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by NRA Staff

During his years as shooting editor for Outdoor Life magazine, Jim Carmichel had the opportunity to encounter many unusual sporting arms, but one of the strangest came to him with a tag attached. The old paper tag read, “Very dangerous—given to me by Ross in 1915—fired by my guide Pete Nordquist at a grizzly in the Teton Range. The bolt shot out backwards and tore the side of his face away from the mouth to the ear. The bolt was picked up 20 yards back. I reported this and all later models had different bolt action—as several other people had same accident. .280 Ross Rifle N. Whitehouse.”

The .280 Ross rifle attached to the tag was a sporting, straight-pull gun that had been acquired by Carmichel from former NRA President Richard Riley. This straight-pull design, developed by the quirky Scottish designer Sir Charles Ross, was produced in both civilian and military models, but the reputation of the company’s name suffered when shooters found that incorrect assembly was but one of the reasons the Ross design malfunctioned. Wisely, Carmichel elected to donate this rifle to the National Firearms Museum without firing it.

Just part of the history on exhibit daily in the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va., nearly 3,000 guns can be seen by visitors in the galleries, which are open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is always free (donations appreciated), and visitors can enjoy a well-stocked museum store offering a wide range of arms-related books, clothing and fraternal items. For more information, e-mail or call (703) 267-1600. View the online galleries at