Actually, the first model Lindner has a saddle ring on the left side, opposite the lock. The first 391 went to the 1st Michigan Cavalry in 1861, an additional 501 were issued to the 8th West VA Mounted Infantry (Flayderman, 8th Ed., 515). Any doubts I had concerning their manufacture by AMC were erased when I saw my first one (a 1st Model)a few years ago and discovered a tiny script "AMC" cartouche at the upper rear of the buttstock near the buttplate tang. This one is now in the MHA collection. Another 1st Model, which I acquired a couple of years later, also has this cartouche.
Also, the March 2001 The Gun Report article: "The Army Ordnance Department and the Franco Prussian War - Part I" corroborates the statement about the French sale. It appears that 5,999 Lindner carbines were indeed sold to France. I believe these would have been the 2nd Model that had been refused by the government and doubtless waited in storage for such an opportunity as this. People who claim that these were sold to "Bavaria" might need to recall who won the Franco-Prussian War and thus who might tend to have captured enemy weapons in their surplus stores.
Lindner apparently negotiated with the Bavarians as David Minshall's excellent references indicate (thanks again David!), but I think the Podewils bolt rifles were the result, and perhaps some tip-up action conversions for the Austrians.
Bannerman's eventually brought many of those Lindners back into the USA, as evidenced by their early 20th Century catalogs.
Again, these are mysteries upon which additional light needs to be shed.
Meanwhile, I'm still seeking biographical info on Lindner himself.