Original Ballard Pacific information

Ballards

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Brent
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Original Ballard Pacific information

Post by Brent » Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:31 pm

I have a Ballard Pacific that I bought from a friend years ago. it's a nice rifle and I have hunted antelope and elk with it quite a few times. Because it is a .45-70, I would like to think it was once a buffalo rifle in its first life. But I really have no way to know, I just can't imagine why anyone would by a .45 in Wisconsin or Iowa or elsewhere.

In any event, it has the dreaded 3-line address, but it is a forged action. Its serial is 12442. I would love to know this was first sold in a hardware store in Fort Hayes or Dodge or somewhere to the west of me.

http://www.public.iastate.edu/~jessie/P ... 0small.jpg

Thanks for your help.

Regnier (gunrunner)
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Re: Original Ballard Pacific information

Post by Regnier (gunrunner) » Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:41 pm

Brent;

Unfortunately, the records for Ballard rifles is extremely limited. The only records for Ballards are listed on pages 142 & 143 of Brophy's book, and there are no records of where they were shipped. You say is has the dreaded 3 line marking, but both the J. M. Marlin and the Marlin Fire-Arms Company made 3 line receiver markings. If it is the Marlin Fire-Arms Company marking, then it will have been made after 1881, and buffalo hunting was done by then. The last of the buffalo herds were pretty much gone by 1876.
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Brent
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Re: Original Ballard Pacific information

Post by Brent » Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:05 pm

T Thanks Regnier, I was hoping to get lucky but that was not the case. Oh well, it is a very nice rifle and one of my prouder possessions.
The 3-line address thing is simply a reflex due to all the folks that tell me, "Oh oh, you have a nasty cast action. You better turn it into a wall hanger or a .22 rf because it is not safe." Many antelope would agree it is not saf,e at least for them, but I sure don't, as it is a forged action I remove the breech block and actually inspect it.

Brent

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marlinman93
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Re: Original Ballard Pacific information

Post by marlinman93 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:16 pm

Since your Ballard is a forged action, and a 3 line address, it would be a later gun also. Most likely a Marlin Firearms marked Pacific, and not JM Marlin marked? If it is indeed a forged Marlin Firearms Co. marked, then I'd doubt it saw use as a buffalo gun, as those with MFC markings will not be early enough to have been used during the heyday of buffalo hunting.
A guess could be made based on some known dates, but it will still be tough to get very close. Let me know the markings, and also if the top of the barrel has a caliber marking, and what that reads. It will help narrow it down.
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Brent
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Re: Original Ballard Pacific information

Post by Brent » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:17 pm

Yes, it is a Marlin Firearms label on it.

On the top flat is "45" and nothing else. There is no lettering on the barrel anywhere.

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marlinman93
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Re: Original Ballard Pacific information

Post by marlinman93 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:26 pm

Brent wrote:Yes, it is a Marlin Firearms label on it.

On the top flat is "45" and nothing else. There is no lettering on the barrel anywhere.
Have you looked for the serial number on the bottom of the barrel? Haven't seen a Ballard in .45-70 with just "45" on top of the barrel? I've seen them with no caliber marking, or ".45 Govt." marking. Since it's a Marlin Firearms Co. marked #5, it would date to after incorporation in 1881. Also, the highest number known on these 2nd generation Ballards is around 36,000 range, and that would be about 1890-91 when they stopped production. Since your gun is in the 12,000 range, a guesstimate could put it about 1/3 the way through this serial number range between 1881 and 1891. That would probably be in the 1885 range, but this isn't scientific, so it could be a couple years off either direction.
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!

Brent
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Re: Original Ballard Pacific information

Post by Brent » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:30 pm

I like your reasoning for dating. Sounds as good as anything.

I'll take a few pictures and post them tomorrow. The barrel seems a little odd with only the 45 on it. But it is hard up against the receiver ring. I'll post that and a few measurements and I'll look for the serial under the forarm. I don't recall what's under there. Been a long time since I pulled it.

I appreciate your help.

Brent

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