Firearms, Technology and the American West

Have you ever wondered what work goes into creating an exhibit at a museum? While the art displayed is usually your main focus, there is also art in the creation of the exhibit itself. Since the spring of 2020, the staff at the C.M. Russell Museum have been working on the Firearms, Technology and the American West exhibition.

Original pieces of the Browning Firearms Collection will be on display, as well as highlighting technology in the American West. To display the collection, custom cases were made by a local craftsman, Jack Lyons. Pictured here, Dorothy Nunez, is working on custom fitting the drawers below the cases. where additional pistols and rifles will be located for viewing. Everything must be “museum” quality, including the foam, to protect the artifacts from environmental erosion.

The new exhibition, Firearms, Technology, and the American West, will explore how the evolution of firearms design, technology, and function opened the door for firearms to be used for self-defense, hunting, and sport shooting on a much larger scale than ever before, impacting the lives and livelihoods of those on the western frontier.
Prominently featured in this exhibit is the The Matthew S. Browning Collection of firearms. A legacy collection that was assembled from 1928 to 1960 by Matthew S. Browning, the grandson and namesake of the businessman and gunsmith who, with his brother John Moses, founded the Browning Brothers Company in Ogden, Utah in 1880. Gifted to the C.M. Russell Museum in 1976, the family’s collection contains a diverse range of Browning firearms, as well as a number of significant American and European firearms that the family both displayed and shot.

Make plans to see the new exhibition when it opens this winter in 2020!