National Geographic premiered its new show on NatGeo this week, Family Guns. Countering programs on the Discovery Channel, Sons of Guns and American Guns, this new series is similar as it focuses on a family-run business in New Jersey, International Military Antiques, or IMA. The business is run by Christian and Alex Cranmer and they specialize in hard to find firearms and military equipment. They are known as the Indiana Jones of historical weaponry, with over 55,000 rifles and muskets in their warehouse. ″We sell history″ is their motto as we watch the father-son pair wheel and deal.

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Family Guns on NatGeo is sure to please! Image Source: National Geographic.

The father, Christian Cranmer, has been on the hunt for antique firearms since 1969. In 1999, he hit the motherload, buying a cache of weapons that included some 50,000 historical weapons, including 146 bronze cannons. Since 2000, IMA has been a worldwide leader in the market, supplying weapons and equipment for World War Two films like ″Saving Private Ryan″ and ″Flags of Our Fathers″, and even other periods like the Civil War drama, ″Cold Mountain″.

But as we soon learn, Christian likes to buy, even when the odds of ever selling are slim. His son Alex, who really runs the business, took away dad′s checkbook when a dealer with a dozen antique pistols from the mid-17th Century wanted $300,000 for the collection. Bad enough he had just been to Europe spending $70,000 on pistols. Undeterred, Christian jumped on the Internet at an auction site and later bought a pair of pistols for $3,000. Luckily, mom stepped in and wrote IMA a check to cover the purchase, telling her son that she′ll give them to Christian for his birthday.

Other side stories during the premier episode included other employees buying vintage sniper rifles without permission and the discovery of a World War One trench map tucked away in an old ammo case. This inspired Alex to travel to Pennsylvania to participate with a WWI reenactment group. The show ends on a happy note as employees create a life-size target-photo of Alex in 1920s clothing to blast away at with a Thompson submachinegun.

So how will Family Guns on NatGeo stack up against other gun shows on cable? Who can say? But so far it looks like it might be a lot of fun without all of the phoney exploding targets. National Geographic takes us inside the working of International Military Antiques, IMA, in New Jersey, run by Christian and Alex Cranmer. Yes, all is authentic here. No ships being blown up by a wooden slug. Family Guns is keeping it real! Watch another new episode on Friday night at 8pm Eastern on NatGeo!