US Travel Suggestions?

G’day all,

I will be travelling to the US in early September for 8-10 weeks. At this stage I will be in California in early September, then attending a Long Mountain Foreign Weapon Operator/Armorer course and another company’s AK operator course in mid-September. After the 20th September or so, I should be in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Virginia, and then DC. I am also considering a brief stop in Arizona.

Should anyone have any suggestions for any cartridge or firearms-related travel stops (anywhere in the States) please let me know.


This question has come up before, and sadly there isn’t much in the way of open-to-public locations that are heavy with cartridge worthy displays or collections. Private collections are the most worth-while things to see and this depends on knowing the people to visit in those states. Falcon and I did sort of a tour through DC, and NYC last year after SLICS and we found some ordnance related stuff at the 2 Smithsonian Air & Space museums, but much of it was large rocket/missile oriented. There are a bunch of WWII and military museums, may of which show small bits of ordnance, but nothing much in the way of good small arms cartridge collections.

The NRA’s museum in Northern VA, right outside DC should be one stop. Not for cartridges, but I’m thinking from your planned courses that you are into some firearms also.


I know of a great little ammunition museum in Prescott,AZ. Also, there is something in Tucson.

The Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody, Wyoming is worth the admission with an overwhelming gun collection and as I recall (with a fly by visit) quite a few have representative rounds with them. I certainly recall some exquisite cartridge boards. Here are a few photos that suffer from museum glass and poor lighting wih out a proper flash.

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Wasn’t there a Museum at Aberdeen Proving Grounds once upon a time? I know they had a bunch of Armored vehicles out front but I though they had a small arms museum inside . . . or was that the Smithsonean I went to while I was at Aberdeen? Can’t remember, it’s been too long ago ;)

Pepper - Thanks for posting the pictures of the Boards from the Cody Museum. It was a nostalgia trip for me as many of those boards were in our store for most of the time I worked there. When the store closed, my “Boss” Bobby Posner did what I would have liked to have done - he moved out of California to Cody, Wyoming. The Boards are on perpetual loan to the Museum from him and his sister Beth Posner, the other active owner of our store. I went to work originally for their Father, when Bob and Beth were kids. They took over when he passed away. A nice family and a pleasure for me to work there for so many years. We all got tired towards the end, but nothing to do with them, and I hope not me. All the legal BS just got to us all.

The boards mostly came from England, bought at auction by our agent in Liverpool, Mr. Len Brown of W. Richards (not to be confused with Westley Richards, a different firm) of Liverpool.
My father0-in-law and I drove in his pickup truck to Fresno, California, to pick up a beautiful UMC Board though, that Nate purchased from a gun shop closing up there.

Sorry if this is too much reminiscence. I honestly believe our store was important in cartridge collecting, not only for the huge assortment of modern ammunition we carried, but also because we were one of the few gun shops I have ever been in that had a real section (a pretty big glass case about six feet tall and perhaps four feet square, free standing on our sales floor) for the cartridge collector. It may surprise some that I had nothing to do with this. As long as I worked at the store, and longer actually, that was handled by a “volunteer” friend of the store, who is still a member of IAA and used to contribute once in awile to the question and answer section of the Journal. I don’t know if he would want to be named here or not.

Well, I thought a little history of the boards at Cody might be of interest to someone. I have never been to the museum, and probably will never get there, so I appreciate the pictures a lot, Pepper.

As far as the OP goes, the only museums I could think to suggest that hasn’t been would be the Firearms Museum Of Texas ( though thier displays change, so no garantee of any cartridges there. In Kentucky there is the Armouries Museum branch of the Royal Armouries network, with displays on loan to the U.S.A… Its at the Frazier History Museum, and again their displays change, so no garantee there either.
I have usually found that military museums have small displays sometimes, you might want to bear that in mind.

John I was at the Cody Musuem myself last month, the cartridge boards were a nice addition, and quite a surprise to see there. Unfortunately my pics came out no where near as well as Peppers.
In truth I spent most of my time drooling at this display, lusting over the Mannlicher…

As others have said, there are not many US public displays which concentrate on ammunition and ammunition-related artifacts. Museums open to the public having military weapons displays are much more common. One good stop in Texas, depending on what part(s) you plan to visit, is the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco, which is about halfway between Dallas and San Antonio - lots and lots of guns there to drool over. The Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg (northwest of San Antonio) is worthwhile also, from a military equipment perspective. It is operated by the State of Texas, and is dedicated principally to Admiral Chester Nimitz, as Fredericksburg is his hometown. The many Texas military bases (Fort Hood, Fort Bliss, Fort Sam Houston) have interesting museums, but access to them can be problematic. Not much military or weapons-related, but the NASA Museum in Clear Lake (between Houston and Galveston) is interesting if you like rocket and space-related stuff. If you are going to Louisiana, the D-Day Museum in New Orleans is good, but I have not been there since before Katrina, so I have no current information about it.

Nothing much in Houston but if you stop here we could do lunch?

If you are around Kentucky Oct.12-14, I strongly recommend Knob Creek Machinegun shoot which is also a premiere gun show … hoot-dates
Aberdeen viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6259&p=43572&hilit=Patton#p43572 museums are gone. Only pictures remain.

Awesome pictures of the coolest boards that I have seen, Pepper! So cool they are connected to you, John.

RogueAdventurer, if you plan on visiting Miami, FL, I would be happy to show you my collection of INERT, tank fired DS specimens. :-)


RE: Aberdeen Proving Grounds- They had an excellent museum, but military downsizing has closed the museum, and all the artifacts are being relocated to a new museum to be built at Fort Lee, VA. Completion is several years off, at best, and if military funding continues to be slashed may never come to pass.

The National Rifle Association “National Firearms Museum” in Fairfax, VA (Washington suburbs) is one of the best in the country in terms of arms. Also the Fraser Historical Museum in Louisville, KY. Each is worth a half day, and are very well done. Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, WY- a bit out of the way (okay, a LOT out of the way) but absolutely superb with four other great museums in the same building. Half day minimum, but an easy day or two if you have the time.

For military ordnance, but not small arms the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum, about 100+ miles from anywhere has truly incredible stuff, but it is really remote, somewhere just short of the edge of the earth. Too bad, but if you can arrange it, well worth a stop for ordnance enthusiasts.

The Army’s Artillery Museum at Fort Sill is superb. Springfield Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts is wonderful. The American Precision Museum in Windsor, VT is a chance to visit the building where many historic arms (including many Sharps) were made and gain insights into the “American System” of machine tools and interchangeable parts. The Remington factory in Ilion, NY, offers tours of the factory on a limited basis so call in advance. The Air Force Armament Museum at Hurlburt Field, Ft. Walton Beach, FL, is pretty much weapons and ammo related, and the Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola is only about 50 miles away. U.S. Military Academy Museum at West Point, NY is excellent.

Of course, the best ammunition collection in the country, and probably the world is at Woodin Labs in Tucson, AZ, or so I am told.

The Kansas Cartridge Collectors Assn. Show
Sept 15th & 16th
Lots of ammo. Fun show.

The US Air Force Armament Museum is at Eglin AFB, on Eglin property, right outside of the West Gate, but not within the Eglin gates. Hurlburt–also Eglin Auxillary Field No. 9–is about 8-10 miles away, slightly south and west. The Armament Museum is accessible to anyone, with a large number of outside displays, a pretty nice “gun room” and other aircraft and weapons on display inside. Hurlburt has a few aircraft that are historically significant to the Special Operations field on display outside, but harder to gain access, as they are on Hurlburt within the gate.