The Indiana Joneses of Historical Weaponry

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.

In the all-new series Family Guns, premiering tonight at 10 p.m., every day is a live-fire exercise for Christian and Alex, who buy, sell, trade and restore some of the world’s rarest firearms. But with two experts in the family and under one warehouse roof, the office politics can be as explosive as the weapons being sold. Family dynamics take on a unique flavor at the Cranmers’ International Military Antiques (IMA), where the questions of the day include whether or not to buy a $250,000 Korean War-era tank; or if it is better to unload a $25,000 British colonial cannon now or let it gain value for later. Figuring out the road to take is no job for the paper-pushers, especially when the only place to learn the real worth of the goods is on the firing range.

But blasting a beat-up coupe with a 200-year-old artillery piece is easier said than done — especially when 250-year-old cannons have a nasty habit of exploding like pipe bombs. It is a game of risk and reward: Can Christian, Alex and the IMA team make the old gun fire? If they can, they know it could be worth double what it was just a second before; if they can’t, they’re standing in the kill box.

The scope of IMA’s business spans centuries of warfare, touching on all strands of history, and is literally built on legend. Their weapons are some of the rarest on the planet and can fetch tens of thousands of dollars from the right customers. To find the collectors who can buy them, Alex and Christian will travel the world to meet buyers and to participate in re-enactments of westerns, world wars and gentlemen’s duels. Pieces from their collection have found their way into museums, store shelves and even movie sets, including “Saving Private Ryan.”

From palm-sized pistols to Cold War tanks and walking sticks turned shotguns, Family Guns has it all. If it’s been fired or if it can fire, Alex and Christian will find it, shoot it and sell it.

Tune in to Family Guns: Family at War tonight at 10P.


  1. Christopher McDonald
    United States
    September 12, 2012, 9:38 pm

    i have a one of a kind .22 rifle that i would like to sell it was maid for ss. benson i am real interested in selling it to you gentalmen.

  2. David Brannon
    October 31, 2012, 10:40 am

    Yea I was just watching the episode with the Martini Henry and the boys wanted to go deer hunting with it.No problem there,but when you go deer hunting and see no deer (gee,you think your smoking cigarettes didn’t shy ’em off?) you decide to kill some crows cause you can’t hunt what you want.You gonna eat that crow son?Guess it’s the ghost of responsible hunting throwing off your aim.If you didn’t get what you came for maybe it’s not the deer.Chalk it up as what it is and don’t give hunters a bad reputation by just having to kill something just to kill something.YOU MAKE THE REST OF US LOOK BAD!!

  3. Eric
    midwest USA
    November 5, 2012, 5:24 am

    I love this show.

    No made up drama (aka sons of guns, family guns), true family business squawbling (grew up in one so know what its like), and concentration on the history of whatever gun/tank/equipment they are showing.

    Bravo I say.

    The only question I would ask them in all sincerity is this.

    Who is running your inventory system moe larry and curly?

    I understand you have boxes of surplus to go though and that is the nature of your business.

    But common you go from “we need to find a treasure to sell this week (implying your business will go under that week if you don’t) ” to “we have no idea what was stolen from us” the next.

    When you are handling not only pieces of irreplaceable history but also fully automatic weaponry/parts

    I do have serious questions on that. Especially given not only the historic but monetary value.

    The biggest example is you only found out someone has robbed your warehouse was because it was posted on line. Your son also stated “we have no idea how much or what we are missing for sure”.

    It would have me asking if there is some yoyo with a fully automatic weapon (or any firearm for that matter) out there using it or selling it to gosh knows who.

    Especially given the fact in one episode you found LIVE WWII japaneese machine gun ammo in a box you HAD NO IDEA YOU HAD.

    The BATF looks to shut down people for that sloppiness

    Other than that blemish, please keep the show the way it is and for goodness sake don’t give in to the “reality show” darkside.

    I am a hooked and devoted viewer if you keep doing what you are doing

  4. Eric
    midwest USA
    November 5, 2012, 5:59 am

    PS while some of your guys on camera gripe a little about going though boxes, organizing and cleaning up items I would consider it a great job.

    Get to handle history and a treasure hunt all in one.

    Icing on the cake is getting paid to do it.

  5. Vic
    NW Wa.
    December 1, 2012, 12:56 pm

    Would someone fire the editor?! In one show alone Christian talks about the flintlock he’s holding but a clip of a closeup of a percussion cap is inserted into the footage! This happened twice in this show alone. Let’s see the Cranmers educate and not have the editor wind up embarrassing them!

  6. Gonzalo
    Santiago, Chile
    February 5, 2013, 3:03 am

    Just watched the show and the dad Christian is a truly collector and he gives passion to his work, but the son Alex.. He’s an ignorant idiot, he does not even know how to negotiate and he doesn’t know the historic value of their weapons.. He just wants to sell anything.. He doesn’t know the business, he should do something else.