Pictures from my trip to the J.M. Davis Gun Museum


Harry Stone
November 27, 2005, 06:54 PM
Thanksgiving took me to Tulsa to see family. On the way out I saw the signs for the J.M. Davis Gun Museum in Claremore Oklahoma. I had no idea that it would be such an amazing sight. Mr. Davis collected over 20,000 firearms and has the largest known private collection. The pictures I'm posting are by no means the highlights of the collection, just a few items I was personally interested in. If you have a chance, you should go. I plan to go again and spend a whole day there.

This first picture shows what you see as you come in, over the front desk is a display with IIRC 328 pieces, mostly revolvers.

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November 27, 2005, 06:55 PM
I love the warning sign in the corner :D

Harry Stone
November 27, 2005, 06:57 PM
There are very old examples up to modern production.

This volley gun was something I'd only read about and thought I'd never see in person.

Harry Stone
November 27, 2005, 07:00 PM
Pepperbox pistols, there was a whole case of these.

A little something for the Smith & Wesson fans.

Harry Stone
November 27, 2005, 07:03 PM
Colt Frontiers cased set and a case of Bisleys.

Harry Stone
November 27, 2005, 07:07 PM
Another Bisley, and he had a whole case of dueling sets.

Harry Stone
November 27, 2005, 07:09 PM
Gatling gun and Scheutzen rifles.

Harry Stone
November 27, 2005, 07:12 PM
This room was marked "open storage" and contained an unbelievable amount of guns. What you see in the picture is about one third of what the room contains.

This letter is a response from Colt about his inquiry on his Single Action Army serial #31. Colt didn't have an answer on his exact history but they said they had #24 in their collection and they are "very proud" to display it. The letter is dated 1936.

November 27, 2005, 07:40 PM
I guess I should make a trip up there its only about 90 minutes.

November 27, 2005, 10:09 PM
It's about 400 miles for me, but I think I might have to make that trip sometime! Thanks for posting that, I always like to see things like that.

November 27, 2005, 11:53 PM
Thank you for the post. Wonderful pics. Looks like one hell of a place to spend a day... or two...or three...;)

November 28, 2005, 01:34 AM
I've been there at least a dozen times. You can spend a lot of time there. The collection bothers me on a couple of levels. One, Mr. Davis seemed to collect everything. Sort of a "shotgun" approach to collecting. That's kind of fun since you can see a little of everything but it is disappointing when you get into a section that you really KNOW and there are huge holes everywhere. The S&W collection is like that. Just "a little of this and a little of that" but a heck of a lot of important guns aren't there. The other thing I don't like isn't Mr. Davis's fault. He died. The collection stopped. So the real bulk of the original holdings stops in the 1970's. Think of a Ruger or S&W collection that "starts at the beginning" but then just _stops_ in the 70's. It leaves you feeling robbed or something!

Now, to be fair, there are lots and lots of guns that have been added since the collection was turned over to the state of Oklahoma for display. Many guns seized by police departments and other guns that have been donated. But that results in even more of that "a little bit of everything" kind of approach.

OK, I enjoy going but I'm always a little disappointed when I leave.

Now that's in Claremore. If you are going to be up this way to see the Davis Gun Museum then you would be seriously missing out if you didn't go up by Bartlesville and visit the former country estate of Mr. Phillips.

A great place to spend a day with your family. The grounds are spectacular. The main museum has a lot of really nice stuff that will keep your attention. And mixed in on the main floor is a whole lot of guns. Mainly Winchesters but lots of stuff. That would be good enough to be worth going. But the real secret is in the basement! There are a couple of collections down there that are the opposite of the Davis museum. They target fairly small segments of the gun collection universe and then they cover them 100% with like NIB guns. The Colt collection is jaw dropping. The far room has a bunch of rifles that I didn't even know existed. Colt lever actions. Large frame Lightnings in rifle calibers. So beautiful. My dream would be to be allowed to handle some of them with white gloves. And then carefully position them in great backgrounds and take wonderfully detailed photos of them.

Seriously, if you like the Davis gun museum, head up to Woolaroc and check out the basement!


November 28, 2005, 09:39 AM
Thank you so much for sharing your pictures. They are really great. I would like to try to visit a museum like that sometime in the future. Looks like a lot of fun.

November 28, 2005, 09:59 AM
Thank you for posting those great pictures, and welcome to The High Road.

November 28, 2005, 10:28 AM
Thanks for letting us see a bit of the collection!!

November 28, 2005, 10:43 AM
My grandparents lived in Claremore so I have been there many times. It's pretty amazing.

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