The Nock Volley Gun at the National Firearms Museum
The Nock Volley Gun is a .46-caliber seven-barreled English sea service arm used during the age of Admiral Nelson. This original behemoth was used by Richard Widmark in his role as Jim Bowie in the 1960 John Wayne film The Alamo.


The Colt New Frontier at the National Firearms Museum
The Colt New Frontier was named after JFK’s 1961 Presidential Inaugural address. This is one of two Colt New Frontiers that were made as presentation pieces to the thirty-fifth President.

Garry James, another personal family friend and former employee of Petersens, and who now works as the Senior Editor of Guns & Ammo magazine, was a close confidant to Bob Petersen and someone the publisher relied upon for advice and knowledge, when it came to selecting an antique firearm for potential acquisition.

Garry recalled recently, “It was a sincere privilege to work for Mr. Petersen and to be able to help him build his extraordinary collection. From 1971 until his unfortunate and untimely passing in 2007, it was always interesting and a great deal of fun to play a role in assembling what, by many accounts, is certainly one of the most historically significant and remarkable private firearms collections ever assembled.”

He added, “The Petersen Gallery at the National Firearms Museum is a fitting tribute and executed in a manner that would have made both Bob and Margie feel that their legacy is in caring and appreciative hands.”

Vampire Hunter Revolver at the National Firearms Museum
This Colt Detective Special “Vampire Hunter” revolver was engraved by Leonard Francolini at the Colt factory. Sterling sliver bullets with carved vampire heads complete the ensemble.

The Robert E. Petersen Gallery replaces the National Firearms Museum’s former introduction and orientation space, with a dazzling array of 15 display cases that highlight more than 400 rifles, pistols, and shotguns, as well as his collection of Gatling guns, the famous Colt’s display boards from 1918, and the spectacular Harrington & Richardson 1876 Centennial display board.

This gallery is now a permanent fixture of the museum and is open to the public daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The National Firearms Museum is located at 11250 Waples Mill Road in Fairfax, Virginia. There is no admission fee. For more information about the National Firearms Museum, visit

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