When the folks from the National Firearms Museum
put together the layout for the Petersen Gallery, an instant eye catcher was the Gatling Gun display case. Eight models, six big and two small, in grand view for all to see. Thinking that my position here at the NRA might allow a little in–person access to these beauties, I approached Museum Director Jim Supica with such a request. I was rebuffed. Until, that is, a camera crew for The History Channel
Technically they aren't a camera crew for the History Channel — they are a crew from a production company shooting a show for the History Channel. But saying that they're from the History Channel is still well within bounds and let's be honest ... the story flows better without the explanation.
As soon as the crew arrived with their mics, lights and cameras, opened popped the doors of the Gatling Gun case. First into the brink was Supica followed closely by producer/director Mark Finkelpearl. They picked a Gatling to highlight & Supica started to do his thing; history of the gun, rounds per second, effective range, etc ... I have to tell you, it's darn impressive to see the museum guys unleash their passion and knowledge about some of these pieces.
Over a two-day period, Mark and his gang went over everything from ammunition to rifles to pistols to the Gatlings. But it wasn't enough. In a couple weeks, after recording another handful of experts, they're coming back for a second take at the guns. And it won't just be Jim and Phil (Schreier) talking about the guns. No, next time, we're going to fire a few for their special slo-mo camera systems.
Bet I don't get any in–person access to the Gatlings then either.