Inside Collector’s Row at NRA Dallas (PHOTOS)

With more than 800 booths and vendors, the sprawling 147th National Rifle Association Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Dallas last week had something for everyone– especially collectors.

Tucked away in the “10,000s” the collector section at NRAAM took up a few aisles of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and the gathering of auction houses, preservationists and relic curators offered a rare and exotic firearm exhibit rivaling anything you could see in a museum.

Here are some of the more interesting objects for your viewing pleasure.

Rock Island Auctions was on hand with a very nice sampling of items for their upcoming Premiere Auction in September.

The millionth M1 Garand produced by Springfield Armory, presented to inventor John C. Garand himself, was on display. (Photos: Chris Eger/

As was Luftwaffe boss Hermann Göring’s gold-plated Walther PPK, surrendered by the Reichsmarschall to American soldiers in 1945.

Speaking of Walthers, how about this rare Model 6? Only about 1,000 of these guns, the company’s first move into the full-size military pistol market, were produced.

Everyone loves a Luger commercial carbine

Also on display was a matching set of Colt 1861 Navy cap and ball guns owned by Bill Mathewson, known to history as the original “Buffalo Bill”

This collection of sniper rifles and optics, running from an FN49 used by the army of Luxembourg (top) to a Longbranch No. 4 MKI T Sniper Enfield, L42A1 Enfield, a pair of Winchester P14s on the bottom is superb. And yes, that is an Aldis scope on the last P14.

No collection of WWI U.S. military rifles is complete without a Pedersen device in the line-up, such as this one on display at Cowan’s booth.

Up close…

Cowan also had a whole herd of unicorns in the form of three different Nock Volley Guns to include a Civilian Model, and Mr. Nocks 1st and 2nd Navy models– that last of which just 50 were believed made. The trio will be on the auction block in September.

The S&W Collectors Association had a wide range of Smith’s history at the show.

This included Elmer Keith’s 1954 pre-Model 26 in .45 Colt complete with checkered diamond Magna grips.

This is Col. Rex Applegate’s K-22 Outdoorsman from 1946, the only factory 2-inch variant made in this configuration.

Skeeter Skelton’s Model 25

Old West outlaw John Wesley Hardin’s First Model Russian break-top

Bill Ruger’s first product line– a hand drill– was featured by the Ruger Collector’s Club

As was SN#194, one of his early .22LR pistols, still in its red cardboard box and “cigar box” shipping case.

If this beautiful .270 Weatherby Magnum, complete with a vintage K2.5 Weaver with 6x Litschert attachment and Redfield mount look and custom inlays on a California mesquite stock look like they could grace a gun magazine cover, you are right.

…It was featured in American Rifleman’s December 1946 issue back when the Dope Bag was edited by Maj. Gen. Hatcher, and the Weatherby club had it on display

Wayne and Darla Noble with the Ohio Gun Collectors Association had their award-winning P-38 Pistols and Holsters of WWII collection exhibited.

They included a variety of rares and hard to find examples

Among which was a gray Mauser ac43 E/F police pistol with an FN-produced slide, of which just 100 are estimated to have been made late in the war.

The Texas Ranger Association had a variety of spurs, cuffs, rifles, and handguns of the type used by the law organization, including a number that were owned by former Rangers.

How about that Winchester 1895 at the bottom.

And this Colt Sheriff’s Model in .44-40

Speaking of Colts, the Colt Collectors Association had this immaculate 1848 3rd Model Hartford English Dragoon complete with stock.

And in the Politically Incorrect Gun club, Russian SKS-45s were celebrated as were a host of classic “black rifles”

Winchester ammo had a number of guns on loan from the Cody Museum including Gen. Patton’s presentation M1 as a tie-in to their new line of WWII-styled loadings.

We can’t wait to see what is up for display in Indianapolis next April.

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