The NRA Museums are a gun lover’s dreams come true. They are home to the finest assemblies of firearms. Do you want historical guns? They have them. How about the ingenious designs? They have those too. Or how about indulging your artful side? Yep, the museums have it all.
And if you are into the unique and strange, look no further. We have you covered.
Here is a list of the strangest standouts housed in the collection.
The Dardick Series 1500 Pistol
Firing triangular polymer cartridges called “Trounds,” the Dardick was an unusual handgun that could be made into a carbine when combined with a separate stock housing. Adding to the weird-factor of this gun, it also combined the operating features of the revolver and the magazine capacity of the semi-automatic. The Dardick was first marketed in 1954, and production ended in 1962. Click here to learn more.
Well, that’s a great start to this list! On to the next one!
Schwarzlose GmbH Model 1908 Pistol
This little beauty is an Austrian-designed gun that is a blow-forward, not blow-back, semi-automatic pistol design.
When fired, the barrel moves forward rapidly while a mechanical ejector removes the spent casing.
Among the other odd features is the grip safety that can be locked for position.
Capable of holding seven 7.65mm cartridges, the Schwarzlose was manufactured in Berlin from 1908 to 1911.
Click here to learn more.
The Gyrojet Pistol
Something with the nickname “rocket ball” gun had to make its way onto this list.
This space-age gun could be found in the hands of Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers.
And the MB Associates Gyrojet Mark I pistol most certainly employed futuristic technology!
The six-shot semi-auto fired 13mm (later 12mm) spin-stabilized projectile was actually a miniature rocket engine.
If that isn’t the coolest thing ever, we don’t know what is!
The functioning was simplified because there were no empty casings to eject. A hammer drove the projectile rearward against a firing pin in the breech face. Then, as the projectile moved forward, it would ride over the hammer, forcing it back down into the cocked position.
The pistols and carbines were manufactured in San Ramon, California from 1966 to 1969. Needless to say, there is a limited quantity.
Click here to learn more.
Dumonthier Pinfire Dagger Revolver
If you don’t want this one in your collection, you are crazy. This has to be one of the coolest looking guns. It’s practicality aside.
This Dumonthier pinfire dagger revolver was made in the late 19th century and combines the gun and blade to form a masterpiece.
The revolver is chambered for 8mm pinfire cartridges.
In the event that you would run out of ammo, there is a second option. Just use the dagger that protrudes from beneath the barrel.
You can imagine fitting this in a holster was next to impossible, so the manufacturer provided a customized one with every gun sold.
Learn more here.
Marston Three-Barrel Derringer
Okay, I lied. If you don’t want this one in your collection, then you are crazy.
This .22 caliber derringer claims some pretty unusual features. From the selector switch to choose which barrel to fire to a sliding knife that was mounted on the side of the barrels, this gun is truly a work of art.
The one pictured above is sadly missing the sliding knife.
About 1,500 of these were produced by William W. Marston in New York City.
Click here if you want to know more about this bad boy.
Bennett & Haviland Many-Chambered Revolving Rifle
What even is this thing? The octopus plus four gun?
Although that’s not its nickname, this early repeating rifle designed by Epenetus A. Bennett and Frederick P. Haviland is one of intrigue for all.
The prototype percussion under-hammer “Many-Chambered Gun” received its U.S. Patent No. 603 on Feb. 15, 1838.
There are 12 rectangular brass chambers that were loaded with powder and ball and capped individually.
Sounds like a lot of work to me!
When the first shot was fired, a fresh chamber would be brought into line with a breech by rotating the knob under the receiver.
Over a two-year production run, only an estimated 10 were made.
This is a true piece of firearm history.
To learn more, just click here.
Deleaxhe Apache Pistol
We’ve made it to the last one and it was well worth the wait!
The Apache Revolver was made notorious by Parisian street gangs of the early 1900s, known as Les Apaches. It incorporates a 7mm revolver, a folding dagger, and a fold-out set of brass knuckles. The gun operates like a pepperbox revolver by means of a pinfire action. When in use, the brass knuckles serve as the firearm’s grip. Lacking a barrel, the revolver was difficult to aim and had a short effective range. However, since all of its components could be folded in on themselves, it was very easily concealable. Since it lacks a trigger guard or safety, Les Apaches would often leave an empty chamber with no cartridge under the firing pin to prevent shooting themselves involuntarily while carrying it in their pockets. Despite its shortcomings, the device proved to be lethal at close range. Click here to learn more.
So which of these lovelies would you want in your collections? For me, the Marston Three-Barrel Derringer is the winner.