Ballard Info

Ballards

Moderators: Regnier (gunrunner), JohnK, Sure-Shot

Regnier (gunrunner)
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 4261
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2002 2:33 am
Location: The Sunflower State

Post by Regnier (gunrunner) » Wed May 09, 2007 9:18 pm

Jim;

You will be very glad you got John Duthcer's book. He spent 20 years putting that book together, and it is by far, one of the finest and well written books I have.
You will be surprised at what John says about the split breech block. When you get your book, turn to page 295 for a picture and a what John has to say about it. He has never heard of a single failure. That same section describes how the action works, much like Vall describes.
Enjoy........

User avatar
marlinman93
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 2457
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 1:22 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Post by marlinman93 » Thu May 10, 2007 7:05 pm

The Ballard split breechblock has never been an issue as far as I know. I've never seen any evidence of failure, even when they were chambered for cartridges that shouldn't be in a Ballard.
You will never regret buying John's book, even if you weren't interested in Ballard rifles! It's quite possibly the finest gun book I've ever owned. The data and illustrations are as good as it gets in gun books, and much better than many of the "coffee table" gun books.-Vall
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!

Jim D
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:42 pm
Location: Cody, Wyoming

Post by Jim D » Thu May 10, 2007 10:51 pm

Rick, Vall;

With endorsements from the both of you, I can't go wrong! Thanks for your comments!

-jim

38-55kidd
Beginner
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 10:29 am

Post by 38-55kidd » Fri May 11, 2007 7:47 am

Jim,
A fair warning here. Once you have this book, be careful, more Ballards will want to follow you home! jon

Jim D
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:42 pm
Location: Cody, Wyoming

Post by Jim D » Fri May 11, 2007 9:59 am

Vall, Rick:

I looked at Dale Woody's web site and he has a couple of examples of the Pacific engraving and lettering. One example shows a stepped receiver with the two line J.M. Marlin lettering. Another example shows a stepped receiver with the three line Marlin Fire Arms lettering.

http://www.gunfancy.com/ballardpacificlft.JPG

http://www.gunfancy.com/ballardfirst3line.jpg

Just curious if there are any records based on serial number when the changes were made in the lettering?

-jim

PS: I decided to go with the 38-55 chambering. I don't want to stress the old gal out TOO much. I've got a Green Mountain barrel on order. I want to get it stocked and barreled before I send it to Dale to work his magic. I'm starting to get sweaty palms just thinking about this!

Regnier (gunrunner)
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 4261
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2002 2:33 am
Location: The Sunflower State

Post by Regnier (gunrunner) » Fri May 11, 2007 11:37 am

Jim;

I found a Rigby Ballard on page 228 that has the J. M. Marlin marking and is in the 14,000 serial number range. It is a two line marking.
I found a No. 6 1/2 Off-hand rifle (page 219) in the same serial range (14,000) with J. M. Marlin markings, and it too is a two line marking.
I would guess that is about as close as we will get without going through the entire book trying to find a gun in your serial number range (16,000) to compare to.
I hope this helps.

Jim D
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:42 pm
Location: Cody, Wyoming

Post by Jim D » Fri May 11, 2007 3:57 pm

Rick,

I should be getting the book here pretty soon. I've never owned a Ballard
before other than this action, and I've never had a gun engraved before so I'm really looking forward to this project. Thanks to you and Vall for all of your help and words of wisdom!

-jim

Hunt4em
Sharpshooter
Posts: 300
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:10 am
Location: SW,Mo.

Post by Hunt4em » Fri May 11, 2007 8:54 pm

Jim,
I bought the book at a gun show last year for $35, great deal, but now I want a MARLIN Ballard!! I know you'll enjoy reading, reading and reading that book. I can't wait to see some of your impressive color case hardening on that Pacific action. If by some very slim chance you don't just love it when your done, I would gladly take it off your hands. :lol: There is just something about the #5's that make me really want one!
Thanks, John

Jim D
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:42 pm
Location: Cody, Wyoming

Post by Jim D » Fri May 11, 2007 9:39 pm

Thanks John. The pressure will be on CCH'g a beautifully engraved gun!

-jim

Jim D
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:42 pm
Location: Cody, Wyoming

Post by Jim D » Thu May 24, 2007 8:33 am

Well, the book arrived yesterday, and I am impressed! It is very nicely done, with a tremendous amount of information.

One thing I didn't see in the book was a picture of an engraved Pacific in
the style that Dale Woody shows on his website. Is engraving appropriate for this rifle? I'm guessing if it's engraved, the stock and forearm would be checkered, but I'm not sure what pattern and LPI.

The book did answer my question on the markings. On pg 159 there is a
picture of serial number 18100 and it says that it was one of the last Ballards with the J.M. Marlin markings.

I appreciate all of your recommendations on the book!!!

-jim

Jim D
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:42 pm
Location: Cody, Wyoming

Post by Jim D » Thu May 24, 2007 11:15 pm

I must have skipped page 155. There's a picture of an engraved Pacific plane as day. Now where did I put those darned glasses?

-jim

User avatar
marlinman93
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 2457
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 1:22 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Post by marlinman93 » Sat May 26, 2007 12:41 pm

Jim, page 162 shows a checkered Ballard Pacific, which might give you an example of what pattern to use.
That same pistol gripped Pacific above it now resides in my friend's collection!-Vall
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!

Regnier (gunrunner)
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 4261
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2002 2:33 am
Location: The Sunflower State

Post by Regnier (gunrunner) » Sat May 26, 2007 5:17 pm

Jim D.;

As you have guessed by now, there are very few engraved Pacific Ballards. In fact, the engravers pull shown on page 155 is a L.D. Nimschke engraved Ballard, and as far as I know, the only Pacific to be "factory" engraved. Nimschke engraved a number of the "Long Range" and "Mid-Range" guns.
Page 156 shows a Ballard (20-4) with checking also. It also has a horn inlay on the forearm. I can get the information from George about the checking if you need it.

Jim D
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:42 pm
Location: Cody, Wyoming

Post by Jim D » Sat May 26, 2007 8:25 pm

Vall, Rick,

I guess that engraving my Pacific will be a dead give away that it's not original. That's ok, someday Woody may be as famous as Nimschke!
I absolutely love the engraving pattern shown in the book and that Dale duplicates. What better canvas for an artist than an original Pacific action?
Since this is going to be a "put together" rifle, I figure what the heck, why not do it up right.

I've been going over the book looking at checkering patterns. It's hard to tell what the pattern does at the bottom of the stock. There is one picture that shows a pattern wrapping around the top of the stock. You can also tell on stocks that have a flat bottom that the pattern does not wrap around the bottom. But on a "normal" stock with the later cresent butt plate, does it wrap at the bottom AND at the top? If it does, I'm not sure I can do that. It looks like the patterns use the diagonal border lines as the master lines, producing a very elongated diamond.

So, I guess the questions I have regarding checkering is:

1. Does the pattern wrap at the bottom or the top, or both?

2. What lines per inch did they use?

Also, Some forearms on the Pacific look like they are oversized and are rounded back into the frame whereas others look like they have a flush fit.
Is there any kind of a pattern here?

My serial number is just 21 off of the Montana #16819 shown in the book!

Thanks for your help guys!!!!

-jim

User avatar
marlinman93
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 2457
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 1:22 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Post by marlinman93 » Tue May 29, 2007 4:26 pm

Jim,
Take a look at page 276-277. There are numerous pictures of Ballard forearms, and checkering patterns. All Ballards I've seen the checkering wraps underneath the forearm. At least I haven't seen one that was just the sides yet!
Pacifics vary depending on barrel size. The larger barrels didn't have forearms that were flush with the receiver bottom, as there wasn't as much wood available. Smaller diameter barrels could allow for the flush forearm.
I'd go a little bit larger to avoid cracking in the future. At least that's what I did when I replaced the forearm on my last Pacific.
Most Ballards used 22LPI checkering I believe.-Vall
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!

Post Reply