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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like most guys, I've had a bucket list of old guns I hoped to someday own. Some are just pipe dreams, as I never expect to find one in my price range with a hamburger budget, and filet mignon taste! But I recently had the opportunity to scratch one off the list when a old time member of the deceased "Marlin Talk" forum was willing to graciously work with me on a trade.
I picked up an early Marlin Ballard schuetzen rifle in .38-55, with all the bells and whistles I dreamed of! Factory engraving, mid range tang sight, wind gauge front sight, double set triggers, 30" full octagon barrel. Missing one major part; the stocks.
Can't be too particular when that "perfect" gun comes along, so the next project will be getting some nice 90% stocks, and fitting them to it. I have several Swiss buttplates in various tang styles, and will either go with the standard Ballard small Swiss, or another similar to the Ballard #6 Schuetzen, with larger prongs. Since the gun is basically a #8 Union Hill style, with special order features, that will be my choice for a stock pattern too.
Here's a few pictures:




 

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Now THAT is a gorgeous rifle! Make sure you get some nicely grained would to compliment that gorgeous steel!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Now THAT is a gorgeous rifle! Make sure you get some nicely grained would to compliment that gorgeous steel!
Yes, I'll try to get the best I can, and stay within budget. Can't put plain wood on it.
 
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That is going to be amazing! I too would dress that lady in the best I could afford, even if meant putting a little extra on the card to get er done.
 

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Can't wait to see the finished project. Wish I could come across a Ballard I could afford. I have been thinking about selling my new Shiloh Sharps, to bankroll one.

Have you checked with the New Ballard company, to see what they can do for you. Ballard, Makers of Custom Firearms, Rifles & Shotguns
 

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OMG... What a beauty. I'm happy for you. This one is certainly in keeping with the rest of your collection. You are way modest and folks would have to plow through some other forums to see just 'how' modest. Way Cool!

Btw... Almost bit the bullet and bid on a 45-70 the other day. Can't hardly stand this "reserve auctions". Still want at least one MB and it will remain on my bucket list till I get one. And 38-55 would be my preference - though I'd settle:))

Congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the kind words guys! I surely wont go in debt on a credit card, but if I have to save a little while, it will be worth it. I keep looking at John Dutcher's Ballard book and trying to decide what I want for grain, or grade. Dave Crossno is also a Ballard guy, so he has John's book and I can pick out a wood grain I like and tell him the page it's on. Hopefully that will help get what I want. I had several nice stock wood blanks here, but have used them all up on other guns. I dug the last one out the other day, and it seems I kept the lessor of them for last. It's not as good as I'd hoped, so wont use it.
I have a Zettler Bros. Ballard that has what I would consider the best stock shape I've seen, but haven't found out if Dave has a similar pattern?

It doesn't have super high grade wood, but most old competition shooters didn't spend big money on grade. They didn't feel it made their guns any more accurate, so they stayed pretty plain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Can't wait to see the finished project. Wish I could come across a Ballard I could afford. I have been thinking about selling my new Shiloh Sharps, to bankroll one.

Have you checked with the New Ballard company, to see what they can do for you. Ballard, Makers of Custom Firearms, Rifles & Shotguns
I honestly didn't know the new Ballard company was still in business? Last I heard Steve Durren had left, and they were not answering phone calls, or emails? I see the web site is still up, so maybe they are still going?
I see a fair number of Ballards for sale, and had I known you were interested, I'd have contacted you. I just sold a #2 in .44-40 for $750, and it had a beautiful bore. The exterior was above average, but not a collector piece with high finish.
 
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That is the find of a life time. I do hope you will give a frame by frame account of the process of making that lady a finished product. Can't wait and thanks for sharing with us. That will be one great rifle.

Enjoy the Journey
444GS2
 
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You'd have to shoot it in it's .44-40 caliber. #2 is a cast steel frame.
Thought about that afterwards mmarlinman93. Still woulda been a temptation, especially with a nice bore. It'll just have to be a while yet. On that 45-70 I mentioned that was listed I also thought about there not being much recourse if the bore condition was exaggerated. Still think a 38-55 would be my druthers - plus a guy could improvise - going larger if the on-line experience proved disappointing. A 38-40 wouldn't be bad either though. I'll spend real money either way filling my bucket that full.
 

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The 44-40, would been a good start, but I would like a 38-55, and or a 45-70 also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I come across Ballards occasionally at our local monthly collector show. Haven't purchased one in 3-4 years, but this year I've picked up two at this show. A #1 in .44 Ballard Extra Long, and a #1 1/2 in .40-63 Ballard Everlasting, which is the same cartridge as the .40-70 Ballard. Both are full round barrels, which was standard for these two models.
I'll try to take pictures of the fitting process, but not sure how much anyone will learn from my skills! I don't know the gunsmith way to fit stocks; I just know how I get it done. ;)
 

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Hey 93,

That is one sweet looking rifle.

Am sure you will do a "bang up" job on the furniture!

Later, Mark
 

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That is a cool looking rifle. I am anxious to see it when you are done putting a stock on it.

Jack
 

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mm93- that is truly a beautiful rifle, I am a sucker for old original engraving. Like SgtDog, I've been looking for a Marlin Ballard for a while but can't seem to find one I can afford. Your beauty gives us hope and something to shoot for. Keep us posted on the progress. Thanks for all your input. SteveB
 
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