squirrelhunter· Premium Member
Very nice project. I would love too see how it shoots. Really cool. What's years do you think its from?Picked up this old Ballard earlier this year as a project rifle. It has had it's buttstock chopped down, and likely started life as a Union Hill with small Swiss buttplate. Someone wanted a hunting rifle, so after cutting the top 1/3 off the stock, they chopped the buttplate area flat too. The result didn't look horrible, but the spliced wood was obvious, and the length of pull was an inch too short.
I attempted to make it look a bit better, but it really needed to be replaced. I sent word out amongst some friends and one had a decent buttstock, with enough patina to match the gun and forearm quite well! It needed a buttplate and grip cap, but otherwise pretty nice.
I ordered a repro Ballard buttplate, which had some extra curve, and boiled it to get it warm enough to flatten and reshape. Then did some minor inletting on the stock to fit it perfect. The lower screw hole aligned with the stock bolt, so I plugged the factory hole on the buttplate, and drilled and countersunk a new hole to mount the buttplate.
Had an old ebony grip cap that was large, and filed it down to fit. Then filed and sanded the buttplate to a perfect fit also. Came out looking like it's been there forever, and feels much better with the correct length of pull! Still need one more dab of filler on the buttplate, as it shrunk and left a little indent where I filled the hole.
Serial number indicates it's likely from around 1885 or so. Marlin almost never recorded Ballard rifles in their records, so tough to pinpoint closely. I think there are about 20 Ballard rifles in Marlin's records, and nobody knows why those were recorded?Very nice project. I would love too see how it shoots. Really cool. What's years do you think its from?
Afraid I it may disappoint you then! I shoot no black powder at all, so all my old Marlins get mild smokeless powder loads.Sounds good keep us updated on the range time with it. I'm a big black powder buff so this is close enough to peak my curiosity on how it shoots. Should be fun
No, all Ballards are black powder firearms, as the last built by Marlin were sold in 1890-91, so long before smokeless powders were around. I just prefer smokeless, so that is what I use in all my old single shot rifles.Nothing to disapoint. I know its not black powder firearm .
An update to this post, and gun. I recently received all the brass, ammo, and paperwork the previous owner accumulated over the 40 years he owned the Pope Ballard set!Here's one I just picked up this weekend! A Marlin Ballard 3 barrel set, with case, tools, and an old Winchester B5 scope! This is a HM Pope 3 barrel set, and after 30 years of hoping for a Pope Ballard, I finally got my wish!
Calibers are .32-40, .28-30, and .22WCF. The .28-30 is based on a .25-35 necked up to .28 caliber, and this is the only known chambering of this caliber in a HM Pope barrel.
This gun's case is marked LG Pridy, who was a barber in Denver, Co. in the late 1800's, and a member of the Denver City Gun Club when they won top US shooting team honors in 1919.