31. National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops, NRA, Springfield, MO ±1,000 on display, (13% of NRA holdings). Established in 2013

National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops, NRA Exterior
National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops, NRA Case


The National Sporting Arms Museum probably has more foot traffic than any firearm museum, because it is built into the theme-park-sized Bass Pro flagship store which has four million visitors a year.

The Museum is encyclopedic in nature and far more generous than its ‘Sporting Arms Museum’ title suggests. It is not only about sporting arms; it has multiple personalities. Built into a long dogs-leg gallery with an upper mezzanine floor, the museum opens with an introduction to the NRA’s aims of Hunting, Conservation and Freedom. A five-part exhibit, called Timeline of American Sporting Arms, displays everyday working guns used by both professional hunters and sportsmen alike. The Second Amendment Gallery follows, with twenty-one American military rifles selected from 1776 – 2016. The Museum is host to the Remington Factory Collection, and includes prototypes and mind-boggling ‘cutaway’ firearms.

The second face of the NSAM has the aura of a bespoke man cave. The anchor is an oak paneled gallery dedicated to Theodore Roosevelt’s contributions as a President, hunter and conservationist. On the main floor are over twenty displays of themed gun collections, loaned or donated to the NRA by some of America’s great collectors. Each case is curated to exemplify a different aspect of firearms, so that there is something for everybody.

Everywhere you look are fascinating things to see. Down one side of the main gallery are focused collections of U.S Military Pistols, U.S. Springfield 1903s, Winchester Model 70s, and the Pachmayr Collection. Table cases exhibit the exquisite sporting guns of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and President Cleveland, exhibition guns of Annie Oakley, and guns of outlaws and lawmen. Wall cabinets are dedicated to the joys of collecting guns by individuals: guns with Serial Number 1, Savage 1907’s, cased English revolvers, Civil War firearms, elegant engraved guns, Hollywood guns and many others.

Supica, J., Wicklund, D., Schreier, P., Great Guns from the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum, (2016)
Bass Pro Shops