Park rangers found a Model 1873 Winchester rifle under a juniper tree in a remote area of the Great Basin National Park in Nevada.
“The rifle, exposed for all those years to sun, wind, snow and rain, was found leaning against a tree in the park,” said Nichole Andler, chief of interpretation at Great Basin National Park.
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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.