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Museums with Arms Exhibits
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[Under Construction- suggested additions welcome]
Museums
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)

 


Illinois

 

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 info.


Indiana

 

LaPorte County Historical Society- Along with the typical local history museum, they feature the Walter A. Jones Collection of Ancient Weapons. There are nearly 850 weapons on display. In addition, uniforms from the Civil War to the present day, as well as miscellaneous items brought back to La Porte County by war veterans round out this permanent exhibit at the museum. La Porte County Complex 809 State Street La Porte, Indiana 46350-3329 (219) 326-6808 ext. 276. NOTE- THey wil be moving in 2006 to a new facility so check current location.


Kentucky

 

Frazier Museum of Historical Arms- THE FINEST ARMS MUSEUM IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE!
This is a MUST SEE that the entire family will enjoy. Exceptionaly well done with superb exhibits, innovative presentations and a memorable learning experience focused on arms in the context of their use in world events. Third floor exhibits by the Royal Armouries, Leeds, England are especially well done. 829 West Main Street Louisville, KY 40202-2619 (502) 412-2280

 


Florida

 

Fort Walton 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 very close.

 


Maryland


Aberdeen-
U.S. Army Ordnance Museum (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 visit.

 


Massachusetts


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 arraignment for a fee. Web site includes schedule of special events; tours of the collection not on display; some manufacturing dates & serial number info; on line info about many collection items and archives they hold.

 


Nebraska


Chadron-
Museum of the Fur Trade. Focus is on the North American continent prior to 1850, with an amazingly comprehensive collection of artifacts, including arms, and an extensive research library.


New York


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.


Oklahoma

Claremore (30 min E of Tulsa)
- J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum run by the State of Oklahoma, and with a collection as diverse as the people and culture it represents. (The Will Rogers museum is also located in Claremore, and the

Oklahoma City- National Cowboy and Wester Heritage Musuem, 1700 NE 63rd Oklahoma City, OK 73111 Phone: 405-478-2250 Fax: 405-478-4714 http://www.nationalcowboymuseum.org Huge, and exceptinally well done collections not only of guns, but also western art, with


Pennsylvania


Pittsburgh-
Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum and Memorial 4141 Fifth Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (412)-621-4253 www.soldiersandsailorshall.org.- Wonderful sampling of Civil War relics plus nice U.S. Military small arms collection. Fort Pitt nearby and well worth the visit, also Ft. Ligonier to 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 field.


Utah


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.


Virginia


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.

 


Wyoming


Cody-
Buffalo Bill Historical Center- probably the finest firearms museum in the world with fantastic exhibits of western art, natural 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 collection is marginal for inclusion in this list.



Foreign Arms Museums

Royal Armouries, Leeds, UK- Premier collection of historic arms in the UK, including the study collection from the Tower of London. Truly a King's collection!