By Lars Dalseide | July 7 2014 17:00

9mms from 1910, 1940 and today that make you wonder why they were ever made

Dreyse Pistol from the 1910 era

Tulsa, Oklahoma - Only exceptional firearms find their way onto Curator’s Corner. Firearms that revolutionized the industry, blazed a path to glory or rode shotgun (no pun intended) on the way to history. That’s how most Curator’s Corners would be described. Most. Not todays.

Today’s episode focuses on the rare. The unseen and, in some cases, unknown.

“Some of these 9mm pistols I’ve not only never seen before, I’ve never heard of them before,” said NRA Museums Director Jim Supica.

The guns, three in all, come courtesy of Major Richard Keough. Fresh off a flight from the great state of Hawaii, Major Keogh was nice good to break out a Dreyese, a Tarn, and a Felk. 9mm pistols all.

The Dreyse is a military model made sometime after 1910. Based off an earlier .32 caliber model, the designers added an enormous spring around the barrel that made it impossible to pull back the slide. To compensate, a lever was added to disconnect the breach block behind the cartridge.

“Imagine trying to do that in the wet trench, at night, with somebody shooting at you,” said Keough.

The Tarn holds another interesting piece of history. With only nine ever manufactured, the Tarn was created for the Polish Free Forces in Great Britain. I know … what were Polish Free Forces doing in England? Well it was 1940 so they were getting ready to take on the Nazis of course.

“The British put a stop to that by supplying them with British Army equipment rather than creating a new pistol.”

As for the Felk, well, we can’t give all the Curator's Corner secrets away. We'll tell you it's made in Australia and leave it at that. For the rest of the story you'll have to tune in to NRA News on Sportsman Channel tonight around 6:40pm eastern. There you can see the Felk, the Tarn, the Dreyse, and the Supica.

One not as rare as the other.

1 of 9 Tarn 9mm pistols ever made by the Polish Free Forces

Though none of the 9mm mentioned are there, you can see all the other guns in the NRA National Firearms Museum collection at


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