By Lars Dalseide | August 1 2013 11:51

Follow the evolution of hunting and sporting guns at Bass Pro in Springfield

The NRA National Sporting Arms Museum opens Friday, August 2, in Springfield, Missouri
The NRA National Sporting Arms Museum opens Friday, August 2, in Springfield, Missouri.

Springfield, Missouri - It's been ten years in the making. Ten years since Bass Pro Shops Founder Johnny Morris set foot in National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia. Ten years since he decided to open a similar showcase at the "granddaddy of all outdoor stores" in Springfield.

"The collection here at Bass Pro Shops is one of the finest ever assembled," said Director of NRA Museum Jim Supica. "What we've put together here is a sporting arms collection that the world has never seen.”

On display are hand-selected prizes from the National Firearms Museum, the American Trapshooting Association’s Hall of Fame, the Remington Arms Company and the Pachmayr Foundation. Home to almost 1,000 pieces of history, the firearms on exhibit include flintlocks from the 1700s, shotguns from the Old West, pistols taken out by Texas Rangers and Olympic gold medals.

There's a great deal of history hanging on these walls.

The entrance way to the National Sporting Arms Museum in Springfield, Missouri
Cases and displays aligning the entrance of the National Sporting Arms Museum.

"A favorite piece is Major John W. Hession's Springfield 03 Rifle."

One of the world's top long range rifle shooter of the early 20th Century, John Hession shot his Springfield Model 1903 at the 1908 Olympics in England and at the NRA National Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio. Though winning countless trophies and setting several records with the Springfield, Hession didn't hesitate to send the bolt-action overseas.

While England braced for a German invasion, they found themselves lacking in one vital area ... firearms. So they asked Americans to pack up their guns and send them east for England's defense. Hession did just that. But not before attaching a plaque on the side which read,“FOR OBVIOUS REASONS THE RETURN OF THIS RIFLE AFTER GERMANY IS DEFEATED WOULD BE DEEPLY APPRECIATED.”

After the war, the rifle was returned.

The Hession rifle, along with another 950+ classic and historic firearms, will be here for the public to oow and aah over starting Friday, August 2, at 10:00 am. Start making your plans to visit now.

Inside the National Sporting Arms Museum in Springfield, MO

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