When I realized that I would have some time before flying out of Hartford's Bradley International on Sunday afternoon (yes, Malloy, you missed your chance when I was in your AO), I asked around to see if the Springfield Armory NPS Museum was open early enough in the morning to visit, for I had never been. Not only was it, but I was able to catch a ride with a marvelous young family who had also wanted to see it.
We got there before it opened at 9am and walked the grounds. This ridiculous piece of "imagined ordnance" was sitting outside, advertising a display of what turned out to be a perfect waste of museum space. Still, I wondered if this is R&D for what the Obama administration intends to give our U.S. Army redlegs instead of 105s and 155s in the near future.
While we waited, you couldn't help but notice the irony of the signs on either side of the entrance denoting the Springfield Armory as a "gun free zone." Of course since I had come naked through the tender mercies of the TSA I was unarmed, but my host grumbled with good reason.
Once inside, though, the museum was a great experience. Here, I am pointing out to my friends in one of the World War II vintage display cases, an M-1 Garand rifle grenade attachment and an out-of-place post-war M-31 rifle grenade.
Inside the movie theater where they show you the introductory film is an excellent display of early machine guns, including early Gatlings, the Nordenfeldt, the "coffee mill gun," the Maxim and an M1917 designed by John Browning.
I picked up a couple industrial histories of the Armory at the gift shop as well as an official "Springfield Armory M-14" ballcap, which I will take out to the Big Spring speech this weekend after I get some additional embroidery done on it.
For those of you who are local, this coming Saturday, 21 June, is "Armory Day" from 10AM until 4:30PM Eastern with re=enactors doing cannon and musket firing. There will also be music, dancing, military encampments, etc., and would be a great time to take the kids and visit the museum. The event and the entrance to the museum displays are free of charge. You can't beat that.