At National Rifle Association headquarters, 15 galleries span six centuries with historic rifles, pistols and displays on hunting. Free. Daily 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
The NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia, consists of 15 galleries comprised of 85 exhibit cases housing 3,000 firearms in a 15,000 square foot facility. The Museum details and examines the nearly 700-year history of firearms with a special emphasis on firearms, freedom, and the American experience. 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. The firearms tell the stories of how they were used to provide security and sustenance to the early colonists, how they were used to secure our freedom and independence, and have been used ever since to maintain and preserve those liberties. Within the galleries are also tales of exploration, manufacturing, competition, hunting, and recreational shooting sports.