By Lars Dalseide | August 29 2011 07:53

Case containing the Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum that Robert Petersen used to take down a Polar Bear in 1965 on NRAblog

Fairfax, Virginia - In October of 2010, the National Firearms Museum opened the Robert E. Petersen Gallery. Though filled with some of the finest sporting arms in the world, the gallery was incomplete. One of the cornerstones had yet to arrive. As this particular piece The Petersen Polar Bear exhibit at NRA Headquarters on NRAblog was more than twelve feet tall and weighed over 1,500 pounds, it's understandable that Director Jim Supica and his staff took a little extra time to prepare the proper location. That's just what they did earlier this year when Petersen's Polar Bear arrived.

After a little noodling around, they decided the Polar Bear by itself wasn't going to do it. To understand the entire experience, they believed the public needed a little more. Here's Senior Curator Doug Wicklund to tell you what happened.

NRA staff and visitors who arrive at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia have been impressed with the recent addition of the 14-foot polar bear that now inhabits the building’s North lobby. But now the full story can be revealed with the addition of a display case nearby - telling the tale of how this immense bear was hunted by Robert E. Petersen off the coast of Alaska.

Even better, inside the case rests the actual Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum revolver that Petersen used on the hunt.

One awed NRA guest was heard to quip, ”I never knew NRA supported the right to keep and arm bears,” after seeing the new ensemble.

To take a look at Petersen's Polar Bear, and the rest of the breathtaking pieces that populate their collection, stop by the National Firearms Museum here at 11250 Waples Mill Road in Fairfaix, Virginia. Opened daily from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, admission is free and the parking is ample.

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