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“Interesting but odd” 4 of 5 stars
Review of National Firearms Museum

National Firearms Museum
11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA
703-267-1600
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Ranked #1 of 17 Attractions in Fairfax
Type: History Museums, Specialty Museums
Activities: Group tours/train
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Small museum that highlights the long history of firearms.
San Francisco
Top Contributor
220 reviews 220 reviews
96 attraction reviews
Reviews in 100 cities Reviews in 100 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
“Interesting but odd”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013 via mobile

Odd location. Bottom floor of a 1970s low-rise office building.

Strange policy. Everyone who enters must sign a contract swearing not to post any photos taken in the museum on line. In the contract they specify "or in a blog." Clearly NRA isn't proud of their museum. It's as if you are touring a slaughter house and prohibited from photographing the dead animals.

Amazing collection of firearms displayed beautifully. Every conceivable type of gun dating back hundreds of years. Gun enthusiast or not, you'll be fascinated by the collection. Interior of the museum is beautiful. You almost expect to find some old southern senators sitting around smoking pipes and cigars.

If you love guns you'll be in heaven at this museum. If you have no interest in guns you'll be amazed by how elegantly guns can be shown. If you are 100% anti-gun, you'll still find the museum interesting.

Visited September 2013
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126 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Salem, Virginia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“NRA Museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

It was very interesting. My husband always visits while I work when we go to Fairfax. He also likes to visit the NRA store.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Excellent Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

The National Firearms Museum if "Fantastic". You are met by the most friendly security staff I have ever met. This fellow was extremely friendly and helpful. He explained the layout of the museum, location of gift shop,washrooms. You walk throughout the museum and see the most remarkable collection of antique firearms,private collections I have ever seen in my travels. The displays are excellent. You can take pictures in the museum after you sign a waiver. The Section with firearms from films is well displayed. You don't have to be a gun freak to appreciate this collection of firearms. Enjoy!

Visited August 2013
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Bethesda, Maryland
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Superb collection of historical guns”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

This is a world class museum of firearms. It is 20 minutes from downtown DC. And, it is free. It has fifteen galleries that cover the entire history of guns and focus on guns used by Americans during the history of our Nation. At each gallery is a touch screen computer for details of each weapon. Many guns are displayed within historical settings with period clothing and other artifacts. Plan to spend at least three hours here. You could spend two days if you looked up every gun.

Some of the displays that caught my interest:
- the writings of the founders as they described their intent for the Second Ammendment
- Hollywood guns used in popular movies, including Dirty Harry's magnum
- a Cheasapeake punt gun, an enormous shotgun of .77 caliber that could take down a whole flight of ducks.

There is a reasonably priced cafe within the building with discounts for NRA members.

As others have noted, the bookstore has the largest collection of gun related books you will every see. I found the clothing items not to my taste. No NRA discounts here.

I did not visit the range but at $15/hr, I am sure I will visit soon.

Visited August 2013
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Lompoc, California
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Fascinating Collections”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

Fantastic collection but a little overwhelming- a fascinating progression of guns throughout history but lets face it- a whole wall on Winchesters repeating rifles that differ by a few minor items can be a little much. The artwork (engravings and insets) on some of the guns was exquisite

Visited August 2013
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