There’s Always Something New to Learn
The Cody Firearms Museum answers thousands of visitor inquiries a year. Some people call and e-mail, which allows us time to research. Others ask questions on the fly as we move about the gallery. People also call into live interviews we do on radio shows. We pride ourselves on being able to answer most of your questions, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret—we don’t know everything. Our firearms staff extensively studies firearms. And each of us brings varying levels of experience to the table.
That’s what is so cool about studying firearms history. At a museum like ours, we must have knowledge of firearms from the 1300s through 2014. Each staff member has specific types of guns that he or she knows more or less about. When covering a collection so vast, there’s always something new to learn. Admitting we may have to look up information does not discredit our expertise; rather it shows our propensity to build our knowledge base. In fact, we welcome the ability to continue our professional development, especially when our visitors often bring their own knowledge about specific gun models.
The Cody Firearms Museum will be featured on Gun Talk TV this summer. When there are lights, camera, and editing software, our recitation of firearms knowledge may appear seamless, but a lot of research goes into the few minutes we talk on camera. Prior to filming, we get a list of topics for a particular show. They tend to be general in order to permit us to discuss the answer on the spot. To truly reach the depth of the topic, we prefer to take some time refreshing our memories on dates, context, firearms specifications, etc. The same goes for our visitors. When people send us inquiries about their firearms, we use our expertise but substantiate it with research in order to provide them the most thorough answer.
On the few occasions we get stumped on a question, we find honesty is the best policy. Gun guys and gals can spot someone faking an answer a mile away. We love having so many people passionate about firearms and history—it keeps us on our toes!