National Museum of the U.S. Army

Many guns in displays

Opens 2020

Fort Belvoir, Virginia

  • Celebrate over 240 years of Army history and honor 
  • 2020 Opening on hold
  •  joint effort between the U.S. Army and the non-profit organization, The Army Historical Foundation (AHF)
  • Admission to the Museum will be free
  • projected to welcome 500,000-750,000 visitors annually
  • U.S. Army will own and operate the Museum
  • AHF will manage the Museum store, café, and catering services for special events
  • the Museum is part of the U.S. Army Center of Military History

1775 Liberty Drive
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060

 (800) 506-2672


U. S. Army Center of Military History

Mission: recording the official history of the Army in both peace and war

  • 1874 history of the Civil War written by historians under the Secretary of War 
  • July 1943 General Staff historical branch created
  • 1968 – 1st “Directory, of US. Army Museums” published (59 listed)
  • 1975 Bicentennial “Guide to US. Army Museums and Historic Sites” compiled by Norman M. Cary
  • 1992 3rd Edition of “A Guide to Us. Army Museums”
  • 2005 4th Edition of “The Guide to US. Army Museums”

Words alone cannot convey the full import of the Army’s historical collection. Until visitors can step inside a CG-4A cargo glider
from World War II, they may never appreciate how fragile these

aircraft were or how brave and resolute were the occupants who
flew in these small behemoths over the night sky at Normandy. The
charred remains of a chaplain’s kit says more about the courage of
its owner than the citation for his Medal of Honor could ever explain.


  • 59 Army museums
  • 176 other holdings
  • 500,000 artifacts
  • 15,000 works of military art
  • maintain the organizational history of Army units

Colonial Shooting Academy


Opened on Wednesday, April 25, 2012

They claim to be, and are referred to as the largest gun range, but no where on their website does it list the features of the facility..

  • largest indoor shooting range in the country
  • 50 shooting lanes from 20 to 25 yards
  • 32 ranges that are open to the public
  • 11 ranges and a “shoot house” for law enforcement training
  • 1,800-square-foot shoothouse
    movable walls, multiple hallways and 10 different rooms
  • 5,000 square feet  of retail
  • classrooms
  • meeting rooms
  • almost 100 guns for rent
  • 2012 Five Star Range – National Shooting Sports Foundation
  • 2013 Range of the Year by SHOT Business Magazine

  • former furniture store, originally constructed in the 1960’s
  • was vacant for 5 years

Colonial Shooting Academy
6020 West Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23230
804.266.AMMO (2666)

Virginia International Raceway Shooting Sports

1,300-acre property

opened in 1957 

Gun Ranges are for Driving Club members only and not open to the general public

  • 1957 opened one of the first permanent American road racing tracks
  • 3.27-mile race track 
  • 1959 the track fell under the control of the Civil Air Patrol
  • October 13, 1974 track was closed
  • 1998 bought
  • 2000 Reopened with Shooting Ranges
  • 2013 became a female owned racetrack

  • 8 ranges varying from 50 to 1,300 yards
  • Tactical Training Complex
  • live fire house
  • sniper tower
  • 2 National Skeet Shooting Association approved ranges
  • classrooms

Virginia International Raceway – Shooting Sports
1245 Pine Tree Road
Alton, VA 24520

National Firearms Museum

3,000 guns on display (6,000+ in archives)


Fairfax, VA

  • Established in 1935 at old NRA Headquarters
  • 1998 moved to current location
  • 20,000 square feet
  • 15 Galleries
  • 85 exhibit cases
  • FREE – Open Almost Every Day
  • 50,000 – 60,000 visitors per year

Published on Nov 22, 2012

We had the opportunity to meet Doug Wicklund, Senior Curator of the NRA National Firearms Museum at the NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia (just outside of Washington D.C.)

Doug showed us the Firearms Library, the Conservation Lab and the Firearms Archives. Thanks to Doug and the NRA for this opportunity to share this ‘behind the scenes’ look at the NRA Museum’s Firearms Collection

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Colonial Williamsburg – Gunsmith Shop

Dozens of firearms (most on display)

Created in 1963

Williamsburg, Virginia

Gunsmiths make rifles, pistols, and fowling pieces using the tools and techniques of their 18th-century

“Four hundred hours” is the generic answer that the Colonial Williamsburg gunsmiths give when the inevitable question, “How long does it take to build a rifle?” 

  • Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
  • a “living museum” of pre-Revolutionary America
  •  re-create the Colonial-era American rifles using the materials, tools and techniques of the Colonial time period
  • 1967-2008 Gunsmith Shop was located on Francis Street near the Capitol
  • 1960  designated a National Historic Landmark District
  • 1966 Wooden Sign Created
  • 2008 Gunsmith Shop moved to James Geddy Sr. & son’s William and David carried on the trade in the mid-18th century
  • musket-firing program is open to participants aged 14 and older


  • 1715 Built as storage for the arms and ammunition from London

Museum – Colonial Williamsburg

FBI Reference Firearms Collection

7,000+ firearms (none on display)

Created in 1933

Quantico, VA

The FBI Reference Firearms Collection is a repository of firearms and related evidence used for forensic analysis and investigative purposes.

  • The FBI Reference Firearms Collection was established in early 1933 as a means of studying and identifying firearms used in crimes.
  • The collection initially consisted of firearms seized in the course of FBI investigations, as well as firearms donated by other law enforcement agencies and private citizens.
  • Over time, the collection grew to include firearms from around the world, as well as ammunition, tool marks, and other forensic evidence.
  • As of 2021, the collection contains over 7,000 firearms, ranging from antique muskets to modern assault rifles.
  • The collection includes firearms of all types, including handguns, rifles, shotguns, submachine guns, and machine guns.
  • Many of the firearms in the collection are rare or unusual, including prototypes, experimental designs, and firearms used in historic crimes.
  • The collection also includes firearms associated with famous law enforcement cases, such as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and the Lindbergh kidnapping.
  • In addition to firearms, the collection includes thousands of rounds of ammunition, as well as tools used to manufacture firearms and ammunition.
  • The collection is housed at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, where it is available for use by FBI agents, other law enforcement agencies, and researchers.
  • The collection serves as a valuable resource for forensic analysis and investigative work, helping law enforcement officials identify firearms used in crimes and track down their owners.
  • Began t the Hoover Building
  • Now at larger facility
  • an example of every gun made
  •  factory stock and are kept functional, to be checked out, fired and studied by law enforcement departments across the country
  • FBI Reference Ammunition Collection” – 17,000 cartridges, selections of ammunition
  • Bank of spare parts
  • Scholars can get access to the collection, but the vetting process is stringent

“We keep them functional. We keep them clean. But they are certainly not in museum quality because they do see a lot of use.”

Colonial Williamsburg – Museum

500 firearms (Most on display)(70 on display in museum)

Created in 1930

Williamsburg, Virginia

  •  1930s
  • firearm history from matchlock technology to the early years of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s state arms manufacturing 
  • “Lock, Stock, and Barrel” exhibit
    – DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum
  • 1960  designated a National Historic Landmark District
  • 2018  “Lock, Stock And Barrel” exhibit Closed
  • March 11,2019 “To Arm Against An Enemy: Weapons Of The Revolutionary War,” opens
    – The exhibition will remain on view until January 2, 2023
    – features 70 muskets, carbines and rifles,bayonets, pistols and swords as used by Loyalists, American patriots, Hessians and British “red coats”

To Arm Against An Enemy: Weapons of the Revolutionary War

“Over the last ninety years, Colonial Williamsburg has assembled one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Revolutionary-era weaponry. That gives us the rare opportunity to explore this subject in an unbiased fashion, from every partisan perspective: American, French, British and Hessian.”


Gunsmith Shop – Colonial Williamsburg

Virginia Military Institute

800 guns (400 on display)

Created in 1856

Lexington, VA

  • 1856, Superintendent Smith created the VMI Museum
  • 2014 marks the 175th anniversary of VMI’s founding
  • Three museums in a system
  • 27,000 artifacts
  • Henry Stewart Gun Collection
  • 1935 Henry Stewart graduated Virginia Military Institute
  • 1988 Henry Stewart gave his collection to VMI
  • the largest collection of British Enfield Rifles in the US
  • Patton’s personal M1 Garand
  • XM-15 E1, one of the first experimental AR-15s
  • 50 air guns Chronicle the evolution from 1650 to the present
  • 1779 Girardoni 20 shot, 46 cal. repeating air rifle
  • thirty-six Colt Patersons