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Fathers and Firearms June 16, 2014

Filed under: Family — itsrebekahlyn @ 7:52 AM
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How did you spend your Father’s Day? Mine was pretty low key since I was wiped out after a long day in the sun promoting my books at the Sea Turtle Festival on Saturday, but my dad and I had the chance to spend some quality time together a few days earlier.

 

Wednesday we spent the afternoon touring the private collection of firearms, military vehicles, and even tanks housed at Knight’s Knight's LogoArmament. It may sound like an odd outing for a father and daughter, but he and I have been watching war movies since I was a little kid and until the personal drama took over the show, we enjoyed watching Sons of Guns, marveling at some of the projects the little shop in Louisiana took on.

 

Tours of the collection at Knight’s Armament are limited and one must request to be put on a list. Our group consisted of twenty individuals most of whom were Brevard County Sheriff’s officers; I believe we were the only “civilians.”

 

It seemed odd entering the museum. I had previously toured the property with the head of their public relations department during a high school job-shadowing program when the building was owned by McDonald Douglas and used to make the Patriot and Tomahawk missiles in the 1990s. This turned out to be a whole different experience. The first room we entered was the size of a hotel ballroom and one wall was lined, floor to ceiling, with guns hanging horizontally dating from 1775 to present and the opposite side of the room displayed what has to be one of the largest collection of Gatling guns. Down the middle of the room were cannons, anti-aircraft guns, a helicopter, and mannequins in dozens of different military uniforms. Our guide, Cody, was knowledgeable and excited to talk about the advances and set backs the guns in the collection represented.

 

It seemed odd entering the museum. I had previously toured the property with the head of their public relations department during a high school job-shadowing program when the building was owned by McDonald Douglas and used to make the Patriot and Tomahawk missiles in the 1990s. This turned out to be a whole different experience. The first room we entered was the size of a hotel ballroom and one wall was lined, floor to ceiling, with guns hanging horizontally dating from 1775 to present and the opposite side of the room displayed what has to be one of the largest collection of Gatling guns. Down the middle of the room were cannons, anti-aircraft guns, a helicopter, and mannequins in dozens of different military uniforms. Our guide, Cody, was knowledgeable and excited to talk about the advances and set backs the guns in the collection represented.

 

The next room held more modern firearms and all four walls were lined from floor to ceiling. There was a lot of oohing and ahhing as we entered, heads swiveling as we all tried to take it in. There were even guns that were cut open so the inner workings could be analyzed and admired. Since Knight’s is a functioning research, development, and manufacturing facility, Cody told us that the engineers, when working on something new, will often pull a gun off the wall, take it apart, and study it to see what works and why that works well.

 

The last part of the tour took us through the halls of military vehicles and tanks. The old trucks were beautiful and the tanks were, well, awesome! The guy who guided us through this section really knew his stuff and I think he probably did a lot of the restoration work. I wish I could remember his name. There were at least 20 tanks ranging from World War I all the way up to Afghanistan. I can’t believe we went into World War II with a 32 mm gun on our tanks when the Nazis had 70 mm guns on their Panzer and Tiger tanks! Seeing the growth from the little tanks with armor that could be pierced by a rifle up to the Abrams tank that towered over us was like walking through our country’s history.

Three hours and forty-five minutes later, dad and I were on our way home, bubbling with stories to tell. I think dad will remember this Father’s Day week for a few years.  My only regret is that no picture taking was allowed. I would have loved to have a picture of my dad and I in front of the….. well there were just too many to chose from.

Me and my daddy

Me and my daddy

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2 Responses to “Fathers and Firearms”

  1. I am so glad you had a great time. I learned of the tours on You Grew Up in Titusville!

  2. Reblogged this on Old Things R New and commented:
    Knowing that my husband and daughter, Rebekah find historical weapons interesting, I was thrilled to discover a tour of the famous Knights Armament could be requested. Even better, our invitation came for the week of Father’s Day so it was perfect timing for some father-daughter bonding. She posted this on her blog Rebekah Lyn’s Kitchen and I am re-posting here for our readers~Onisha


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