Ballard receiver with forging flaw in receiver

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pjogrinc
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Ballard receiver with forging flaw in receiver

Post by pjogrinc » Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:44 pm

I've seen several Ballards with forging flaws in the steel on different parts of the receiver. All looked like cracks with the metal missing, but closer inspection revealed that it was a forging flaw in the steel.

How common is this on the old Ballards and since most of the forging flaws where lengthwise in various locations of the receiver, none around breach area or area back of the hammer block,

Would these guns still be safe to shoot with original black powder loads ??

Hunt4em
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Re: Ballard receiver with forging flaw in receiver

Post by Hunt4em » Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:01 pm

I think you are referring to casting flaws, as when dealing with Ballards the term "Forged" refers to a solid block of steel being machined. If the flaw looked as if it was missing metal, I wouldn't even think of shooting anything bigger than a .22 lr. If it was chambered for a larger caliber I wouldn't own it unless it had sentimental value to me. The new Ballard Rifle Co. won't chamber a cast action in anything larger than .22lr and I'm sure that has a lot of legal liability issues behind it, but you just can't say for sure if a cast action will hold up to the pressure.
John

Jim D
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Re: Ballard receiver with forging flaw in receiver

Post by Jim D » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:25 pm

You will find forging "striations" in a number of forged receivers. Marlins, Winchesters, Ballards all have them. Some times they are visible, sometmes they are not. It seems that the more a forged receiver is worn and exposed to oxidation, the more the striations show up. My take on this is that as the billet is forged , folded and hammered, and the striations are oxidized surfaces that are folded over and forged into the metal. If the receiver is cast, there are no striations. My bet is that if you are seeing striations in your Ballard receiver, it is forged and not cast. The forged receivers, in spite of the forging striations, are stronger than the cast receivers.

-jim

pjogrinc
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Re: Ballard receiver with forging flaw in receiver

Post by pjogrinc » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:38 pm

Well, had a metal engineer look at the receiver and he said that it was caused by 'scale' being hammered/folded into the metal during the forging process. He measured the width and depth with some kind of machine that uses optics and laser to measure surface variations/defects. The widest spot he could find was 0.00178 inches wide and max depth was 0.00378 inches. He blasted it with a laser on another machine in the deepest spot to a depth of .00527 inches and then checked it. Good metal below was his comment. He said not to worry about it as structurally its no worse then a gouge in the metal.

Maybe I got over concerned when I looked at it with a 10X jewlers loop !!!! As to the naked eye, it looks like a scratch.

Jim D
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Re: Ballard receiver with forging flaw in receiver

Post by Jim D » Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:13 pm

Scale is oxidation. Once again, any forged receiver from the period has forging striations. It is due to forging steel in an open air environment. Those striations can run all the way through the steel. As the billet is forged to make a receiver, the striation planes are bent and curved as the metal flows during the forging process. This causes what appears to be curving lines on the surface. When the receiver is polished, the lines are invisible. Abrasion, etching or case hardening can make them visible again since the oxidation plane is softer than the adjacent steel, and wears or erodes faster.

-jim

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marlinman93
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Re: Ballard receiver with forging flaw in receiver

Post by marlinman93 » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:04 pm

Guess I need to look at mine closer, as I've never noticed these striations on any of my Ballards. Now my 1881's are a different story. Almost all of them have striations of some kind, and I've never worried about them, as I've seen so many others with this.
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!

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