By Lars Dalseide | March 12 2014 11:23

Baltimore Gun Show to have the best in antique arms this side of the Mississippi

Alexander Henry Howdah Pistol at NRA Museum in Fairfax Fairfax, Virginia - If you're anywhere on the East Coast this weekend and you're a gun aficionado then you're in luck, because Saturday marks the opening of the Antique Arms Show. Located right outside of Baltimore, Maryland, Antique Arms is "the crown jewel of collectors shows."

"What you're going to see is the finest collection of antique arms this side of the Mississippi," said National Firearms Museum Senior Curator Philip Schreier. "Every gun museum in the East is going to be there."

More than 1,000 tables with everything from Civil War cannons and Revolutionary War muskets will be on display at the Maryland State Fairgrounds Cow Palace in Timonium, Maryland. And there will be something special from the NRA Museums too.

"We're bringing some very special pieces," said Schreier. "Two Rodda Rifles and an Alexander Henry Howdah Pistol. Each in their original cases."

One Rodda is an exhibition grade double rifle with gold-plated furniture fitted with fully rifled Damascus barrels that were proofed as 15 gauge bores. The other, made for a Maharajah who enjoyed the hunt, is a classic .450/.400 double rifle with deeply chiseled engraving of tiger hunting in a jungle and elk hunting in a woodland venue.

The Howdah is real treat.

For those unfamiliar with the gun, a Howdah is the bed or carriage carried on the back of an elephant. When in the Far East for a tiger hunt, the hunters carried a big bore pistol as a last resort. Against what? Against the tiger.

"The beasts would sometimes climb the back of the elephant to go after the hunter. If you're about to go face to face with an angry tiger, having such a pistol was a good way to end the struggle."

The show, also known as the Original Baltimore Show, opens at 9:00am on Saturday and Sunday. With tickets going for $10 a day, it would be a shame to let this one slip by.

Rodda Maharaja Grade Side by Side Double Rifle - .450/400 cal. at NRA Museum

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