Ballard vs. Micro-Groove
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  1. #1
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    Ballard vs. Micro-Groove

    Would some one please explain the details and differences between the ballard and micro-groove rifling in the Marlins ? I have no preconceived ideas about either--just trying to learn.

    Is Micro-Groove just that--very shallow grooving ?

    Thanks,

    Steve
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    Re: Ballard vs. Micro-Groove

    Its more shallow, and there are more of them. Some folks prefer ballard for lead non-jacketed cast bullets because the rifling doesn't get filled up with lead deposit as quickly.

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    Re: Ballard vs. Micro-Groove

    About double the number of lands and groves and correspondingly smaller and shallower.
    Tom

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    Re: Ballard vs. Micro-Groove

    So is there a definite benefit or problem with the micro-groove ? What was the intended idea behind more and shallower grooves--or--is it just a cost/profit engineering idea by Marlin ?

    Steve
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    Re: Ballard vs. Micro-Groove

    So is there a definite benefit or problem with the micro-groove ? What was the intended idea behind more and shallower grooves--or--is it just a cost/profit engineering idea by Marlin ?
    Marlin's research & development team, back in the early 1950's, found that micro-groove rifling produced better/tighter groups when used in conjunction with modern jacketed bullets. The new 336XLR went back to ballard-style rifling because of how well the Hornady Lever Evolution semi-boat tail flex-tip bullets shot in the 336XLR's research & development range testing.

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    LT
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    Re: Ballard vs. Micro-Groove

    Quote Originally Posted by ia1727
    So is there a definite benefit or problem with the micro-groove ? What was the intended idea behind more and shallower grooves--or--is it just a cost/profit engineering idea by Marlin ?

    Steve
    I'm sure cost was a factor somewhere in the Micro Groove theory. However, many a Micro Grooved barrel has had excellent results in the field. I bet the deer and hogs didn't notice the difference
    Team 35 Member #3


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    Re: Ballard vs. Micro-Groove

    There's an old wive's tale out there that Micro Groove barrels won't shoot cast boolits at all well. It's not true. One just needs to size his cast boolits about two thousandths of an inch oversize to get excellent accuracy.

    Micro Groove barrels started because Marlin found that they were faster and cheaper to rifle. Instead of cutting each groove in a single pass separately as with Ballard rifling, they could cut all the grooves simultaneously with the Micro Groove process. The fact that it made very accurate barrels for jacketed bullets was another benefit.

    The fact that Marlin has switched back to using Ballard rifling on most of it's rifles has to do with the Cowboy Action shooters and the old wive's tale about cast boolits' inability to shhot well in Micro Groove barrels. It's a myth that just won't die.
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    Re: Ballard vs. Micro-Groove

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian in FL
    There's an old wive's tale out there that Micro Groove barrels won't shoot cast boolits at all well. It's not true. One just needs to size his cast boolits about two thousandths of an inch oversize to get excellent accuracy.

    Micro Groove barrels started because Marlin found that they were faster and cheaper to rifle. Instead of cutting each groove in a single pass separately as with Ballard rifling, they could cut all the grooves simultaneously with the Micro Groove process. The fact that it made very accurate barrels for jacketed bullets was another benefit.

    The fact that Marlin has switched back to using Ballard rifling on most of it's rifles has to do with the Cowboy Action shooters and the old wive's tale about cast boolits' inability to shhot well in Micro Groove barrels. It's a myth that just won't die.
    Thanks Brian,

    That really does answer my question --I new at some point there had to be a cost/profit scenario for marlin in order for them to jump from the main stream of rifle barrels.

    Steve
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    Re: Ballard vs. Micro-Groove

    ia1727 - In my experience I agree with Brian's statements entirely. I have owned, sold, trade and given away more guns than I care to remember. For me part of the enjoyment is finding an orphan, taking it home, cleaning, repairing it then reloading ammunition to get it back on the firing line. I have owned many of both micro-groove and ballard rifled barrels. In many instances once you determine what the bore diameter is (for lead bullets) you couldn't live on the difference in accuracy between lead and jacketed bullets. Only thing being, in my experience, if you plan on shooting both jacketed and lead bullets on the same trip, fire the jacketed bullets first. Again, in my experience, I have better results if I fire jacketed, then lead bullets. For some reason jacketed bullets do not seem to like a barrel with lead bullet deposits in it.
    If I were buying a gun I really wanted I would not care which type rifling it had. All things being the same pay more attention the the muzzle crown as that is a major player in accuracy. Shenandoah
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    Re: Ballard vs. Micro-Groove

    IMO, MG rifling did something rarely encountered in industry. It was a cost savings measure, that actually helped accuracy, reduced fouling, and kept costs for the manufacturer and consumer down. Instead of taking an hour or more on a sine bar machine used by a skilled laborer, a highly accurate and SMOOTH rifled barrel could be rifled in seconds by someone with minimal experience. These cost savings were passed on to the consumer.

    MG rifling grips the bullet with about a third more lands and grooves (depending on year of manufacture). It has developed a reputation of not being able to shoot cast bullets as accurately, because MG requires that the cast bullet be sized several thousandths over groove diameter for effective cast bullet use. If Pope would have had the technology at the time I am quite certain he would have use the MG technology as it is very similar to his ideal style of rifling (not coincidentally Pope style cast bullets can shoot amazingly well in MG barrels). Modern Ballard Marlin barrels are broach cut in a simultaneous pass and not as deep as Marlin would have you believe compared to MG barrels.
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