Skip to main content

'Forgotten' Winchester Model 1873 Now on Display

'Forgotten' Winchester Model 1873 Now on Display

After more than a century outdoors, the Model 1873 Winchester found at Great Basin National Park last fall will finally have a permanent home indoors.

The rifle, which is currently housed at the Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, will return to the park this fall in time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the park's establishment.

Since the rifle's discovery in November 2014, experts at the firearms museum have worked to stop its deterioration. Before preservation work began, though, the rifle was X-rayed to see whether or not it was loaded. Only one round was found stored in the butt of the rifle, which was identified as a Union Metallic Cartridge Company .44 WCF cartridge, datedWinchester-Model-1873_resized 1887 — 1911.

After ensuring that it was unloaded, curators coated the flaking wood with a mixture of adhesive, distilled water and ethanol to prevent its further decay.


The Model 1873 Winchester was one of the iconic guns of the American frontier in the latter half of the 19th century, along with such guns as the Colt Single Action Army or the Smith & Wesson Model 3. Its popularity earned it the moniker, "The Gun that Won the West."


"The Winchester Model 1873 alone may be the most iconic western firearm of all time," said Firearms Museum Curator Ashley Hlebinsky. "This is especially true of its marketing slogan, 'The Gun that Won the West." With all it's been through, this particular gun has certainly carried on that legend."

640px-TxrangersBetween 1873-1919, Winchester produced more than 720,000 Model 1873 rifles, including the famous "One of One Thousand" models or the lesser-known "One of One Hundred" models. Winchester made only 132 rifles with the "One of One Thousand" engraving, while only eight "One of One Hundred" models were made. In 2012, a Model 1873 "One of One Thousand" with a factory letter held an estimated auction price of $100,000.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Steyr Arms Announces Sniper Rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor

Steyr Arms Announces Sniper Rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor

Scott O'Brien from Steyr Arms sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to take a look at Steyr's new tactical heavy barrel sniper rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor.

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

David Fortier talks with Jeff Hoffman of Black Hills Ammunition about the evolution of the .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match bullet.

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to talk about the new X-Ring Takedown SBR .22LR rifle.

Ruger Launches New American Rifle Predator in 6.5 Grendel

Ruger Launches New American Rifle Predator in 6.5 Grendel

OSG's Lynn Burkhead and Ruger's Matt WIlson kick off SHOT Show 2018 by taking a look at the Ruger Predator.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Announced in 1958, the .264 and .338 Winchester magnums hit the market in 1959 amid one of the biggest media blitzes the industry had seen. Both were introduced in “new” versions of Winchester's beloved Model 70..264 and .338 Magnum - Winchester Twins Ammo

.264 and .338 Magnum - Winchester Twins

Craig Boddington - May 24, 2019

Announced in 1958, the .264 and .338 Winchester magnums hit the market in 1959 amid one of the...

The .30-30 Win. cartridge celebrates 125 years of service to big game hunters, and it's still getting the job done..30-30 Win. Cartridge Celebrates 125 Years Ammo

.30-30 Win. Cartridge Celebrates 125 Years

Craig Boddington - August 06, 2020

The .30-30 Win. cartridge celebrates 125 years of service to big game hunters, and it's still...

Joseph von Benedikt explores eight areas of concern that are vital for anyone who wants to increase a rifle's accuracy.8 Ways To Increase Rifle Accuracy Shooting Tips

8 Ways To Increase Rifle Accuracy

Joseph von Benedikt - August 05, 2020

Joseph von Benedikt explores eight areas of concern that are vital for anyone who wants to...

The handloading question: With large availability factory ammo on the market, why bother with reloading? Craig Boddington offers a few answers.Reloading Ammo – Why? Reloading

Reloading Ammo – Why?

Craig Boddington - March 26, 2019

The handloading question: With large availability factory ammo on the market, why bother with...

See More Trending Articles

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Rifle Shooter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now