the nation's gun show


6 Miles From the Nation's Gun Show

NRA National Firearms Museum

11250 Waples Mill Rd

Fairfax, VA22030

 NRA National Firearms Museum

For the December 27, 28 & 29, 2019 Nation's Gun Show the NRA's National Firearms Museum is proud to present  

A a special traveling exhibit featuring percussion rifles made by each of the three famous Hawken brothers.

Jacob and Samuel Hawken headed West and in 1845, created a family business in St. Louis, Missouri, building arms for trapping expeditions outfitting for the Rocky Mountains.  The many rugged “plain” percussion rifles these two brothers made, ranging from light game guns to heavy rifles suitable for buffalo and grizzly bear, became legendary arms used by historic figures including Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, Jeremiah “Liver Eating” Johnson, and others.  Jacob Hawken died during a cholera epidemic in 1849, but Samuel Hawken, after a brief pause to try out gold mining, kept on, eventually retiring from the gun trade in 1861.

But not all the Hawken brothers wound up in St Louis.  William Hawken, a younger brother, remained in Hagerstown, Maryland near Harpers Ferry National Armory, the location where their father, Christian Hawken, had learned the trade.  William’s rifles maintained a slimmer profile like the Pennsylvania/Kentucky rifles long made in the same area, and were also embellished with a finely engraved brass patchbox.

Each of these three Hawken rifles are part of the museum collection, representing more than 10,000 firearms of all historical periods on display daily at the NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, VA. For more information on the museum’s educational programs, e-mail, call (703) 267-1600 or check out our website at