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Saving a special Marlin Ballard

1664 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  mm93
Purchased this George C. Schoyen Ballard at the Denver gun show in May. Unfortunately the fine old Schoyen got into the hands of Bubba over the years, and was not treated well. It had 6 extra holes in the barrel, plus two extra dovetails. Additionally some fool got heavy handed polishing the barrel and receiver, and rounded over the barrel octagons too. The stocks are a very nice birdseye maple, but had some strange shapes to the forearm tip, and pistol grip. Schuetzen buttplate was badly beaten up, with deep gouges. The lever showed signs of a couple holes being welded up, and I guessed they were old holes for a Pope style grip adapter. Not exactly what most collectors (myself included!) look for, but it was priced extremely low for a Schoyen, and came with a case, 20x Lyman scope, B&M powder measure, plus some accessories and bullets. And the important Schoyen bore was perfect! ... CF4901.jpg ... CF4902.jpg

So I brought it home and immediately set out on a full restoration. I started out by stripping the metal, to remove the hot blue. Then filled the various holes and dovetails. Couldn't weld on the barrel, or I'd ruin the bore. So all fillers were driven or threaded in tightly, and then peened to fully fill any gaps. Once done, I draw filed the barrel to smooth the fillers, and also to return the sharp corners to the octagon flats. I also relocated one scope base, as the person guilty of d&t the holes didn't use the correct 7.25" spacing. The wooden piece you see in the case is my draw filing guide, to keep the file flat, and not roll over the edges. ... CF4917.jpg ... CF4918.jpg ... CF4919.jpg

I decided to install a Pope style grip adapter, and couldn't find one. So I bought a Track of the Wolf muzzleloader schuetzen trigger guard, and cut off what I didn't need. Then I bent and shaped it to fit the Ballard lever, and d7t the welded holes back where they used to be. ... CF4950.jpg

Once the metal was done, I sent it all off to Al Springer for color case, and rust bluing. Then set to work to try and take the "ugly" off the stocks. The inverted V on the pistol grip, and pointed/squared shape to the forearm tip looked too modern. So I reshaped both, and also removed some odd shape from the bottom of the stock belly. I gave it more of a traditional look, with an S shape to the pistol grip. And a Ballard like tip to the forearm wood. ... CF4951.jpg ... CF4952.jpg ... CF4953.jpg

Once I shaped and sanded the wood, I applied chromium trioxide to the bare surface to return the colors to matching. CT is an old muzzleloader gunsmith treatment that darkens the wood. Once color is reached it needs to be stopped, or it will turn dark green! I keep a cloth wetted with tap water, and wipe it down to stop the process. ... CF4955.jpg

I sanded and polished the adapter and buttplate, after taking huge gouges out of the Schoyen buttplate! ... CF4969.jpg

A month later my parts came back from Al in gorgeous condition! The barrel fillers are not totally invisible, but so close they're hard to find! ... CF4976.jpg ... CF4978.jpg ... CF4980.jpg ... CF4981.jpg ... CF4984.jpg ... CF4918.jpg

Once assembly was completed, I coated the receiver parts in Wipe On Poly to protect the case colors, as Marlin did with varnish. I like Wipe On Poly, as their satin looks good, and is very thin, so applying with an old T shirt material works best. ... CF4985.jpg

Hope you enjoy the process of saving this old Geo. C. Schoyen Ballard rifle!
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