The Springfield Armory's manufacture of small arms for the U.S. Army spans three centuries (1794-1968). Many technological advances in small arms occurred at the armory. The original Main Arsenal Building now houses a comprehensive collection of martial firearms and ammunition, including many experimental models and prototypes: single shot breechloaders; Civil War rifle-muskets; the Model 1903 rifle; theM-1 "Garand" rifle; hand guns of all designs; and Gatling guns and machine guns.
Edged weapons, ammunition and gun parts are also evident, as are objects and equipment related to the firearms manufacturing. The holdings include a large collection of weapons of foreign manufacture.
The collection is known for its technical and research collection. The archives contain a small amount of Armory administrative records and literature, as well as materials related to the impact of the armory upon the city (e.g., photographs c. 1930-1968).
A summary of the collections includes: Arms Collection
Benton Small Arms Museum
Springfield Armory Historic Library
Armory Memorabilia Collection