An extremely weathered Winchester 1873 rifle was found in Great Basin National Park by archeologists conducting surveys. The rifle was found leaning against a juniper tree with it’s stock partially buried in the dirt. How long it has been leaning against that juniper is impossible to know, but it’s safe to say it has been there for a very long time.
It’s not hard to imagine why it went undiscovered for so long, the unloaded Winchester looks like it is part of the juniper.
According to the still visible serial number, this particular rifle was one of 25,000 Model 1873’s manufactured by Winchester in 1882. One could buy a ’73 back in 1882 for $25.
Photos courtesy of the National Park Service