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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not? (Read 4224 times)
Gunfunpow
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Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Jul 17th, 2018 at 3:13pm
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I listed this for sale on GB, but the response has been ho-hum, with yawns. The pros are it's Pope barrel, bullet moulds, false muzzle and starter, all matching. The bore is bright and shiny in 28-30 Pope. Cons are the refinish and lack of iron sights or scope, missing palm rest and loading rod. It does have the breech seater though.
So what I'm wondering is whether or not a prospective buyer would pass on it due to the issues it has, or the fact that it's a Pope would outweigh it's detractions. I feel sights and a palm rest are easily replaced, but the numbers matching accessories, not so much. I wouldn't post it here in the Sale section only because it would have to go to an FFL and I'm a private seller.
  
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #1 - Jul 17th, 2018 at 5:17pm
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  Why would it have to go to an FFL?
  

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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #2 - Jul 17th, 2018 at 5:23pm
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Gunfunpow wrote on Jul 17th, 2018 at 3:13pm:
The pros are it's Pope barrel, bullet moulds, false muzzle and starter, all matching. The bore is bright and shiny in 28-30 Pope. Cons are the refinish and lack of iron sights or scope, missing palm rest and loading rod. It does have the breech seater though.


Pros greatly outweigh the cons--as often as not, ALL the accessories have been lost, esp. the false muzzle.

GB is NOT the place to sell such a piece, & no FFL is needed to ship.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #3 - Jul 17th, 2018 at 7:59pm
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All Ballard rifles are antique, and none sold after 1891, so none need an FFL to transfer.
Some of the things you list as "issues" are non issues. Sights will increase the value, but lack of them isn't a detraction; just a little less money.
That gun originally had several Pope molds with it when Roderick was told of it in Jan. 1976 by Erlanger. He also mentioned then that it was set up for a scope, but no sights on it.
The chamber may be a rework, as the .28-30 is a Stevens caliber, and Pope used the .38 Ballard Extra Long cases necked down to make his .28 Pope Special.
More likely that it didn't sell on GB because the price was higher than folks felt it should be. Guns like yours are off a fair amount in recent years, and a Pope Ballard at $10k 5-10 years ago wont be near that these days. I've picked up three Pope Ballards in the last couple years and all three didn't add up to $10k. And one is a cased 3 barrel Pope Ballard with a lot of history. All three came with vintage scopes and iron sights too.
« Last Edit: Jul 17th, 2018 at 8:16pm by marlinguy »  

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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #4 - Jul 17th, 2018 at 8:32pm
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You have every right to brag, marlinguy, but I at least hardly call less that $10K total, especially when including your Pope take-down set, a going market price.

Also, where are the photos of the accessories, etc.?  Is there a third post somewhere?  Or have my eyes and brain finally cashed in their few remaining chips?

Bill Lawrence
  
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #5 - Jul 17th, 2018 at 8:39pm
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Well Marlinguy, too bad for me I guess. It's sad no one appreciates a fine rifle like this (except us, of course). Too much call of duty or grand theft auto. Not my kids, thank God! Anyways, I guess I can bring it to Amoskeag or some such and see how that goes. I would like to keep it and shoot it, but the butt plate and my shoulder don't play well together!
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #6 - Jul 17th, 2018 at 8:40pm
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Bill Lawrence wrote on Jul 17th, 2018 at 8:32pm:
You have every right to brag, marlinguy, but I at least hardly call less that $10K total, especially when including your Pope take-down set, a going market price.

Also, where are the photos of the accessories, etc.?  Is there a third post somewhere?  Or have my eyes and brain finally cashed in their few remaining chips?

Bill Lawrence


Sorry Bill! I went to his auction on GB and saw the accessories. Then forgot where I saw them and my feeble memory told me they were in the other part of his 2 part post.

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marlinguy
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #7 - Jul 17th, 2018 at 8:45pm
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Gunfunpow wrote on Jul 17th, 2018 at 8:39pm:
Well Marlinguy, too bad for me I guess. It's sad no one appreciates a fine rifle like this (except us, of course). Too much call of duty or grand theft auto. Not my kids, thank God! Anyways, I guess I can bring it to Amoskeag or some such and see how that goes. I would like to keep it and shoot it, but the butt plate and my shoulder don't play well together!


Shoot it off your upper arm as it was meant to be shot! Of course the pronged offhand buttplate will hurt your shoulder. Even with no recoil it will still hurt if you shoot it off your shoulder.
It is too bad that a lot of gun people these days don't appreciate a gun like this. But I don't think it's just a lack of interest, or lack of knowledge of these fine old schuetzen rifles. It's more likely that people look at a Pedersoli at $1200 used, and would rather pay that used price than the price of a nice schuetzen rifle.
A gun under $2k is not a hard sell to many folks. But start talking 5x that price and the wallets just wont open up anymore. It's just a limited group of buyers who love them, and are willing to save up to own one.
  

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Gunfunpow
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #8 - Jul 17th, 2018 at 9:09pm
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Hate to sound like I'm bragging, but my bicep won't fit in the plate, especially when I grasp the lever. Not really sure about shooting this rifle anyways as the rolling blocks and the billinghurst style rifle I'm building are taking up most of my time. Also, why would this rifle not need to go through an FFL?
  
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #9 - Jul 17th, 2018 at 9:11pm
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Thanks, marlinguy, for directing me to the photoset.  It leads to a question, which may just somehow be related to the Stevens stamp:  Just how often did our Harry supply more than one mould with a rifle?

Also with regard to the Stevens stamp (it bothers me, too), is it possible that Pope rebored the barrel on top of a Stevens' rebore?  Or better yet, since the serial number stamped on the barrel is slightly smaller and in a slightly different font than the number on the receiver, is it possible that the barrel is actually a replacement barrel made by Stevens and numbered to the gun (I do believe I've heard of such) which Pope, again, rebored?


Bill Lawrence
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Gunfunpow
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #10 - Jul 17th, 2018 at 9:43pm
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Wow, just got done looking over the for sale pages. Found a complete Ballard sight set in it's original case for only $4500.00. So you can find original sights for it!! If you needed them that is.

  
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #11 - Jul 17th, 2018 at 9:59pm
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Gunfunpow wrote on Jul 17th, 2018 at 9:09pm:
why would this rifle not need to go through an FFL?


AS Marlinguy told you, the rcvr. was not made after 1891; alterations after that date, such as brl work, don't count.
  
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #12 - Jul 18th, 2018 at 2:23am
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Redsetter wrote on Jul 17th, 2018 at 9:59pm:
Gunfunpow wrote on Jul 17th, 2018 at 9:09pm:
why would this rifle not need to go through an FFL?


AS Marlinguy told you, the rcvr. was not made after 1891; alterations after that date, such as brl work, don't count.

Depends on your state.  Ammo still commercially available could trigger FFL requirements.  Cry
  

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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #13 - Jul 18th, 2018 at 1:12pm
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It diffidently doesn't need a FFL as none of the early 28 calibers are available today, especially one made on the 32 Ideal case.

Frank
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #14 - Jul 18th, 2018 at 3:33pm
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Bill Lawrence wrote on Jul 17th, 2018 at 9:11pm:
Thanks, marlinguy, for directing me to the photoset.  It leads to a question, which may just somehow be related to the Stevens stamp:  Just how often did our Harry supply more than one mould with a rifle?

Also with regard to the Stevens stamp (it bothers me, too), is it possible that Pope rebored the barrel on top of a Stevens' rebore?  Or better yet, since the serial number stamped on the barrel is slightly smaller and in a slightly different font than the number on the receiver, is it possible that the barrel is actually a replacement barrel made by Stevens and numbered to the gun (I do believe I've heard of such) which Pope, again, rebored?


Bill Lawrence


I wondered the same things Bill! But if it was a rebarrel at Stevens, then it would need to likely be a .22 barrel. Then Pope would have had to rebore to a larger caliber that would clean up the Stevens bore and allow enough metal to rifle and chamber it in the .28 caliber? Not sure a .25 caliber would be enough metal left for Pope to rebore and re-rifle? Especially since at that time frame Pope wasn't working for Stevens, and Stevens used right hand twist, while Pope used left hand twist.
Then there's the question of why someone would have Stevens put a new barrel on, and then soon after have Pope bore and rifle it to another caliber? All strange stuff.
Since the .28-30 Stevens didn't come out until around 1900, and Pope left Hartford to go to work for Stevens a bit more than a year later. Why would he have done the barrel of such a new caliber so soon?
If it wasn't for the Hartford stamp, I'd understand if he'd done it later when he was in Jersey City. My thoughts are that maybe it was a .22RF Stevens marked barrel, and fitted to the Ballard much earlier. Then later sent to Pope and opened up to .28 caliber, and the HM Pope and barrel number 127 added when he did his work.

But considering all Ballards are antique vintage, and whatever .28 this one is wont be able to buy factory ammo for, it's certainly classified "antique" by ATF and not subject to ANY FFL transfer.
  

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #30 - Jul 19th, 2018 at 7:37pm
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Yes, it does have left handed Pope rifling. It's still nice to know all the facts about the rifle you've provided marlinguy, thank you very much for that. So, if I wanted to get another Ballard, not a full on schuetzen, but a sporting rifle type, which would you recommend?
  
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #31 - Jul 19th, 2018 at 10:16pm
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If you're looking for a Sporting type Ballard I would suggest a #4 Perfection, or a #5 Pacific. Lots of caliber choices. All forged receivers. Crescent buttplates, instead of schuetzen style.
One of my favorite Ballards to shoot is my Pacific in .40-85 Ballard. A decent Pacific is around $2500-$3500, and a #4 Perfection runs a bit less in equal condition. Of course high end guns of either model will run more money.
  

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Gunfunpow
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #32 - Jul 22nd, 2018 at 12:24pm
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Thanks again, marlinguy. Once I sell off the Pope Ballard, I'll be in the market for a Pacific.
  
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JLouis
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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #33 - Jul 22nd, 2018 at 12:46pm
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The location of the factory stamp can be a good indicator if a barrel has been set back and re-chambered as they were typically placed in the same location. If the stamping is closer to the receiver than is typical one might then assume the Barrel has been set back. Barry Darr as an example placed his stamp in a very specific place on his barrels and one can quickly tell if it is still original to his work or if it has been set back and re-worked by another.

JLouis
  
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marlinguy
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Ballards may be weaker,
but they sure are neater!

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Re: Collectable Ballard/Pope? Or not?
Reply #34 - Jul 22nd, 2018 at 7:23pm
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JLouis wrote on Jul 22nd, 2018 at 12:46pm:
The location of the factory stamp can be a good indicator if a barrel has been set back and re-chambered as they were typically placed in the same location. If the stamping is closer to the receiver than is typical one might then assume the Barrel has been set back. Barry Darr as an example placed his stamp in a very specific place on his barrels and one can quickly tell if it is still original to his work or if it has been set back and re-worked by another.

JLouis


Works on almost all barrels, except the Marlin Ballard. Since Marlin never used a rollstamp on a Ballard they have no way to determine if it's been set back externally. But almost any barrel will show signs of being set back under the forearm wood! They will often have two forearm screw holes if they are set back. One for the original location and another for the new forearm screw after setting it back.
  

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