- Robert E. Petersen Collection
- Ancient Firearms - 1350 to 1700
- Road to American Liberty - 1700 to 1780
- A Prospering New Republic - 1780 to 1860
- The American West - 1850 to 1900
- Innovation, Oddities and Competition
- Theodore Roosevelt and Elegant Arms - 1880s to 1920s
- World War I and Firearms Innovation
- WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Beyond - 1940 to Present
- For the Fun of It
- Modern Firearms - 1950 to Present
- Hollywood Guns
- A Nation Asunder - 1861 to 1865
Smith & Wesson Model 645 Double Action Semi Automatic Pistol
This Smith & Wesson was used by Sgt. Richard Beckman (retired) of the Cloverdale, California Police Department in ending a violent confrontation with a recently-paroled murderer. Sgt. Beckman's actions saved the lives of a fellow officer and several innocent bystanders, including a hostage taken at gunpoint by the armed felon.
Sgt. Richard Beckman (retired) of the Cloverdale, California Police Department was named Police Officer of the Year for 1988 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police for his actions in thwarting a gas station/convenience store hold-up in which a recently-paroled and heavily-armed murderer took a clerk hostage after attempting to run down another officer.
This department-issue pistol was the same one carried by Sgt. Beckman during this incident. His heroism also earned him the Certificate of Valor from the California Department of Justice, selection as Sonoma County Officer of the Year by the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Chiefs' Association, and numerous other accolades, including a personal letter of congratulations from President Ronald Reagan.