Author Topic: The Evans Rifle  (Read 30654 times)

klw

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The Evans Rifle
« on: January 12, 2006, 12:09:04 PM »
The only gun other than the Spencer that even had the sort of magazine feed across the top of the action and into the chamber was the Evans.  Were there any other guns with the Spencer/Evans like mechanism?

Offline Major 2

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2006, 06:20:25 PM »
I know of no one making them these days... I imagine the tool up would be almost astronomical.
Evans design is about 10 years newer than the Spencer and it held 28-30 Rounds in the butt-stock.

I believe it was Thell Reed or maybe Kenny Howell at R&D that built up the original used by Wilford Brimley in  Selleck's Crossfire Trail.

The good news is an Evans  (at lease for now) does not seem to command the high prices an Original Spencer does these days.

To answer your question, There was 22Cal. Rifle (trying to remember who made it ) that used the buttstock feed.
when planets align...do the deal !

klw

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2006, 07:24:54 PM »
Evans rifles and carbine prices vary wildly.  I've seen an excellent late model Evans carbine for as little as $450 or as much as $1800.  Basically the same gun.

There were three models.  The only one I've shot is the last, the new model.  Though 44 Evans long brass has been made recently, and is still available from Rocky Mountain Cartridge as a special order, you can use 44 Magnum brass with no problems.  The Evans bullet diameter was 0.421 or thereabouts and since I had a mould with that diameter I used it.  A friend, however, who didn't have such a mould used 44 Magnum cast bullets and his rifle liked it just fine.

The old model had a much larger magazine capacity and some say can shoot 41 magnum brass.  I've never tried that.

Opinions on what the transition model shoots vary.  Some, apparently are in 44 Evans Short (the original cartridge) while others may be in 44 Evans Long.  These two rounds not only differ in length but also brass diameter.

Harve Curry

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2006, 07:42:00 PM »
KLW,
Remember you helped me out with the Evans NM carbine I bought a few years ago. I never did get it all together, but did cut some 303 Britsh brass down and started fireforming it. Mine slugs .436" as I recall, so I was using .440" round balls and 10gr of Unique, single loading them. They are longer then the 44mag brass but I will check that out. The bright shiny bore shot good with those balls out to about 50 yards. Anyway thanks.

Since this topic is here I could use a rear sight if anyone knows of one for sale.

Offline mtmarfield

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2006, 07:53:01 PM »
   Greetings!

 I've got what I believe to be a NM with a 28 rd. magazine, but it has the older chamber that will take the earlier OL bullets. Older barrel???
 I'd like to, but I haven't shot it yet; I need to locate an appropriate heeled bullet mould, and my RCBS .44 American mould seems to be too small.
 If anyone knows where I can find more information {I've got Flayderman's}, I'd appreciate it!

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #5 on: Today at 03:55:17 AM »

klw

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2006, 08:42:08 PM »
The three models of Evans are easy to tell apart.

The new model, which fired the 44 Evans Long, has the magazine down the middle of the stock (wood both above and below) and a cover on the ejection port.

The transition model had the magazine down the middle of the stock but no cover on the magazine well.  The round used here is in some dispute.  Maybe, just maybe, some were made in 44 Evans Long and some in 44 Evans Short.

The old model has no cover over the ejection port and the magazine is at the bottom of the stock (wood above it but not below).

Most if not all published dimensions on the 44 Evans long are wrong.  Only figured that out by buying an original cartridge and measuring it.  I don't have first hand experience with the 44 Evans short but supposedly 41 magnum brass may work.

I certainly did not use a Heeled bullet in mine.  Don't recall they either of these gun used heeled bullets.

One of these years Gun Digest will finally print my article on loading and shooting the new model Evans.  They paid for it years ago but have yet to print it.

Romano Rifle, the maker of that beautiful Spencer, claims that they will work on just about anything.  To this day, however, Larry complains about the Evans part I had him make.  Still, Larry Romano is a gifted gunsmith and one with Evans experience.  Tell him Ken Walters told you to call.  He'll love that.


klw

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2006, 08:45:09 PM »
P.S.  Evans rifles are covered in some details in a book entitled Gunsmiths of Maine (I think).

Try regular pistol brass before any kind of case forming.  Also Rocky Mountain Cartridge can make these cases.  Personally I prefer using 44 Magnum brass but, though I don't think that these cases are listed on their web site, Rocky Mountain Cartridge can certainly make them.

Offline Steel-eye Steve

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2006, 09:55:51 PM »
To answer your question, There was 22Cal. Rifle (trying to remember who made it ) that used the buttstock feed.

Winchester 03 and 63 semi autos. I have a 63 and its a gem. Taurus makes a repro, but I have no idea how they compare to the originals.
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Offline mtmarfield

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2006, 08:02:48 PM »
   Greetings!

 Thanks, klw! What little I know of the Evans is from Flayderman's; the cartridges can be seen in COTW, as well as Winchester catalogue 1893 {reprint}. The earlier .44 Evans had a O.L. {heeled} bullet, and was dimensionally & ballistically in the .44 Henry/.44 Long/.44 S&W 'family'.
 I haven't done a chamber cast, but it will accept .41mag brass, not .44mag. I've wanted to locate/have made a O.L. that would do double duty in the Evans, as well as the F. Wesson. Dummy cartridges made up with .41mag brass and RCBS .44 S&W bullets will cycle and chamber, but the bullets are dropping at about .423". I may just cast soft, and see if they'll bump up.

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Offline Two Flints

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2006, 09:02:50 PM »
Hi,

Found this information on the Evans rifle.  If you go to this web site  http://www.joesalter.com/  and click on SEARCH you will get several references to the Evans Rifle/Carbine.  Just click on DETAILS and you will see a number of pictures of the Evans rifle.  I received permission to post this information from Joe Salter.com.

"JoeSalter.com - Antique Guns & Modern Guns, Firearms, Swords, Ammunition and Militaria
Details for Item # 3964   
Evans New Model Sporting Rifle
 Price: US $1195.00     
This variation has the New Model I.D. line ending in "U.S.A". The under barrel has an assembly number "19". In excellent condition with a good bore. There is some very light corrosion in the bore, but the rifling and grooves are very strong and proud. Will spin a bullet. The 30" barrel variation is one of about 3000 total produced. A very fine example of the Evans Sporting Rifle with original finish, case color, and very good wood condition. Made in the great state of Maine, seldom found in this condition. Antique."

Two Flints












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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #10 on: Today at 03:55:17 AM »

klw

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2006, 09:29:00 PM »
If you ever take an evans apart I would strongly suggest taking digital pictures at every possible point.  Last time I took mine apart it took me two weeks to figure out what in the heck I was doing wrong when I put it back together.

The mainspring, if you can call it that, goes from an attachment under the barrel to a not so obvious slot inside the guts of the action.  That "spring" looks more like a long bent rod.  But get it in the wrong place and nothing works.

Also the screws on the evans, the ones that hold the two half in place, are unique.  I had to have one made once and the machinest just about went nuts.  Of course he thought it was a standard size.  Finally he just made one to fit.  Don't damage the screws!

Finally the gun is made like a clamshell.  Really weird design but it was fun to shoot.

Offline Sloan Dodgy

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Fogerty rifles
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2006, 01:22:28 PM »
The Fogerty, or Fogarty, I'm not certain of the spelling,  rifle also fed from the butt over the top into the chamber.  Not the most common of late-1860s rifles, though I believe it was Fogerty who first bought out Spencer before being swallowed up by Winchester.  The Fogerty repeater looks a lot like the Spencer single-shot that Romano makes - see http://www.leverguns.com/leverguns/fogarty.htm for a pic and very brief history.

Offline Two Flints

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2006, 09:03:52 PM »

Hi,

Any member of SSS willing to help these two regarding the Evans Repeating Rifle????????????

My name is Dean Brennan of Whitefish Montana. I need some help finding schematics...or a very knowledged person....regarding the Evans Repeating Rifle...Transition Model. I am attempting to load for it ...mild shootable ones...but find the action to be pretty mild on ejection of the cartridge. I am reluctant to disassemble this rather tricky rifle because it is in very good condition and I do not wish to mess it up. If I have knowledge of just what is in there it may help resolve the dilemma. That being to determine how to increase the strength of the ejector. If this is an inherant trait of the rifle then I should know that. Doubt that it is however because the design has been so carefully thought out. If you or anyone in your organization can and will help I will certainly appreciate it and they just might help enhance a fine rifle.
This MSNTV system does not seem to allow me to sign up for your site. Could be wrong...Internet is not my strong suite.
Thank You
Dean C. Brennan
Katy1@webtv.net

and

We are having a really hard time finding parts for this Evan rifle. We were wondering if you could possibly could help us out. We are looking for a picture of the butt plate and stock, also we need a fire pin and main spring, side door and sights that fold up, and the piece that goes in front of the fore stock. If you could help us it would be greatly appreciate.
Desperately looking
Paul & Michelle
ynkcanoe@hotmail.com


Thanks for looking,

Two Flints

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klw

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2006, 10:12:39 PM »
There is an answer to this question but not a straight forward one.

Go to http://www.antiquereloadingtools.org/ and post a question asking who the fellow is who is writing the Evans book.  I just don't remember but there has been a book about the Evans that has been worked on for years.

Someone there will remember.  The guy even has a web site somewhere but since I can not remember his name I don't know where.  Anyway use this site to find out who that is and then e-mail him.  Personally I haven't communicated with him in maybe a decaded but when I last did he was very helpful.

I don't remember how the ejection works.  Might be as simple as increasing pressure on the mainspring but bear in mind that I haven't work on one of these in years.  Pressure on the mainspring is controlled under the forarm.  Very straight forward.

I'd suggest taking the rifle apart taking digital pictures as you go.  The worst that can happen, and it happened to me, was that it can take you weeks to figure out how to put it back together.  Of course I took mine apart BEFORE I thought of taking pictures.

Wonder if I still have those digital pictures?  I'll have to look.

klw

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2006, 11:03:19 PM »
According to Doug Elliott:  "the Evans book, it is being written by Scott Jamieson,
scott.jamieson@sympatico.ca, 223 Christie St., Rockwood, Ontario, Canada N0B
2K0." 

Offline Happy Trails

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2006, 08:17:33 PM »
In answer to the question posed by Dean Brennan of Montana about the Transitional Model Evans, there is no “ejector” per-se in the Evans Rifle mechanism.  
The rounds are fed up the magazine tube by being retained in one of 4 slots in a grooved “spline”.  The spline indexes one quarter turn per activation of the lever on the rifle.  The cartridges are advanced by “riding” on a fixed “screw frame” or “helix” that is pinned and soldered to one half of the magazine tube.
When a fired cartridge case is “extracted” from the chamber the action of the “spline” rotating the new round into place to be fed into the chamber is what “kicks” the empty out of the “ejection port”.  The empties do indeed just “eject mildly”.
See pix of Transitional disassembly:
http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x426/HT4461/Evans%20on%20CAS%20City/A.jpg -- Transitional Model
http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x426/HT4461/Evans%20on%20CAS%20City/016.jpg -- Disassembled
http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x426/HT4461/Evans%20on%20CAS%20City/K.jpg -- Split
http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x426/HT4461/Evans%20on%20CAS%20City/018.jpg -- Spline
http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x426/HT4461/Evans%20on%20CAS%20City/020.jpg -- Extractor Spring
http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x426/HT4461/Evans%20on%20CAS%20City/L.jpg -- Spline Index Finger
http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x426/HT4461/Evans%20on%20CAS%20City/M.jpg -- Butt Plate
http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x426/HT4461/Evans%20on%20CAS%20City/N.jpg -- Mag tube with Spline
http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x426/HT4461/Evans%20on%20CAS%20City/O.jpg -- Main Spring

As for ammo we could have a 2-day discussion I am afraid.  I will try to be brief.  The Transitional Model takes the .44 Evans Short.  
A great mystery abounds with the Evans.  Although all the books (Cartridges of the World) say the round is .419 all my Evans rifles measure .429/.430.  I have contacted other Evans shooters and they agree.  I have about 75 original Evans New Model rounds and the bullets are .419.  
When I first started making cartridges for the Evans I lathe turned some .430 diameter .44 Cal bullets to .419”.  I thought I better slug the barrel with one to see how tight the fit was.  The .419 dia. bullet fell right through the bore.  
So how and why did they shoot .419 diam. bullets out of a .430 diam. bore?  The speculation is the Evans brothers were of course interested in military sales of their rifle and with the gun loaded to the maximum it would hold 28 rounds of NM ammo.  Of course everything was Black Powder and we know that has a tendency to cake and build up in a bore.  So if the gun were used in battle and it was fired continuously they were “allowing for the buildup without raising the pressure.”  Possible?  Now one knows.  
Anyway we need to fire a .429 diam bullets down a .429 diam bore that is chambered for brass that holds a .419 diam bullet.  
The neck diam on a Evans cartridge is only .439/.440 so my solution was to use Heeled bullets of .429 diam stepped down to .418.  These were made by turning the heels down in a lathe.  A little time consuming yes, but less than buying a heeled mold and casting my own.  These then were loaded into .41 Magnum cases that were fire formed in a .44 Magnum gun.  This worked quite well and was very accurate.  I eventually switched to .44 Hollow based pointed bullet available from Buffalo Arms. (http://www.buffaloarms.com/).
They still have to be heeled.
Making the brass looked something like this.  http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x426/HT4461/Evans%20on%20CAS%20City/44x41.jpg     
Top - .41 Magnums cases sized in a .44 die and loaded with a .44 bullet.
Bottom – after firing in a .44 Magnum gun the .41 Mag cases become .44 Evans Short.
Note that even though the Evans is a “tubular” fed rifle it is unlike the Winchester and others where the cartridges line up nose to primer so you need to use a flat point bullet.  In the Evans rifle the cartridges are separated by the “helix” and no cartridge pushes on the one in front of it.  It can use a pointed type bullet and proper feeding almost requires it.  Round nose bullets are a bit balky trying to feed into the chamber.
Here’s my loading chart.
http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x426/HT4461/Evans%20on%20CAS%20City/44EvansShort.jpg
Lastly I discovered that to ease feeding problems the bottom of the Evans cases were chamfered or rounded.  
http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x426/HT4461/Evans%20on%20CAS%20City/006.jpg
http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x426/HT4461/Evans%20on%20CAS%20City/009.jpg

I hope this helps somewhat.  If you have any particular questions you can send me an e-mail at HappyTrails@thesmithshop.com and I will try to answer them.
 

And may the good Lord take a likin' to ya.

Offline Two Flints

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2006, 08:55:44 PM »
Happy Trails,

Just great information, and thanks for posting it.  I'm still jealous ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Two Flints

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klw

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2006, 09:32:19 PM »
That was certainly nicely done!

Offline mtmarfield

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2006, 10:29:11 PM »
   Greetings!
 
 Excellent photos! They explain the function better than words can. The situation with the cartridges in the OM/Trans. is easily explained by looking at a cut of the round in a catalogue, as they're OL bullets. A Winchester 1893 catalogue does, and an early Ideal Manual even alludes to the fact that, referring to Evans Bullet Moulds, "We do not make moulds for the Old Model cartridges." They Do list, and show a cut of, a NM bullet that is obviously Not a OL {heeled} bullet.
 I have No explanation as to why a NM Evans, with factory cartridges carrying .419" bullets, should have barrel grooves of .430"+; I believe that My NM was rebarreled in its past, as it has a bore of .420", and a groove of .435"! Undersize bullets of bore diameter make No sense, unless they're Dead Soft to obdurate into the rifling, or have a hollow base. This situation can be illustrated by preparing cartridges for the .45-70 Trapdoor. Apparently the fact that the 405gr. bullet was a hollow base design was lost on the bullet mould manufacturers, until folks like J.S. Wolf actually broke old military contractor ammo apart and saw that the Carbine bullet had a hollow base! All of a sudden, folks using soft lead & new hollow base moulds are hitting what they're aiming at, and it's a big revelation. Perhaps the NM Evans rifles have a tighter groove dimension, or NM Cartridges have a dished/hollow base. Quien Sabe?
Perhaps more Evans owners will come forward, and share information with us.  See photos of my Evans appearing below.

Click on M.T. Marfield photos for larger view.

   Be Well!

                M. T. Marfield
                    1-15-06







Offline Will Ketchum

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Re: The Evans Rifle
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2006, 09:11:07 PM »
I believe it was Thell Reed or maybe Kenny Howell at R&D that built up the original used by Wilford Brimley in  Selleck's Crossfire Trail.


Major, that was Kenny Howell.  I had a chance to shoot that very rifle that Wilford used as well as the Keen used by Brad Johnson.  It was neet to watch the movie knowing I had shot the guns.

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