By Lars Dalseide | September 30 2013 16:33

Return of the Winchester 1873 design coming to market by Japanese firm

John Popp and Senior NRA Museum curator Philip Schreier with an 1873 Winchester Rifle

Fairfax, Virginia - Curator's Corner is a journey back in time. A look back at American History with the help of one little tool that made it all possible — firearms. This week, we take that journey back in time with a firearm that's not so old when it comes to production, just in design ... the 1873 Winchester Lever Action Rifle.

"It's the first lever action rifle to bear the Winchester name is 1919," NRA Museum Senior Curator Philip Scrheier told the crowd.

Between 1873 and and 191, Winchester manufactured more than 700,000 of these rifles. A gun that won the West (in some opinions), the heart of Jimmy Stewart (in Winchester `73), and a number of admirers along the way. One admirer, recently of course, is the Japanese firearms firm Miroku. Miroku licensed the rights to the 1873 Winchester from Olin Corporation and is now producing replicas of the famed frontier firearm at their factories in Nankoku.

Close up of a Winchester 1873 rifle at the NRA Museum in Fairfax

"It really is a Winchester. It says so design and on the side of the rifle," said Schreier. "It's the first time we're seeing this in almost 100 years. And we've got another first."

Schreier went on to explain that the very gun he was holding in his hand had found its way to the cover of November's issue of NRA's American Rifleman magazine. And, just in time for Christmas, it should be available for sale here in the states.

But for the full story, tune into Sportsman Channel this afternoon around 5:40 for the return of Schreier and the Winchester 1877 to the Monday favorite known as Curator's Corner.

NRA News Producer John Popp aims a Winchester 73 at the NRA Museum

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