Rural Missouri - September 2013 - (Page 16)

O U T D O O R S H by Jason Jenkins istoric records come in many forms — stone, canvas, paper, film. For Jim Supica, however, the history of America is not found in these materials, but instead in wood and steel. As director of museums for the National Rifle Association, Supica traces the path of freedom from the first shots at Lexington to a terrorist compound at the end of a dirt road in Pakistan. He recounts the story of American expansion from Spanish conquistadors through Lewis and Clark to the outlaws and sod-busting settlers of the Old West. He connects the American passion for the outdoors and the modern conservation ethic all the way from the White House to Hollywood. The role that firearms have played in American history is unquestionable, and now, thanks to a partnership between the NRA and Bass Pro Shops, the story of hunting, conservation and freedom is on display in Springfield, Mo. In August, the 7,500-square-foot NRA National Sporting Arms Museum opened inside the outdoor retailer’s flagship store. Nearly 1,000 pistols, rifles and shotguns comprise what is likely to become the Jim Supica, director of museums for the National Rifle Association, holds a Parker Brothers shotgun once used by most visited firearms museum in the United States. legendary exhibition shooter Annie Oakley. The long gun is one of nearly 1,000 firearms on display at the NRA “I believe this will be the best-looking firearms National Sporting Arms Museum, which recently opened inside the Bass Pro Shops store in Springfield. museum in the country and certainly in the top few in terms of historical significance,” Supica says. “It’s a remarkable collection.” A decade in the making, the new museum is comprised of four distinct galleries and more than a dozen other collections and displays highlighting some of the “crown jewels of the NRA collection.” The primary gallery features a timeline of sporting arms from the 17th century to present day. A highlight among these artifacts is an example of the including Annie Oakley, John Phillip Sousa, John number of prototypes and factory cutaways, which Girandoni air rifle carried by Meriwether Lewis and Wayne, Jesse James, John Wesley Hardin and Gen. allow the internal working of the gun to be visible, William Clark during the Corps of Discovery. Leonard Wood. as well as several milestone guns. These include both Designed by an Italian and manufactured for the According to Mickey Black, general manager of the first Model 870 pump shotgun, built by RemAustrians, the .46-caliber rifle could the Bass Pro Shops Springfield location, nearly 4 ington in 1948, and the 10 millionth Model 870, be fired 22 times, reloaded and fired million people visit the store annually, making it assembled more than 60 years later in 2009. 22 more times before it lost velocity. one of the state’s most popular destinations. He says The Second Amendment Gallery houses a It made quite an impression on Amerithe addition of the firearms museum will draw even collection of U.S. military long arms from can Indians who encountered Lewis and more visitors. 1795 to present, while another gallery is Clark, presenting a perception of peace “It’s going to bring back memories for people,” dedicated entirely to U.S. President TheoSpringfield through superior firepower. he says of the museum collection. “When somebody dore Roosevelt due to his significance • “If you had to name a single gun that sees a gun that Grandpa had or that they had as a to the conservation movement of the contributed to America being what it is kid, I think it will conjure up all those memories of early 20th century. Included among today, you can make an argument for this days gone by. Maybe it will inspire somebody to get the Roosevelt guns are a double rifle engun,” Supica says. “I truly believe it was key to the back into the shooting sports.” graved with the presidential seal on both success of that expedition.” barrel breeches and the pistol he kept in his nightAnother large gallery features the Remington FacThe NRA National Sporting Arms Museum is open stand in the White House. tory Collection. “These guns have never been seen daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and admission is free. The museum also features a number of historioutside of the factory at Ilion, N.Y.,” Supica says. Special after-hours tours are available upon request. For cally significant guns, including those belonging to “These are the treasures from their collection.” more information, visit or kings, emperors and presidents. Others, both famous Included among the Remington firearms are a call 417-887-7334. and infamous, also are represented by firearms, Blasts from the past New Springfield museum features four centuries of firearms While you’re there . . . W hen you visit the NRA National Firearms Museum, be sure to spend some time next door exploring the National Archery Hall of Fame and Museum. Open since November 2012, the facility houses a collection of some of the most unique memorabilia depicting bowhunting and archery history. Among these are a bow crafted by Geronimo, the Apache Indian chief, while he was in the custody of the U.S. Army in Florida in the 1880s, as well as Holless Wilbur Allen’s first compound bow prototype, which revolutionized the sport for both target archers and bowhunters alike in the 1960s. Peruse the Wall of Fame, which commemorates 16 the 73 individuals who have been inducted since the hall was established in 1972. Bowhunters will recognize many names — Hoyt, Martin, Pope, Young and, of course, Bear. A bronze statue of legendary archer Fred Bear welcomes guests into the museum, which also displays many of his bows, broadheads and hunting trophies — even his tool box. Competitive archery is well represented in the museum, too, including such personalities as Ann Marston, who won 11 national archery championships, and Ann Clark, who was instrumental in the development and promotion of the National Archery Association Junior Olympic Development Program. WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP For more information about the hall of fame, visit www. or call 814-392-8901. Admission to the museum is free. Known as the bow that forever changed archery, the first working compound bow prototype was invented by Missourian Holless Wilbur Allen in the 1960s. It now resides in the hall of fame’s museum. http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - September 2013

Rural Missouri - September 2013
Merchant miniatures
Scorching the border
All aboard
Blasts from the past
Out of the Way Eats
Mowing down the competition
Hearth and Home
A place for Pershing
Around Missouri

Rural Missouri - September 2013