By Lars Dalseide | April 14 2014 15:23

Museum piece with NRA Test stamp part of NRA Publications collection

A double-barreled Savage Fox Model B NRA Test Shotgun

Fairfax, Virginia - There's a story behind every gun at the National Firearms Museum. Who owned it, where it was manufactured, where it was used, etc ... Unfortunately, not every story is compelling as the next. But for some, it's the story behind the story that makes them fascinating.

Enter Savage's double-barreled Fox Model B shotgun.

"It's part of the standard Fox line of shotguns," started Senior NRA Museums Curator Philip Schreier. "A standard side-by-side. But what makes it special is what is engraved on the side ... NRA Test. That tells the story behind the museum."

As Schreier tells it, the NRA started off in 1871 as an organization geared towards holding matches as a way of increasing the marksmanship skills of the military and civilian population. Three years later, a match won by an NRA representative had a rifle in the purse. A Remington Rolling Block model 1871.

"That rifle was donated to the NRA ... the first of our collection."

Engraving on a double-barreled Fox Model B NRA Test Shotgun

47 years after that, in 1921, a bi-monthly magazine we all know today as American Rifleman hit the presses. A magazine on guns and shooting needs content. And when it comes to content, the firearm manufactures of the day were happy to comply.

"Every manufacturer in the industry would send guns to be tested and hopefully praised in the magazine. They started to pile up. A few years later, in 1935, they decided to open a museum to display these guns. That's how the National Firearms Museum was born."

Walk through the halls of the National Firearms Museum and you'll see the odd stock or two stamped with "NRA Test". That means while the gun is property of the NRA Museum, it started out as property of NRA Publications. And that's the story behind the story of the Savage Model B shotgun.

While my version is, well, endearing, you should really hear Phil tear into the tale. To do that, all you have to do is tune in to the Sportsman Channel tonight around 6:40pm and breathe in the masterstrokes of our Senior Curator on NRA News.

Down the open barrel of a double-barreled Savage Fox Model B NRA Test Shotgun

See all of the guns in the NRA National Firearms Museum at


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