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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ... (Read 6440 times)
Reverend Al
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JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Jun 26th, 2016 at 3:21pm
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I already posted this over on the "Cast Boolits" site, but it was suggested that I cross post it here too.  Been "lurking" for a while since I've always been a single shot rifle lover and have a few in my varied collection of guns.

A few days ago I bought another one of my personal "holy grail" guns ... a JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific model!

This one is a .40-90 Ballard with 30" octagon barrel and the bore is in very good condition. (And no, it doesn't have a bulge up near the muzzle ... that is just a shadow in the photo I took.) The muzzle is a bit banged up, but the previous owner was shooting it using .40-90 Bertram cases (20 rounds of brass came with the gun) and the RCBS 400 grain .410 Silhouette bullet. He said it would stay on the 100 yard practice pig target at his range without any trouble, so I'll shoot it a bit on paper first before I make any attempts to touch up the crown. The buttstock, buttplate, and wiping rod are replacements and the gun is mostly medium brown, but it's nice and tight so it's nice enough to shoot, but not so nice that I'll feel guilty about shooting it.

I'll have to make a cerrosafe casting of the chamber to see if it is chambered for the .40-90 Ballard or the .40-90 Ballard Ideal "Everlasting". I suspect the latter since the supplied fire-formed Bertram .40-90 cases are swollen at the base ahead of the rim leading me to think it is either a big chamber or that it might be in the thicker "Everlasting" case, but a cerrosafe casting should tell the story.  The previous owner was shooting the Bertram cases with 80 grains of black and the RCBS 400 grain conventional grooved Silhouette bullet with good success, but I think this is a perfect opportunity for me to finally jump in and try paper patching smooth sided bullets.  (I've been reloading conventional cast bullets for years to shoot in many of my old time rifles.)

Is anyone out there shooting the .40-90 Ballard cartridge that can same me some time and offer any loading tips?  Since I'm up in Canada I've already emailed "Red River Rick" in Winnipeg to inquire about an adjustable .40 calibre paper patch mould.

Cheers,

Al
« Last Edit: Jun 26th, 2016 at 3:41pm by Reverend Al »  
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Reverend Al
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #1 - Jun 26th, 2016 at 3:24pm
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(I had to replace my original Photobucket pictures since they have now stopped 3rd party hosting of photos on websites unless you pay them a massive "ransom"!)

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« Last Edit: Aug 11th, 2017 at 4:24pm by Reverend Al »  
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Reverend Al
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #2 - Jun 26th, 2016 at 3:26pm
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(Replaced old Photobucket photos into the above post.)
« Last Edit: Aug 11th, 2017 at 4:26pm by Reverend Al »  
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Reverend Al
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #3 - Jun 26th, 2016 at 3:32pm
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In the end I did source a bunch of once fired Norma 9.3x74R cases and fire-formed them to use as "shooter" brass in my Ballard.  Annealed them about 1/2 way down and then fire-formed with a blank charge of smokeless and yellow cornmeal filler.  They form most of the way.  Then I load them with a regular cast bullet load and they blow out right down to the base.  The rims are a bit undersized, but as long as I ensure that the extractor is seated before I chamber a cartridge the fired cases extract without and issues.

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« Last Edit: Aug 11th, 2017 at 4:31pm by Reverend Al »  
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #4 - Jun 26th, 2016 at 3:37pm
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Oh ... the way ... it is serial number 7930 which from a "best guess" based on rough production numbers would put it at about 1877 or 1878 for manufacture?
« Last Edit: Aug 11th, 2017 at 4:32pm by Reverend Al »  
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Chuckster
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #5 - Jun 27th, 2016 at 9:06am
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I like Ballard Pacific's and that appears to be a very nice one.
Would not want to shoot it on a regular basis with the crescent butt-plate but it was built as a hunting rifle.
Looks like you need a set trigger adjustment screw and don't understand the insert behind the trigger plate.
Good looking rifle.
Chuck
  
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marlinguy
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Ballards may be weaker,
but they sure are neater!

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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #6 - Jun 27th, 2016 at 9:48am
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Chuckster wrote on Jun 27th, 2016 at 9:06am:
Looks like you need a set trigger adjustment screw and don't understand the insert behind the trigger plate.
Good looking rifle.
Chuck


What "insert" Chuck? Looks like the back edge of the breech block halves to me?
  

Vall
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rustyrelx
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #7 - Jun 27th, 2016 at 11:49am
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The factory standard projectile is 370 grains. I like that weight in the 40-90 but I will admit I like the 330 grainer also.
Black powder is about a must in this cartridge and to use a paper patch bullet it needs to have a perfect bore as anything less than will tear the patch and give irratic targets.
I use Bertram as thats the only game in town. Note that there are 2 sizes of the Bertram. You need the .477 head size. The difference between the 40-90 and 40-90 Ideal everlasting is the Ideal is 3 1/16. Your rifle is early enough that it might be one. Just stick a wooden dowel down the chamber end till you feel it hit the mouth of the chamber, using thumbnail hold on dowel at receiver end of barrel. Extract and measure. It won't be exact but it will tell you what you want to know.

  8 grains 4759  80 grains FG I use FG as its not so stout on the rifle and gets you there all the same. Its a powerful cartridge anyway.

   Don
  
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Chuckster
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #8 - Jun 27th, 2016 at 12:40pm
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You all are right, and I missed it.
My trigger plate extends back to cover that area and assumed all DST Ballard's were like that. (Ass-u-me)
Still a very nice rifle.
Chuck
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #9 - Jun 27th, 2016 at 2:42pm
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The bore on this one is very good which is why I thought I'd finally delve into the paper patching and see what happens.  If I buy the adjustable mould from Red River Rick out in Winnipeg I could play with bullets ranging from 300 to 400 grains and see how they shoot ... and how badly the big bullets kick!  I have my own cerrosafe on hand so I will do a casting to get the actual chamber dimensions and go from there.  Again, the bore is very good, but the crown at the muzzle concerns me a bit as it is rough.  I'll shoot it first, but I may have to clean up the crown to get really decent accuracy?  If the paper patched bullets don't shoot all that well I can always resort back to a conventional grooved cast bullet which is what the previous owner was shooting in the gun.
Thanks for the interest and advice everyone ...

rustyrelx wrote on Jun 27th, 2016 at 11:49am:
The factory standard projectile is 370 grains. I like that weight in the 40-90 but I will admit I like the 330 grainer also.
Black powder is about a must in this cartridge and to use a paper patch bullet it needs to have a perfect bore as anything less than will tear the patch and give irratic targets.
I use Bertram as thats the only game in town. Note that there are 2 sizes of the Bertram. You need the .477 head size. The difference between the 40-90 and 40-90 Ideal everlasting is the Ideal is 3 1/16. Your rifle is early enough that it might be one. Just stick a wooden dowel down the chamber end till you feel it hit the mouth of the chamber, using thumbnail hold on dowel at receiver end of barrel. Extract and measure. It won't be exact but it will tell you what you want to know.

  8 grains 4759  80 grains FG I use FG as its not so stout on the rifle and gets you there all the same. Its a powerful cartridge anyway.

   Don

  
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Reverend Al
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #10 - Jun 28th, 2016 at 3:09am
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PS: Don ... I'm assuming that your load is 8 weighed grains of SR4759 topped with 80 grains of FG by volume?  (Or are you weighing the black powder charge as well?)  Are you using a card wad or a grease cookie over the powder charge and under the bullet?  Any powder compression?

Thanks again for the info!

Al

rustyrelx wrote on Jun 27th, 2016 at 11:49am:
The factory standard projectile is 370 grains. I like that weight in the 40-90 but I will admit I like the 330 grainer also.
Black powder is about a must in this cartridge and to use a paper patch bullet it needs to have a perfect bore as anything less than will tear the patch and give irratic targets.
I use Bertram as thats the only game in town. Note that there are 2 sizes of the Bertram. You need the .477 head size. The difference between the 40-90 and 40-90 Ideal everlasting is the Ideal is 3 1/16. Your rifle is early enough that it might be one. Just stick a wooden dowel down the chamber end till you feel it hit the mouth of the chamber, using thumbnail hold on dowel at receiver end of barrel. Extract and measure. It won't be exact but it will tell you what you want to know.

  8 grains 4759  80 grains FG I use FG as its not so stout on the rifle and gets you there all the same. Its a powerful cartridge anyway.

   Don

  
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #11 - Jun 28th, 2016 at 11:29am
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Bulk and buld not weighed
  
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #12 - Jun 28th, 2016 at 11:33am
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Bulk and buld not weighed..

PS 40-90 Ballard is a favorite cartridge. Groove diameter should be .410  Forget about all the .403 stuff that everybody writes about. UNLESS you use a paperpatched projectile. And .403 would be a good place to start BEFORE you patch it.
I like the .40-90 Ideal also.
  
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #13 - Jun 29th, 2016 at 3:46am
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OK ... thanks!  I'm still looking into trying to get a few sample 9.3x74R cases to fire-form in it to see it will be possible to make some "shooter" brass that would be close to the chamber dimensions without paying $5.00 or more per round for cases that are a perfect fit!

Shocked
  
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #14 - Jun 29th, 2016 at 2:34pm
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I personally would not go that routebut if you must there are diffrent rim thicknesses, make sure you get the think one. $5 a round? never saw one that expensive. Get a box of Bertrams from Buffalo arms with the .477 head size.
  Don
probable not going to shoot it THAT much
  
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