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Marlin Ballard

4910 Views 15 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Hornhead
i have a Marlin Ballard heading my way, with a lyman RTB scope and micrometer target sights.
sights aren't original for sure.

i probably paid too much for it but i can't resist old rifles... particularily in 22LR.

serial number is in the 25XXX

any idea as to date of mftr?

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trying to post some pics here.

reading this forum it would appear there are no listings of serial numbers.

thought this might help.


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Since it has no screw retaining the firing pin, then I assume it's a #3 in .22 RF. They're neat gunbs, and most of the last Ballards built were #3's. All Ballard production was pretty much over by 1890, but a few were assembled into 1891 from parts found in the factory. Highest serial numbers found are around 36,000 if I remember correctly. I would guess your ser. # would be late 1880's, but couldn't get much closer since there are no Ballard records.
thx mm93

kinda what i gathered from what little info there is.
i am hoping it's a shooter cuz someone certainly took some pains to make it so. that's kinda why i bought it. those lyman sights and scopes were pretty much state of the art in their day.

someone liked it once, so now it's my turn.

i was once told by a wise man that you never own stuff like this, it's just your turn to look after it.
come to think of it ... i said that! ;D
"it's just your turn to look after it"

Yes, we are just caretakers. ;)
Re: Marlin Ballard queston for MM93

the seller wasn't sure if it was 22LR, but i have a feeling it might be 22 long as 22 LR came out towards the end of the ballards.

as the cases are the same length will i be able to shoot 22LR out of this rifle? my understanding the difference is only the weight of the bullet.

i would just be shooting target ammo, no hyper stuff out of it.

A really handsome rig. Enjoy!

(Is that a Vaver receiver sight?)
i guess i'll know what sight it is in a week. he didn't really say.

but i have a feeling it's a lyman. looks like one i found in an old gun digest. it'll be good enuff for these old eyes.

i hope that old scope works! ;)

i have been told it's an old lyman too.
Hornhead, thats a neat looking little Ballard ,you will have a lot of fun with it , and it wont cost a fortune to shoot it. Don
I would guess that sight is an old Redfield International Target sight. The adjusting knobs look like Redfield.
jdad said:
The sight looks like a Lyman 524.
Yes, I stand corrected! I think you're right about it being the 524! :)

my marlin ballard arrived today.

it does chamber 22LR which is a good thing.

the barrel was sleeved at sometime in it's life. is this common?
the serial numbers on the action, barrel & forestock match.

the barrel looks pretty pristine really , no leading or pitting .

yes the target sight is a lyman as is the scope (438 field). the scope is a hoot... definitely pre-nitrogen filled. ;D
the knobs turn but whether they actually adjust anything remains to be seen. i think it is a 2X. probably a marvel in optics in its day.

i was tempted to replace the front sight with a lyman target sight, but i'll see how it shoots first. it's probably more trouble than it's worth , i doubt this will be a "tack driver"... but it'll be a fun gun.

maybe i'll post some targets if it shoots ok. no reason it shouldn't be just fine.
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What a neat gun. Thanks for sharing it.
Not all that uncommon to find a old #3 relined, as they shot a lot of corrosive ammo and it took it's toll. If the reline was done nicely, it may surprise you how well it shoots! I think I'd leave the sights, since I'd rather have them than the filler screws to blank off the holes. The 438 is a fantastic scope! I'd bet it will adjust just fine if the knobs turn easily. If they don't, then give them a shot of lt. wt. oil and they should work freely.
the scope adjusted to zero so i assume it is usable. i tried oiling the turrets as suggested, helped a bit but i still needed a screw driver to turn the turrets. the good news is it does adjust and once centred i don't think it will ever slip out of adjustment. :)

looking forward to playing with it monday night with the target club.

the barrel sleeve doesn't worry me really. i am assuming whoever had it sleeved also had the target sight & scope put on it ... probably in the 1930s.

my enfield #7 is sleeved by parker hale and it's plenty accurate.

thx for all the info guys.

appreciate it.
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