By Danielle Sturgis | October 4 2010 08:10

Fredrick Kunkle of the Washington Post visited the National Firearms Museum in September. Below, his review of some of the Museum's more unusual pieces:

The vampire gun at the National Firearms Museum

Vampire gun at the NRA National Firearms Museum Let's say you need to kill a vampire – and heaven knows, they're everywhere these days.

The National Firearms Museum has just the thing: the Vampire Hunter's Colt Detective Special.

The revolver has a cross engraved on the muzzle, presumably to keep vampires at bay while the vampire hunter takes aim. It spits silver .38-caliber bullets, each of which is sculpted in the form of a vampire's head.

And its coffin-shaped box, lined with sanguinary-red velvet, comes with a helpful vial marked "Holy Water."

The Vampire Hunter's Colt Detective Special, which is a silver-plated version of the snub-nosed handgun once prized by Mafia hit men and pulp fiction's world-weary private eyes, is one of the newest additions to the collection of 5,000 firearms.

It goes on display Oct. 8 along with 400 newly acquired firearms in the new Robert E. Petersen wing of the museum at the National Rifle Association's headquarters in Fairfax County.

To stroll through its galleries is to reflect on one of the most controversial and fetishized objects in American culture. Beginning with a battered wheel-lock rifle that came to the New World aboard the Mayflower, the museum celebrates firearms and their place in the American imagination, including the Smith & Wesson .44 magnum revolver that made Clint Eastwood's day in the movie "Dirty Harry."

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