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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Cast Ballard archaeology... a look inside (Read 9162 times)
kootne
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Re: Cast Ballard archaeology... a look inside
Reply #15 - Jul 10th, 2012 at 10:51pm
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a few years back I was working in a situation where I saw a lot of ballards go by and there was periodical discussion about the "ballard cracks". I never saw one cracked in the receiver ring as shown. I did keep track after a while of every one and some where I have a list with between 35 & 40 ballards, forged and cast, all calibers, some rebarreled, some totally original and 50% had "ballard cracks" meaning off the corners of the mortise for the breech block at 45 degrees angling out and back. these guns were in to be worked on in various ways. most owners didn't even know they were cracked and some were being shot a lot. I love a ballard too much to blow one up and if one has those cracks  i think they will make the best .22 you ever had. but lay off the BPCS loads. old guns were shot with lighter bullets,(England at one time used a rule of 20% heavier bullet in a factory shell if a proof shell was unavailble for reproofing so you know pressures are boosted) , now people use a thou or 2 over groove dia. old timers often used bore dia. bullets, twists are much faster, alloys tend to be harder,bullets are now seated into the rifling sometimes crimped. all this puts alot of  strain on an action that has design limitations. and I would guess 19 out 20 or more of the people who mess with ballards don't fully understand how properly fit them up and correct the many things that arise when dealing with a worn or mixmaster action. sorry for the rant if I stepped some toes, just my.02
kootne
  
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ssdave
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Re: Cast Ballard archaeology... a look inside
Reply #16 - Jul 11th, 2012 at 1:53am
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Well, I don't have a basement full of nice ballards like Val, but I'm a bit more curious, so I went down to the shop and took 2 that I have apart to see.  Less than 10 minutes to take one down and remove the barrel.

The scary thing is that if you don't really know what you're doing, there's no apparent reason to avoid a cast action.  I have what is probably a #2 in rimfire .22.  400 serial #.  I compared it to a pacific in the 12000 range.

Here's the pacific, it left the factory as a .45-70:

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Here's the #2 rimfire .22:

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The cast #2 looks like a better action to build a rifle on than the pacific.  Looks solid and sound and strong enough, in good shape, still visible case colors.  Easy to see how people get suckered into doing it.

Notes to compare to the rest of this thread:

No crack or thin spot on either action in the threads.  No cracking at the block mortise on either thread. 

dave
« Last Edit: Jul 11th, 2012 at 10:34am by ssdave »  
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RCRBanjo
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Re: Cast Ballard archaeology... a look inside
Reply #17 - Jul 11th, 2012 at 8:23am
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Seems to me that the receiver ring is very thin.  I checked my Ballard and there is alot more "meat".  I'm wondering if gunsmiths or the factory bored out the receiver ring to enlarge it so larger cartridges can be accommodated?  Thereby weakening the receiver.
  
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bluesman
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Re: Cast Ballard archaeology... a look inside
Reply #18 - Jul 11th, 2012 at 10:26am
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Wow...the plot thickens! I notice that the cast No.2 you show is also an early gun, but the frame is rebated which would indeed make it a wee bit thinner at the barrel hole.

Interesting stuff...would love a shot of the inside under the threads just to see if the core form used was alot different.

Also, have to agree with Kootne..the loads I was shooting in my old girl were exactly as he described.. heavier, slightly larger diameter bullet over maybe  10% more powder than it should have been.No cracks other than the one in the barrel threads though.

This is a fascinating thread,I hope it keeps going with more pictures and information...

Bluesman
  
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ssdave
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Re: Cast Ballard archaeology... a look inside
Reply #19 - Jul 11th, 2012 at 10:37am
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I took a couple of photo's of the bottom, but they were too dark to see.  I"ll take some more this afternoon outside after I get off work.  The hole underneath is essentially the same as yours, maybe not quite as deep.  I may be able to check it with a caliper to see how thick the metal is there.

dave
  
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