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Museums or private collections

Recently there have been a couple of post concerning small arms and there disposition.

Ian at forgotten weapons.

http://www.forgottenweapons.com/should-guns-be-in-museums-or-private-collections-video/

And Matt at

http://www.historicalfirearms.info/post/135341711584/how-should-historically-important-firearms-be

They both had some interesting things to say about the subject. I have taken a different approach. Here at Gun Lab we have always felt actions speak louder then words. We not only chat about small arms but also talk about building them and the equipment to build them.

A while back Trevor from the Royal Armouries was at the house. He had come to the states on a mission to find some items missing from their collection. A couple of specific items he had wanted were some Enfields that had been converted by Turkey to 8×57. Recently a collector had passed away that had them in his collection. After spending a great deal of time with the executors and having no luck dealing with them he stopped by the house for place to stay and a cold beer. It was at this time he mention what the trip was for. My response was to go into the gun room and find them. After a long discussion about would I be willing to sell them to the Royal Armouries my answer was no but I would give it to them instead.

So with the on going discussions and paper work requirements first with Trevor then with Jonathan the two rifles have been sent to an exporter to ship to the Royal Armouries in time for the anniversary of Gallipoli.

Now most people would think I am nuts for giving away a couple of rare pieces. Here is my reasoning that I am doing this. There is not another working museum in the world like the Royal Armouries. I have been able to examine,study and photograph weapons, that while here in the states I have no access to.

There are some exceptional museums here in the states.

The Smithsonian, I have been there but no access to the reserve collection and not allowed to disassemble or photograph.

The NRA museum, have not been there yet however on the list.

The Cody museum. Nice museum. Everything was behind glass and I was unable to photograph any other way. No access to the archival records.

The Springfield armory museum. Have been trying for over 20 years to gain access to photograph a couple of pieces with no luck. Most if not all of the collection boxed away.

Aberdeen. Was there once when it was open now it is boxed away. Unable to photograph except behind glass.

Even our own local museum here in Phoenix. Everything is behind glass and that is the only way you can take a picture of it.

During a conversation with Ian from forgotten weapons his concern was if they went to England there was a chance that the law would change that would require deactivation. My response was what is the difference where it is deactivated where I can still study it or it is boxed away and I can never study it.

I generally spend a couple of weeks at the Royal Armouries every couple of years. I pay the fee to go, cheap for what you are gaining. Photograph and study small arms to my heart’s content. Spend time at the library where I can spend hours reading and studying. This is what a museum should be. A place to study. A place to learn.

To understand the scope of what I have gained all you have to do is look at the pictures on this site. Or you can go to Forgotten Weapons http://www.forgottenweapons.com/  as I have given thousands of pictures to Ian for his use. You can also see my stuff at Rick’s site http://ar180s.com/ and at Matt’s site http://www.historicalfirearms.info/

For me the study of small arms is important. I also want everyone to enjoy it in my pursuit.

I treat my own collect as the Royal Armouries looks at there collection. A working collection.

The Royal Armouries is an experience that every gun designer,writer and historian must see. It is where portions of my collection, that they don’t already have, will go. It is where my donations go. It is this museum, you as people of the gun, should donate money and items to.

 

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