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    • NRA Museums

      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.

    • NRA Museums

      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.

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    Michie Pistol- With its distinctive profile & no wooden stocks, this James Michie-made one is the best example of an all-metal Scottish pistol represented in the museum collection. Finely engraved & with a graceful lyre-shaped buttstock termination, this .56 caliber pistol has a vent pick concealed by the finial ball ornament, which unscrews to reveal the vent pick. The slender ramrod under the muzzle seems hardly strong enough to handle the chore of charging the barrel.

    Colt Model 1911, No. 4 - It’s been a while since we showcased a nice 1911 and the low serial number on this one also ought to attract some attention. Wish we had 1, 2, and 3 here. This M1911 .45 pistol bears No. 4 on its right frame face. During the developmental evolution of the Model 1911, there were duplicates of very low numbers as different variations were created and evaluated. We think the finish on this one is fantastic and it obviously never saw much usage.

    Heckler & Koch Model 270 - Here’s a donation that arrived. Heckler & Koch offered a line of rimfire semi-auto rifles in the 1980s. Our collection already included their Model 300 in .22WMR, but our new donated piece was the matching M270 rifle, chambered in .22 long rifle. This is a very nice little rifle, given us by a Florida member, & made even better as it bears serial #024. Unfortunately H&K discontinued this semi-auto rifle model in 1985 & the .22 Magnum M300 was not imported after 1986.

    Parsons’ Smiths - Herb Parsons was very well known as an exhibition shooter for Winchester and excelled with any model of rifle or shotgun. Today, we’ve elected to showcase his pair of plated Smith & Wesson Revolvers – one in .22 and the other is chambered for .38.

    Holland & Holland Shotgun Set: Part II - The second shotgun in this Holland & Holland set is dedicated to the later Apollo missions in 1971 and 1972, where the lunar rover is depicted. The engraving covers the whole mission – beginning with launching and concluding with a splash-landing. But somehow a little bit of traditional engraving also worked its way into this set – notice the waterfowl flying in the foreground of the Cape Kennedy blastoff scene.

    Annie Oakley’s Gold Hibbard .410 Shotgun - Manufactured in Chicago, Gold Hibbard was the trade brand name used by Hibbard, Spencer & Bartlett on their general market line of imported shotguns. This shotgun was reputedly given by Annie Oakley to Mary Estell Beavers, a close friend during a shooting exhibition in Oklahoma.

    Philippine Resistance Revolver - During WWII, Philippine resistance fighters found themselves with a shortage of weapons to use against Japanese occupation forces. Completely built by hand, this primitive manually-operated revolver worked in a pinch. Chambered in .38 S&W, it was built in the mountains of Mindanao using only a 12-inch rough cut file and a breast drill. NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA

    Winchester Golden Spike Commemorative- Our GOTD represents a gun made to reflect the final golden spike in the transcontinental railroad that joined the East & West, which over time came to signify what happened at Promontory Point, Utah on May 10, 1869. Winchester honored the centennial of that historic event with a special commemorative gun – the Golden Spike – built on their Model 1894 design. This .30-30 lever-action featured a golden-plated receiver & about 70,000 were to be manufactured.

    Remington-Beals First Model Pocket Percussion Revolver- This was the first revolver to be manufactured by Remington-Beals. Production began in 1857 with the expiration of Colt's master patent for revolvers, & approximately 5,000 were manufactured in 1857-58. These revolvers featured a blued finish with casehardened hammer & smooth gutta percha grips. This model also employed an externally mounted pawl on the left side of the frame which was used to rotate the cylinder. NRA Museum in Fairfax, VA

    Smith & Wesson Model 57 - Some calibers were born to play second fiddle and perhaps our GOTD doesn’t want to play that song. June of 1964 marked the introduction of both the .41 Magnum cartridge and the Smith & Wesson Model 57 revolver. It would be hard to find a nicer engraved example of the “N” frame M57 revolver than this example, fitted with elephant ivory grip panels. The tasteful gold accents don’t hurt, either. NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA.

    Farr Springfield Rifle - At the 1921 Camp Perry National Mataches, first-timer "Dad" Farr chose a stock M1903 rifle from the stand. Using old issue ammo & iron sights, Farr fired an unrivaled string of 71 consecutive bullseyes. Using a rifle he had never shot before, at 1000 yards, Farr shot an incredible record. His fellow shooters chipped in to buy that rifle for Farr that day. A silver plate is mounted on the stock with those who contributed. NRA Museum at Bass Pro in Springfield, MO.

    NRA Parade Rifle - Starting off as a Remington Model 1903A3 rifle during WWII, this bolt-action left military service to fall in with the NRA. For years, a pair of specially refinished Remington M1903A3 rifles fitted with white dress slings & finely polished stocks helped open & close the NRA Annual Meetings. In the hands of well-drilled veteran employees, this rifle escorted the national & state flags to the speaker’s podium each year. NRA Museums in Fairfax, VA & Springfield, MO.

    Colt Frontier Six-Shooter- Sometimes the GOTD just calls for a classic .44. In the West, things were rugged enough on the frontier without having to acquire different cartridges for one’s rifle and revolver. Colt’s .44-40 single-action could accommodate the same cartridges employed in the like-chambered Winchester M1873 & M1892 rifles & carbines. Thus one box of .44 cartridges from the store could serve in either long gun or handgun. NRA Museum in Fairfax, VA.

    This nicely engraved Smith & Wesson Model 39 9mm pistol has several unique embellishments. From the scrimshawed ivory grip panels with “Old Ironsides” sailing proudly on one side and a weary trio of Patriots standing off the British onslaught at Bunker Hill covering the other; surmounting the pistol’s slide top is a striking golden emblem – an American bald eagle holding in its talons the Smith & Wesson corporate logo. NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA.

    Auto Mag Pistol - For a firearms design that was to only have around 9,000 examples manufactured by a variety of companies, the Auto Mag was a handgun that required a lot of special care from its owners. .44 caliber factory produced ammunition was hard to locate and for variations, like this .357 Auto Mag, even tougher. For many enthusiasts that owned one, the Auto Mag pistol was considered to be a “hot rod,” like a custom high performance automobile that required dedicated handloading efforts.

    Smith & Wesson Model 1 ½ - Made between 1868 and 1875, it is chambered in .32 rimfire instead of .32 centerfire. Another difference between this Model 1 ½ and a later one is that it is a tip-up model instead of a top-break and the spent casings must be removed manually, one at a time. NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA.

    NRA Winchester Model 1894 rifle - In 1971 the NRA celebrated its Centennial. More than 40,000 NRA commemorative muskets and rifles were produced by Winchester in 1971, and this one was presented at the Annual Meetings in D.C. to past Pres. Woodson D. Scott. This lever-action Winchester Model 1894 .30-30 rifle had the standard NRA silver medallion on one side of its stock and a golden presentation plate fitted on the other side. NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA.

    A.P. Lane's Olympic Revolver - This Colt revolver, factory-fitted with a skeletonized hammer, was used by A. P. Lane. Known as the “Pistol Wizard,” Lane used this Colt to win five Olympic Gold Medals – three in 1912 & two in 1920. When an Olympian wins a medal, they also get a certificate that goes along with the medal. We’re lucky to have his revolver, his five medals & the five certificates that go along with them! NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA.

    William Hawken Rifle - William Hawken was a brother to the famed Samuel & Jacob Hawken who went west to St. Louis & started outfitting the mountain men heading to the Rockies. But before 1840, William’s shop was in Hagerstown, MD & this fullstock .43 caliber rifle turned up in a local Virginia widow’s closet. At the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA

    Winchester Model 54 rifle - This Winchester Model 54 sporter has a nice birdseye maple stock that definitely isn’t factory configuration, but some lucky shooter wound up with a very good-looking rifle none the less. This bolt-action model was only offered by the Winchester factory for eleven years (1925-1936) and just over 50 thousand were to be made. At the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA

    J. Cooper Left-handed Pennsylvania Kentucky Flintlock Rifle: This left-handed .50 ca flintlock is indeed special. With the flintlock mechanism being somewhat dangerous to fire with your face on the same side of the stock, a left-handed flintlock would have been a handy firearm for southpaw shooters. Cooper’s horse-headed patchbox would work well in either configuration (LH or RH). We’d love to find a right-handed Kentucky that matched the GOTD to exhibit both together.

    Mad Harry’s Smith Wesson Model No. 1 - One of the first revolvers to shoot metallic cartridges, the GOTD had a cylinder that held 7 .22 short cartridges. Our example is engraved, “Mad Harry / Fairfax Court House / July 15th 1861.” on one side and on the other, “Lt. Col. HD Townsend / 1st Cavalry.” Lt. Col. Townsend served in the 1st CT Cavalry received this revolver 153 years ago today – less than a week before the battle of 1st Manassas on July 21, 1861. NRA Museum in Fairfax, VA

    Shoulder Stocked Pistols - Collectors that wander gun show rows might consider themselves lucky to see a single example of a shoulder stocked pistol from time to time. But at the NSAM – there’s an entire exhibit of them on hand. From the M1855 Springfield Percussion Pistol-Carbine through a variety of Dragoon and M1860 Army Colts; six handguns that can also double as a short rifle when necessary. NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, MO.

    Elgin Cutlass Pistol- Our GOTD is the first (and only) combination arm bringing together both a percussion pistol a knife blade that was issued by the US military. It was the first .54 ca smoothbore percussion handgun used by the US, it was also the arm specially made for the 4-year South Seas Expedition commanded by Lt. Charles Wilkes. While called Elgin cutlass pistols by collectors, based on Elgin’s patent, but these combination pistols were actually made by C.B. Allen of Springfield, MA.

    Siberian Expedition M1911- Some US forces were deployed to Russia from August 1918 to June 1920 our .45 ca GOTD was there. The Siberian Expedition included 7,950 US officers/soldiers, many of which were armed with the M1911, including this example with grip panels customized by former German POWs that were part of the American Expeditionary Force. Under cold weather conditions, the M1911 .45 handgun was favored for personal protection while other sidearms with leaf springs didn’t fare as well.