View Full Version : Maine firearm Mfg
October 1, 2000, 10:35 PM
I have a question I hope you could help me with. I read in a local
> history that the town of
> Mechanic Falls, Maine had a gun manufacturer somewhere in the 1800s and
> that they had developed
> a repeating rifle with a spiral magazine that somehow was loaded through
> the stock I believe.
> I read they went out of business after missing an army contract. Do you
> have the name of this
> company and could you tell me any of their history. I can't find the
> rare book I had originally
> read about them in.
> Thanks very much
> Jim Caron
> Lisbon Falls, Maine
October 2, 2000, 09:05 AM
I believe you're thinking of the Evans Repeating Rifle Co of Mechanic Falls, Maine. They produced several variations of rifles.
As per the Standard Catalog fo Firearms;...
"Uncorporated in 1873, this firm produced repeating rifles based upon patents issued to Warren R. Evans (1868-1871) and later George F. Evans (1877, 1878 and 1879). The most distinctive feature of these arms is that they used a butt magazine operating on the principle of an Archimedean screw. Distributed by Merwin, Hulbert & Company, as well as Schuyler, Hartley & Graham, Evans rifles met with some success. One of their earliest advocates was William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill). The company ceased operations in 1879, after approximately 15,000 arms had been made.
Lever Action Rifle;
The rifle is totally unique for a number of reasons. It holds the most rounds of any repeating rifle that did not have a detachable magazine, with capacities of up to 38 rounds on some models. The rifle was chambered for its own cartridge-the .44 Evans of which there were two versions: a 1" cartridge in the "Old Model" and the "Transition Model" and a 1.5" cartridge in the "New Model". The finish on these rifles is blued, with nickel-plated levers and buttplates noted on some examples. The stocks are walnut. There were approximately 12,250 of all models manufactured between 1873 and 1879.
October 2, 2000, 03:57 PM
Until I got one (I now have two) I never realized the very real drawback of the Evans, and why it never got anywhere with any military. The "hi-cap" magazine sounds great, but to load...
First, the would-be shooter loads the magazine by opening the buttplate door. Then, he drops in a round and works the lever, drops in another round, works the lever, etc. When a live round pops out on the ground, he knew the rifle was fully loaded. Except by counting, there is no way to load the magazine without bringing a round into the action.
Then a shooter fires some number of rounds, say 10. This means there are ten empty spaces AT THE BACK of the magazine. So, the shooter drops in a round, and works the lever, popping out a live round. This continues until the loader ejects all the unfired rounds from the previous loading and gets past the 10-round "gap".
Of course, if the poor Evans owner shot the rifle empty, and there are more of those pesky "Injuns", he had to start all over again, dropping in rounds and working the lever.
Before starting this exercise, he presumably held his left hand in a vertical position and laid his right hand palm down on top of the fingertips of his left hand. This kept the enemy from attacking, I think.
So, of course, the rifle takes as long to load as it does to shoot, and can't be easily kept fully loaded. I think I would have passed on it, also, in favor of a Winchester with a loading gate.
[This message has been edited by Jim Keenan (edited October 02, 2000).]
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