Hands-on educational firearms program Lock, Stock, & Barrel combines history and safety in an interactive program at the Cody Firearms Museum.
Part of our mission here at the Cody Firearms Museum is to provide an entertaining and educational experience for our visitors. While firearms are such tactile objects to be held and operated by human hands, it can be difficult to intrigue and engage our audience solely through our historical firearms behind the glass. Many people who come through the museum do not own a firearm, or have ever held one before. To provide a more tangible and interactive experience in the Cody Firearms Museum, we have been presenting our spotlight program, Lock, Stock & Barrel, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the Boone & Crockett Cabin.
These programs provide an opportunity to actually hold and work the actions on reproduction firearms. The spotlight programs also provide an opportunity to learn about firearms safety. Firearms Safety Depends on You is a concise booklet that we have available for free during these programs. Made by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, these pamphlets highlight ten fundamental rules for safely and responsibly handling and operating a firearm. Although all of the guns in our educational collection have had their firing pins removed and are unloaded, we make sure to explain to our visitors that we always treat them as if they were fully operational firearms. With each program, the top four safety rules are covered:
1) Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. 2) Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use. 3) Don’t rely on your guns “safety”. 4) Be sure of your target and what’s beyond it.
With these rules, we hope our visitors learn how important firearms safety is and that the rules are always in play, even with reproduction or replica firearms.
The Lock, Stock & Barrel program has been a fantastic experience. Visitors have been asking great questions and seem to enjoy the hands on opportunity. Popular firearms in the collection have been the .44 caliber 1847 Colt Walker, designed by Sam Colt and Sam Walker. At 4 lbs 9 oz., people are amazed at how heavy it really is when they pick it up! The other gun that receives a lot of attention is the incredibly small .17 caliber Remington-Rider Parlor Pistol. Only 200 were produced during 1860-1863, and it was the smallest pistol Remington would produce. Many visitors are astounded that fully operational firearms could be that small! To be able to feel the weight, work the actions, and hold these incredible pieces of history has been a great opportunity for our museumgoers at the CFM. The program will continue through my internship every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1:30 pm. Hope to see you there!