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tv   American Artifacts National Firearms Museum  CSPAN  August 11, 2021 10:23am-11:17am EDT

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view of government. we're funded by these television companies and more, including buckeye broadband. >> buckeye broadband supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers. giving you a front row seat to democracy. now on american artifacts, a visit to the nra's national fire arms museum in fairfax, virginia, to see its collection of guns and learn about the role firearms have played during the course of american history. >> welcome to the nra national firearms museum. i'm jim supica, museum director. we're going to go through the museum and take a look at the
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history of americans and their firearms. we'll start with the earliest precolonial days, go up through current time. we'll look at the role firearms have played in terms of the settlement and expansion of america, the role firearms have played in military and sporting and personal shooting roles. we'll see the guns of champions, the guns of presidents and heroes, and we'll see some great pieces of art, firearms engraving on a steel canvas. the national firearms museum is at nra headquarters in fairfax, virginia. now, the museum has existed itself for nearly 80 years and we've been in this location for about 15. we're custodians of about 7,000 firearms. they have been donated to us or lent to us over the past 75 years. we have about 3,000 on display here and about 1,000 more at the nra national sporting arms museum in springfield, missouri. what i want people to come away
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from the museum with, beyond the, would you, that's a lot of cool guns, which is very important to us, but it's an understanding of that unique relationship between american and their firearms, and the very integral role that firearms have played in the history of america. >> we have phil schrier, senior curator here at the national firearms museum. we are starting in the robert e. peterson gallery. mr. peterson was a magazine publisher and had one of the finest if not the finest firearms collection in the country. and what you see it is the peterson gallery which has been called the finest single room of firearms anywhere in the country. >> out of the 2,011 firearms that mr. peterson left, the museum, as jim said, picked what we could display and that equaled about 425 guns.
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perhaps one of the finest he donated was the grand royal winchester model 21. it's considered the finest winchester side-by-side shotgun ever manufactured. it was made for john m.olle of ollen industries which owned winchester at the time. it commemorates mr. ollen's favorite labrador retriever king buck. it's just a wonderful piece. >> in contrast to the traditional carved engraving is a relatively new style of engraving. now, this is called bolino engraving. it's only been widely done in the last 30 or 40 years, and when i say widely done there have been very few people who have mastered it. but instead of a three-dimensional carving of the steel, this type of engraving is actually done by hand pressing literally hundreds of thousands or even millions of tiny individual dots into the steel varying in depth, angle and
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pressure, and creating the incredible scenes that you see on these shotguns, for example, this gargoyle scene off of the reverse side of this resini shotgun, that's all done with hand-pressed dots in the bolino style. annie oakley can be considered to be the first american female superstar. she was an entertainer. she was discovered when frank butler, an exhibition shooter was traveling town to town. and he would always as an introduction to his show he would challenge the best shooters of the town he went to to a shooting contest. well, this one town they went to they brought out this 15-year-old girl and she shot side-by-side and actually beat him. he came back a year later, married her, and from then on they became exhibition shooters and annie became the star.
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little miss sure shot. here we have a beautiful shotgun. it has an inlayed plaque that says to annie oakley from buffalo bill. from the date and the location of this, london 1890 we can guess what the occasion of this presentation might have been because at that time annie was touring with the wild west show in london and europe and she had run out of gun powder for her shot shells, so buffalo bill lent her some of his gun powder. it was a different type and it blew up her shotgun. this may have been i'm sorry i blew up your shotgun gift from buffalo bill to annie oakley. >> one of mr. peterson's interests in addition to the finest engraved guns made anywhere in the world are gatling guns designed and invented by dr. richard jordan gatling of north carolina back in 1861. he kind of saw it as his contribution to man kooind not only just to the war effort, but
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to mankind. if he came up with a super weapon that could kill so effectively, so rapidly, then people would just cease to want to go to war against anybody that was armed with such a gun. so the gatling gun was a series of barrels that were aligned that allowed the user, the operator, to just crank a handle and fire the gun just as fast as they could rotate the handle or keep the gun fed. mr. peterson had a collection of ten of them that we have on display. and right now we're pretty certain that ten gatling guns on public exhibition is the largest collection of gatling guns anywhere in the world on public display. and we'll see very shortly a gatling gun that literally wrote itself into the pages of american history on july 1st, 1898. >> in the peterson gallery we have one of my favorite
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artifacts in the museum. this particular exhibit is by harrington and richardson. it was made in 1876 for the philadelphia centennial exposition. this was considered by many to sort of be america's first entry into the field of a world fair type of event. countries were invited from all over the world, manufacturers were ex i objecting their finest wears and h & r put together this beautiful exhibit cabinet which won an award at the fair to exhibit their product line of rim fire, spur trigger revolvers, showing the various fancy finishes that they could apply to it. this particular piece not only has these wonderful decorated revolvers in it but it's also the only surviving exhibit still intact from that 1876 philadelphia centennial exposition. we do have some fascinating oddities, curiosities from the
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peterson collection and they are in this glass tabletop display case. the center piece here is a sundial gun. now that served as a timepiece. you could load a blank powered charge into the little canon there and adjust the magnifying glass so that at a certain time of day that charge would fire. you would hear that, you would know it was time to go back to the house for lunch or whatever event they were timed for. you also have some of the early attempts at repeating firearms. there was an 18 shot pepperbox revolver from the mid-1800s here and there's a four-barrel flint lock that's arranged to where two barrels are on top and the entire cluster can be rotated to have two more shots. there is a harmonica style gun which was an early competitor for the revolver for repeating handgun where instead of a rotating cylinder there is a bar with successful charges in it
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that can be slid from one round to the next as successive shots are needed. there are a number of firearms incorporating blades, including this beautiful gold plated double barrel pistol here with the ivory grips that came out of russian royalty, a nephew of the czar. there is a long knife or short sword with a flint lock pistol mounted on it. that was actually for boar hunting. it was tradition to hunt the boar with that long knife. a couple of odd looking guns here. this one with the giant v-spring and the flintlock over here with the circular device on it are not actually guns but gunpowder testers. these were made to test the power of black powder that was made in individual batches and you had to be sure the powder level -- the powder was neither too much nor too little for its intended use.
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>> the museum as it opened in 1998 features 15 different galleries exhibiting over 3,000 firearms. we laid the galleries out in kind of a chronological order so that the average visitor could come through and see the whole development, the evolution of firearms and how it applied to american history and our own heritage. >> in this case we have actually one of the oldest guns on display in america. one of the oldest guns in the world actually. it's called a hand canon. it's just a gigantic iron tube with a hole that runs from the muzzle to the breach and a perpendicular hole, the vent, where you can prime and fire the gun. this was excavated from a site at a castle in tannin berg, germany, and it was thought to have been left there at about the year 1350, 1353. not only is it one of the oldest guns in the world, it's probably one of the oldest guns on
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display in america, and it's one of the world's first guns which in effect were actually canons. it was from the large that we moved down to the shoulder size guns. and jim, has a spectacular piece that not only is smaller but displays the wheel lock mechanism. >> just as simple as the hand canon was that phil just showed you, a successor that followed soon after was complicated. when people ask me what is in the nra museum, there are always two guns that i discuss as book ends that illustrate the span of the guns that we have here. this is one of them. this is a wheel lock carving, a very complicated firearm but it came over on the mayflower with a pilgrim. when i explain what we have in the museum i say we go from one of the very first firearms on the northeast or american continent and we go
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through to a revolver recovered from the ashes of the world trade center and everything in between. as we said earlier we tried to design and build a museum with display cases, galleries that were evocative of the time period in which the guns were used. attempting to tell the story of the early colonial period and the war of independence, 1775 to 1781. we're looking right now at a painting which we actually had to go to london england to find. it's called the shot heard around the world. it's one of the most beautifully rendered illustrative descriptions of the very first shots fired at lexington green on the morning of april 19, 1775. along with the flint lock rifles and muskets that surround the
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painting it tells the story of the encounter with the british that misty morning in april. the question a lot of people have and i had as a kid growing up, why was it that when one misty morning in april when 70-minute men answered the night paul revere and he looked at his men and said don't fire unless fired upon. but if they mean to have a war let it begin here. and then 300 red coated british regulars under the charge of major pitcairn appeared from the road from cambridge, a was fired and the american revolution began. why was it that different from the others. the truth we don't find in the history books was that general gauge commanding general pitcairn's regimen had given him written orders that morning to go from cambridge to this place concord via lexington and remove
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all muskets, ammunition, powder, shot and artillery. they were after the guns that morning. that was the line in the sand. that was the point of no return. that's what started the war for independence, and that's what led america on its path that we still are traveling down today of freedom and liberty and how firearms played that role to not only acquiring liberty but maintaining it ever since. when we're talking about purely american firearms and american innovations, we take a lot of different things can be brought to the table for conversation. but one of earliest is what we now call the american long rifle. it's sometimes called a pennsylvania or kentucky, but truly it's an american long rifle because immigrants from europe from all corners of europe brought with them rifle making skills and began to setup
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shops in literally every colony and eventually every state in the union and manufacture guns. you can look at these long rifles that we have right here and just by looking at the curvature of the stock tell exactly what county and what state these long rifles are from. they are truly works of american folk art and are very valuable just in their own right today. perhaps one of the most historically significant guns in the collection in my opinion is this wonderful little air rifle right here. now, originally this gun was designed by an italian for the austrian army to use against napoleon. how one ended up in the hands of the corp of discovery or as we call it the lewis and clark expedition from 1803 to 1806 is a mystery. but we do know they had a gun very similar to this one right here. the reason we place so much historical value on this
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particular firearm is because in the journals of the lewis and clark expeditions lewis writes about this gun not once but 39 separate entries. and each entry is pretty much similar to the one before. he says something along the lines of today we meant the men at the head waters of the missouri river. i had the men parade before them in their class a uniforms, ordered the uncasing and unfurling of the regimental and national colors. we walked in under fife and drum i introduced myself and the men to the chief of the tribe, presented them presents of coins bearing the likeness of president jefferson back in washington in two hands clasped in friendship and then i demonstrated the air rifle to which they all found to be of wonderment and amazement. and there's the key. every single time he meets a new tribe of indians he demonstrates
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the air rifle. you also have to read into this is never during the trip did he ever allow the indians to actually gain access to the keel or know how much he had in the way of supplies, provisions or armament. so the indians when they saw this literally almost a repeating rifle fired with great accuracy and tremendous effect and power, almost unendingly fire. they were amazed. nobody had ever seen anything like that, and so they were very cordial not knowing whether there was just one of these guns or 39 of them. so it was kind of the idea of peace through the perception of superior firepower and it's what led the 39 members of the core of discovery from st. louis to the cascades and the pacific ocean in those three years and back without having been overwhelmed and attacked and wiped out by any of the bands of the native-americans in the western plain. this air rifle was able to
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present such intimidation they were happy to be hosts and move them onto the next tribe to the west. >> the kentucky rifle was the first truly american rifle, the american long rifle, and it was perfect for the woods of the eastern u.s. but as the american west changed from kentucky, tennessee and ohio to the great plains and the rocky mountains a different type of rifle was needed, and that's where we see the introduction of the plains rifle. now, this time st. louis was the gateway to the west, and this is where a lot of the trappers and pilgrims and settlers would buy their supplies to make the trip. and this is where the hawken brothers had their rifle shop. they created the plain rifle, it was a shorter barrel, it was a larger caliber than the american
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long rifle, to deal with the larger game in the american west, the bison, the elk, the big bears. it was a hand yer length to be carried easier on horseback. this represents the hawken shop. this gentleman is rifling the barrel, cutting grooves into it to put a spin on the led bullet to increase speed range and accuracy. he'll walk back and forth 20 miles to rifle a single barrel. in the early 1800s one of the main focuses of effort in firearms design was to try to develop an effective repeating rifle. and sam colt is the guy who really came up with the first widely adopted repeating firearm, but it was not success at first try. it was a matter of try, try again. he created a revolver with a revolving cylinder holding five rounds that could be advanced as fast as you could dock the hammer and then pull the trigger. he was looking for financial
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backing for his new invention demonstrating it to his father to try and get the financial backing. but it's said the revolver blew up while he was demonstrating it, which discouraged the financial backing. now, it's said that colt went back to doing a number of things to earn his living. there's a report he would tour county fairs dressed in a turban billing himself as dr. colt of calcutta demonstrating my krous but eventually he got back into the manufacturing business in patterson, new jersey, and came up with these are what are now called colt patterson revolvers. they look unusual to us. they have a folding trigger and they also were a miserable failure. now, he had gone out of business given up on these, but a man in the u.s. mounted rifles who had served as a texas ranger had used these revolvers in texas and felt they were exactly what the military needed for the wars
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and skirmishes along the texas-mexico border. came back to colt and asked him to make 1,000 of these for sale to the government. that they needed to be bigger, heavier and more powerful. his name was sam walker and this colt became known as the walker model. as you can see it was a big heavy revolver pushing almost five pounds in weight. it took a very heavy power charge, too powerful for the metallurgy at the time. out of 1,100 of these that were made only about 10% survived and a lot of those are found with cracked or shortened cylinders. he shortened the cylinder, came out with the lagoon model and from that point on the colt firearms manufacturing company was off on a road to success and established itself as an iconic american firearms manufacturer. >> this crazy little room
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contraption is a lathe that was designed by thomas blanchard and installed in the springfield army in massachusetts in the early 1800s, and this is one of the first machines that started the american industrial movement and the industrial revolution. it's a stock-making machine and it works just like you would copy a key at a hardware store today. this is just the beginning of interchangeable and mass-produced parts. and we see this in the gun industry. we don't see this in any of the other industries burgeoning in america and especially in new england during the early 1800s. but it really manifests itself with this rifle right here, a halls breach loader made right here in virginia, what is now unfortunately west virginia up at harpers ferry, but the halls becomes not only one of the first military adopted breach loading firearms of the united states, but it also drew
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-- is one of the first guns to begin the use of manufacturing processes that see the development of interchangeability in parts and, yes, eventually assembly aligned production. so that when colt got that letter jim was talking about from sam walker, the texas ranger, asking for 1,000 guns which he didn't even have a factory to make them in, he turned to the one guy in new england that could do something about it, eli whitney jr., the son of the gentleman who invented the cotton gin. whitney had a factory north of new haven, connecticut, he was able to turn out all 1,000 in a six-month period of time because he used every single part on this interchangeability, this mass production part not only for the wood but the metal as well. that is really where the industrial revolution begins in this country and spreads to the rest of the world.
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samuel colt takes nine single action 1851 navy revolvers to the crystal palace in london in 1851 and displays them before prince albert. and the rest of the attending audience was absolutely aghast, shocked really, to see nine guns being torn apart and reassembled without any care to the gun that they previously came from. everything up to this time had been hand-fitted and filed. now you can have something roll off a machine, make dozens of them per hour and have quite a stock at the end of the day. in the past these things would take weeks, if not months to manufacture from whole cloth. so in december of 1940 during a fireside chat franklin roosevelt tells the nation that the dark storm clouds that have broken over europe are going to soon darken our shores. >> but all of our present
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efforts are not enough. we must have more ships. more guns. more planes. more of everything. we must be the great arsenal of democracy. for us this is an emergency as serious as war itself. >> america must become the arsenal of democracy, he says. a year before pearl harbor. not only do we make 5 million in one grant, 5 million in one carvings. 4.5 million a-1 revolvers and that's just the firearms. we make enough to arm and equip the 16 million men and women we put into uniform and millions of our allies to dee feet fascism in europe in 1945 and in the south pacific as well. so it was this industrial
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revolution that gives us the capability to almost a century later maintain the freedom that americans have so hard fought for in the intervening years. >> now on american artifacts the second part of our visit to the nra's national firearms museum in fairfax, virginia. we join museum director jim supica in the civil war gallery. >> we're entering the civil war galleries of the national firearms museum. on my left represents the union and on my right the confederacy. the first exhibit case we see numerous examples of the carvings the union was using. this was a time of rapid advance in firearms design, going from the traditional muzzle loaders to breach loaders to eventually repeating rifles. one of the most interesting and historic firearms in this case is this little carbine, it's a slant breach sharp and it's one
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of the actual sharp carbines that john brown used in his raid on harpers ferry, one of the events that initiated the civil war. this exhibit illustrates the manufacturing might of the north, where they could turn out thousands and hundreds of thousands of in the back you see a barrel rifling lathe that was used by smith and wesson from the civil war clear up to the time of world war ii. and this manufacturing capability was certainly one of the north's strengths in the civil war. the south on the other hand did not have the industrial might that the north had. as we talked earlier, the new england and connecticut river valley was the home of dozens of gun manufacturers. in fact the 1861 model springfield, so many were needed
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by the union army at one time, that 33 different manufacturers were turning out the identical same rifle for purchase for the u.s. army. the confederates were left up to their own to procure and manufacture firearms. they had a few places, harper's ferry, virginia, when they had possession of it, richmond had a factory at treninger along the james river and a few down in north carolina, georgia and texas. but they could hardly supply the needs of the confederacy. they got most of the guns either from the captured during battle from the yankees or imported from overseas. in fact the finest infantry rifle in the world in 1861 was the british enfield and the confederates bought a quarter of a million of them.
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but at the end of the day, when the war came to a conclusion in april of 1865, general lee wrote general orders saying that after four years of arduous service, unsurpassed by courage and fortitude, the army of northern virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming sources. the war could have gone on for literally years had lee asked him men to take to the mountains and conduct a guerrilla campaign, but it came to the conclusion after lee wrote those orders and after many victory parades and testimonials, many got together to try to evaluate happened during those four years. because once the numbers were become crunched, which took a long time to evaluate, there were over 650,000 casualties of the american civil war. when you look outright dead on the battlefield at the end of
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the battle, the day's battle, there were 75,000 dead confederates and 150,000 dead union soldiers. that is gunshot and artillery bayonet wounds on the battlefield dead, two to one yankees over confederates in that regard and by 1871, a lot of officers were beginning to realize that it was a near run thing winning that war. the confederates had been outresourced on every single level except for accuracy and marksmanship. and there they held a 2-1 advantage over the north so they felt if a national emergency ever came about again, there was a need to increase the markmanship skills of the standing army. not only would that pay dividends on the battlefield with markmanship, but it also cuts down on the amount of training and the training of
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indoctrineship of soldiers. so if we have a nation of riflemen, we could stand a better chance to survive the next national emergency. and many years before samuel clemens issued his wonderful novel "tom sawyer," where tom encourages his friends to find fun in whitewashing his fence, the gentleman that formed the national rifle association of america in 1871 felt that we could increase markmanship by making a competition out of it. so they organized the association to promote marksmanship within the branches of the armed services and also within civilian shooting clubs throughout the country. if we make this a competition, we make marksmanship a skill, it will be something that a lot of people want to participate in. and by 1876 shooting competitions were the largest spectator sport in the history of the country to that time. and that was the birth of the national rifle association. and to this day remains one of our primary aims and objectives
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to promote marksmanship throughout not only the armed forces but the civilian populous as well. >> moving to the gallery showing the firearms of the american west. on the far side of this cabinet we have the guns that are traditionally thought of as the guns that won the west. the winchester lever action rifles and the colt single-action army revolvers along with the other colts. but colts and winchesters weren't the only guns in the american west. on this side of the case we see the other manufacturers that played a significant role. the whitney, kennedy and marlin rifles. the remington handgun and the remington single shot rifle and played a role with the buffalo hunters with the sharps and also with the smith and wesson. it is not always often recognized that in the period of 1870 to the turn of century, smith and wesson was turning out
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even nor revolver than colt was at the time. both were very popular but also numerous other examples of guns used in the west. the merwin gilbert and other manufacturers are well represented. >> our newest exhibit at the national firearms museum is a set of artifacts we're very proud to have on loan from saga more hill, theodore roosevelt's homeplace. it is undergoing a complete restoration and while they're working on that they lent us the firearms and numerous other artifacts from the roosevelt's home. phil is going to show you more about what we got from the national park service at
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sagamore hill. >> back when the museum is being designed in the mid '90s we wanted to take a corner of the museum and focus on the life of the theodore roosevelt, our 26th chief executive, was a hunter and avid outdoorsman, conservationist and we felt as a life member of the nra so we put together a tribute so we decided to replicate the library from sagamore hill almost on a one to one scale. his daughter ethel said the library was the heartbeat of the house. it is where the roosevelt family gathered every evening to read to each other and to tell each other stories of the day. so where theodore had bearister cases of books against the wall, traded those in for gun cases. his real gun cases were up in the fourth floor study of the house but it was this room, the library that was literally the oval office of the summer white house from 1902 to 1908, and out of that 10,000 artifacts at sagamore hill, we're very
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fortunate to have about 115 original priceless treasures from theodore roosevelt's home on display here. so this is the working desk of the president from 1902 to 1908. trappings of his african safari of 1909 to 1910 are seen with one of the seven lions that he shot. the rhinoceros horns. this safari wasn't just for trophies to decorate his house, it was done under the auspices of the smithsonian institution museum of natural history. my favorite pieces are the gatling gun that you see here, the model 1895 gatling gun in 3040. this is one of four guns that actually accompanied roosevelt in the rough rider to cuba in july of 1898. and one of the most important guns in american military history is seen right behind it, lost for over 114 years. the very first machine gun ever
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used by the united states army in military combat. it is an 1895 browning automatic rifle. it is called the potato digger. it is in 7 millimeter mouzer. it was privily purchased, one of two begin by the wealthier families of the roughriders to the regiment and taken to cuba. in this case, this specific gun was donated by louisa and sybil kane, one of the roosevelt's roughride rs. they just happened to be the granddaughters of john jacob astor and so the cane sisters gave their older the first machine gun ever used in military combat by the united states army. in this cabinet, very fortunate to have on display colonel theodore roosevelts brooks brothers made tunic, his stetson
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hat and 1872 caliber saber. when the united states president leaves the white house, he's referred to as mr. president for the rest of his life. except there are two exceptions. general eisenhower requested to be called general eisenhower until his death, and now when one of the reporters was gathering the roosevelt's baggage in may of 1909 as he was heading back to sagamore, he said, we'll sure miss you, mr. president, and he stopped him right there and where everybody could hear, and remember, no,
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howard taft is your president. i'm now just colonel res volt and that is the way he stayed preferring to be remembered as the colonel commanding the first regiment of volunteers, the roughriders. to colonel roosevelt to the end. it is just a wonderful opportunity for the national firearms museum to be the temporary custodians of the national treasures literally from the nation's attic. in fact a number of firearms that his six children enjoyed using, elder son theodore jr. earned the metal of honor at utah beach. and the second son during world war i and the united states and world war i and world war ii died at fort richardson alaska in 1943. son number three archie roosevelt was given 100% disability from wounds received twice. at the only soldier in american history to have earned 100% disability in world war i and world war ii and of course the youngest in the first to pass, young lieutenant quentin
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roosevelt shot down over france in 1918. the firearms that they used both in the service for recreation around sagamore hill as well as the safari in africa are still wonderful examples and artifacts that we could look at and become in touch with the past. perhaps one of my favorite stories is of the winchester model 94 and 3030 and if you look closer to the muzzle there is a silencer mounted to the end of that. the president's third son often remarked that father liked to take this gun in particular out hunting across the estate early in the morning dispatching varmint with it and not to wake the neighbors such as tiffany and vanderbilt. and to you could imagine someone stroll ago cross their lawn with a silenced rifle dispatching rabbits and the like, quite a difference 100 years have made. it is hard to think ever a better transitional figure from the 19th century to the 20th
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century and we move into the galleries covering the 20th century here with a focus on the evolution of the bolt action rifle, began the later part of the 19th century with four prototypes that the mouzer brothers used to develop their famous bolt-action rifle. we also pay homage to a number of other famous firearms designers. certainly the foremost of those being john moses browning, the greatest firearms designer that ever lived. and going up to a more modern day designer william ruger, founder of the sterm ruger company. and what is arguably his first firearms invention shown at the top here. this is a savage model 99 lever action rifle that he converted into a semi-automatic rifle. and when he went seeking a job at springfield armory, instead of a resume, he brought in this rifle and was hired on the spot.
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>> one of the great leaps forward in evolution in design of firearms begins to take place in the 1880s when we move from and transition from black powder to smokeless powder. at this time most of the guns have been muzzle loading. you pour the powder down the muzzle and that is with black powder. it left a thick oily residue called fouling in the barrel and constricted the aperture of the barrel and it became hard to get around from the muzzle toll the breach. that is why breach loaders were
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developed in the 1820s. with smokeless powder it allows you to fire more rapidly because the inner workings of the gun aren't being gummed up with the gouling from black powder. by 1881 an american living in london at the time develops a much gun that actually was one pull of a trigger allows the action to cycle and work, fire, eject and reload and fire that and eject it, as long as you held the trigger. in fact the rates of fire on these guns go from 400 to 1200 rounds a minute. so with the development of smokeless powder and new firing mechanisms, america finds itself involved in the first world war in april of 1917 with new types of firearms that they had never before used. by the second world war, through the efforts of john c. garand, and the springfield armory, the m-1 rifle was the only semiautomatic infantry rifle was standard issue to the military of any country in the world war ii. granted other countries had semi-automatics like the g-43.
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and the toekerand. and general patton called it the best rifle ever deviced and it certainly paid a key factor in the victory over fascism in the spring and summer of 1945. >> moving into the galleries that show the firearms of the competition shooting sports starting with the firearms used in traps, skeet and then into the olympic competitions and including a number of guns that have won gold med als in the olympics and including the gold medals that were won with them. we are into the fun aspects of the national firearms museum beginning with the 1950s era kids' room. this is not what my room looked like, but i wanted it to look
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like that. i had the coonskin cap and the bedspread, and my mom would not let me have tonightlight, because she was sure it would set the house on fire. we had a original coney island shooting gallery. this was established in the early 20th century and gone from steam-powered to electric powered. this one of the most popular rooms. we have over 80 films from hollywood, and including the
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revolver used by john wayne in the first credited role, and going through modern oscar winners such as "hurt locker" and "no country for old men" and other lever action used by john wayne in "stage coach" and "true grit," and the smith and wesson magnum revolver. >> when you are talking about the famous movie lines and the guns in movies "go ahead and make my day" and that 44 magnum is the most widely recognized gun and certainly used in the series of the old dirty harry movies. these are the guns that you can see thrown down the stairs and thrown into the river and great sound editing makes those sound like metal and wood hitting the cobblestones. all of the guns are real
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firearms and manufactured by wallther and smith and wesson and bruce willis and that was used in "die hard" and also by mel gibson in "lethal weapon." that is used in "star wars" and tom selleck is a very generous lender to the museum that he used in a number of his films like "quigley down under" and three of the guns that he had made as commemoratives in the close of the "magnum p.i." series. and again, a gatling gun, and this particular one was used in the 1939 cary grant and sam jaffey film. next to that is an original not volleyed gun used by richard
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widmark in the movie "the alamo" with john wayne in 1960. one of my favorite westerns of all time is "the wild bunch" and a wonderful western starring robert rhine and ernest borgnine and a cast of characters that goes on and on, and this is the browning colt-fed machine gun. and in fact, peck and paul went through a quarter of a million 30.06 blanks in the shootout with the apaches south of the border and if you look, you can see the fake blood there splashed up on the ammo box on that final scene. to close it out with the hollywood guns, for someone who grew up in a house that was not firearms-friendly, and as a kid
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that there were no guns in the house, it was through television and movies that i grew my admiration of the firearms and what they meant to american history, and especially the military and the cowboy films that which was so enamored with. it helps to establish a connection with the stars on the silver screen we grew up honoring, and most of us before we were old enough to have an opportunity to have or handle a firearm of our own. >> in the hunting galleries of the national firearms museum, we have our largest rifle and our largest shotgun. the rifle on exhibit is a four-bore rival and that's a rifle that throws a quarter pound of led with each shot. this particular rifle was used by stanley on the expedition to find dr. livingston in africa. across from it we have the
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shotgun exhibit and on the bottom of the display case is a massive shotgun. this was a punt gun and not fired from the shoulder and it was braced in a small boat and would be loaded with up to a pound of lead shot and it would be used for marked hunting and could be used to get up to 100 fowl in one shot. for a number of years in the 1800s, this type of gun would provide waterfowl for sale to markets and to restaurants. one of the last galleries in the national firearms museum is dedicated to law enforcement and it's here that we have the other gun that i believe brackets our firearms stories here at the museum. this is far from one of the most impressive guns to initially look at. it's very beaten up and the
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finish is burnt off it and the steel is twisted. this is a gun carried into the world trade center by new york police officer walter weaver on september 11th, 2001. officer weaver never came out, but the revolver was recovered from the ashes, and officer weaver had been a strong supporter of the nra and enthusiastic member, and his family wanted us to have it, and we display it here with great pride in a place of honor as a reminder of those who put their lives on the line to serve and protect. >> this is the story of americans and their guns and we want them to leave here with a newfound appreciation and understanding of the role that firearms have played throughout our nation's history. it was firearms that led the industrial growth of this
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country. it was our ability to create firearms in a mass production type of scale that enabled us to manufacture anything at all during world war ii and to help stop fascism in its tracks. firearms play a huge role in the development of the nation, not just teaching men and women and children how to shoot and defend themselves but on the battlefield as well. americans and their guns is a significant andinal part of our american history.
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sunday, c-span series january 6th, the views from the house continues. three more members of congress share stories of what they saw, heard and experienced that day including democrat dean phillips of minnesota. >> at that very moment when the capitol police officer announced that we should take cover, i stood up, at the back of the gallery on the second level, the mezzanine, and represent gosar of minnesota was objecting to the arizona slate of electors and at that moment, i shouted out at the top of the my lungs "this is because of you!" and i screamed it. and i think that i was representing four years of angst and anxiety and anger. many of us saw this coming from a mile away, and many in the
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country did. i think that i represented probably millions of americans who felt the same way. that very moment, the entire country, including myself recognized the fragility of our democracy. i have great appreciation for the traditions in the congress and the decorum, and i do not like to violate it, but i do not regret it, because it was what i was feeling and it was four years of pent up anxiety about what was transpiring right in front of our eyes. >> this week, you will also hear from jamie raskin of maryland, and republican brian of pennsylvania. you can listen on c-span, or listen on the c-span app. next on the history bookshelf, adam wink ler talks about his book


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