She even managed to serve in the Russian fleet, though she was never the authorized rifle, which was officially adopted by the Russian Empire. It just happened. This short rifle is so similar to Spencer's carbine and, moreover, repeated its fate: it was also bought and destroyed by Oliver Winchester, whose weapons created tremendous competition.
American shop rifles in the second half of the 19th century (1860−90) were invented in large quantities. Many systems, from the simplest to the most sophisticated. The reason for the surge of such invention is simple. It was then that the unitary metal rifle and pistol cartridges were not only invented, but were already produced by the industry in large quantities. This abundance was greatly helped by the civil war between the North and the South, the Indian wars, and the conquest of the Wild West. True, the majority of invented magazine rifles, if they were made, either in one copy, or completely scanty copies. Lucky only a few. And one of these "units" was the rifle of a dentist from Maine - Warren Evans (Warrin Evans).
The main idea of the new rifle was a screw shop based on an Archimedean screw, located in the butt. In 1868, Evans received a patent for the design of a magazine rifle, and in 1871, another patent for a bolt device, which simultaneously reloaded the rifle and rotated the cartridge feeding mechanism.
“The Evans shop rifle is honored to be the only firearm ever commercially produced in Maine in the 19th century,” says one of the American gun catalogs. And this is also amazing. The entire arms industry of that time was concentrated in Connecticut, where Samuel Colt, Oliver Winchester, Horeis Smith, and Daniel Wesson produced weapons ... The best craftsmen, capital, and precision equipment were there. And in 1873, Warren Evans and his brother created the Evans Rifle Manufacturing Company (an Evans rifle company) based on an agricultural implements factory with a total of 25 workers. Surprisingly, on such a modest production base, from 12 to 15 thousand "Dentist Evans' shops" were released, according to various sources.
The first models of the rifle had a magazine for 24 rounds, later ones - for 36. The cartridges were inserted into the magazine one by one. After filling the store was closed with a special sliding lid. Used cartridges: .44−40, .44 Russian, and .44 S & W, the same cartridges used in revolvers of the time.
Evans rifle was produced in three versions: sports, military musket and cavalry carbine. The modifications differed only in the long stem and insignificant design features.
However, the army showed no interest in this rifle. Evans bought the rifle only the American fleet as a weapon of defense in the attack on ships. Overseas, Evans rifles began to be massively supplied only during the Russian-Turkish war (1877-1878). The Evans brothers had to pay close attention to the domestic market, where they crossed the road to Oliver Winchester himself, who had already massively produced his multi-charge rifles. Since the Evans rifle used a revolver cartridge, it created very large interference to the Oliver Winchester plant by directly competing with its 1873 Winchester model. In the end, Oliver Winchester simply bought the Evans Rifle Manufacturing Company from the Evans brothers and closed it.
The following celebrities had Evans rifles: Keith Carlson Jr., William Cody, better known under the pseudonym "Buffallo Bill", the Mexican dictator Portfirio Dias ... They say that Mexico became the country that was the first to adopt the automatic rifle Mandragona in the world just because the authoritarian ruler countries personally owned in their personal possession such multiply-charged and rapid-fire weapons.
And quite unexpectedly, this rifle appeared in Russia. The story is funny: “The king bought a military ship in the USA. And he was equipped with Evans, so they got into our fleet without any tests ... ”(From the weapons forum ganz.ru). In addition, a number of Evans rifles were taken as trophies in the Russian-Turkish war. Russia was going to buy this rifle, and the company Warren Evans even developed a rifle chambered for .44 Russian, a regular cartridge revolver S & W Russian, which was in service with the Russian army. However, the company ceased to exist before the Russian Empire began mass purchases of this rifle.
Currently, these weapons can only be seen in a museum, private collection, or computer game. Red Dead Redemption, for example. Fortunately, many Evans' stores have remained in good condition to this day, and revolver cartridges with 44-caliber black powder in the USA are mass-produced and currently available. But on the release of the replicas of this wonderful weapon, I personally did not hear.