This new temporary exhibition observes the development of firearms from 1891 to 1939, based on a single weapons collection of Mr. Aku Sorainen. Some guns originate from a 30 year earlier older period.
The exhibition also gives a brief overview of the weapons that were used during the interwar period in Latvia and Lithuania, but also in the Soviet Union, Germany, Sweden, Finland and some other countries.
The highlights of the exhibited pistols include different models of the Browning (FN), Mauser C96 and Parabellum pistols. Other pistols are displayed to demonstrate the diversity of designs before the Browning (FN) and the Colt 1911 started to become the standard. The greatest rarity of the exhibition is the automatic pistol with calibre 6.35mm, manufactured in 1921 at the Kivi, Käärik & Ko factory, Tartu, Estonia. The weapon bears the number 01. The other rarity is the Finnish rifle M91/28-30, which is one of the 80 weapons that were used in the 1937 World Shooting Championship in Helsinki. The competition was won by the Estonian team that received the famous Argentina Cup. The sports gun manufactured by the Estonian Arsenal weapons factory in 1935 is quite rare as well.
The goal of the exhibition is not to pass judgment on whether the rapid development of military weapons has facilitated or hindered building a better future for humankind. However, some technological innovations of the era in question must be mentioned. The development of firearm designs in itself is undoubtedly remarkable.
The exhibition is open from December 3rd, 2018 – February 24th, 2019.