My visit to NRA HQ

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

Ed Friedman, Associate Editor of the NRA’s Shooting Illustrated magazine and gun blogger, was kind enough to organize for me a tour of the NRA. I had the pleasure of meeting most the editors for the Shooting Illustrated, American Hunter, American Rifleman and Insight magazines.

Ed’s tidy office. The NRA HQ is in a very nice and modern office building (not in a dungeon under the GOP headquarters and without snipers on the roof 😉 )

Matt Sharpe, Assistant Curator, gave me a personal tour of the NRA National Firearms Museum. The museum is amazing. If you are in the DC metro area, you must go and see it. After the tour I was privileged to be taken down to the infamous vault and see the vast collection of guns not on display 🙂

Matt patiently posing for me while I try and figure out how to work my camera. He is holding a Valmet Rk.62

During the tour I was briefly interview by Danielle Sturgis, the Senior Media Specialist, who blogged about my visit at

My visit at
The gun range workshop. Everything you would need to fix a gun. Not shown are the drill presses, grinders and belt sanders.

To round off my trip Tyler Kries (Firearms Manager, blogger and the guy with the coolest office I have ever seen – it resembles a high end gun shop) organized a shoot of the new Savage BA .338 Lapua Magnum. Shooting a .338 with a big fraking muzzle brake in a small room (about 60 yards long and a few yards wide) was quite an experience! I am not sure my heart could put up with much more than the two rounds each of us put through it! I joke, it was a LOT of fun.

Savage BA .338 (yes, I am an aweful photographer!)

Many thanks to everyone involved with the tour (including Danny-The-Interen), especially Ed Friedman who invited me and organized it. I had an amazing time and look forward to catching up with y’all again at SHOT.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

More by Steve Johnson

Join the conversation
2 of 9 comments
  • Mang Mang on Jan 16, 2010

    Another great firearms collection to visit in the general dc/md/va area is the museum at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Some amazing stuff; m-14 and garand prototypes and vietnam oddities and such, with some captured and current weapons - not to mention the completely amazing collection of US and other armor and field guns taking up acres outside...

  • Tim Douglas Tim Douglas on Jan 28, 2010

    I wish I knew you were visiting so i could have met you. The NRA HQ not only is one of the nicer museums to vist but they also have a great range, along with some of the best range staff I have ever met.