Great Basin National Park Rifle Found: 132-Year-Old Gun Discovered In Nevada Park, Unloaded

January 14, 2015 | By TheSpreadit More

The Great Basin National Park rifle is still a big mystery, experts are trying to trace the story of the antique rifle found in a Nevada park in November 2014.

Great Basin National Park rifle Nevada

The Great Basin National Park rifle is grabbing headlines. In November 2014, Nevada’s Great Basin National Park archaeologists found a 132-year-old Winchester rifle, and they have been working since then to learn more about its journey. The .44-40 Winchester rifle was manufactured in 1882; this information is based on the serial number and the records of the Center for the West at the Cody Firearms Museum in Cody, Wyoming.

The rifle was found leaning against a juniper tree. Experts say it took so long to find it because it perfectly blended with the tree, after being “exposed to the sun, wind, snow and rain,” according to It will be available for public viewing in the upcoming days, after that it will be sent to conservators.

The 132-year-old rifle was not loaded, although it is not in its prime state, it is believed that saving the rifle is possible. Nichole Andler, Great Basin National Park’s chief of interpretation, provided more details about the extraordinary find. Andler stated:

“They just happened to notice the rifle under the tree. It looked like someone propped it up there, sat down to have their lunch and got up to walk off without it. It was one of those things, sort of the everyman’s rifle, the gun that won the West. It probably has a very good and interesting story, but it probably is a story that could have happened to almost anyone living this sort of extraordinary existence out here in the Great Basin Desert.”

According to UPI, the 132-year-old rifle found in the Nevada national park has left researchers with some interesting questions: “Who left the rifle? When and why it was leaned against the tree? And, why was it never retrieved?”

Some say the answers to these questions might be more simple than most people expect. What say you?

The park has been very active on social media talking about the old rifle, below are some of their postings.


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