The National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia, is pleased to announce its newest addition, a gallery created by the donation of an exquisite firearms collection from Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Petersen. Considered one of the world’s most avid sportsmen, Mr. Petersen published a number of iconic American magazines including Hot Rod, Guns & Ammo, and Motor Trend.
The Robert E. Petersen Gallery is scheduled to open on October 8, 2010. The opening marks the culmination of Mr. Petersen’s dream to share his extraordinary collection of firearms with the world. Each will reside at the National Firearms Museum where they will be preserved for the education and enjoyment of future generations.
The 2,000 square foot Petersen Gallery will firmly establish the NRA National Firearms Museum as the finest firearms museum in the country. While every firearm selected is exceptional in its own way, notable highlights include:
- Largest collection of fine double rifles on display to the public.
- Exceptional collection of high end double barrel shotguns.
- Largest Gatling gun collection on public display.
- Guns owned and used by noted individuals such as Annie Oakley, John Olin, Robert Stack, Julian Hatcher, John F. Kennedy, Hermann Goering & Elmer Keith.
Bob and Margie first established a relationship with the NRA’s National Firearms Museum in the 1990s when they loaned a substantial part of his antique Colt collection for display. Since that time, the museum has always been fortunate to exhibit priceless treasures from Mr. Petersen’s personal collection.
“Husband, father, veteran, publisher, restaurateur, outdoorsman, automobile enthusiast, philanthropist and friend are all words that partially describe Mr. Petersen,” Museum Director Jim Supica said. “The quality of arms and the artistry of the engraving on many pieces is simply phenomenal, and the National Firearms Museum is honored to display selections of Mr. Petersen’s historical collection for all Americans to see.”
While the collection is broad and varied, if there is a pervasive theme, it is that of the finest sporting arms in the world, including those by makers such as Beretta, Boss, Holland & Holland, Purdey, Fabbri, Galazan, Westley Richards, Parker, Browning and Rizzini.
“The generosity of the Petersens goes beyond anything the National Firearms Museum has ever seen,” Senior Curator Phil Schreier said. “Mr. Petersen established the finest collection of extraordinary sporting arms ever assembled by any American.”
Robert E. Petersen was born in Southern California in 1926. Following service in the US Army Air Corps in World War II, his interest in modified sports cars led him to create Hot Rod magazine in 1948. That flagship publication eventually grew into a publishing empire numbering 32 monthly periodicals and included: Guns & Ammo, Petersen’s Hunting, and Handguns.
He hunted on nearly every continent and was credited with being the first person to ever take a polar bear with a .44 Magnum handgun. He was named Commissioner of Shooting Sports for the XXIIIrd Olympiad held in 1984, in Los Angeles, California.
The National Firearms Museum is located at 11250 Waples Mill Road in Fairfax, Virginia, and is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no admission fee. For more information, visit NRAmuseum.com.