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Great Basin National Park Rifle Mystery: Who Left Century-Old Gun Leaning Against a Tree?

By    |   Thursday, 15 Jan 2015 06:29 AM

Great Basin National Park is trying to unravel a mystery of who could have left a rusting century-old rifle leaning against a juniper tree there many years ago.

Someone found the "everyman" Winchester Model 1873 propped against the tree in the Nevada park in November, reported KSL-TV. Park officials believe the rifle had not been located sooner because its weather-beaten stock and rusted barrel had blended into the tree.


 


"'Model 1873' distinctively engraved on the mechanism identify the rifle as the Winchester Model 1873 repeating rifle," said Great Basin National Park officials in a Facebook post.

"The serial number on the lower tang corresponds in Winchester records held at the Center for the West, Cody Firearms Museum in Cody, Wyoming, with a manufacture and shipping date of 1882. Currently, the detailed history of this rifle is unknown. Winchester records do not indicate who purchased the rifle from the warehouse or where it was shipped."

Great Basin Park officials said the weapon was manufactured sometime between 1873 and 1916 and often called the "gun that won the West." It was popular for its time with more than 720,000 made between the time it was manufactured, which was the reason it was called the "everyman's rifle," said the Facebook post.

"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," said the post. "The park will provide a viewing opportunity for the community before sending the rifle to conservators to stabilize the wood and apply museum conservation techniques.

"The treatment will keep the gun looking as it was found and prevent further deterioration. When the rifle is returned to the park it will be displayed as part of the Park’s 30th Birthday and the NPS Centennial celebration," said the post.

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Great Basin National Park is trying to unravel a mystery of who could have left a rusting century-old rifle leaning against a juniper tree there many years ago.
great, basin, national, park, rifle, mystery
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2015-29-15
Thursday, 15 Jan 2015 06:29 AM
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