The PJ Tatler

Winchester 73 -- Still a Classic

It was the Gun that Won the West — the famous Winchester repeating rifle of 1873. And somebody just found one:

Archaeologists traversing the Great Basin National Park in Nevada came across an interesting find: a 132-year-old Winchester Model 1873 repeating rifle. The Facebook page for Great Basin National Park said in a post last week that researchers found the rifle, known as “the gun that won the West,” leaning up against a tree.

“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,” Great Basin National Park said in a statement.

“Winchester Model 1873 rifles hold a prominent place in Western history and lore, commonly referred to as “the gun that won the West.” Between 1873 and the end of production in 1916, 720,610 rifles were manufactured. 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,” Great Basin National Park’s statement added.

“Everyman’s rifle.” How quaint. How un-PC. Gee, somebody should make a movie about it, just to help Americans remember what America was like when it still was America. Good guys and bad guys! Little boys ogling guns! Wild Indians attacking the cavalry!  Say, what’re Jimmy Stewart and director Anthony Mann up to these days?