by Phil Schreier, NRA Museums Senior Curator - Friday, September 23, 2016
When you hand out a business card that reads “Curator, NRA Museums,” you know you are inviting an endless stream of individuals calling, writing or emailing about their need to identify a firearm that they have a desire to know more about -- that’s the nature of the business.
I have always welcomed the inquiries that I cannot answer off of the top of my head, as it has driven me to expand my knowledge and understanding of arms and exposed me to something new.
To assist us in our daily tasks, each of the Curators here at the NRA’s National Firearms Museum has a personal library that we rely upon very frequently.
These are seven of my favorite (and most often used) books in the field of gun collecting:
Now in its 37th edition, the Big Book of Gun Values is the most used reference in the NRA Museums office. At over 2,500 pages, it lists over 1,700 manufacturers, 22,700 models and over 500,000 individual values. Updated annually, this book is indispensible for the serious collector.
These books have no peer in their field. They illustrate and tell the compelling story of how American military arms were designed and manufactured, igniting the fire that became the industrial revolution. Every model of military service arm is examined from 1775 through 1865.
For those not quite ready to build a collection but want to appreciate a vast, illustrated history of firearms, the staff of the NRA National Firearms Museum have authored "The Illustrated History of Firearms," available at the NRAstore.
To see one of the world's finest collections of historic, rare and unique firearms, visit the NRA Museums in person or online at http://www.nramuseum.com.