It’s summertime! That means extra time with the kids to enjoy a bounty of fun activities. When you’re tired of the pool, don’t have enough money for that pricey trip to Disney, and want to experience a piece of Americana, then you may want to visit one of these informative gun museums.
The history and valor that these places showcase can be fun for the whole family. Or, at least if you’re a firearm aficionado, you can share your love of these priceless pieces of history with your kids. If nothing else, it gets you out of the sweltering heat for a couple of hours.
Here are five of the best gun museums with amazing memorabilia collections around the United States. Hopefully, one of these museums could be a day trip from where you live.
The NRA National Sporting Arms Museum (Springfield, Missouri)
The National Rifle Association actually runs three separate museums in different locations, but the first one on this list is heavily focused on hunting memorabilia. This one is located inside a Bass Pro Shop. The National Sporting Arms Museum has a collection that features firearms owned by such great figures in history as Annie Oakley, Teddy Roosevelt, and even the great outlaw Jesse James. They also have some famous movie guns that were used in films featuring Clint Eastwood. There are over 1,000 guns in this collection, but the best part about this museum is that it’s absolutely free to visit.
The National Firearms Museum (Fairfax, Virginia)
Another museum run by the National Rifle Association is this one in Virginia. The National Firearms Museum features a collection of over 3,000 firearms. It’s an extensive collection of historical pieces, like the flintlock that was owned by an actual pilgrim who came over on the Mayflower. There are also more modern pieces, movie memorabilia, and other points of interest in the 85 exhibits that make up this 15,000 square foot space. Admission is also free to this museum which is open daily from 9.30 AM to 5:00 PM.
Cody Dug-Up Gun Museum (Cody, Wyoming)
This is a collection of Wild Wild West memorabilia that will truly transport you back in time. The Cody Dug-Up Gun Museum will have you enthralled with tales of bank robbers, saloon shootouts, and gangster battles. These weapons are also carefully preserved and not cleaned, so you get the true look of these historical weapons. Admission is also free to this museum, which is open seven days a week, May through September. The owners are proud Second Amendment supporters, and rely on donations to keep the museum operational.
Autry Museum of the American West (Los Angeles, California)
Another museum on the list that features the Old West pretty prominently is the Gene Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, California. They have a whole section dedicated to the famous Colt revolver. There is also a garden, artwork of the west, and different exhibitions that come to showcase other parts of the old west heritage. This museum is $14 for adults and $6 for kids. Seniors are $10. At least it’s cheaper than Disneyland, right?
The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
This is a gorgeous and modern museum that’s located in Oklahoma City. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is definitely a fun place to spend a few hours visiting. You’ll want to spend some time in their “Fine American Firearms” gallery, which has 100 rare pieces of weaponry you won’t see anywhere else. They also have a restaurant on site if your gang gets hungry while they are there. Adults are $10, and kids are $6.