Perhaps the oldest gun to make headlines in 2015 was also the one that captured the most imaginations. That’s to be expected with a firearm that presents as much mystery as the Winchester 1873 found at Nevada’s Great Basin National Park.

Theories abound as to exactly how the iconic lever-action found its way under one of the park’s many pine trees. And for the most part, the rifle’s roots will most likely remain a head scratcher.

Or at least that’s Ashley Hlebinsky’s contention in the above video by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The curator of the Cody Firearms Museum in Cody, Wyo., fully admits there can only be some ballpark estimates made about the rifle’s origins. But she adds that’s most likely the reason why the Winchester has become such a sensation.

The entire video is worth a watch with Hlebinsky going into some of the conservation efforts being made on the historic rifle. She also touches upon some interesting discoveries made once the rifle reached the museum.


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