KPCC Radio's Washington correspondent Kitty Felde takes a tour of the Hollywood Guns exhibit:

Famous guns of Hollywood spotlighted at NRA museum

The Coen Brothers' “True Grit" is up for the Best Picture Oscar on Sunday. It's the only one of the 10 nominees that’s a real “shoot ‘em up” flick. At The National Rifle Association’s National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va., KPCC Washington correspondent Kitty Felde interviews National Firearms Museum Director Jim Supica on NRAblog you can see a vast collection of famous Hollywood guns, including the Winchester used in the 1969 "True Grit" movie.

What would a western be without a repeating rifle?

Curly: "I’ll take the Winchester."

Ringo: "You might need me and this Winchester, Curly."

John Wayne’s Ringo Kid starred in the 1939 classic “Stagecoach.” So did that 1892 Winchester rifle.


In the service of the NRA National Firearms Museum (NFM) Assistant Curator Matt Sharpe has traveled west to the University of Phoenix Stadium for the International Sportsman's Expo. First held almost 40 years ago, International Sportsman's boasts some of the finest outfits from the hunting, fishing, and outdoor sports arena. And what has Matt brought to the table? Just a box full of Hollywood Guns that's all.

matt sharpe from the nfm in phoenix for the international sportsman's expo on nrablog The Outlaw Josey Wales Walker Colt Specifically, Sharpe is putting the following on display:

  • Bruce Willis' Die Hard Beretta 92
  • No Country for Old Men's Remington 11-87 semi-auto silenced shotgun
  • Dirty Harry Model 29 (rubber version)
  • Captain Reynold's pistol from Serenity
  • Magnum PI 1911
  • Die Hard HK P7
  • Obi Waun's light saber from Star Wars
  • Winchester 1892 – John Wayne - True Grit & Rooster Cogburn
  • The Outlaw Josey Wales Walker Colt
  • Schofield revolver from 3:10 to Yuma

If you're in the Phoenix area this weekend, swing by the University of Phoenix Stadium for a look at a few of the NFM's Hollywood Guns. Opened until 6 on Saturday and 5 on Sunday, it's $15.00 per adult (children and active military attend at no charge) and the parking is free. Swing by, say hello to Matt, and take a look at some of Hollywood's finest as Oscar weekend continues.


Fairfax, Virginia - The NRA National Firearms Museum has certainly been a busy place as of late. In fact, just last weekend, local Boy Scouts of America Venturing Crew 1150 stopped by headquarters for the very first Night at the Museum scheduled for 2011.

Headed by Crew Adviser Tony Moller, the Alexandria, Virginia based Crew brought in 22 youths and leaders for an evening of pizza, movies, and a tour through the National Firearms Museum. Leading the way was Senior Curator Phil Schreier – long a supporter of the Scouts (see his articles on the 100th Anniversary National Scout Jamboree at Fort AP Hill.)


National Firearms Museum Senior Curator Phil Schreier in film noir mode on NRAblog Our favorite film-noir buff and Senior Curator for the NRA National Firearms Museum Phil Schreier has been on the road for a couple of weeks now. Starting on the 14th of January with the Beinfeld Antique Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Schreier has been bouncing around the West Coast showing some of the best the Museum has to offer.

"Jim (NFM Director Jim Supica), Doug (NFM Senior Curator Doug Wicklund) and I sat down to decide what pieces to take on tour," explained Schreier. "Hollywood Guns and the Petersen Gallery were our big openings last year, so the it was obvious which exhibits to highlight. But selecting a handful of guns from those galleries turned out to be a little more of a challenge."

Firearms that made their way into the travel case for the big trip included the Alamo's Nock Volley Gun, the Vampire Colt .38, the No Country for Old Men's Remington 11-87 semi-auto, and a Purdey .600 double rifle.

"Different guns are displayed at each stop," explained Schreier after departing from the Safari Club International Convention in Reno, Nevada last weekend. "We try to tailor our setup for the individual exposition. My last stop, for example, will focus completely on the Petersen Collection."

Once the week is out, Schreier's West Coast tour will come to an end. Phil and the firearms he carries for the crowds will be back at the National Firearms Museum to resume their usual duties – both shining examples in their respective fields.

Jim Supica and Elena Kalashnikova, daughter of the AK-47 inventor, touring the NRA on visit from Russia

Firearms can be considered legendary for numerous reasons. Whether it be an innovation in design, fine craftsmanship, popularity, historical significance, or even reliability, one firearm in particular is recognized worldwide as having an incredible legacy than will be known for generations to come: the AK-47. Designed and created by Russian firearms legend Mikhail Kalashnikov, the AK-47 is definitely one of the world’s most recognizable rifles.

“The AK-47 is one of the most prolific combat rifles in history,” said Jim Supica, Director of the National Firearms Museum. "Easy to manufacture, simple to operate, works in all types of weather – it's a remarkable rifle."

In November of 2009, Supica traveled to Russia to celebrate Kalashnikov’s 90th birthday and his accomplishments in the firearms industry. Yesterday, Mikhail’s daughter, Elena Kalashnikova visited Supica and the staff of the National Firearms Museum and toured its galleries while visiting the United States.

Elena is the President of the Kalashnikov Foundation and with translator and colleague Alexander Zheltov at her side, Kalashnikova presented Supica with Foundation medal and pin along with several books about her father and his legendary rifle. Elena also donated copies of these books to the National Firearms Museum Library, including her father’s signature.

As Elena presented her father’s biography, she explained how his life parallels the modern history of his country.

Elena Kalashnikova tours the Petersen Gallery with Jim Supica

“My father was born in 1919, and the Soviet Union was created in 1917,” shared Kalashnikova.

Supica also presented Kalashnikova with gifts and showed her his private collection of firearms, which includes two AK-47s; one made in Egypt and another in China.

Elena last visited the National Firearms Museum 12 years ago, but had not seen several new highlights including the Petersen Gallery, the Hollywood Guns exhibit, and a special AK-74 MTK90 Jubilee Rifle given by Arsenal, Inc. to celebrate her father’s 90th birthday and 35 years of the AK-74 model.

Kalashnikova also gave an interview in her native tongue for John Popp from NRA News, discussing her trip to the United States and the importance of building and nurturing relationship with friends in the American firearms industry.

“It is wonderful to see two countries that are different working together and being good friends,” she said. Elena also shared that her father, now 91 years old is doing well at home in Russia and sends his regards. “He loves all of you; he loves the group [NRA].”

national firearms museum at international sportsmen's expo on nrablog

National Firearms Museum Senior Curator Phil Schreier sends us the following from California:

The National Firearms Museum continues its western tour this afternoon by dropping anchor at the International Sportsmen’s Expo at the Cal State Expo Center in Sacramento, California. In tow are seven iconic firearms from the Hollywood Guns exhibit.

The ISE show, as it is locally known, is the largest outdoor expo show held in the State of California. Over 40,000 visitors will make their way through the four day show which opened on Thursday. For only two more days, those who are in the northern California area can come by and visit this “Museum on the Road” exhibit.

Tom Selleck’s Sharps from Quigley Down Under as well as Clint Eastwood’s Walker Colt from Josey Wales (which was also used by John Wayne in True Grit) and the rubber dummy gun he used as Dirty Harry, are just a few of the seven guns on display.

It has been a very rewarding experience over the first two days of the show. The promoters expect a crowd to come through the hall equal to the number of visitors that annually visit the NFM in Fairfax. The Outdoor Channel’s American Rifleman TV show is evidently popular here as well because it seems as if every third visitor to the booth has had a generous and positive comment to make about the “This Old Gun” segment of the program.

In addition to the museum exhibit, the NRA is hosting Refuse to be a Victim seminars and also has a membership booth set up (Booth #1213 Building B) offering show special membership and renewal rates.

Come by and see the show, its open from 10 until 5 on Sunday.

More information and a list of exhibitors can be found at

.44 caliber Italian Walker Colt & eye patch from John Wayne's Oscar winning performance in the 1969 classic True Grit Most are familiar with the story behind the movie True Grit. Set in the post Civil War era, a recently orphaned teen-aged girl (Mattie) seeks out the services of one Rooster Cogburn ... the meanest Marshall in the West. Mattie wants Rooster to track down the man who killed her father. Today's version of True Grit, nominated for ten Oscars and directed by the dynamic duo known as the Coen brothers , stars Josh Brolin, Matt Damon, and Jeff Bridges as Rooster. If you've picked up a paper or visited an entertainment website then you know it's been burning up the box office. Is it better than the original 1969 version starring the iconic John Wayne? Hard to say. But what we can say is that we have a piece of the John Wayne classic right here in the NRA National Firearms Museum (NFM).

As part of the ever popular Hollywood Guns exhibit, the Museum is in possession of three items from the original John Wayne movie. First is a statue of Wayne dressed in his full Rooster regalia. Next is the original eye-patch that provides a weathered, beaten-but-not-broken look along with an autographed photo of Wayne. And finally, the .44 caliber Italian Walker Colt that seldom stayed in Rooster's holster.

Each of these special pieces currently call the William B. Ruger Special Exhibit Gallery home. Along with more than 125 firearms and accessories from the last 70 years of movie making, the pieces from True Grit join a number of other award winning motion pictures including The Hurt Locker, We Were Soldiers, and The Untouchables.

For you chance to experience a touch of Hollywood right here in Virginia, come visit the National Firearms Museum at 11250 Waples Mill Road in Fairfax, Virginia. We're open everyday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except major holidays.

The New Year brings about a new list of shows and events for the curators of the NRA National Firearms Museum to attend. First on the agenda for Director Jim Supica and Senior Curator Phil Schreier is the Beinfeld Vegas Antique Show at the the Nock Volley Gun from the 1960 movie The Alamo on NRAblogRiviera Hotel & Casino.

"The Las Vegas Antique Arms Show is considered one of the finest arms shows in the world," said Schreier. "For the serious collector it is a must-attend event."

Scheduled for display at Beinfeld's is:

  • No Country for Old Men's Remington 11-87 semi-auto shotgun
  • Dirty Harry's Smith & Wesson Model 29
  • Die Hard's Beretta 92
  • The Alamo's Nock Volley Gun
  • Captain Reynold's pistol from Serenity
  • Magnum P.I.'s 1911

From there the guys will pack up their goodies and head over the SHOT Show. Then it's Sacramento for the International Sportsman's Expo and Reno for Safari Club International.

"Taking these treasures out on the road is the only way some people will have the opportunity to see these icons," said Shreier. "It's a lot of travel, but we try to share these wonderful firearms with as much of the public as possible."

Trick or treating at the National Firearms Museum with Phil Schreier, Jim Supica, Doug Wicklund and Wendy Cunningham on NRAblog

I would be remiss had I not mentioned the gang at the National Firearms Museum. Dressed above in their Halloween regalia, these guys and gals saw the museum through one of the busiest seasons ever. In addition to the official grand opening of both the Hollywood Guns exhibit and the Robert E. Petersen Gallery, they juggled events such as Thursday night's Curator's Corner on, their Night at the Museum specials, and more. They were constantly on the road, usually under the gun, and always on top of their game.

Final highlights from the year include our encounters with Australian singing sensation Steve Lee, the non-stop efforts of Disabled Shooting Manager Vanessa Ross, the work of, and dozens more. For those I left out, you have my apologies. It was a heck of a busy year.

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