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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ... (Read 7701 times)
Reverend Al
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #15 - Jul 3rd, 2016 at 1:25pm
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The trouble is that I'm up in Canada and with the current exchange most of the "oddball" sizes of Bertram brass are running from about $85.00 to $100.00 Canadian per box of 20.  So by the time you add the taxes and shipping .40-90 brass will run me $5.00 to $6.00 each.  And unfortunately I can't order rifle brass from Buffalo or any other American distributor with the current cross border regulations.  (Hey, you never know ... I could be a terrorist planning an attack with a 135 year old black powder single shot rifle ...)  Sigh ...

"Probably not going to shoot it THAT much?"  I'm hoping to shoot the "H E double hockey sticks" out of it!

Wink

I'd like to have at least 100 rounds of brass on hand for it with that in mind.  I have a line on some once fired Norma 9.3x74R brass for about $75.00 (Canadian) per 100 so it's probably worth getting some to play around with.  If the rims are too thin for my chamber then I can always shim them up a bit ...

rustyrelx wrote on Jun 29th, 2016 at 2:34pm:
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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Reverend Al
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #16 - Jul 16th, 2016 at 4:21pm
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Well, I just "pulled the trigger" on the purchase of 500 (yes, five hundred) rounds of once fired Norma 9.3x74R brass from a company over in Germany.  (It was hard to resist since I'm buying it for about the same price I would have to pay for 40 rounds of brand new Hornady 9.3x74R brass up here in Canada!)  When it arrives I'll see how the case dimensions compare to the chamber in my Ballard.  I want to try fire-forming it into some "shooter" brass in .40-90 Ballard.  If it doesn't work out to make cases for the Ballard then I'll just reform it all into full length 3" brass .410 cases instead ...
  
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #17 - Jul 16th, 2016 at 6:58pm
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I hope you keep the thread updated!    Will be interested in your progress.    I've got a 40-63 I just shot at the Quigley.   My bullets are a little over 350gr but it shoots another 317gr bullet I cast very well too.    I initially reamed the inside of the necks but eventually resorted to turning brass instead.    More uniform neck tension going that route with a groove diameter bullet.
  

Best Regards,
John
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Reverend Al
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #18 - Jul 18th, 2016 at 3:46pm
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Yep ... I'll keep you posted and let you know how it works out!  It will likely take a little while though.  The company in Germany wouldn't ship the once fired brass to me in Canada, so I had to get them to ship it to a friend of mine that lives in Hamburg and then he'll re-ship it to me in Canada ... and my friend is away on holidays until August 4th so he can't ship them to me until after he gets back home.  It's a bit of a convoluted mess just to source some brass, but at the price I'm paying for the 500 rounds of once fired Norma brass I couldn't turn it down ...  (Up here in Canada thanks to the current exchange rate 20 rounds of brand new Hornady 9.3x74R brass would cost me $75.00 Canadian!)

Shocked

SgtDog0311 wrote on Jul 16th, 2016 at 6:58pm:
I hope you keep the thread updated!    Will be interested in your progress.    I've got a 40-63 I just shot at the Quigley.   My bullets are a little over 350gr but it shoots another 317gr bullet I cast very well too.    I initially reamed the inside of the necks but eventually resorted to turning brass instead.    More uniform neck tension going that route with a groove diameter bullet.

« Last Edit: Jul 18th, 2016 at 11:25pm by Reverend Al »  
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Reverend Al
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #19 - Jul 21st, 2016 at 10:46pm
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A little more progress ... (I hope) ...

Yesterday afternoon I made a batch of home-made lube (50/50 Crisco / Beeswax and a few drops of olive oil) to pan lube some 400 grain RCBS .410 bullets to test in the Ballard.  I left them overnight for the lube to set up and I'm just heading down to the shop right now to cut them out with a modified .45-70 case.  I'll be waiting a while for the 9.3x74R brass to arrive so that I can fire form and test some, but I have 19 rounds of Bertram .40-90 brass that came with the rifle (# 20 had a vertical split in it) and I'm going to test load 19 of these bullets and shoot the Ballard for the very first time this Sunday.  I'll try shooting my 1885 High Wall in .40-82 WCF for the first time on Sunday too, so it should be a fun and interesting day!

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« Last Edit: Aug 11th, 2017 at 4:40pm by Reverend Al »  
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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 #20 - Jul 21st, 2016 at 11:12pm
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Your lube formula is close to what I use. I use 50% beeswax, 40%Crisco, and 10% Vaseline.
  

Vall
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bruce moulds
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #21 - Jul 22nd, 2016 at 4:28am
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al,
it might pay to only load 1 bullet first.
the reason is that if you have a true pp chamber, the cartridge might be too large in diameter to fit.
if that is the case, please do not rechamber it to take groove diameter bullets, as you will destroy a piece of history.
the 403 stuff so denigrated means that you patch to bore diameter as opposed to groove diameter, then you have the right chamber for the job.
probably will not need to size cases, just finger seat.
all you need is a buffalo arms 2 diameter expander to form cases.
keep safe,
bruce.
  

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Reverend Al
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #22 - Jul 22nd, 2016 at 3:35pm
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Thanks for the info.  Yes, I was aware that this is a paper-patch chamber (virtually no throat ... the rifling begins at the end of the chamber) and I don't have any plans to alter it in any way.  The previous owner was shooting these RCBS 400 grain bullets with fairly good success rather than paper patching so I'm going to try a few since he supplied these samples with the rifle.  I used a cleaning rod to measure COAL using this bullet and will load the sample cases with black until the bullet lightly touches when the cartridge is seated and will try that to see how it shoots.  (The PO was shooting about 80 grains of 2F with these bullets.)  I've been swapping emails with Red River Rick out in Winnipeg and I plan to have him make me one of his adjustable smooth sided paper patch moulds so that I can try making some traditional style 370 grain PP bullets for it.  Looks like the PP bullet should be cast at about .400" to .403" and then patched up to .410"?  Been contemplating trying paper patching for years, so this rifle will finally be a good excuse to "push me over the edge" and I'll give it a try.  I'll keep you posted ...
  
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #23 - Jul 23rd, 2016 at 8:40am
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Al,   I missed it if you said so earlier but do you still have the original owner available to you.   I be curious to know if he needed to size his bullets.   If he did, I'm guessing, since those came without lube, they are unsized.   Anyway, just a thought in case you have problems chambering the last quarter inch or so with the first dummy round recommended.   if so, a very slight sizing might address that.   Could be you won't even have the problem.   Odd how a small change in recipe can effect the color of the lube so much.  Mine is not so different but way yellower.
  

Best Regards,
John
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Reverend Al
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #24 - Jul 23rd, 2016 at 2:38pm
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Well, I loaded the 19 Bertram cases I have on hand yesterday and will test shoot them tomorrow up at our local range.  In the end I settled on loading a small, hand weighed "kicker" charge of 6 grains of SR4759 over the primer (I used CCI 200 Large Rifle) and then I drop tubed in 80 grains (by volume measure) of 3F.  When the bullet was seated to lightly engage the rifling it compressed everything slightly.  I had no issues chambering any of the loaded rounds so the "as cast" diameter of .410" doesn't look like it will be a problem.  I'll give these a shot (literally) and see what happens on paper tomorrow.  I'm planning on wiping wet and then dry between shots, but I'll see how dirty the bore is between shots to see if the "kicker" is helping to reduce fouling in the cases and bore or not.
I had the same thought after my home-brew lube solidified and now I'm wondering if the cake I had on hand was beeswax or not?  I got it from a friend and he claimed it was purified beeswax from a local honey company, but maybe not?  If worse comes to worse I'll source a new supply of raw, yellow beeswax and can add it to the existing mix?  I'll see how it works out tomorrow when I shoot these first sample rounds.
Again, I'll keep you posted ...

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« Last Edit: Aug 11th, 2017 at 4:43pm by Reverend Al »  
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Reverend Al
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #25 - Jul 24th, 2016 at 4:03am
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PS: I neck sized the cases using my set of RCBS .40-82 WCF dies, belled them slightly, and then seated the pan lubed, as cast, .410" diameter bullets and ran them up into the die just enough to take the bell off the case mouths.  Again, this is just the first round of preliminary testing and I'll see how they perform loaded this way.  Maybe on the next batch I'll try hand seating the bullets without neck sizing in the fire formed cases.  There are lots of different options ...
Wink
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #26 - Jul 24th, 2016 at 11:45pm
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OK, finally got this Ballard Pacific up to the range today and fired a few of the test loads I made for it and it's staying on paper, but the groups weren't stellar.  I shot a few "dirty" and then shot a few wiping wet and then dry patching between shots, but couldn't see much difference in accuracy to be honest.  Didn't get a chance to concentrate on best groups since I was hosting my young next door neighbour to a day of shooting instruction and coaching, so I'll take it up another day on my own when I can shoot some more serious test groups.  With the 80 grain load it has a respectable "push" ... with a bit more recoil than my 1885 Winchester in .40-82 WCF, but not too bad.  I'll try some 2F and 1F loads and see if there is much difference in the groups too.  Again, I'll keep you posted as I shoot it more ...
Smiley
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #27 - Jul 24th, 2016 at 11:52pm
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On a side note though, I also took up one of my 2 Swedish Rolling Blocks in 8x58R Danish Krag and shot it for the first time too.  The test loads were 22 grains of SR4759 (no filler) and an old Ideal 221 grain .325" cast bullet with an aluminum gas check.  It has a typically LONG throat and even seating that big bullet out with only the gas check and one band inside the case mouth it is still 90 thousandths short of the throat!  The good news though is that it put 8 of 10 shots into one nice round group at 50 yards with one flyer slightly low left and one slightly right of the other 8 rounds.  All that was with the crappy folding sights mounted on the barrel too ... no tang sight yet.  Looks like it really wants to shoot!
Cool

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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #28 - Jul 25th, 2016 at 7:40am
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Al, just FYI, last weekend I had the privilege of helping an gentleman work up a load for his grandfathers 1885 Winchester, S/N dates to 1886.  It is in 40-90 Sharps straight also and has the chamber and shallow rifling for PP bullets.  Best load, and it was remarkable, was the Lyman bullet similar to your RCBS except I believe mine is more of a bore rider.  I used Federal 215 primers and some of my old GOEX Ctg. powder, the good batch, at 83 grs. in some machined brass the guy had bought.  Lube was SPG and bullet alloy 25-1.  Without checking I think my bullet diameter is .409-.410.  Seated just off the lands at 50 yards it shot one ragged hole....then did it again. 

The gentleman did not have the time for us to load some more and put it on paper at 100 yds. and farther.  I sure would have liked to and learned if the accuracy would hold.
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: JM Marlin / Ballard No. 5 Pacific in .40-90 ...
Reply #29 - Jul 25th, 2016 at 3:53pm
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OK, thanks for the info.  I don't have any Goex Cartridge on hand right now, but could likely borrow a little bit from some friends that are more addicted to black powder cartridge shooting than I have been the past few years.  I do have a couple of part cans of 1F and 2F on hand though, so I'll try those next for comparison.  These initial loads with the 3F were just for basic testing to see what would happen.  I mostly shoot light smokeless loads in my older guns, but wanted to try some more traditional loads in this old Pacific Ballard.

There were about 10 other people up at our rifle range shooting yesterday and they all wanted to know what I was shooting after I touched off a few and created a "fog bank".  Most of them wanted to take a picture of the .40-90 Ballard cartridge next to whatever they were shooting in their rifles!  LOL ...

My young next door neighbour that I took up to the range for a bit of shooting instruction and coaching had a blast (literally) and really enjoyed shooting the variety of guns I brought along.  He especially like shooting my Springfield Armory M1 Garand and was smiling like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland whenever he fired the last round and the steel clip "pinged" out of the rifle and bounced onto the ground.

Grin

I taught him a little bit about basic shooting techniques (mostly proper sight picture with open and aperture sights, breathing, and trigger control), how to shoot offhand "standing on your hind legs", and how to shoot offhand using a sling to get a more stable shooting stance.  By the end of the day he was hitting our 200 yards steel gong with pretty fair regularity.  He's totally hooked now and can't wait to go up and do it again sometime soon.  Next time I'll take up a different variety of rifles in some other action types and calibres and we'll continue the lessons ...

Smiley
  
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