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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is an article in the July 2004 issue of Precision Shooting [vol. 52 No. 3}.

It is about the a long range Rigby barrel in 45-100-550 being mated to a Marlin Ballard long range action with buttstock. It looks like a Model 7-A-1 Extra action and the restoration was done 'n lettered by Ballard Riflle, LLC in Cody Wyoming. Mike
 

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Mike....thanks for the info, like seeing those old Ballards, restoration or not. Is the barrel a new barrel, or are they putting two old guns back together? Would like to see a new Ballard from Cody in some of the old original Marlin-Ballard cartridges (besides the 32-40 and 38-55).

max
 

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I'll have to see if I can find a copy of that magazine.
Saw a Ballard in the paper here yesterday! Ad said it was a .45-70, with double set triggers, and in excellent condition. $2500
Called the guy up and he told me it was a 1861 "Civil War" Ballard! Also said he had a friend who told him it was a #5 1/2, in serial number 21,000 range, and made by Marlin Firearms Co. I tried to explain that no Marlin Ballards were built before 1875, and the .45-70 wasn't around in 1861. Also that the 5 1/2 Montanas were all in the 9,xxx range, but he seemed skeptical. After a brief description of his "excellent" Civil War Ballard, I decided to pass.
It's always interesting dealing with someone who's not a gun nut, or collector, but has a small amount of knowledge provided by a friend!
 

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mm93 got a question on the old rifles. When they are 100+ years old what is considered excellent condition.
 

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Excellent condition (in my opinion) does not change a lot with age. I would expect a Ballard listed as "excellent" to have a great bore, solid wood, with some original finish, and barrel bluing that is better than 60% and not much brown patina. Some case colors should be visable also, and there should be no signs of rust, or pits from rust.
Many people seem to have an idea that if a gun is 100+ years old, then condition can be called very good, or excellent, where another gun of 25 years old in similar condition might be called por, or well worn.
I would agree that the value of either gun is much different, and that bores that are dark or somewhat eroded don't affect the value of a very old gun as much, but excellent has still got to have a lot of original finish for me. I would never classify any gun with a bad bore as excellent, even though they may still have a lot of value.
Here are a couple of examples.
The top gun, a #5 is in very good condition. The wood is near perfect, though no original varnish is remaining, the barrel blue is almost all there, with the beginnings of patina starting, and the bore is a 8 out of 10.
The bottom gun is a #3 in excellent condition, with about 30% case colors, 90%+ barrel bluing, no brown, stocks have most their original finish, and no cracks at the wrist, (as most Ballards have) and it has a near perfect bore.
Hope this helps.
 

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How nice is that, a #3 with a shotgun butt. Bet that one is nice to shoot. And now no recoil. :lol: And a heavy barrel #5. Pretty!!! What caliber is the #5? Both of your rifles are "most excellent"!!!!

max
 

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Thank you Max! I appreciate your compliment, coming from a diehard Ballard fan! The heavy barrel #5 Pacific is a .45-70, and the #3 Gallery is a .22 LR. Yes, the shotgun butt was what attracted me to this rifle. It also has a gallery style Ballard tang sight. The #5 has the Ballard long range rear sight, and Lyman combo front sight.
The guy who had the Ballard #5 in our local paper, actually showed up at our meeting with it this morning. As I guessed, one man's opinion of "excellent" was surely not mine! The gun had a near perfect .45-70 bore, and excellent wood, but the receiver had no sign of case colors, and a lot of blotchy tarnish/rust stains. The barrel was also covered with blotchy surface rust, and had about 60% bluing left. Far from his description over the phone of "almost 100% bluing". I really tried to help him assess the value, and he seemed to be willing to accept my appraisal of $1600-$1700. Not sure where he'll sell it, but I sent him towards a friend, who does internet sales on Auction Arms, so it may show up there. I got his card also, in case I find a buyer for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was out chasing Hot Air Balloons this weekend so just got back on the computer.

The Rigby Ballard barrel (#62xx) and the Malin Ballard action (#24xx) were origional and mated togeather. It is one beautiful rifle with the reproduction rear sight of a Remington Walker windage adjustable made by Ballard Rifle Company. Mike
 

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Thanks Randall! We didn't mean to take over your post, but Ballard news is few and far between, so we get excited! :lol:
 

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Thought you might like to see the bullet that the Rigby Ballard tossed down range. They were meant for long range shooting and used a very heavy 550 grain paper patched bullet that was usually swaged to give more uniform density and no air pockets. The 45-70 case next to it should give you an idea of just how big.



This one was swaged using an old 19th century bullet swage meant just for that purpose. It also swages a hollow base to tuck in the tail of the paper patch.

max
 

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This may be a dumb question, but I've been told that no question is a dumb question......

What was the purpose of the paper patch ?

WB
 

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Wishbone....the main purpose of the paper patch is to prevent leading of the barrel. Essentially the bullet is bore diameter and with the paper patch, lead never touches the bore. The paper rides in the grooves and imparts the spin from the rifling. As the bullet exits the muzzle, the patch falls away and the lead continues on it's way. Much like a sabot today. Of course every so often the patch fails to fall away and accuracy fails.

Some are using paper patched lead bullets with smokeless powder today. Good way to keep from leading the barrel.

Grooved bullets prevent the leading of the barrel with the lube stored in the grooves. It coats the barrel. Also keeps the black powder soft for the next shot, one of the missing items with paper patched bullets. Often a lube wad or cookie is used behind a paper patched bullet with black powder to keep the black powder soft, but it is never as effective as a grooved bullet.

And now you are ready to travel down the black powder / paper patch highway. :)

max
 

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Nice items Max! Looks like you've got that paper patching method down!
I have an old original box of .38-55, 255 grain, paper patched bullets. Marked JM Marlin, and still new in the box!
I've always wanted to give this a try. I have a mold to cast the paper patch hollow base bullet for .38-55, but haven't taken the time to try yet. Maybe some day soon!
 

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Hey Vall......nice box of bullets. And full too. Paper patching is not that hard. Buffalo Arms has the templates for cutting the patches and the 100% cotton paper also. It actually takes me less time to patch 25 bullets that to pan lube 25 grooved ones.

Where in the world did you get the hollow base mold for the 38-55? I want one of those to work with the 38-50 Ballard. The hollow base makes it a lot easier to work with the patch because you have somewhere to tuck the tail.

max
 

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Thanks MM93 for the detail, I wondered how/if it changed when they reached such a fine age. Blackpowder max, the pictures are great appreciate your sharing. Randall really nice. Hope you don't mind the off topic chat.
 

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Max,
The mold is an old Ideal. I was at our range shooting, and the caretaker came over to look at my schuetzen rifles. He told me some great stories about shooting schuetzen back in the 50's and 60's, and invited me back to his shop. While we were visiting he said he had sold all his old guns, and still had a mold for the .38-55. He brought it out and gave it to me. Wouldn't take a dime for it, no matter how I tried to pay him.
It's a nose pour mold, and appears to have been modified to nose pour, and to hollow base. No markings as to who did the mods, but I've looked it over thoroughly, and think I could easily adapt another. Haven't tried it yet, but sometime I'll get around to doing my .32-40, and .45-70 molds also.
Here's the bullets, at bottom left:
 

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Vall....nice collection, the bullet box looks pretty pristine. Is that blue top in 43 Spanish?

The Ideal mold should be great for paper patch. Be careful, once you get the hang of it, you'll be hooked. :)

Sure-shot.....love these old rifles and tools and happy to share them any time. I never seem to tire of researching and using them.

Randall_1611...ditto the sorry....we do seem to drift a bit whenever old Ballards are brought up but it's all close.....

max
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
No problem with the current posts. I enjoy reading about them too. If you have not found a copy of magazine on the rack, you could call the office of Precision Shooting and get a copy either at the editors office "CHAOS-IN-GENERAL" or the office mgr. "ORDER-IN-CHAOS" .....

I haven not checked the web site but if very lucky it might be the online article.
http://www.precisionshooting.com Good reading! Mike
 

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Thanks for your understanding Randall. We sometimes get a bit offtrack, although that too can turn interesting too!
Yes Max, the blue top box is a complete box of .43 Spanish. I got two of them with a Rolling Block I once owned. The RB was refinished, and it went away fast, but I kept the ammo. It was as important to my reasons for buying the RB as anything else in the deal.
 
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