The museumís history can be traced back to 1858 when Mr Greener a famous Birmingham Gunmaker held a meeting at the Town Hall to established a collection of firearms at the Proof House The subsequent managing committee of gun trade members set the collections criteria, namely to create an historical record of the evolutionally manufacturer of small arms including examples of modern improvement in their design, both as a reference source for master gunsmiths and their servants and to enable inventors to gain publicity for their designs. In 1873 the nucleus of the collection was formed when the Guardians purchased a collection or arms & armour from the former collection of Count Callahandra, an early Italian collector and this was added to with current trade items.

The level of public interest did not warrant the museumís maintenance costs and finally the Guardians presented the whole collection to the Birmingham Borough Council in August 1876.

In the early 20th century a former Proof Master decided that a Museum of Arms should be re-established but failed to accomplish his aim. In 1996 a retired Police Officer restarted work on the library and museum and the first three museum rooms were official opened in July 2000. Since then a further three rooms have been completed and items from Count Callahandraís collection are now on loan to it from the City 


The frontage of the Birmingham 
Gun Barrel Proof House