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Expanding Firearm History at the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum

When the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, MO, opened in 2013 to the general public, it added yet another world-class educational institution to the list of NRA museums. Last year, the museum welcomed their one millionth visitor. This 7,500-square-foot facility is located in southwest Missouri at the flagship store of the Bass Pro retail network, and it was specifically designed to reflect the themes of hunting, conservation and freedom. Additionally, there are guns of competition featured at the museum.

There are nearly 1,000 spectacular firearms on exhibit, many from the NRA National Firearms Museum collection in Fairfax, VA, but many are on loan specifically for the newest museum in the heart of the Ozarks. Among the special loans are items from the Remington Arms Co. Museum of Ilion, NY; the collection of the Trapshooting Hall of Fame of the Amateur Trapshooting Association custom classics from the personal collection of the late Frank Pachmayr and many, many more.

With nearly 40 exhibit cases housing some of the most valuable and historically significant firearms in public or private hands, visitors will be able to see firearms once owned and used by such historical luminaries as Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill Cody, Col. Theodore Roosevelt and his son Gen. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., Gen. Dwight David Eisenhower, President Grover Cleveland, Napoleon Bonaparte, England’s King James II and a host of others.

Five of the largest exhibit cases portray the development of hunting arms in America, from Colonial times to present. It includes dioramas of an Indian hunting in the Eastern woodlands, Lewis & Clark with their air rifle, an 1880’s buffalo hunter, a 1950’s hunting cabin, and a contemporary father and daughter enjoying a duck hunt together.

A full-size mannequin represents Col. Theodore Roosevelt during his African safari of 1909. As well, “Guns of Old West Outlaws and Lawmen,” contains arms from such historical notables as Frank Hamer, John Wesley Hardin, Jesse James and “Black Jack” Ketchum, rounding out the exhibits and special collections on display in this remarkable location. So if you are travelling on historic Route 66, headed to Branson or stopping by Wilson’s Creek Civil War battlefield, be sure to drop in and visit this gem of a museum and reconnect with some of our American history.

The NRA National Sporting Arms Museum is located at the Springfield, MO, Bass Pro retail store (1935 S. Campbell St., Springfield, MO 65807). It is open every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with extended hours during the Bass Pro Fall Hunting Classic. Museum-goers can take advantage of free admission and parking. For more information about the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum, visit basspro.com/nramuseum. Additional details on the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA., can be found at nramuseum.org.

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