Make: Evans Repeating Rifle Company, Maine
Model: New Model Carbine
Serial Number: NSN
Year of Manufacture: 1877-1879
Caliber: .44 Evans Long
Action Type: Lever Action with Internal Revolving Magazine in Buttstock
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “EVANS REPEATING RIFLE MECHANIC FALLS ME PAT. DEC. 8, 1868 & SEPT. 16, 1871”.
Barrel Length: The round barrel is 22” in length.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a tall blade dovetailed into the barrel. The rear sight is a folding ladder sight screwed to the barrel. There is a “V” notch sight fixed to the front of the sight base for use when the ladder is folded down. In this case the sight functions as a sliding elevator sight by moving the slider on the ladder to one of four flats on the top of the base, marked on the right side of the base with “1” through “4”. When the ladder is raised, there is a 2nd “V” notch visible in the top of the slider. The rear face of the ladder is marked from “5” to “11”. .
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are three pieces consisting of a forend and a two piece buttstock. The buttstocks are screwed to the tubular frame that houses the receiver and magazine. There is a steel carbine style buttplate mounted on the butt with a trapdoor covering a hole for loading cartridges into the magazine. The forend is held with a single barrel band. There is a sling swivel attached to the underside of the bottom buttstock piece and another on the bottom of the forend barrel band. The top half of the buttstock at the butt has a chip out of the surface on the right side with a smaller filled chip on the left side. The bottom half of the buttstock shows a crack and a thin surface chip at the toe and another crack on its right side at the butt. The wood is proud of the metal almost all the way around the buttplate and there are gaps between the wood and the buttplate in several locations. There are several lighter handling marks in the forend and buttstocks. There are several small dings in the top left edge of the forend with several deep compression marks on the right side. There are several compression marks in the belly of the bottom buttstock and a deep compression mark on the left side near the butt. The upper buttstock also shows a few compression marks including one on its lower front left edge. The LOP measures 13” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate shows surface loss, several tiny dings and spots of erosion. The buttplate is in Good condition. The stocks rate in about Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: The receiver and barrel are blued, showing a plum colored patina. The lever was case colored. < br>
Finish Originality: The finish is original.
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright, turning gray near the muzzle. The rifling shows light wear. There is light erosion from the muzzle back several inches.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 0% of its original metal finish. The barrel and receiver show a plum colored patina. The barrel is dappled with tiny spots of solid erosion and has two small dings through the finish about 2” in front of the rear sight. There are also tiny spots of solid erosion scattered over the receiver/magazine tube with pitting on the right side of the wrist area and heavier pitting on the lever. The receiver shows areas of thinning under its patina with several tiny dings in the patina on the right side and a scrape through the finish with tool marks around the screw heads on the left side. The screw heads are mostly sharp but with light marks from a screwdriver. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Good Plus overall condition.
Mechanics: The magazine revolves and the cover over the loading port opens and closes when the lever is opened and closed. This rifle has a hammer that resides underneath the front of the lever, with a safety in front of the hammer. In order to engage the safety, the hammer first be lowered by pulling the trigger while holding the hammer. Then the hammer is pulled back slightly allowing the safety to be pulled backwards, which blocks the hammer and locks the lever. We were not able to manually cock the hammer on this model, so perhaps that function was deleted when the safety was added. We have not fired this rifle.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: The Evans lever action rifles were unique in several ways. In addition to its tubular framed receiver/magazine and its under-the-lever hammer, it was the only mass produced rifle ever attempted in the state of Maine and also holds the record for the greatest capacity of any repeating rifle with an internal magazine. The rotary magazine fed through the trapdoor in the buttplate held 34 of the Short rounds used with the Old and Transitional Models and 28 of the Long rounds used with the New Models. .Flayderman’s Guide indicates about 4000 plus New Model Carbines were made between 1877 and 1879, with about 7000 more evenly split between Sporting Rifle and Musket models. This is a New Model Carbine with a 22” barrel in about Good Plus condition. The barrel and receiver have a plum colored patina with tiny spots of solid erosion scattered over their surfaces. There is pitting on the right side of the magazine tube at the grip with heavier pitting on the lever. There are two small marks through the finish on the barrel, several tiny dings on the left side of the receiver and a light scrape on the left side with tool marks around the screw heads. The wood shows compression marks, light handling marks and two cracks near the toe, with small chips at the edge of the butt. The stocks are proud of the buttplate at the butt with a few gaps showing between the wood and the buttplate. The bore is mostly bright with light wear in the rifling and light erosion near the muzzle. The action functions properly, including the rotating magazine and rotating dust cover. This is a nice example of one of the most unique American made rifles of the late 19th Century, and deserves a spot in any collection of early American firearms.