[Video] 132 Year Old Winchester Model 1873 Found Propped Against a Tree in National Park

January 15 2015
by GSL Staff
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A rifle likely rich in history, but not monetary value, was found by the National Park Service in the Great Basin National Park in Nevada propped up against a tree.

Here is part of the write up from the Winchester website on the interesting find:

According to Nichole Andler, Chief of Interpretation at Great Basin National Park, “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.”

“Engraved on the rifle is “Model 1873,” identifying it distinctly as a Winchester Model 1873 repeating rifle,” continued Andler. “The serial number on the lower tang corresponds in Winchester records held at the Center for the West at the Cody Firearms Museum in Cody, Wyoming, with a manufacture and shipping date of 1882. But the detailed history of this rifle is as yet unknown.”

While the specific history of the aged Winchester rifle is as yet unknown, the opportunities for speculation are rich. Perhaps it belonged to a lone cowboy riding the high range. Perhaps it was set aside by a sourdough prospector in his search for a vein of rich ore. Whatever the actual story, it has the makings of a great campfire tale.


The gun was taped before moving it to help hold the aging stock together.

After some basic restoration to ensure that the gun will not fall apart it will be returned to the park and likely become a display piece. It’s not expected to be sold.

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