Our British cousins gaze upon America’s vibrant, thriving gun culture with a mix of curiosity, disbelief and horror. While the two nations share the same language (sort of), they don’t share much in the way of freedom. When it comes to guns, sadly British subjects don’t enjoy any right to keep and bear arms. In fact, any gun culture the Brits may once have enjoyed is so shriveled and atrophied that when someone find a stray rimfire cartridge laying in the street, it merits a police response and makes the news.
So imagine the abject terror our friends across the pond must feel upon reading The Sun today. It seems they’ve discovered “The Dragon Man,” Mel Bernstein. “Meet the one man army who owns more than 3,000 weapons and proudly boasts the scary title ‘the most armed man in America’” screams the headline.
We here at TTAG profiled Mr. Bernstein’s impressive video touring his personal museum back in February. If you missed it, pour yourself a drink and enjoy.
Right out of the gate, The Sun portrays Bernstein’s collection predilection as “frightening.”
Mel Bernstein – known as the Dragon Man – has earned the title the ‘most armed man in the US’ and has a frightening 3,000 weapons in his collection – and that doesn’t include the tanks.
The Sun should distribute a complimentary pair of Depends for their readers brave enough to make it through the entire article. The reporters, of course, make a point of including how the Dragon Man lost his wife to bolster the narrative that shooting sports present a mortal danger to anyone who participates.
He moved to Colorado with his wife, Terry Flanell, in 1982, where they opened the gun store and started building the collection.
But Bernstein was hit by tragedy in 2012 when his wife was killed at their rifle range while filming a Discovery Channel reality show.
Terry died when she was hit by two smoke bombs travelling at 150mph while being used to create a smoky atmosphere for the show about the military.
Speaking at the time, Bernstein said: “I lost my best friend”.
Again, watch the video. And if you’re in his area in Colorado, the museum surely looks like a great place to stop for firearm enthusiasts.
How did that guy get into my basement? Security is gonna here about this.
Here here, JWM…there is no “there, there”…
Your basement? Mine is, well, enhanced.
Might be the most armed, but still has only two arms, right and left. No matter the quantity since a million guns can only take up space. Just give me one good one and a pile of ammo. Now if the Dragon was sitting a billion rounds, well, that would be a whole different story. But certainly less exciting.
Yes he can only shoot one at a time. On monday it’s the Vickers. On Tuesday it’s the Browning. On Wednesday it’s the m60. On Thursday it’s…….
I’d need a small army of Sherpas just to keep up with the cleaning.
When TSHTF, he will be at least a colonel in the Cororado militia with 1500 armed volunteers.
I do hope there is some ammo compatability.
Nice basement… looks like a good start to a collection
Dragon Man’s is a one of a kind place. El Paso county’s very own “World’s largest ball of twine”.
Mel, though often reported on as some crazy nut, has never been anything but pleasant and sane in my presence.
I bet he’s called ‘crazy nut’ by the usual ones who never could understand why someone would love guns. Hence, disregard that name calling in all ways – I am sure he’s just a great guy with a passion for military history. Like many of us around here.
Looks like the kind of Bern I would vote for if he ran for office….
Yep, great place to go when I lived in CO Springs, bought a few guns from Dragon Man!
I second that. He is a really nice guy, and it’s a great place to spend the day!
I have very unique exposure to Mel and his family. My parents worked in local law enforcement before they retired and have interacted with him many times. He is well respected and a very good person that supports and protects the community. When the Columbine killers tried to buy guns from him he kicked them out and turned the video tapes of them into the local law enforcement before Columbine took place. He always fostered safety and respect but still encouraged me and my idiot friends to enjoy the 2nd amendment. Every time I travel home to visit we stop by his range for some family time. His wife was one of a kind and a jewel of a human being. Despite the sensationalist bullshit from the UK media he is exactly the kind of firearms dealer we should celebrate in this country. He’s one hell of a machinist too
“Mel Bernstein – known as the Dragon Man – has earned the title the ‘most armed man in the US’ and has a frightening 3,000 weapons in his collection – and that doesn’t include the tanks.”
But he still only has two hands. Maybe he can learn to shoot with his feet too.
Love the Dragon man, his collection, his range, and the events he holds there.
If the Land of Hope and Glory really wants a shock, their ‘press’ should visit the machine gun shoot there. Hint: snall field artillery pieces are sometimes available to fire…
Great time to be had!
Am I so, so jealous. Not much else to say!
That’s not scary, it’s scary AWESOME.
If I ever win one of those giant lottery jackpots, I’m going to give this guy a run for his money. As it is, I suspect most Brits would soil their knickers even at the sight of my meager stash (cache? collection?) of weapons and ammo.
I dunno, though. If their papers represent the average John Bull as well as ours represent us, they might be less horrified than envious and eager to try it out.
It’s a start…
Seems like a real-life Burt Gummer…
Exactly. Graboids are gonna break into the wrong g***m rec room!
I wonder if he has a mini gun? Now THAT would make me jealous!
Guess you missed that part of the video. He has a Mini Gun mounted on the front of a Jeep. Totally awesome!
I’m definitely behind the curve. I did show the video to my wife and say “See, I’m not so bad.”
Ooooo. Good call Dave!
I will now make it a point to travel to see his collection – and happily pay my wife’s admission fee.
At the end, I’m going to say those exact words: “See? I’m not so bad. I’m a complete amateur.”
I’d like to know if he has an available daughter.
Ugly, overweight is no problem… 🙂
I will fight you over her !!!
No but his grand daughter is f*ing gorgeous. She will also outshoot damn near any military man that shows up, it’s always fun to watch her embarrass the young military guys that think they can impress her
Scary says some, role model says I.
Yeah well, if it’s small arms you gotta pick one at a time. He needs something armored, tracked and sporting remote controlled weapons stations.
Unfreakingbelievable! I know where I’m heading if the SHTF. If I’m ever in Colorado, I’m definitely going to take a tour of that place. I can’t even begin to imagine how much he has tied up in his collection. I hope he has kids to will his collection to when he passes on. I am most definitely envious!
Scary? Nope, actually, it makes me proud to say that man is an American, and the fact that a private citizen can legally own such an excellent collection of battle field ready armaments is one of a couple of different reasons we are the best country in the world..
The secret’s out now. Next ATF home invasion in 3…2…1…
What secret? He’s a class 3 dealer and owns over 200 machine guns. The ATF is aware of him.
Better selection than my favorite gun shop.
Actually, if you read any of the British “gun” magazines – I put “gun” in quotes because they’re actually air guns – and yes, they do exist, you’ll find there IS a “gun culture” in Britain.
As I indicated, it’s mostly airguns, but there is also considerable interest in military firearms as well as paintball combat, with many Brits loading up on military gear in order to look as much as real military as possible while bouncing paint balls off each other.
And of course there’s still hunting firearms allowed, although a lot of it ends up being small game hunting with airguns.
So while the Brits aren’t allowed to actually OWN guns, there is still no lack of interest in firearms there.
It’s similar to Japan, where guns are verboten but the Japanese still have a massive interest in replica guns which are indistinguishable from real ones (I don’t think they have the “orange barrel” rule over there.)
Some years back I was on my way home to Oklahoma from a driving business trip (long story that had to do with some heavy duty training aids). I stopped in Springfield MO on a Friday night. The next morning I decided to hit the mother Bass Pro store as soon as it opened – 0700 if I recall correctly – before completing my run home. I pulled into the parking lot at about 0710 and saw at least a dozen tour buses unloading a couple of hundred Asians. I spoke to a couple of people in the store and they related that the swarm of people – mostly Japanese – was pretty normal for summer weekends. They came out to the Ozarks and visited Branson for the shows. Then they rode up to Bass Pro and looked all through the store. They checked out the firearms – which they of course couldn’t buy – and admired the animal displays. They did buy camo clothing, boots, t-shirts etc and paid to have it shipped home to Japan. Now this was back around 2007 before the economy went bad. They liked all sorts of outdoorsy stuff and wanted to wear Realtree just because they could. I suggested to a couple of the store people that they build a shooting range and do some rental time for their Asian guests but I guess that nothing ever came of that. Anyway I really saw how people who can’t shoot or hunt are fascinated with our freedoms here.
Indeed. England actually has a thriving airsoft scene, with some of the largest events in the world being hosted in their country (yes, there are such things as airsoft events that attract players from all over the globe. Fun fact: Russia hosts some of the best, because the Russian government is involved and loans things like disarmed APCs to such games). Although, in typical British fashion, even airsoft guns are absurdly regulated, with sizable limits on muzzle velocity (even though that can be changed with a simple spring swap).
1st world problems. Indeed.
My first thought is the need for a couple of full time employees just to clean all the gats. Good stuff.
A lot of good British male genes were wasted by incompetent generals in WW1.
Like the French, they never really recovered.
The Brits and the French are nothing but a bunch of “mamby pambys” and not worth defending if the “big bad” Russians decide to invade western Europe….wouldn’t surprise me if Mel owned more weapons than all the private citizens of both the UK and France combined…..those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Awesome, but, uh, 1000 lb bombs? Land mines? Artillery? Aren’t there, like , laws about that or something?
It’s not illegal to own artillery. Or tanks. Or any number of military cans of whoop ass. The ammunition can be a sensitive subject.
In most places here in the US, including CA of all places, allow flame throwers.
Is this a great country, or what?
Please read the second amendment. It has the word “arms” not the word “guns” in it. The only thing that keeps anyone from having the same thing is their own money to buy them.
God bless America, the only nation on earth where a civilian can own the same weapons as the government.
Chris, you act as though legislators respect the second amendment. I’m from california, where I can’t be trusted with a 13 round magazine, because god knows what I would do with it. And this guy has land mines.
I was born and raised in Sacramento. I know how California got this way.
I went on pilgrimage a few weeks ago and asked specifically about the readiness of the big stuff and a lot of it is deactivated. The machine guns though are ready to rock and roll. The quantity of stuff is amazing.
He is exactly like the videos. Very open and friendly.
Dragon Man’s WWII museum is cool, but the range staff can be super douche bag at times, as well as Dragon himself. The museum is worth a stop, but if you really need a place to shoot, there’s plenty of public land around this city to go into.
(This is my experience and my opinion of the man and establishment. More than one bad experience there.)
I agree that the range staff, and the range itself, leave a lot to be desired but I’ve never had a problem with Mel.
I have some stories about some of the customers as well.
Looks good to me! Thank GOD I have NO British cousins! I have an acquaintance with a massive gun collection but THIS guy…
I took my son and his friend to Dragon Man’s for a tour of his military museum. It was fantastic. His collection is on par with national museums. He does a great job of leading the tour. If you are in the area, it’s worth your time.
I have two words for this gentleman…
Yes, this man is a walking talking advert for American exceptionalism but most people could not come even close to owning the hardware he has – and I am not just talking the money although that too. He has got darn near every SBS, SBR, class II, class III, class z, AOW, suppressor, and destructive device one could think of and there is loads of red tape, hoops, and infringement (and lots of money) that comes with trying to buy any one of the cool toys this dude has. I would be willing to bet that the majority of his full auto firearms are through his FFL and will have to be sold or destroyed should he die or lose it.
Collecting most anything in massive numbers is compulsive behavior. Most of us are compulsive one way or another, so please don’t view these comments as disapproving. But my question is this: is the guy a multi-millionaire?
Dragon Man is going to need a massive ocean liner for his boating accident.
Gersh Kuntzman would shat his pants just driving past the place.
A lot of people have a bit of a difficult moment driving past his place. The drive by is half the fun.
well i guess we know how he got all that shit. i bet that settlement was massive.
He owned the vast majority of it before anything happened to his lovely wife. Mel “Dragon Man” Bernstein has been a fixture and a figure in the Pike’s Peak region for a long time. He’s been accused of being a jerk (NOT my experience) and he’s been accused of being a nut (also, not my experience) but he’s never been accused of being dull.
Why do we care what the Brits think about our freedoms and love of firearms. I’m tired of hearing there press talk about us like we’re crazy wild West gun criminals. Without gangbangers and drug violence we would have one of the lowest murder rates in the world. Britain has a large number of muder by stabbing and outright beatings to death. America does not care what Great Britain says are feels about us
That link to the news piece about the 22 cartridge that was found in York, England was hilarious and sad. Someone ‘called the police to collect it’. I swear, if the Islamic terrorists want a compliant and easy populace to intimidate and terrorize, they appear to have chosen the right one.
What else could you expect from a nation whose response to terrorism is ‘run, hide, tell’? Pathetic and laughable at the same time. They deserve EVERYTHING they get.
Well when you have to be 18 to buy a pair of scissors and you have to pay for licenses to watch television and own a radio including the one in your car, what can we expect from a population that allows this?
“By the consent of the governed.”
Sheeple by any other name smell just as sweet. Meh.
Two days ago two members on my social forum commented about their CWP weapon. Another member (from England) complained about all the “violent talk” and quit the forum after 16 years.
Is it any surprise that a people who lived through the Blitz and then allowed their weapons to be taken away, would act in such a manner on seeing an expended shell?
This is one of the few places where a dirtbag liberal reporter could use their oft repeated word “arsenal” to describe this place and be correct. This guy has the most ass kicking collection I’ve ever seen. I wish all gun enthusiast had this many guns and ammo.
Ub… muh… he… bur… WOW!!!! I’ve never been envious of anyone before. Maybe the guy shooting the Dylon minigun while flying on the helicopter.
I sit here and admire that fellow. Then I think of how a Liberal or a Democrat would raise hell because I own more than three “scary guns”. A veritable arsenal fit to load out an Army with a whole four (or more) weapons. Wow if they knew I have more than 10 rounds on hand for each one well . . . Oh My God he is planning on taking over the world!
I need to watch a few more episodes of Pinky and the Brain before I am that ready…
Well.. Remember our Rights do Not come from the Bill of Rights.. they only restrict the Union Government and after the 14th amendment, The States as well.. from infringement of those Rights.
At the time of the creation of the Bill of Rights, there was an argument that the Bill of Rights was unnecessary since “Every Educated Englishman Knows His Rights”.
Which of course means that there are no longer any Educated Englishmen to know “the natural rights of Englishmen”.
. . The way I like to put it the last “Primitive Tribe” the British Empire Conquered was the English.
Namby pamby? That’s hilarious. The Milwall supporter who went after the three knife wielding Terrorists in London with only his fists. Namby pamby? How about the others who used beer glasses and chairs? Namby pamby? I see from a lot of the uneducated comments made to various articles on here that many of you must have skipped History. Politicians took away the guns, the British people did not have a choice but to give them up. Quick History lesson :
After WW1 a lot of the boys came back with ‘souvenirs’. Some turned to crime. At the end of WW2 the Government did their best to confiscate as many weapons as they could and regulated the possession of firearms. Back in the 80’s, if you wanted to own a full bore pistol or rifle you had to apply first to a gun club and be accepted. You could then apply for a Firearm Certificate which would allow you to purchase up to three guns. You had to put on your application what you intended to buy. Before the Police would issue the Certificate they would contact the Gun Club and ask if this person was a keen shooter and safe. If the answer was yes, the Police would then contact you to make an appointment for a home visit. When they came to you home they wanted to see a steel cabinet for the guns in one room, bolted to the wall or floor. The ammunition had to be in another room in a steel box or cabinet, again bolted to the floor or wall. They also discussed used with you what other hobbies you enjoyed, why you liked shooting, and what magazines and books you liked to read. If you made the mistake of saying you wanted the gun for protection, you would be denied. Piles of SOF magazines lying around would not go down well also in why you might want firearms. If they accepted what they saw and heard, they issued a Certificate. Keep in mind if the Club you joined did not have access to a rifle range, they would not approve a Rifle to be purchased. You were allowed to transport the guns and ammo to and from your Club Range, in a bag, not on your person.
There were many proficient and competitive shooters in the UK. I shot UKPSA for years. There still are but they have had to adapt to the regulations of the Government. A bit like California? Or are California’s thought of as Namby Pamby because they have ridiculous restrictions? If you think Brits are useless, take a trip to the UK and go to any Pub and mouth off as many of you do on here and see what happens. Don’t be surprised when you wake up and are surrounded by men and women in white coats and you are eating your dinner through a tube. In many parts of the World the perception of the ‘Ignorant American’ is still there. This needs to change. I first came to the States in the 70s and have been a USC since ’07. I love it here and I value the freedoms you have here and fight for. Just do not put down other Nations because they have had their freedoms diluted. Learn from it and understand. Oh and Cisco…..you’re a Wanker.
Which is why I mentioned “By the CONSENT of the governed.” Besides I lived was assigned there while in the military.
Truebrit – ‘namby-pamby’ is probably the nicest thing he could have called you. Funny that you spent 303 words in you little history validating his appraisal of ‘namby-pamby’ (303 words – was that an Enfield pun on your part, I doubt it). Well, here’s some history back at you:”Politicians took away the guns, the British people did not have a choice but to give them up” – if you allow that to happen, then you deserve what you get. Crap like that is why we told good King George to sod off in 1776. “After WW1 a lot of the boys came back with ‘souvenirs’. Some turned to crime” – then you should have had a gay old time hanging the buggers at Newgate. “Or are California’s thought of as Namby Pamby because they have ridiculous restrictions?” – Ok, you got me on this one, except we use terms a bit stronger than ‘namby-pamby’ (or ‘wanker’ for that matter) to describe them.
And the best for last…”Just do not put down other Nations because they have had their freedoms diluted. Learn from it and understand”. Oh we understand. We understand that some people are willing to let their Rights be trampled on. We understand that those that do are entirely deserving of being ‘put down’. We’re just not willing to be sheeple and let it happen to us. Not willingly. But hey, God save your Queen. No really, with a Muslin London mayor and a flood of Muslim immigrants whose own religious books tell them to kill you, I hope God really does save your Queen.
Their media may say this stuff, but I’ll bet there’s a lot of people in GB who wish they had a few guns every time some Muslim terrorist slaughters some innocent people.