Possibly a novel way to celebrate the approaching October 31st holiday, possibly a none-too-subtle statement on youth trends or possibly custom designed protection against growing concerns about “the undead”—whatever the reason—on Oct. 8 the Vampire Hunter’s .38 caliber Colt Detective Special will go on display at the National Firearms Museum.
The revolver, a custom silver-plated version of Colt’s iconic snub-nosed handgun, will be exhibited alongside over 400 freshly acquired firearms adding to the museum’s already venerable collection of 5,000 firearms. The muzzle bears an engraved cross intended to keep vampires at a distance while “the living” takes aim. The coffin-shaped gun case houses a variable vampire hunter’s toolkit complete with silver bullets crafted in the likeness of a vampire’s head, a blood red velvet lined interior and a silver embossed vial of “Holy Water.” However, we are a bit skeptical about to the guns effectiveness against creatures of the night: we always thought silver bullets killed werewolves.
In total, the National Firearms Museum’s galleries do a superb job of reflecting on firearms’ significance in American culture. The tour begins with a wheel-lock rifle carried to New World aboard the Mayflower and continues with a truly comprehensive collection of the tools that helped tame and then form the United States like newly acquired revolutionary war era Kentucky rifle.
Aside from the more serious historical tone, most of the guns, like the Vampire Slayer, are just plain fun. There are guns hidden in canes, .50 caliber armor piercing sniper rifles and guns fired by some of the most celebrated figures in American history like Teddy Roosevelt, Annie Oakley and Clint Eastwood (and also including a .45 caliber Colt New Frontier that John F. Kennedy never got a chance to shoot). There is also a fascinating collection of miniature guns, originally conceived as a way for apprentice gunsmiths to craft their fine motor skills and impress their mentors.
The Vampire Revolver will be housed in the new Robert E. Petersen wing of the museum the at the National Rifle Association’s headquarters (also the location of the National Firearms Museum) in Fairfax, Virginia.