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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not? (Read 4159 times)
marlinguy
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #15 - Jul 18th, 2018 at 3:39pm
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PS- It may also be that this Stevens marked barrel was fitted by a gunsmith, and simply a donor barrel. And the gunsmith marked the gun's serial number on it. Then later was rebored and rifled by Pope.
I've seen numerous factory Stevens fitted barrels to other maker's guns. But all had some stamp on them indicating they were rebarreled, or re-rifled by J Stevens. Most out where the stamp showed anyone who looked at it. But a few had the stamp hidden. Never saw one that just had Stevens normal marking, and not an indication of them doing a barrel swap or rebore.
  

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frnkeore
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #16 - Jul 18th, 2018 at 8:33pm
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Since we are all wildly speculating on this, maybe, someone had Stevens but a unrifled barrel on it because it would be a cheaper overall cost, maybe Pope told him to do it because he was to busy and that would save his time. I say this because that is the only Stevens stamp, with no Stevens caliber markings.

Maybe the guy wanted to use the rifle for other purposes than Schuetzen and wanted other molds for that purpose or, since I see one is a lighter bullet, maybe he wanted lower recoil option, for his OH.

Frank
  

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Redsetter
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #17 - Jul 18th, 2018 at 9:10pm
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frnkeore wrote on Jul 18th, 2018 at 8:33pm:
Since we are all wildly speculating on this, maybe, someone had Stevens but a unrifled barrel on it because it would be a cheaper overall cost, maybe Pope told him to do it because he was to busy and that would save his time.
Frank


Actually, I thought Pope routinely used bored, but unrifled, barrels obtained from the major barrel makers to spare himself from wasting the time required for deep-hole drilling.
  
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #18 - Jul 18th, 2018 at 10:46pm
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Thanks so much to all who contributed to this post, especially marlinguy, for his breadth of knowledge. I am very grateful for everyone's  input and have learned quite a bit about my Ballard. It will remain for sale on Gun Broker and IT WON'T HAVE TO SHIP TO AN FFL. As so many have remarked.
  
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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #19 - Jul 18th, 2018 at 10:46pm
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I went back and scrutinized the Gunbroker photo set and will make these two notes.  First, the two-line Ballard markings are on the left side of the receiver, only very slightly softened.  Second, the Stevens stamp is partially obscured by the scope block, but you can still see the beginning of the 1894 patent notation - i.e., the stamp is the one you'd normally see on any finished Model 44 barrel.

Now, the stamp used when Stevens rebored and rerifled a barrel is completely different and well known.  But what did Stevens put on another company's barrel that Stevens bored and rifled at the request of the origin company's client?  And, perhaps more germane to our speculations, what did Stevens put on blank or rough-bored barrels that were supplied to outside barrel makers like Pope?

One possibility is that for those infrequent occurrences, they just used their standard stamp.

Last, for what little it's worth, that the barrel has no caliber markings makes me tend to favor the barrel leaving Stevens at most roughly bored.

Bill Lawrence
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #20 - Jul 19th, 2018 at 11:22am
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I have seen records of Pope buying numerous barrels from Winchester. Also seen records of Pope buying complete 1885 Winchester rifles from Winchester, and having "smooth bore" which indicates they were likely not chambered or rifled.
I've not heard of Pope buying any barrels from Stevens, but doesn't mean he didn't. Just not sure why he'd buy Stevens barrels when he seems to buy so many Winchester barrels at that time?
As far as how Stevens marked barrels they bored or rehambered on other maker's guns, it wasn't any different than those they did on their own barrels from what I've seen, when they were rebored or reworked. I've looked at Stevens, Ballard, Winchester, and Remington single shots with barrels reworked by Stevens, and the only differences I saw were based on what they did. Some were marked to indicate they were "re-rifled", while some indicated "rebored". Not sure why they changed terminology on one or the other, but seemed to indicate a barrel bored out and rifled by Stevens.
I've also seen a couple marked as "re-barreled" by Stevens, which I assume meant they put a new barrel on the gun, and not just reworked the maker's barrel or bore. One thing I have seen on those rebarreled by Stevens was they had Stevens shaped forearms also. My guess is when a new barrel was made and installed at Stevens, the workmen also put a new Stevens style forearm on it too.
The Pope Ballard's barrel in this post is unusual in it doesn't have any caliber marking (as Bill mentioned) and I can't say I've ever seen a Stevens barrel without a caliber marking? But if this gun came off a Stevens rifle, it may have been shortened to remove the threads and rethread to fit the Ballard before Pope rebored it. If that's the case, the caliber markings may have been lost when it was set back.
  

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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #21 - Jul 19th, 2018 at 2:03pm
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I wasn't apparently clear enough in my previous post.  While I did mention Stevens reboring and rerifling barrels, my primary question was how did Stevens mark barrels on other company's guns that Stevens bored and rifled and then returned-to-sender?  For example, I know of a hiwall where the client required and likely paid Winchester to have Stevens bore and rifle the barrel that went on the client's gun.  (And, no, I don't know which company supplied the barrel blank.)

Or put it this way: we all know of the Stevens "rebored and rerifled by" stamp; Vall states he's seen a "rebarreled by" stamp; therefore, is there also a "rifled by" stamp?

Still, that's likely all moot, for the stamp on the subject barrel is the standard early J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co. 1894 patent stamp.

Aha!  Could the barrel have been "donated" by a Stevens rifle?  Vall toys with that idea by pointing out a "donated" barrel would likely have been set it back in order to thread and fit it to the Ballard action, and that might have erased the original caliber markings.  (And Bill says the Ballard's serial number could have been added whenever by whomever, but not typically by Pope.)

Arguing for that idea is that the forearm mounting screw that is not also one of the palm rest screws is unusually close to the action.  Arguing against it, and fairly strongly, I'd say, is that the barrel is currently 30" long.  Perhaps Gunfunpow would be so nice as to remove the forearm and account for all the screw holes in the barrel's bottom flat?

Bill Lawrence
  
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #22 - Jul 19th, 2018 at 3:38pm
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Happy to oblige, Bill. Sorry for the blurry photos, this tablet doesn't have a very good camera, well, not for what I'm asking it to do anyways. The top barrel marking is just the 1894 patent date, no caliber marking. There are four drilled and tapped holes for the forearm screws. The hole furthest from the breech is not tapped, looks like it's the depth of the drill point. There is a corresponding fourth hole in the forearm for the extra screw hole in the barrel. So the two screws for the palm rest bracket and the small blued screw all hold on the forearm, with the extra hole being under said bracket.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #23 - Jul 19th, 2018 at 5:10pm
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Bill, I own a Ballard #3 I've mentioned previously in other posts that was rebored and rifled by Stevens. It is still a Marlin Ballard barrel, but changed from .22 Long to .25 Stevens RF.
It retains the original Ballard barrel, and no markings show on the surfaces not covered by the forearm wood. But under the forearm wood on the 45 degree flat is the caliber marked, ".25 RF" in typical Stevens script. Then next to that is marked "Rebored by J Stevens Arms".
No other numbers except the original serial number it always had from Marlin.
  

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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #24 - Jul 19th, 2018 at 5:17pm
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Many thanks.  Unfortunately, all the extra tapped hole between those for the palm rest assuredly tells is that at one time this barrel carried a different forearm, which we already strongly suspected (remember the reported "ugly" one?).  At least for me, the "extra" hole's position is not by itself indicative of a barrel set-back.  However, and others can chime in here, if you took the hole nearest the receiver plus the "extra" one as being those for a Stevens "double screw" forearm, a set-back is more promising.

Note also that this is a full-octagonal barrel, a special-order that's quite rare.  And if a customer wanted a full-octagon barrel of at least # 4 and likely # 5 weight, he might well have also gone for a barrel at least 32" long (which if memory serves was the maximum length Stevens could make).

I'm beginning to like the idea of the barrel being a "donated" Stevens barrel that Pope worked his magic on, possibly after mating it to the Ballard action.

Bill Lawrence
« Last Edit: Jul 19th, 2018 at 5:24pm by Bill Lawrence »  
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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #25 - Jul 19th, 2018 at 5:27pm
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Thanks, Vall, for the clarification.  Oh, and now that you've rementioned it, I still want that very nice but "too bad it's a rimfire" Ballard.

Bill Lawrence
  
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #26 - Jul 19th, 2018 at 5:41pm
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This is all very interesting, but, is there any way to know conclusively? Probably not, but it would be nice to know.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #27 - Jul 19th, 2018 at 5:45pm
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Bill Lawrence wrote on Jul 19th, 2018 at 5:27pm:
Thanks, Vall, for the clarification.  Oh, and now that you've rementioned it, I still want that very nice but "too bad it's a rimfire" Ballard.

Bill Lawrence


With or without the Stevens scope Bill? Wink

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I'm kinda #3 Ballard poor, so maybe I could get something else with the funds?
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #28 - Jul 19th, 2018 at 5:52pm
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Gunfunpow wrote on Jul 19th, 2018 at 5:41pm:
This is all very interesting, but, is there any way to know conclusively? Probably not, but it would be nice to know.


No, but it's always fun to speculate and guess. There are some things that can be documented, and some educated guesses made. But it still comes down to a fair number of unknowns.
Obviously we know it wasn't over a certain bore size when it came to Pope for his treatment. And we might assume that the #127 is a Pope number. I'd guess you checked the bore before purchasing it and made sure it was his left hand twist and Pope style rifling?
Beyond that there's no way to know who did anything else on the barrel, or even if Pope fitted the barrel to the Ballard, or if it came fitted and he simply bored and rifled it?
Since it was documented by Erlanger and Roderick back in 1976, I'd guess at least Erlanger was sure it was Pope's work on the bore and rifling. But since there's no mention of any other work in Warren Greatbatch's books, I can't tell you anything else for sure.
  

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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #29 - Jul 19th, 2018 at 7:12pm
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With the scope, assuming its clear with good cross hairs (whine, whimper!)

Is the scope a # 161?  And did the mounts just happen to fit the Ballard dovetail cuts?

If you really are interested in selling your #3, PM me with condition particulars and your price and I'll hope that I don't suffer the infamous "Big One, Elizabeth!"

Bill Lawrence
  
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