132 year old gun found leaning against tree

General discussions regarding topics that aren't covered in one of the other sub-forums. NO DISCUSSION OF POLITICS!

Moderators: ZS Global Moderators, ZS Postal Match Officers

eeb
* * * *
Posts: 877
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:25 pm

Re: 132 year old gun found leaning against tree

Post by eeb » Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:27 am

A quick Google search indicates Junipers live about twenty years, say the tree was ten years old when the rifle was leaned against it, it may have been there for about ten years, I'm guessing. Plenty of time to corrode like that, IMO. Just a guess based on Google info.
"Illegal spying is not a crime. Well, it is, but fuck it."-NSA

Zimmy
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 965
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 11:11 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days later, Return of the Living Dead
Location: Trinity City, Texas

Re: 132 year old gun found leaning against tree

Post by Zimmy » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:10 am

eeb wrote:A quick Google search indicates Junipers live about twenty years, say the tree was ten years old when the rifle was leaned against it, it may have been there for about ten years, I'm guessing. Plenty of time to corrode like that, IMO. Just a guess based on Google info.
Google betrayed you. Dang the interwebz!

I have a 42+ year old mountain juniper in my yard and it's going strong. 42 years ago when we moved here it was already a shade tree of similar height if narrower girth. We certainly haven't done anything to protect it since we have changed a lot of oil and motors under that tree.
Boldly going nowhere

User avatar
Mr. E. Monkey
* * * * *
Posts: 9106
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:38 am
Location: Utah

Re: 132 year old gun found leaning against tree

Post by Mr. E. Monkey » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:20 am

eeb wrote:A quick Google search indicates Junipers live about twenty years, say the tree was ten years old when the rifle was leaned against it, it may have been there for about ten years, I'm guessing. Plenty of time to corrode like that, IMO. Just a guess based on Google info.
A little more searching found this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juniperus_occidentalis
The Bennett Juniper in the Stanislaus National Forest of California is considered the oldest and largest example at possibly 3000 years old, with a height of 26 m and a diameter of 3.88 m.
:shock:
(Granted, that's on the extreme end of the scale, most likely, but still...)

http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plan ... l#TAXONOMY
Western juniper is slow growing and long lived [31]. Individuals can survive for 1,000 years or longer [87].
http://www.desertusa.com/mag09/sep09/ju ... page2.html
Long lived, western junipers may easily reach 800 to 1,000 years old.
Not that the rifle was there anywhere near that long, of course! Just that the tree easily could have been there for the rifle to lean against for quite a while. :)

(I didn't realize that these juniper could live that long--thanks for motivating me to look it up, I learned something neat this morning. :awesome: )
SMoAF wrote:'Tis better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.
Beowolf wrote:Disasters are terrifying, but people are stupid.
wee drop o' bush wrote:THE EVIL MONKEY HAS WON THE INTERNETS! :lol: Image
Image

User avatar
Confucius
* * * * *
Posts: 2726
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:17 pm
Location: The last, best place

Re: 132 year old gun found leaning against tree

Post by Confucius » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:54 am

Junipers grow insanely slow. Bunch of them up at the cabin (which is high desert as well) look exactly the same as they did 15 years ago. I'm sure it wasn't left there the day it left the factory, but I'd believe it's been there for 80 years...

User avatar
Mikeyboy
* * * * *
Posts: 2265
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 8:00 am

Re: 132 year old gun found leaning against tree

Post by Mikeyboy » Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:30 am

Ditto on Juniperus osteosperma, the most common Juniper tree in the Great Basin National park being slow growing and lasting several hundred years. For the recorded the little juniper shrubs in my backyard barely lasted 10 years.

I wonder about the rifle being unloaded. Someone using the rifle for hunting or self protection would not keep the gun unloaded. Then again maybe it was shot dry and abandoned in some wild shootout, or like others have said it could have been simply a misplaced unloaded rifle left behind by some dumbass.

In terms of the age of the rifle and how long its been sitting out, it was made and shipped out in 1882, but could have been left out much later. I can see the owner using an old rifle in the 1890 or maybe the early 1900's. However .44-40 ammo kind of died out after WWII and hunters and people when with more modern calibers. On the flip side with the popularity of cowboy TV shows and movies in the 1940's 50' and 60's, not to many people would be banging around hunting or downright forgetting a what would have been 60 to 80 year old Winchester 1873 rifle. Its not like it was an 80 year old Soviet Mosin . I don't know what the value would have been back then, or if it was actually more common for post WWII era hunters to carry around old Winchester 1873 rifles but I think its enough to Rule out the rifle being left there at some point after 1950.

Either way that rifle was out there for a long time, regardless if it was a brand spanking new rifle 132 years ago, or if was a well used and outdated rifle left out in the 1930's, some 80 years ago. Either way its an interesting mystery, and looking back I wish I took archaeology in college.

eeb
* * * *
Posts: 877
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:25 pm

Re: 132 year old gun found leaning against tree

Post by eeb » Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:22 pm

Yeah, a landscaping site popped up first, so I'm guessing they were focusing on a less patient variety. :P
Thanks for the additional information/correction.
"Illegal spying is not a crime. Well, it is, but fuck it."-NSA

User avatar
minengr
* * * * *
Posts: 1330
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2004 9:10 am
Location: Southern Illinois
Contact:

Re: 132 year old gun found leaning against tree

Post by minengr » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:41 am

I lived in Nevada for a little while. Never found/saw anything that cool. I lived in the middle of nowhere and spent most of my time on the weekends checking out old mining sites. Based on what I saw, I have no difficulty believing that rifle could have sat there anywhere from 20-80+ years. Amongst many other things, I found/saw were several pre-pulltab cans of beer (and Coke) where labels could still be read. I doubt there is anyone on this forum that used a church key to open a can of beer, I barely remember pull tabs. I could still take to you multiple locations with abandoned mining equipment that's been sitting there since the 20's (or earlier). I wish I had taken more pictures.

Interesting fact. Anything sitting for over 50 years can be considered historical and therefore cannot be removed from Forest Service land. It's 100 years for BLM. So you'd best be careful knowing where you're at and what you do and do not take home.

I lived a few hours away from that particular location, but I wouldn't be shocked if it was in the same 3"-6" annual precip zone.
Bullet drop is physics, reading wind is voodoo

Post Reply

Return to “General Firearms Discussion”