The British Royal Navy ordered more than 600 flintlock Volley Guns from British gunmaker Henry Nock. These were intended to repel boarders. All seven barrels fired at the same time. The resulting fireball would sometimes set rigging afire, and the recoil was heavy enough to injure the sailor firing the gun. For the 1960 film The Alamo, Richard Widmark, portraying Jim Bowie, wielded this original Nock Volley Gun.
The ultimate sidearm for any vampire hunter, this elaborately engraved, silver-plated Colt .38 Special Detective Special revolver is fitted within a coffin-shaped ebony case that holds holy water, mirror, a wooden stake and silver bullets cast in the shape of miniature vampire heads. The gothic engraving by Francolini includes bats on the cylinder, a cross at the muzzle, and a rampant colt on a coffin.
With their armed forces equipped with bolt action rifles, production of semi-automatic rifles in Imperial Japan during the Second World War was restricted to a handful of experimental and prototype models.
Shortly before the war's end, the Imperial Navy produced the Type 5 rifle, a 7.7mm caliber copy of the American M1 Garand featuring a 10-round box magazine rather than the M1's 8-round en bloc clip. Less than 100 were made and it is unlikely that any were ever issued.
This late 19th Century folding trigger Belgian pinfire revolver achieves its remarkable twenty-one round capacity by using two concentric rows of chambers in the cylinder and two over/under barrels. Patented by Casimir Lefaucheux of Paris in the 1830's, the pinefire was one of the earliest self contained cartridge systems and included a "firing pin" in each cartridge.
Although in fairly wide use in Europe at the onset of the American Civil War, relatively few pinfires saw use in the conflict with Americans opting for rimfire and centerfire cartridges instead.
This 22-shot repeating air rifle is an original Girardoni-style military pattern rifle, just like the ones carried on the Lewis & Clark Expedition. Girardoni air rifles came equipped with three detachable air reservoirs, each requiring about 1,500 strokes of a pump to reach operating pressure (about 800 psi). The .462 caliber air rifle could fire up to 70 shots before a reservoir required replacing.
One of NRA Board Member Tom Selleck's most celebrated roles came as the Hawaii-based private investigator Thomas Magnum. This Colt 1911 pistol is the trusty sidearm Selleck used on-screen from 1980-88. The actual gun is surprisingly not a .45, but a 9mm that has been adapted to fire blanks.
Long-barreled Colt Single-Action Army revolvers with detachable skeletonized shoulder stocks and folding leaf rear sights came to be known as "Buntline Special" guns after dime novel author Ned Buntline. "Buntline" describes a type of revolver that would normally take a sentence or two to depict; that is its major and possibly its only virtue.
This ornate model with gold inlays and a gold stock is definitely not the version you would see with the likes of legendary lawmen Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, or Bill Tilghman.
Each week we highlight several firearms from the world-class NRA Museums collection. Some are historical, some are ornately decorated, and some are both. Practically all of the guns we showcase are on display at one of the three NRA Museums locations: the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Missouri; and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest in Raton, New Mexico.
This week we have something a little different. The Great American Outdoor Show is going on in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and NRA Museums gathered some fascinating pieces from their collection to put on display at the show's NRA booth.