At most, the rifle could have been out there since 1887. But based on its condition, we doubt it’s actually been that long. Additionally, the lifter is missing; we speculate the firearm may have been used as a single shot. However, we still are exploring several theories. The firearm was found right before winter, so the Park Service had to wait out the weather and is just now investigating further. Who owned the firearm and why it was there may remain a mystery, but that allure is what’s so cool about this “forgotten” rifle.