Author Topic: 132-year-old Winchester rifle found against tree in Nevada national park  (Read 5226 times)

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Offline steve58

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Just sitting beneath a tree for 132 years.  Gotta wonder who left it and why...

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The story of how it got there may never be known, but a rusting 132-year-old Winchester rifle -- known in U.S. lore as "the gun that won the West" -- was recently found resting against a juniper tree in a Nevada national park.

The gun, its stock split, gray and faded like driftwood, and its steel barrel rusted brown, blended in perfectly against the tree in a remote part of the Great Basin National Park until a National Parks Service employee spotted it.

An engraving on the gun marks it as a "Model 1873," and Andler said further research showed the serial number on the lower tang, or portion of the grip, matched up with records held at the Center for the West at the Cody Firearms Museum in Cody, Wyo. with a manufacture and shipping date of 1882, Andler said. According to Morgan, Utah-based Winchester Repeating Arms, 720,610 of the rifles were manufactured between 1873 and 1916. In 1882 alone, more than 25,000 of the 1873 models were made.

The gun sold for $50 when they first came out -- nearly $1,000 in today's dollars. By 1882, they were selling for half that price and touted as an accessible “everyman’s” rifle.

The discovery was enough to fire imaginations about the fate of the gun's owner. An article on Winchester's website offered a few theories.

"Perhaps it belonged to a lone cowboy riding the high range," wrote Winchester publicist Scott Engen. "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.

“Who left the rifle? When and why it was leaned against the tree? And, why was it never retrieved?” reads a post on the page.

The park's cultural resource staff is combing through old newspapers and family histories hoping to solve the mystery. But posters to the site had their own suspicions.

"No big mystery," wrote Kenneth Larson. "A hunter left it. Set it against the tree, took care of the deer, drug it or packed it out on a horse. Got to the bottom and realized he'd left the rifle and said screw it. Or went back and couldn't find it.”

Park officials will exhibit the rifle before it is sent to conservators to stabilize the wood and apply museum conservation techniques to prevent further deterioration.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/01/15/132-year-old-winchester-rifle-found-propped-under-desert-tree/
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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: 132-year-old Winchester rifle found against tree in Nevada national park
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2015, 01:15:37 PM »
Some idiot E2 got his chain of command in deeeeeeep shit when he lost that rifle!

http://www.duffelblog.com/2014/07/i-dont-know-how-to-tell-you-this-but-i-sort-of-um-lost-my-rifle/
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Offline LongBlade

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Re: 132-year-old Winchester rifle found against tree in Nevada national park
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2015, 03:06:48 PM »
I saw that on the news earlier. Would love to hear that rifle talk.

Interesting cost comparison. In today's money it cost about $1000. That's about what a decent rifle will run today, too.

Offline Steelgrave

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Re: 132-year-old Winchester rifle found against tree in Nevada national park
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2015, 03:42:32 PM »
Damnit, so that's where I left it!!!   ::)

Offline Gusington

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Re: 132-year-old Winchester rifle found against tree in Nevada national park
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2015, 08:34:21 AM »
Relax BB, I'm an idiot E3 now.
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Offline LongBlade

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Re: 132-year-old Winchester rifle found against tree in Nevada national park
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2015, 08:34:54 AM »
Relax BB, I'm an idiot E3 now.

Climbing the corporate ladder!

Offline Gusington

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Re: 132-year-old Winchester rifle found against tree in Nevada national park
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2015, 08:46:14 AM »
That's me...in a whole new (volunteer) pay grade now too.
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: 132-year-old Winchester rifle found against tree in Nevada national park
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2015, 06:34:15 AM »
Which is the more likely option?

1.) Hunter kills large game, sets rifle aside in wilderness, dresses and packs game, gets far enough away before remembering he forgot rifle he can't find it again even though he's competent enough at long-range hunting and navigation to be out there in the first place.

2.) Hunter sets it aside to poop, gets turned into poop by a bear or cougar.
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Offline Toonces

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Re: 132-year-old Winchester rifle found against tree in Nevada national park
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2015, 09:38:16 PM »
^ Number 1.

Speaking of number 2, though, this is pretty damn funny:  http://www.duffelblog.com/2015/01/marine-spends-weekend-libo-on-shitter/

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Offline steve58

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Offline Jarhead0331

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Too bad the government didn't require registration and licensing back then. If they had, mystery solved.
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Offline Greybriar

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Too bad the government didn't require registration and licensing back then. If they had, mystery solved.

Things would have been a lot different if they had required registration and licensing back then. But I imagine that in those days U.S. citizens wouldn't have allowed their rights to keep and bear arms to be infringed upon.
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Offline Jarhead0331

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Too bad the government didn't require registration and licensing back then. If they had, mystery solved.

Things would have been a lot different if they had required registration and licensing back then. But I imagine that in those days U.S. citizens wouldn't have allowed their rights to keep and bear arms to be infringed upon.

You do realize I was being sarcastic?
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Offline Greybriar

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Too bad the government didn't require registration and licensing back then. If they had, mystery solved.

Things would have been a lot different if they had required registration and licensing back then. But I imagine that in those days U.S. citizens wouldn't have allowed their rights to keep and bear arms to be infringed upon.

You do realize I was being sarcastic?

No.  :-[ I had been up all night and was very tired.
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