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Looking back at 30 years with the National Rifle Association and being responsible for a collection of thousands of historic firearms can give one a different perspective when it comes to taking care of guns. Many times, I’ve spoken to collector groups about how to maintain their treasures and years later, I’ve had pieces that belonged to some of those collectors come to the NRA National Firearms Museum as a donation.

Whether you decide to donate a firearm to a collection or not, taking proper care of them is essential.

Conservation is the museum term for taking care of artifacts. At the National Firearms Museum, an artifact could be a firearm, a book, a sword, a shooting jacket, or many other types of objects represented in our extensive collections. All items in the museum collection require care, most needing specialized care.

Here are several aspects of conservation that you need to know when caring for your own piece of history:

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