This Winchester looked like it was too far gone.
One of the most iconic guns of the west is the Winchester 1873. It's the rifle that earned the nickname: "The Gun that Won the West." It was popular with almost anyone who could get their hands on one. Soldiers, lawmen, outlaws, hunters, and trappers.
The gun was mass-produced in large quantities in a variety of calibers. There are thousands of these things floating around and some got treated better than others. As you'll see in this video. This Winchester 1873 chambered in .22 short caliber was built sometime in the 1880s.
Unfortunately, it spent over 50 years in a leaky barn where it became a complete, rusty mess. To the point that most people would pass this gun off as a lost cause. However, a restorer buys the gun for just $25 and then painstakingly brings it back to life. He records the entire amazing process in this video.
It was amazing to watch this rifle slowly come back to life. The rifle is not factory new but based on where it started, this is an amazing transformation. The video's uploader admits it's not a perfect restoration. In the description he says he did not blue it because all the pitting on the barrel was so deep already. Honestly, it does not take away from this rifle in any way. If anything, it just gives it a unique character all its own.
Most people would do a restoration like this just for a display piece. However, this guy didn't do all that painstaking work on the rusty internals just for show. He later posted a video to Instagram that shows him firing it. We would have been nervous to shoot something that had been that rusty at one time, but the rifle appears to work flawlessly. Considering the horrific shape it was in, that's nothing short of amazing.
It just goes to show that no matter the condition, no gun is too far gone to be saved. With a little TLC, this rifle will make an amazing display and conversation piece that will have people talking for years to come.