Saving a Schoyen Ballard

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marlinman93
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Saving a Schoyen Ballard

Post by marlinman93 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:43 pm

Purchased this 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!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... CF4901.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... 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.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... CF4917.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... CF4918.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... 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.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... 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.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... CF4951.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... CF4952.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... CF4953.jpg
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!

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marlinman93
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Re: Saving a Schoyen Ballard

Post by marlinman93 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:45 pm

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.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... CF4955.jpg

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

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... 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!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... CF4976.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... CF4978.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... CF4980.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... CF4981.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... CF4984.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... 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 *beep*, as their satin looks good, and is very thin, so applying with an old T shirt material works best.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/ ... CF4985.jpg

Hope you enjoy the process of saving this old Geo. C. Schoyen Ballard rifle!
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!

Brent
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Re: Saving a Schoyen Ballard

Post by Brent » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:31 pm

It is a heck of a nice rifle and one that really deserved the work! I'm impressed with how fast you turned that around. Nice work for sure.

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marlinman93
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Re: Saving a Schoyen Ballard

Post by marlinman93 » Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:19 pm

Thanks Brent! I normally get to know a gun for a long time before taking such extreme steps. But it didn't take long looking at this Schoyen and thinking about how poorly it had been refinished; to know it couldn't stay that way. I am very fortunate that Al always finds time to slip in projects that have already been polished out, and fairly ready to rust blue or caseharden. He did tell me he blocked a bit more on the barrel to get the corners even sharper, and help hide the fillers better.
I'm always pleased with his workmanship and quick turnaround on prepped parts.
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!

Wishbone
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Re: Saving a Schoyen Ballard

Post by Wishbone » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:23 pm

Outstanding work, Val. You never cease to amaze me when you set your mind to one of your projects.
You have reclaimed yet another classic.
Congrats -

WB
MARLIN - THE GUN FOR THE MAN WHO KNOWS

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marlinman93
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Re: Saving a Schoyen Ballard

Post by marlinman93 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:09 am

Thanks Wishbone! It was a fun project, and I hope to get it out shooting soon!
Have a #7 Ballard Long Range coming today, and hope it doesn't need much. (if anything!)
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!

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