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Old 01-14-2015, 11:28 PM
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Spartan198 Spartan198 is offline
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Default 132 year old rifle found in Great Basin National Park

A park archaeologist at the Great Basin National Park discovered an 1873 Winchester rifle leaned against a tree in a rocky outcrop.

Now the park staff is trying to unravel the mystery of who the rifle belongs to and just how it got there. Staff members believe the rifle went unnoticed for so long because its weathered Woodstock blended in perfectly with the juniper tree it was found resting on, reports

The rifle was identified as a model 1873 Winchester because it has a distinct engraving ‘Model 1873′ on the mechanism. The staff has discovered that the serial number corresponds with the manufacture records that date back to 1882. The records are kept at the Center for the West Cody Firearms Museum in Cody, Wyoming. Unfortunately these records do not indicate who purchased the gun or where it was shipped to.

“The rifle, exposed for all those years to sun, wind, snow and rain, was found leaning against a tree in the park. The cracked wood stock, weathered to grey, and the brown rusted barrel blended into the colors of the old juniper tree in a remote rocky outcrop, keeping the rifle hidden for many years,” Nichole Andler, chief of Interpretation at Great Basin said in a statement.

The rifle has been sent to a conservatory so that the wood can be stabilized so it will not deteriorate any further. When the rifle is returned to the park it will be displayed at the Great Basin Park 30th birthday celebration, reports National Parks Traveler.

“Winchester Model 1873 rifles hold a prominent place in Western history and lore. The rifles are referred to as “the gun that won the West.” A total of 720,610 were manufactured between 1873 and 1916, when production ended. In 1882 alone, more than 25,000 were made. Selling for about $50 when they first came out, the rifles were reduced in price to $25 in 1882 and were accessible and popular as “everyman’s” rifle. The Winchester business plan included selling large lots of rifles to dealers or “jobbers” who would distribute the firearms to smaller sales outlets. This rifle may provide its own bit of lore. Mysteries of the rifle’s journey through time spur creative and lively discussion: Who left the rifle? When and why it was leaned against the tree? And, why was it never retrieved? The Great Basin cultural resource staff is continuing research in old newspapers and family histories, hoping to resolve some of the mystery and fill in details about the story of this rifle,” Adler’s statement read.
"The gun has played a critical role in history. An invention which has been praised and denounced... served hero and villain alike... and carries with it moral responsibility. To understand the gun is to better understand history."

“What is morality in any given time or place? It is what the majority then and there happen to like, and immorality is what they dislike.” - Alfred North Whitehead

Last edited by Spartan198; 01-14-2015 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 01-16-2015, 06:09 AM
Jcordell Jcordell is offline
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That's a neat story. I doubt that the rifle has been there since the 1880's, but at least for several decades. Looking at the photos you can see why people didn't see it.What are the odds that it would be discovered by an archeologist who works there? I like that they're going to preserve it so it stays like it is right now. I worry about the Federal government. I could see some bureaucrat wanting to destroy the evil fossilized gun.

Last edited by Jcordell; 01-16-2015 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 01-17-2015, 10:04 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Pretty cool! Very interesting to wonder how long its been there!
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Old 01-24-2015, 11:47 PM
BlackIce_GTS BlackIce_GTS is offline
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Originally Posted by Jcordell View Post
I doubt that the rifle has been there since the 1880's, but at least for several decades.
The thought occurs; how old is that tree?
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