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  • NRA Museums

    The Sundial Cannon – This curious time piece is an excellent example of the now scarce sundial guns. The variant pictured is of marble, brass and glass construction dating from approximately 1850. The cannon is a brass miniature fixture with a .30 caliber bore.

  • Paul Lukianovich Jr.

    The Sundial Cannon-This sundial gun is of marble, brass glass construction dating from approximately 1850. The cannon is a brass mini fixture with a .30 ca bore. As the sun moves across the sky, the beam is narrowed through the suspended glass lens gnomon travels along the stone etched arc, ticking off the hours at each pass. At Noon, the sun’s rays land on the cannon’s breech, sparking a powder charge previously placed in the trough-shaped touchhole.

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SUNDIAL CANNON: This curious time piece is an excellent example of the now scarce sundial guns. The variant pictured is of marble, brass and glass construction dating from approximately 1850. The cannon is a brass miniature fixture with a .30 caliber bore.

Marlin M1893 Rifle - Marlin offered the 1893 in the standard rifle, carbine & even as lightweight rifles & muskets. If one wanted a 30" barrel, the musket could be had, although the standard rifle came in lengths up to 32". Calibers offered in the Model 1893 Marlin included .25-36, .30-30, .32 Special, .32-40 and .38-55. Round or octagonal barrels could be had or even a combination part-round, part-octagonal could be chosen. At the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA.

Remington Cane Gun - This Remington cane gun with a finely carved ivory duck head handle was one of the deluxe options offered with this .32 caliber rimfire accoutrement, well-suited for any well-dressed gentleman of the 1870s or 1880s. To prevent dirt or mud from getting up inside the bore, while strolling along the boulevard, a fitted end piece that would be removed before firing was also part of the cane gun ensemble. NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA.

Ann Patrick Double Rifle - Our GOTD is a percussion double rifle built by Ann Patrick of Liverpool. With big .70 caliber bores, this double rifle was likely manufactured when Ann Patrick had her shop from 1820-1830 at 44 Strand Street and was the daughter of Jeremiah Patrick, a noted flintlock gunmaker of Liverpool. The unique engraving on this piece also gives you the chance to see something looking back to you when you examine the patchbox. At the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA.

Triple-Barreled Perry Percussion Rifle- From the donor’s supplied family history, covering five generations with this rifle, that every time today’s GUN OF THE DAY was used for hunting, game came home for the table. Maybe it was just having three ready shots on hand, perhaps the heart-shaped rear sight helped, or maybe this was one lucky gun…

Dreyse Revolver - While his father’s zundnadelgewehr (needle-gun) was only a single-shot – Franz von Dreyse went for repeating capability with his revolver design. Made in .32, .35 and our example’s .39 caliber in the late 1860s; perhaps this wasn’t the best time to offer a handgun that required a long needle firing pin to detonate the primer deep inside the cartridge? The Dreyse revolver saw limited military and commercial acceptance. At the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA

Colt M1862 Police revolver - 150 years ago, the Colt factory had a bad day. It burned down. Believed started by Confederate agents, the Colt fire in 1864 put a real crimp in the company’s percussion revolver production for the remainder of the year. But one gun that didn’t burn up in Hartford, CT was this engraved Colt .36 caliber revolver. This five-shot handgun probably sold for an elevated price in the high demand market of 1864. At the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA.

European Ten Shot Harmonica Pistol- In Europe, the popularity of the pinfire cartridge, combined with the harmonica concept, resulted in this ten-shot repeater. The rectangular magazine had to be shifted by hand for each shot, but the detachable magazine assembly could be quickly unhinged to clear spent cases & then reloaded with new cartridges. While the maker is unknown, the caliber on this rare item is 9mm. This unusual pistol is on display at the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA.

Ancient sundial found in northern Greece

Joalland Needle-fire pistol - This all-metal Louis Joalland pistol was made in Bourges, France and like the Dreyse rifle, this handgun is a single shot design, opening by twisting to the right and pulling back to insert a cartridge into the chamber. The engraving on this pistol includes stylized griffins amidst the raised scroll embellishments. The blackpowder propellant of that period was fairly corrosive. This .40 caliber handgun, on display in the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA.

Graham Turret Gun - Edmund H. Graham’s 1856 patent outlines the GOTD's unique features – a rotating turret with 5 .60 caliber chambers with each chamber set 72 degrees apart. But there was a problem. The horizontal turret design meant that at least 2 chambers were facing backwards towards the shooter and in an age of potential multiple discharges – Graham’s gun was a distinct liability to fire. Perhaps that is why there was only one? NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA

COLARD DOUBLE-ACTION PINFIRE REVOLVER: Belgian Charles T. Colard crafted a fine double-action pinfire piece in this revolver, which carries out an incredible baroque theme of embellishment. Few other firearms have a barrel that begins as hexagonal, changes to round profile, and then goes to hexagonal configuration again, only to shift to a series of ringed sections at the muzzle. Unusual multi-colored gold inlays are scattered over the blued and case-colored surfaces of this revolver as well.