Streams of people began rolling out from the Sands Expo and Convention Center late this afternoon as the 2011 SHOT Show began winding down. Inside the once-jammed corridors, some tried to beat the rush, but many were making a valiant effort to make it to whatever corner they had missed, or get one last late walk-through. With an event this big, it's tough to see it all in just four days.

The National Rifle Association and NRAblog will be back next year. In the meantime, more pictures and coverage are on the way. It's been a great week of activity for the NRA here in Las Vegas.

Chuck Conners Winchester RifleBefore Curator's Corner returns to the movie theme theme, the guys are headed back on the road to share some of the National Firearms Museum's (NFM) treasures with the rest of the world. Over the next two weeks, they can be seen at the Las Vegas Antique Arms Show, the SHOT Show, and SCI's 38th Annual Hunters' Convention in Reno, Nevada. During that time, we thought Curator's Corner would be better spent showing you what they're taking on the road.

First on the card is a television classic. Set in the 1890s New Mexico Territory, rancher Lucas McCain wielded his modified 1892 model Winchester rifle during episodes of The Rifleman. Staring western icon Chuck Connors, the popular ABC series ran from 1958 to 1963. And that classic Winchester now resides at the National Firearms Museum.

The Winchester is a lever-action repeating rifle manufactured between 1892 and 1938. With a 15 round magazine and varied caliber, the company produced over a million editions before Winchester past the design on to overseas manufacturers like Chiappa Firearms in Italy. A distinct characteristic of this particular rifle is the oversized lever that allowed Connors to cock the rifle with a simple swing.

Closeup of Chuck Conners Rifleman Rifle with screwThis rifle and more will be on display over the next two weeks before returning to the National Firearms Museum for its place in the Ruger Gallery's new "Son of a Gun - The Return of Reel Heroes" exhibit, which is replacing the popular Guns West! display.

There it will join other famous Hollywood guns from films like “Dirty Harry,” “Beverly Hills Cop,” and “Avatar.” If you live out West and you're not heading to Virginia any time soon, it might be a good idea to attend one of the shows and see these icons while you can.

That's all we have for now, so tune in tonight for all the details as Senior Curator Phil Schreier tells it all at 10:20 pm EST tonight at NRANews.com or on Sirius Patriot channel 144.

Guns WestSenior Curator Phil Schreier of the NRA National Firearms Museum reminds us the popular GUNS WEST! exhibit in the Museum’s Ruger Gallery will be packing up soon.

“Sad as it is to pack up this collection, the Ruger Gallery has bright things in its future,” Schreier said. "Hurry in for one last viewing of Guns West!, and come back to see "Son of a Gun - The Return of Reel Heroes," which will feature over 50 famous firearms from classic films."

Stay tuned for details on what to expect in 2010. 

Guns WestThanks to Senior Curator Phil Schreier of the NRA National Firearms Museum for the following:

NRA museum staff will participate in the Single Action Shooting Society “Convention and Wild West Christmas” in Las Vegas, Nevada. 
The Eighth annual SASS Convention and Wild West Christmas take place at the Riviera Hotel and Convention Center in Las Vegas, December 3-6, 2009. The annual event is designed to bring together all that is Cowboy Action Shooting in a non-shooting arena presented to showcase everything imaginable pertaining to the fastest growing shooting sport in the world.
The National Firearms Museum will have a selection of items from the Guns West! exhibit featuring the firearms that made cinematic history in such films as Quigley Down Under, Stagecoach and the Outlaw Josey Wales. Find more info here.
Stay tuned! Correspondent Schreier will undoubtedly return with an exciting report from Vegas.

The Gene Pearcey family visited the National Firearms Museum on Friday and enjoyed a tour led by Phil Schreier. Pearcey, known in the cowboy action world as "Evil Roy," visited the Museum for the first time along with 12 family members. The group met with fellow cowboy action enthusiasts, General Operations' Executive Director Kayne Robinson and Deputy Executive Director Andrea Cerwinske.

Guestbook entry: Gene Pearcey, aka Evil Roy

Several of Pearcey's firearms and heirlooms are on display in the Ruger Gallery. The current Ruger exhibit – Guns West! the West the way it is, the way it was, and the way it could have been – is a popular one, echoing the growth of the cowboy action shooting community. "Over 100,000 new shooters came to this hobby in a matter of 15 years," Schreier said. Pearcey, a top cowboy competitor, runs Evil Roy Shooting School out of Durango, Colorado, with his wife Karen, also known as "Wicked Felina."

Pearcey took a few minutes to talk to NRAblog about his role in cowboy action shooting:

“I started shooting in 1993," Pearcey told NRAblog. After taking two of his grandchildren to a cowboy action match in Durango, Colorado, he was hooked. "We started (competing) the next year, and we're going into our 16th year of competition, traveling all over the United States and Finland, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, and a lot of different places."

What started out as  a simple trip to Washington DC to tour the White House bloomed into several additional tours, including the NRA Museum and Arlington National Cemetery. Pearcey said 10 of his 15 grandchildren made the trip. "It's been a nice chance for us to get together." One family homeschools their children, and Pearcey said the emphasis on American history fit nicely into their lesson plans.

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Jim SupicaNational Firearms Museum Director Jim Supica, pictured at right, will display one of the Museum’s most valuable collections at the Cabela’s in Kansas City, Kansas, this weekend as part of the store’s Waterfowl Classic.

The Museum’s exhibit of famous firearms from Hollywood Westerns will be at the Kansas City Cabela’s, 10300 Cabela Drive, on August 15 and 16. “This collection always draws a crowd, and we’ll be on hand both Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Supica told NRAblog.

Supica will present a seminar, “Tips for Gun Collectors & Researching Gun Values,” at 3 p.m. both days.

Real guns from reel westerns in the display include:

  • Winchester 1892 carbine used by John Wayne in Stagecoach;
  • Winchester lever action used by Chuck Connors in The Rifleman television series, modified for quick firing each time the lever is closed;
  • Walker revolvers used by Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales, and featured in True Grit with John Wayne;
  • Flintlock rifle used by Charlton Heston in The Mountain Men; 
  • and the Sharps rifle used by Tom Selleck in Quigley Down Under.

Stay tuned for more on Supica's whereabouts. For more information on the National Firearms Museum, visit them on the web.

Jim Supica with display

The NRA National Firearms Museum recently sent Museum Director Jim Supica on the road armed with one of its most valuable exhibits. Supica and the Museum's display of famous firearms from Hollywood westerns and TV horse operas headed west to the Missouri Valley Arms Collectors Association's 39th annual Summer National Show in Kansas City this past weekend.

Supica is in his most natural element at a gun show, especially one in his native Kansas. He spent the weekend talking to folks about the collection, which includes:

  • Winchester 1892 carbine used by John Wayne in Stagecoach;
  • Winchester lever action used by Chuck Connors in The Rifleman television series, modified for quick firing each time the lever is closed;
  • Walker revolvers used by Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales, and featured in True Grit with John Wayne (pictured below);
  • Flintlock rifle used by Charlton Heston in The Mountain Men;
  • and the Sharps rifle used by Tom Selleck in Quigley Down Under.

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Guns WestNRAblog just received some exciting news: the seventh season of COWBOYS begins tonight on the Outdoor Channel. The entire season focuses on Cowboy Action Shooting.

Our Museum staff, Director Jim Supica and Senior Curator Phil Schreier, will appear throughout the season to talk about some of the Museum's most prized exhibits: guns of the Old West.

Tune into the Outdoor Channel on Wednesday Nights at 4:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. for the show. Look here for a sneak peek up upcoming shows.

Phil Schreier left Oregon and headed to Montana, where he and Matt Sharpe are displaying six of the National Firearms Museum's Guns West! exhibit:

The staff of the National Firearms Museum is taking treasures from their collection on the road this weekend. We have 6 firearms from the Guns West! exhibit on display at the brand new Cabela's in Billings, Montana, through Memorial Day weekend. Stop by and visit Senior Curator Philip Schreier and his erstwhile Assistant Curator Matthew Sharpe at the Gun Library on Sunday 10 - 6pm and Monday 9 - 6 pm.
The Reel Guns of Real Heroes exhibit consists of John Wayne's Winchester Model 1892 large loop rifle from his 1939 classic Stagecoach, Wayne's Walker Colt from True Grit as well as Clint Eastwood's Walker from The Outlaw Josey Wales. Also included are NRA Past President Charlton Heston's flintlock from The Mountain Men, Chuck Connor's 1892 from The Rifleman TV series and Tom Selleck's Sharps rifle from 1990's Quigley Down Under. Over $500,000 worth of museum treasures are on public display at this once-in-a-lifetime chance to view museum highlights in Montana.

Thanks, Phil! Anyone within a reasonable drive of Phil and Matt should try to check out Cabela's. An added bonus is the fact that Phil Schreier--in addition to being a renowned firearms expert--is a military historian. NRAblog has a feeling he will happily entertain with military stories appropriate for the Memorial Day weekend.

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