Japanese semi-auto Nambu pistols were manufactured in several variations, but the Poppa and Baby models are the most rare. The larger Poppa was chambered for an 8mm cartridge and the diminutive Baby utilized a 7mm round. Both pistols had a single recoil spring on the bolt mechanism's left side and except for size, sights, and caliber, the two pistols are nearly identical in their operation.
In case you doubted that the 9mm Radom VIS-35 pistol was designed by Polish engineers, their names were Wilnewczyc and Skrzypinski. Following a Browning design with locking lugs between the barrel and slide, this handgun’s lower barrel had a shaped cam similar to the FN GP35 Hi Power pistol.
Germany captured the production plant in 1939 and as the Second World War continued to unfold, the pistol's hammer release catches and stripping catches were eventually dispensed with, as reflected in the model above. The grip safety, however, continued to be included through the end of production.
As “snake” fever gains ground with collectors across the country, the Colt Diamondback has gained quite the following. Made only from 1966 to 1991, the Diamondback was one of Colt’s double-action revolver lineups and was offered in .22LR, .22WMR and .38 Special chambering. This factory-engraved nickel-plated .22LR is part of the Artistry in Arms collection donated to the NRA National Firearms Museum in 1993 by Dr. William L. and Collette M. Roberts.
During its eight-year production run from 1865 to 1873, Remington's New Model Pocket revolver was manufactured in both percussion and metallic cartridge versions. As a small pocket handgun in .32 rimfire, the spur trigger was offered in an iron frame configuration, although some early percussion examples had a brass frame.
The Spencer carbine was one of the most popular firearms of the American Civil War. Dubbed the “horizontal shot tower” for its high rate of fire, some ordnance officers were not as enthusiastic about the gun due to worries that soldiers would quickly waste its pricey ammunition.
But a cutoff patented by Edward Stabler in 1865 allowed the seven cartridges in the gun's tubular magazine to be held in reserve, allowing the shooter able to independently fire, eject, and reload a single cartridge. Ordnance officials loved it and the cutoff was ordered to be fitted to the .50 caliber carbines, but didn't receive approval until April 17, 1865, eight days after General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House.
The Winchester Model 1866, known as the "Yellowboy" on the frontier for its bronze alloy receiver, was the first rifle branded with the manufacturer's name. The innovative gun was also the first with a side loading gate on its receiver. More than 127,000 were produced through 1898, although less than 2,000 were made after 1892 due to the release of the more powerful Model 1873 and Model 1892 Winchesters.
Billy Dixon famously wielded a "Big Fifty" Sharps rifle in the siege at Adobe Walls near Ft. Griffin on the Texas frontier. And while this particular gun wasn't there with him, it's mighty impressive on its own.
Firing a nearly 500-grain paper-patched lead projectile atop 90 grains of blackpowder, the “Big Fifty” was a powerful cartridge introduced by the Sharps company in 1875 catalog. For buffalo hunters following the southern herd, this cartridge and a good single-shot rifle like the Sharps could result in substantial harvests of meat and hides.
It's Friday, which means there's a new slew of amazing NRA Museums guns to gaze at! There's no shortage of beautiful, historic, or beautiful and historic firearms in the NRA Museums' world-class collection. Click on through the gallery above to see this week's featured pieces.
Want to see the collection in person? Visit one of NRA Museums' three locations at the NRA National Firearms Museum, NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at BassPro, or the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest. You can even browse some of the collection's more notable pieces online at www.nramuseums.com.
Note: The navigation buttons for this gallery may be hard to see. White arrows allowing you to view the next or previous firearm are located on the left center and right center of each image.