Virtual Tour: Newly Renovated Cody Firearms Museum

The Cody Firearms Museum has spent many months undergoing a complete renovation and rebuilding, and is not back fully open to the public. The new layout has not just improved visibility and put the guns in better display context, but it has actually increased the number of guns on display. When I last filmed at Cody, most of the really interesting unusual stuff was back in the vaults – but during filming this past week we had to take a remarkable number of guns out of displays to film. This is a great improvement – the Cody museum was always good, but this new design has made it the best firearms museum in the United States, in my opinion.

Visiting? The CFM is part of the 5-museum complex that is the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in beautiful Cody, Wyoming.




  1. It looks like we forgot the forgotten weapons with all this literature lately …Time to get back, i think !

  2. Good grief! That’s the kind of museum where the security would drag me out at closing time…! I guess I’ll have to figure on going to Cody, WY and spending something like a week there?

    When I’ve visited art museums, like the Prado for example, I’ve had to divide it up into a couple rooms per visit. A great museum can be exhausting!

    Looking over Ian’s shoulder at some of those roll out cabinets was already inducing Stendahl’s syndrome…

  3. I had the misfortune that my one and only visit was just as the renovation process was starting. So a few (luckily very few)of the old exhibits were already starting to be removed for the renovation. Had a chat with one of the guards/guides who explained the plan to have as much of the collection on display as possible, so I knew that there was going to be a “downstairs”, but I didn’t expect it to be that awesome!

    Clearly, I have to start planning a return visit!

  4. The Buffalo Bill Center is worth at least two days, better make that three. As Dave says, a great museum is exhausting. On my only visit heap winters ago, I was tickled to see my late father’s Wells Fargo Smith and Wesson on display; the Firearms Museum acquired it from my brother. I’m glad to see it in good hands.

    Here’s two cents’ worth from a native of Wyoming: I got to know Bill a lot better from visiting the Center, and I like the cut of his clothes more than when I was a younker just starting out; we tended back then to regard him as a boozy showoff, but he wasn’t. He was the real deal, and suffered a ton of undeserved bad luck.

  5. The last Cody visit you made, as I remember, was you talking to a really bright woman who was newly in charge. I remember her saying she had a lot to learn about guns; but she sounded like she was full strength mustard about how to organise a museum.
    If I am even half correct in my memory, then bloody well done to her, and to you for spreading the word.
    If I’m just wrong: then bloody well done to the Cody for reinventing themselves and you for spreading the word.

  6. Very impressive indeed. Only one objection I have – it should be located in one of gun making states (Conn., Mass. or N.Y.).

    • Other than that Wyoming is a wonderful state; I visited there in 2008. First time I saw desert there. And of course, there is nothing like Yellowstone park. Unfortunately did not have time left to stay in Cody except lunch at KFC.

  7. On repeated visits to Massachusetts, Denny, I have noted the sheer density of New England gun makers there and in nearby Connecticut and Rhode Island. The only real site to tell this industrial and technological history is the old Federal Arsenal at Springfield, which is magnificent, but really only scratches the surface, no? Even my “non-gun” friends were interested in the displays of machinery, particularly the belt-driven stock carving machine for shaping blanks and other exhibits.

    • I was lucky to see USRAC New Haven plant before its demolition. Over the entrance was label: “Thru this door are entering some of the best craftsmen in the world”. Where is it now? What homage pay the nation to its heritage? “All the glory is old fields grass” as one saying goes.

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