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132 yo Winchester found against a tree in Nevada desert

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by slimer13, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

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    By Elahe Izadi January 14 at 6:59 PM

    Archaeologists conducting surveys in Nevada’s Great Basin National Park came upon a gun frozen in time: a .44-40 Winchester rifle manufactured in 1882. It was propped up against a juniper tree.
    “They just happened to notice the rifle under the tree,” said Nichole Andler, Basin National Park’s chief of interpretation. The public will get a chance to view the rifle over the weekend.
    Although staff have no idea how the rifle ended up there, “it looked like someone propped it up there, sat down to have their lunch and got up to walk off without it,” Andler said.
    It’s remarkable that anyone was able to spot the gun back in November, as it had blended in so well with its surroundings. The unloaded gun appears to have been left undisturbed for more than 100 years; its wooden base had turned gray and was partially buried, and the barrel had rusted.


  2. bolus

    bolus Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    That's where I left it! I've been looking for it for ever!
    etrain16 and BoonDocks36 like this.
  3. Oregonhunter5

    Oregonhunter5 2C IDAHO Well-Known Member

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    I'm gonna take a stab at this, and say it hasn't been there for more than 60 years. Just a guess. With the heat down there, and snow, I gotta think the barrel and receiver would of colapes the shoulder stock.
    None the less, that is a great photo to hang on a wall!
  4. Martini_Up

    Martini_Up NW USA Well-Known Member

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    In early 90's I was logging in Sierra Nevada's south of hwy 50 / Placerville. A skidder operator on the crew found a rifle which was left laying against a tree.... the tree grew around the rifle!!! The only thing you could see is the action sticking out at an awkward angle from the base of the tree. stock was gone.

    He took a saw and cut it out and put it in his collection of bear traps, pick-axes, indian arrow heads/ spear heads, etc... quite a cool collection acquired over a lifetime in those mountains.
    forefathersrback and notazombie like this.

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

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    However long it's been there, you gotta wonder what misfortune fell upon it's owner.
    Animal attack or heart attack followed by scavengers picking at and carrying away his remains?????
    forefathersrback and orygun like this.
  6. Oregonhunter5

    Oregonhunter5 2C IDAHO Well-Known Member

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    It's gotta be better than living In a great country like ours, that's being operated by Barrack.
    Dyjital likes this.
  7. pdrake

    pdrake WA Active Member

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    "....The unloaded gun appears to have been left undisturbed for more than 100 years; its wooden base had turned gray and was partially buried, and the barrel had rusted."

    Incredibly inane journalist. First, don't report your observations, except in the OpEd section. Second, if you have to make a judgement call, either be an expert in your field or receive a second opinion from an expert.

    How the Hades did this journo guess "left undisturbed for more than 100 years...?" How about 5 years? 10?

    It isn't uncommon for people to leave firearms in the woods after the passing of a loved one. (Oftentimes the firing mechanism will be disabled, but not always.) My guess is that Grandpa passed away, and his wife/son/hunting partner left the gun against the tree in his favorite hunting area. Less than 10 years ago.
  8. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    Father of four likes this.
  9. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

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    My guess would be 30+ years out there because I would imagine the Nev desert would be a place of fairly favorable conditions for the preservation of the metals and the wood is quite dried out but intact like I would expect it to be.

    But who knows, that's the fun, thinking about the possible stories behind that cool old rifle.
    forefathersrback likes this.
  10. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I read about this earlier. How cool would that be to find this in the woods. A piece of history found in the place someone long before you left it.

    A good reminder to keep your eyes open out there!
    forefathersrback likes this.
  11. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    That is, and has been, journalism, for decades; i.e., write sensationally for ratings and readership. Don't report facts or objective anything, write in a way that is more akin to fiction and/or marketing.

    When my daughter was in high school and I was talking to her about what she wanted to go to college for, I said the two things I would not pay for were political science and journalism.
    forefathersrback and albin25 like this.
  12. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member

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    Next we will get an article about how irresponsible gun owners are and leaving firearms out in the woods.

    Still cool as beans to me!
  13. forefathersrback

    forefathersrback Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Interesting picture. As far as I'm concerned the rifle should have been left right where it was at! FOREVER...

    Sorry, Brothers & Sisters, I have to return to this post with an added comment.......For some reason this picture weighs heavy on my mind. Whether or not the person who left it there is dead or alive doesn't matter. Leave it alone. I can envision them saying, getch' your GD hands off my rifle MR!
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
    Dyjital and clearconscience like this.
  14. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Tell that to Jeremiah. He needed that Hawkins rifle more then Hatchet Jack did.

    Oregonhunter5 likes this.
  15. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Read my comment on this article. Its no big surprise a rifle is left in the woods. It happens all the time.
  16. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    Somebody found an 1873 Winchester rifle leaning against a tree in a new National Park in Nevada. Looks like it's been there a while.


    Winchester Model 1873 Rifle Recovered in Great Basin National Park

    BAKER, NV - On November 6, 2014 Cultural Resource Program Manager, Eva Jensen working with the park archaeology team, noticed an object beneath a Juniper tree. Getting a closer look she discovered that is was a rifle.

    Numerous questions surround the small piece of American heritage in Great Basin National Park. The 132 year-old rifle, exposed 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.

    “Model 1873” distinctively engraved on the mechanism identify the rifle as the Winchester Model 1873 repeating rifle. The serial number on the lower tang corresponds in Winchester records held at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West 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. The rifle was not loaded when it was found, but would have held .44-40 caliber ammunition when in use.

    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”. 720,610 were manufactured between 1873 and 1916 when production ended. In 1882 alone, over 25,000 were made. Selling for about $50 when they first came out, the rifles 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.

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  17. Medic!

    Medic! What just happened? Has eagle eyes. But cant remember what he saw. Bronze Supporter

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    Lost? It could have ben leaned against the tree were the owner soon died.
  18. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Most likely hasn't been there as long as the age of the rifle but probably 50 + years anyway. It's all a guess as to why it was left but there are more than a few PO'd hunters who after killing an animal, gutting it and getting it ready to pack out have left a rifle in a similar fashion - I, myself, know of one who did and I recall several years ago hearing about someone finding a rifle leaning against a tree somewhere in the Deschutes but it had only been out maybe a year or two.
  19. slingshot1943

    slingshot1943 salem or Well-Known Member

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    Seems odd that it wasn't loaded.