A: Quantico, Virginia. Ever wonder who has John Dillinger’s revolver? “Pretty Boy” Floyd’s 1911? It’s the boys at the FBI’s reference firearms collection. A storehouse of over seven thousand guns they use to help solve crimes referred to the feds. “Housed at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, the racks of weapons are not a musty exhibit of museum pieces, though some rare items would certainly qualify. Rather, the ever-expanding collection is a hands-on reference catalog for the Lab’s firearms examiners to study, take apart, reassemble, and test fire to support investigations. By maintaining a working library of virtually every handgun and rifle—along with a database of their unique toolmarks—examiners are able to identify and substantiate for investigators what weapons may have been used in criminal acts.”

34 Responses to Q: Where Do You Keep A 7000-Gun Collection?

  1. Dream job.

    It might be difficult showing up to work with an erection every day though… I think I’d manage.

  2. Certainly they have plenty of room for many more when the next college punk uses a AR15 and they start going door to door to confiscate them.

  3. Doesn’t what he said about tool marks on shell casings and bullets kinda make micro-stamping unnecessary?

    • Yeah, looks like the Evil Welder paid a visit.

      I toured the Military Museum of Vytautas the Great in Kaunas, Lithuania a few years ago. They have a pretty decent small arms collection, and as the museum was open during the Soviet occupation, every single firearm in the place had a quarter-inch hole drilled through the chamber or barrel.

      Nickled Russian S&W’s, Model 95 Winchesters in 7.62x54R, Mausers up the wazoo, a Lithuanian High Power, even a Mondragon – all pointlessly ruined by some functionary.

      At least the Feebs generally keep them functional.

  4. Whew. For a minute there I thought you were asking me where I kept MY 7,000 guns. Which are all at the bottom of a lake (just give me a minute to decide which one I may or may not have gone boating on, and whose boat I borrowed and then sank with the weight of my enormous arsenal).

    Ha ha, just kidding. I only wish I had 7,000 guns. Ha ha, just kidding. I hate guns, and all the comments I’ve posted here over the last year have been an elaborate ruse. I’m collecting information on all of you! Ha ha, just kidding. Uh…guys?

  5. The Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody probably has more guns as for total numbers, but not as widely varied.

      • I went there this summer, and holy crap I want to live in that museum, the stuff they have is absolutely incredible.

      • They have more than “frontier” weapons on display.

        They also have displays of the machinery used to make guns. The display on the 1903 Springfield should give people a good idea what it takes to make bolt guns in quantity.

        Pay special attention to the barrel straightening rig.

    • I was thinking the same thing. I am heading there in May, and it seems like a pretty cool place to see.

  6. Maybe it’s ONE BIG trigger lock! Speaking of Dillinger, there was a mortuary museum in DC (it may still be there) that had (what was said to be) Dilenger’s unit, pickled in a jar.

  7. I took the public tour of the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in DC 25 years ago. Back then in the Reagan years they even put on a live-fire SMG shoot for tourists at their indoor range. Part of the tour took you past rack after rack of rare and mundane firearms, all behind glass of course.

    I guess they moved the collection to Quantico. No more tours, I suppose.

    • I took the same tour as a nyc public school student in the late ’70s. I remember that rack. But seeing the Thompson demo was about as cool a thing as this 5th grader could stand. Too bad todays kids can’t even imagine a field trip like that.

  8. “Where do you keep a 7000 gun collection?”

    Kinda reminds me of the old joke, “There’s a 500 lb gorilla in your living room, where does he sit?”

  9. Got included on a private tour of the gun vault at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History a few years back. Racks and racks, drawers and drawers of firearms history, including some one-of-a-kind patent models from the time when working models were required for issuance of a patent. Fascinating as well as woody inducing. Countless drawers of Colt Single Action Army pistols alone.

  10. usually when you crib content from reddit it’s within a few days. what’s with the 2 week delay on this one?

    • Easy, tiger. This video’s been making the rounds. This is the third or fourth place I’ve seen it in the last couple weeks, and it’s not like the text underneath it is the product of original thought on reddit. It’s a quote from the story at fbi.gov.

  11. Sounds better than a museum since all the firearms are in working order!

    I bet they also keep a significant store of ammo, common and obscure, on hand too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *