Category Archive 'Winchester 1873'

31 May 2019

137-Year-Old Winchester Exhibited in Museum

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The Model 1873 Winchester found leaning against a Juniper tree in Great Basin National Park in 2014 is now a popular exhibit.

Some News Agency:

A 137-year-old rifle found five years ago leaning against a juniper tree in Great Basin National Park in Nevada is now part of an exhibit dedicated to the “Forgotten Winchester” at the park visitor center near the Utah border.

The weathered Winchester Model 1873 is in a case designed to capture the way it looked when park archaeologist Eva Jensen stumbled across it on a rocky outcrop above Strawberry Creek during an archaeological survey.

Based on its condition, experts believe the weapon might have been abandoned in the forest more than a century ago.

But nearly five years after its discovery, park officials still don’t know who it belonged to nor why it was left against the tree. No sales or ownership records have been found.

The serial number was visible, allowing experts at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyo., to determine it was made in 1882.

The exhibit also highlights the role the Model 1873 — one of the most popular guns on the Western frontier — played in the history of the West.

“The exhibit is a showcase for visitors to discover the rifle’s mysterious story and become inspired to imagine, investigate and care about a piece of their American history,” said Nichole Andler, the park’s chief of interpretation.

Herbert Houze, former curator of a firearms museum at the Buffalo Bill center, has said Model 1873 rifles were so valuable that whoever owned the one on display might have rested it against the tree and been unable to find it later.

“You just don’t leave a gun like that there,” he said.

The rifles sold for $35 to $50 in the 1880s and can now fetch up to $15,000 depending on their condition.

The rifle on display has been exhibited at gun shows and at the Buffalo Bill center for a summer. There, officials did an X-ray, found a bullet in the stock and removed it.

The bullet is included in the new exhibit case.

2016, Dated and Conserved

January 2015 — Report of rifle found

21 Sep 2016

Lost Winchester 1873 Dated and Conserved

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Remember that Winchester Model 1873 Rifle found abandoned for most of a century, left leaning up against a tree in Great Basin National Park back in November of 2014?

It’s been examined, dated, and conserved and is now on display at Lehman Caves Visitor Center, part of Great Basin National Park, in Baker, Nevada.

20 Jan 2015

Guns Don’t Kill People

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15 Jan 2015

There a Story Here

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KSL-TV (Salt Lake City) has an interesting lost-and-found story going back a long way and involving “the Gun that Won the West.”

Great Basin National Park employees are trying to solve the mystery of an 132-year-old Winchester rifle found in the park.

The rifle was found and recovered by park archaeologists in November, according to the Great Basin National Park Facebook page. The firearm was found leaning against a tree in a remote rocky outcrop. Park officials believe the rifle hadn’t been located sooner because the weathered, cracked wood stock and brown rusted barrel blended into the juniper tree.

The rifle was identified as a model 1873 Winchester repeating rifle because of the distinct engraving on the mechanism of “Model 1873,” according to the national park. The serial number on the firearm corresponds with manufacture and shipping records dating to 1882, held at the Center for the West Cody Firearms Museum in Cody, Wyoming. However, the records don’t indicate who purchased the rifle or where it was shipped to, the national park said.

Between 1873 and 1916, 720,610 model 1873 rifles were manufactured and in 1882 alone, more than 25,000 were made, according to the national park. The rifles sold for around $50 when they were first produced. …

Great Basin National Park officials are researching newspaper archives and family histories to learn more about the rifle they discovered. The rifle was transported to a conservatory so the wood can be stabilized and to prevent further deterioration. When it is returned to the park, it will be displayed as part of the Great Basin National Park 30th birthday celebration and the National Park Service centennial celebration.

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