Mantegna Finds Benefits in Filming Outdoor Channel’s “Gun Stories”


To quote Joe, it was serendipitous.

The Joe is Chicago born actor Joe Mantegna. Known for his roles in Godfather III, Searching for Bobby Fischer, The Simpsons (as Fat Tony) and Criminal Minds, Mantegna arrived at NRA Headquarters last month to film portions of his new show Gun Stories. And the serendipity surrounds his second stay at the NRA’s National Firearms Museum.

“I’ve been coming to the Washington, DC area for more than twenty years and always wanted to come to the Museum,” explained Mantegna. “I remember once I was late or you were closed … can’t remember which. And then, after NRA moved out here to Virginia, the schedule is usually a little too tight to get away. So it’s kind of ironic that this is my second trip out here with Gun Stories. It exceeds all my expectations.

The arrival of Gun Stories

As an actor, Mantegna is asked to star in a number of projects. Everything from plays to motion pictures to television show. Anyone who’s held two or more jobs at a time (guilty) knows that the ever dwindling number of hours in the day requires difficult choices. So why choose Gun Stories?

Actor Joe Mantegna holds a 1914 German Artillery Luger with a snail drum magazine.

“My assistant told me about an offer to host a firearms show,” said Mantegna. “It hit me … that hot button word. I thought boy this could be something.”

Something it has been. As Outdoor Channel’s top rated program (according to the show’s producers), the show has quickly gained fan and industry accolades for the content and delivery. Winning two of the coveted Golden Moose awards at this year’s SHOT Show, the crew felt obligated to take things to the next level.

“For Season 2, we’re adding a number of new things. “We went out to Gunsite Academy in Arizona where we fired all the Season 2 guns, lined up a number of great experts — like your guys here at the museum and the magazines — and come to beautiful locations like NRA Headquarters. Hopefully it will make it even more interesting for gun enthusiasts like me.”

With that, the crew called time and Mantegna was back in front. Only four days allocated for filming meant time away from the lights and cameras was time wasted. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be more.

“Sit tight,” he said. “I’ll be back.”

The Model 1914 Artillery Luger with a 32-round snail drum magazine held by Mantegna.
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