Kentucky Rifle Association


  • 1920s created by George N. Hyatt and a number of early collectors and students of the Kentucky rifle and pistol
  •  1924 Captain John G. W. Dillin, wrote “The Kentucky Rifle”
  • 1961 Dilin invited a number of collectors to participate in an exhibit and discussion at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
  • April 14 – 15, 1962, a second meeting was held at the Mountain View Inn, Greensburg, Pennsylvania
  • 1975 KRA book, Kentucky Rifles and Pistols, 1750 – 1850
  • 1979 Annual Meeting marked the 5th anniversary of our KRA Newsletter
  • 1981 our KRA book, Kentucky Rifles and Pistols 1750 – 1850, was reprinted
  • 2004 Kentucky Rifle foundation formed
  • 2010, after thirty-eight years at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, annual show was relocated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2012 Annual Meeting, celebrated 50 Year Anniversary

Ye Connecticut Gun Guild

  • Sunday evening May 7, 1944  five men met in the home of Walter MacGregor on Cumberland Avenue in Wethersfield, Connecticut to discuss the formation of a new organization to promote their interests in the preservation, study and collecting of antique firearms.

Gun Collecting, Buying and Selling


The Guild and it’s members have been gathering monthly since 1944 fostering the preservation of history and an appreciation for all things militaria. From the waning years of World War II to the present, the Connecticut Gun Guild has grown from five enthusiastic men to a diverse, multinational organization of over 350 members. The Guild continues to promote safety, responsibility, friendship, and research while attempting to preserve our constitutional rights and pursue our chosen hobby which includes the collecting and preservation of firearms.

Robert E. Peterson

September 10, 1926 – March 23, 2007 (80)

  • Robert E. Peterson Publisher
  • Jan 1948 Hot Rod magazine started
  • Motor Trend
  • 1958 – Guns & Ammo Magazine
    – added a “Keep & Bear Arms” section
  • Ken Elliot
  • 1970s Petersen Motorama Cars of the Stars on Hollywood Boulevard
  • June 1994 Petersen Automotive Museum opened
  • 1996 sold his company for $450 million
  • 2000 the museum separated from the Natural History Museum
    – independent entity owned by the Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation
  • Oct 8, 2010 donated 400 gun collection to the NRA National Firearms Museum
    – Display opened in October

Joe Kindig Jr

1898 – 1971

  • Gun Collector
  • encyclopedic collection of more than 500  guns
  • Quaker who has never fired a gun
  • vegetarian
  •  largest collection of Kentucky long rifles in the world
  • 1947 his son Joe III joined him in the business
  • 1952

“Joe,” a wealthy York business man said,”when are you going to get a shave and a haircut and look like other folks?”

“On the day,” Mr. Kindig snapped back, “when you give $5000 to charity.”

The man took him up on it, and wrote $2,500 checks for two needy causes. Mr. Kindig, as good as his word, sat painfully through a shave and haircut. “It was awful,” he told a reporter. “With my hair and beard gone, I looked as ridiculous as you do right now.”


  • May 1955, Life magazine published its first-ever foldout, highlighting Joe’s rifles
  • 1960 wrote Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle in Its Golden Age
  • his book changed popular attitudes from thinking of the rifle as a weapon to appreciating it as an art form & the gunsmith a skilled artisan
  • Few rifles are ever offered to the collecting public.
  • Ninety-five percent of it remains intact


J.M. Davis

John Monroe Davis
June 27, 1887 – Feb 7,1973

  • the largest privately-held collection of firearms in the world
  • 1917  J.M. and Addie Davis buy the  Mason Hotel in Claremore, OK
  • 1919, Mr. and Mrs. Davis built a home in Claremore and took over the management of the hotel
  • 1921 to 1923 mayor of Claremore
  • 1933 to 1943 mayor of Claremore
  • 1929 Mr. Davis’s collection had grown to 99 guns
  • 1930 purchased U.S. Bessette collection of 500 pieces
  • 1932 purchased the Smith collection at Vinita, Oklahoma of 1,500 guns
  • 1932 purchased the John Sallings collection of 500 pieces
  • World War II veterans would bring him war trophies
  • gunsmiths would bring in guns they had modified, sporterized, or completely invented
  • 1948 purchased the Merle Gill collection
    (Outlaw and Lawman guns, hanging nooses, and hand cuffs)
  • November, 1959 Addie Davis passed away (married 49 years)
  • July 1961, J.M. married Genevieve Breeden
  • 1965, Mr. Davis established a nonprofit foundation, the J.M. Davis Memorial Foundation, Inc
  •  Governor Henry Bellmon signed the legislation to establish the J.M. Davis Memorial Commission and appropriate funds to purchase the entire city block where the museum now stands
  • 1968, plans were approved for a 40,000 square foot J.M Davis museum building
  • June 27, 1969, Mr. Davis’ 82nd birthday, the museum was opened to the public
  • June 27, 1972, Mr. Davis’ 85th birthday, the city of Claremore honored him by renaming a street after him: J.M. Davis Boulevard
  • February 7th, 1973 J.M. Davis  passed away