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Evans New Model Carbine: High Capacity in the Old West

Sold at auction for $2,300 (w/ one other rifle).

The Evans rifle/carbine was developed in 1873 by a Maine dentist named Warren Evans. Its main innovation was a large helical magazine that held a whopping 34 cartridges of Evan’s proprietary .44 caliber cartridge. By 1877 Evans had made a number of revisions and improvements to the gun, including developing a newer and more powerful cartridge for it. This New Model “only” held 28 rounds, but was ballistically very similar to the .56 Spencer.

Evans’ rifle was a lever action design, and proved reasonably popular. Between 12,000 and 15,000 were made in total between 1874 and 1879, and testimonials were published from the likes of Kit Carson and Buffalo Bill Cody. The US Army tested the weapon but rejected it on the basis of its awkward loading procedure and failure of a dust test. Sales were made outside the US, though, including Russia, Turkey, and several South American nations.

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