National Geographic Society

  • Connect:

Meet the Family

Meet the Cast of Family Guns

Christian and Alex outside the IMA, Gillette head office with Howitzer in background.

Christian and Alex outside the IMA, Gillette head office with Howitzer in background. (View larger version)


Meet the Indiana Joneses of historical weaponry: father-son duo Christian and Alex Cranmer, whose quests for military antiquities have taken them as far as a remote Nepalese palace filled with more than 55,000 rifles and muskets hidden away for more than a century. “We sell history,” Alex says, and that doesn’t mean books, it means priceless weapons like a $40,000 pistol from the Battle of Trafalgar; a $50,000, one-of-a-kind prototype for Confederate Civil War revolvers; and scores of rare-make World War I and World War II rifles and machine guns. Together, they run the family business, International Military Antiques (IMA).

Christian Cranmer, Founder of International Military Antiques

An international authority on antique weapons, Christian first started collecting military antiques at the age of twelve. In the 1970’s he began dealing antiques and traveled around the world collecting weapons from government arsenals that were being emptied. He established a reputation as having unrivaled knowledge of military history and antiques and dealing with respected clientele all over the world.

As early as 1969 he heard about a mythical cache in Nepal. It would take over 30 years, but he would find this stockpile and make the greatest purchase of military antiques in his career. The amazing purchase amounted to over 55,000 firearms, with over 50,000 of them antiqueIncluding 146 bronze cannons, a huge array of edged weapons, musket balls and parts. By 2000, Cranmer had purchased from countries from every corner of the world, and his company, International Military Antiques, had supplied military equipment for films including “Saving Private Ryan”, “Flags of Our Fathers”, “Cold Mountain” and “Inglourious Basterds.” Christian Cranmer’s passion for military collectibles is as strong as ever as values climb higher and higher.

“Now at the age of 66 I look back on the 40-plus years and realize how much I learned, but every day I learn something new. It is an ongoing process but you are never too young to start”
- Christian Cranmer

Alex Cranmer

Christian’s all-American son Alex likes to think he’s in charge of his dad’s company since joining eight years ago, and admits he can be a bit of a handful at times. Teased by the warehouse workers for being born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Alex is fast learning the ropes of the family business and gaining something of an encyclopedic knowledge of military artifacts. He has now been working full time at IMA for eight years, and has modernized the company by bringing in computer systems and expanded IMA’s global position in terms of sales and awareness.

Alain TENE
Alain TENE

Love this program!! sooo! cute the shoots

Alain TENE
Alain TENE

really like your program!!!! quite great