Enthusiasts will have a rare opportunity for a look at the craftsmanship that went into some of history’s finest firearms during the 22nd Annual NRA National Gun Collectors Show, which takes in Tulsa, OK, Nov. 11 to 12. There’s no denying that museums, like the NRA National Firearms Museum, are THE best place to see some of the rarest examples in the world, but the vast majority of surviving specimens are in the hands of private owners, and some of them look forward to sharing the stories of their treasurers with the public each year.
The event began in 1995, and its non-commercial exhibits today have grown to feature a wide variety of high-quality guns and other artifacts, representing a broad spectrum of historical, education, cultural and technical knowledge. Displays vye to win more than $10,000 in cash and prizes, awards based on educational value, firearm types, display quality and other criteria. The non-club-based competition is fierce, and attendees get to see and learn something different every year.
The 2016 show, which changes location annually, was held in Kansas City, MO. The list of winners at that one provides a small taste of what you can expect if you attend. Claiming the E. Andrew Mowbray Educational Trophy for Exhibit Excellence was “Before We Were Over There: Anglo-French Small Arms on the Western Front,” by Kirk Brumbaugh. Dennis Thomas received the Outstanding Exhibit Award—Contemporary Arms for his “Once in 100 Years: Marlin 1970” display. Here’s a full list, but bear in mind exhibitors change every year, as do some of their themes—so the flavor in Tulsa will be slightly different, albeit every bit as educational.The 22nd Annual NRA National Gun Collectors Show is being hosted by Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Arms Show, which will feature more than 4,200 tables across 11 acres. Anyone interested in exhibiting can contact it by calling (918) 492-0401 or visit tulsaarmsshow.com.