In celebration of its first century of excellence, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West presents the Centennial Winchester 1873 rifle. Collaborating with Navy Arms and Winchester Firearms, the "gun that won the West" is once again available to gun collectors and firearms aficionados.

Cody, Wyoming (PRWEB) October 22, 2015

In 1873, President Ulysses S. Grant entered his second term; Levi Strauss patented copper rivets on jeans; and Adolph Coors began brewing beer in Colorado. In the firearms world, Colt launched the Peacemaker…and Winchester introduced the lever-action Model 1873 rifle.

Upon the death of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody in 1917, family, friends, fans, and fellow co-workers formed the Buffalo Bill Memorial Association to pay homage to the Great Showman. Now, to celebrate its own first century of excellence, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West has partnered with Navy Arms and Winchester Firearms to create the Centennial Model 1873 Winchester.

“Using the Winchester factory records in the Center's research library, as well as original firearms from the vast Cody Firearms Museum, Navy Arms worked directly with Winchester to create two outstanding replicas of the Model 1873, the Exhibition Model and the Presentation Model,” says Bruce Sauers, the Center’s Director of Revenue. “Now is the time for individuals to reserve theirs for a January 2017 delivery—and support the Center of the West at the same time.”

When first introduced, the Model 1873 sold for $50; by 1891, the price had fallen to $19.50. So, for just under $20, any American could own the rifle, and many a frontiersman did just that, making the rifle a firearms legacy. More than 720,000 Model 1873s were produced, and historians have no doubt that the Winchester 1873 was the most popular both among lawmen as well outlaws of the time.

The Winchester Model 1873 was a movie celebrity in its own right, too. In "Winchester ‘73," the 1950 film starring Jimmy Stewart, the rifle bounced from “one ill-fated owner to another and parallels a cowboy’s search for a murderous fugitive.” Like the actors in the movie, this Winchester Model 1873 was truly a star.

“It’s easy to see why the model 1873 Winchester is widely known as the ‘Gun That Won the West.’ Its production run was so high that it became the everyman rifle of choice,” explains Ashley Hlebinsky, Cody Firearms Museum Curator. “Factor in its reputation expressed in movies and literature, this was one popular firearm. To replicate the Model 1873 as the Center's Centennial Rifle is incredibly special.”

Find out how to reserve a Centennial Model 1873 Winchester at

Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily through October 31. On November 1, hours change to 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. For additional information, visit the Center’s website or its pages on Facebook and Google+.

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