleton CO with their on-site outdoor employee shooting range.
I can hear the boss now, “OK, this afternoon’s meeting has been moved to the range where we’ll take some pot-shots at the latest development plan, wadcutters only, please.”