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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Ball & Williams Ballard sporting rifle .44 rimfire (Read 15045 times)
GT
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Re: Ball & Williams Ballard sporting rifle .44 rimfire
Reply #30 - Aug 26th, 2018 at 11:23pm
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The serial number on mine is about 1800 later than yours Al.  The lettering on the left side of my action is Merwin and Bray, the right side is Ball and Williams.  The other thing about mine is it's been modified for a center fire firing pin - I don't plan to convert it back to a nipple for a percussion cap - alienates me from this group somewhat...  Sad

Mine has the dovetail cut for the tang sight - part of the reason I was attracted to it, matches another that I have, imagine that - I've already made a sight for it and have one in process for this one...
Just have to do a chamber cast now and see what the cartridge is going to look like.
Greg
  

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Reverend Al
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Re: Ball & Williams Ballard sporting rifle .44 rimfire
Reply #31 - Aug 27th, 2018 at 3:53am
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Nice job on the tang sight!
  

I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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Reverend Al
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Re: Ball & Williams Ballard sporting rifle .44 rimfire
Reply #32 - Aug 27th, 2018 at 3:54am
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Do you happen to have any photos of the original Ballard dovetail tang sights?

Redsetter wrote on Aug 26th, 2018 at 10:03pm:
Reverend Al wrote on Aug 26th, 2018 at 9:47pm:
Were there period tang sights that mounted in a dovetail instead of being screwed on?  I'm thinking that is why it has the extra dovetail on the rear of the action?
  

YES!  This has--or had--a rare pre-Marlin Ballard tang-sight!  Why the hell would anyone remove it...except to sell separately?

  

I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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Redsetter
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Re: Ball & Williams Ballard sporting rifle .44 rimfire
Reply #33 - Aug 27th, 2018 at 7:39am
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Reverend Al wrote on Aug 27th, 2018 at 3:54am:
Do you happen to have any photos of the original Ballard dovetail tang sights?


Sorry, I don't.  Good photos of them in Dutcher's Ballard book, which I'll try to scan later today, unless someone more enterprising (I hope) beats me to it.  Very simple construction, friction adjustment, no windage; frankly, GT's beautifully-built sight is way too fancy for any humble .44RF; but if he could build that one, a copy of the original would be child's play.

  
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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Ball & Williams Ballard sporting rifle .44 rimfire
Reply #34 - Aug 27th, 2018 at 9:58am
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Nothing looks worse than a deteriorating nickel finish. (Why is this so common--was the nickel plating just too thin, improper surface preparation, etc.?)

The deterioration is mostly the result of early plating being done directly on the iron or steel.  Nowadays, shops generally put down an underlayer of copper for better adhesion.

Bill Lawrence
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Ball & Williams Ballard sporting rifle .44 rimfire
Reply #35 - Aug 27th, 2018 at 10:21am
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Reverend Al wrote on Aug 26th, 2018 at 9:38pm:
Unfortunately the auction house didn't take any photos of the other side of the action so we're not sure of the manufacturer until it arrives, BUT it is only a few hundred serial numbers away from my Ball & Williams Ballard so it MIGHT be the same maker? 



Yes, since it has tangs, it's not a Merrimack or Brown. Might be the same maker, but different makers may have restarted serial numbers, so could be a different maker also. R. Ball and Ball & Williams continued serial numbers since Ball was involved in both. Others I believe started their own serial number ranges.
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Ball & Williams Ballard sporting rifle .44 rimfire
Reply #36 - Aug 27th, 2018 at 10:26am
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The graduated peep that the pre Marlin Ballard rifles used was as Redsetter described, a simple sliding aperture. Just loosen the eyepiece and slide it up and down. The base on pre Marlin Ballards was a dovetail, whereas Marlins always used 1.125" hole spacing bases.
This sight is on my #1 Rolling Block in .22RF, but the staff is similar to what the earlier Ballard used.

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Reverend Al
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Re: Ball & Williams Ballard sporting rifle .44 rimfire
Reply #37 - Aug 27th, 2018 at 1:48pm
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With a little bit of digging I found that S&S offers a reproduction dovetail Ballard sight for $85 so I sent my friend that bought the rifle the link.

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I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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Redsetter
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Re: Ball & Williams Ballard sporting rifle .44 rimfire
Reply #38 - Aug 27th, 2018 at 2:02pm
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Reverend Al wrote on Aug 27th, 2018 at 1:48pm:
With a little bit of digging I found that S&S offers a reproduction dovetail Ballard sight for $85 so I sent my friend that bought the rifle the link.


Wow--a major discovery!  Wouldn't have thought the potential demand was great enough to justify a repro selling for even twice that much.

I believe some Frank Wessons were equipped with the same sight, so maybe it's the combined demand that led to this repro.  Though I don't need one at all, I tempted to buy one while they're still available at such a fair price. 

By the way, on the one I already have, I found that placing a thin O-ring between the aperture & the staff made it easier to keep some tension on the aperture while adjusting it; without a screw-adjustment of some kind, it's difficult to make small changes in elevation with this sight.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Ball & Williams Ballard sporting rifle .44 rimfire
Reply #39 - Aug 27th, 2018 at 4:29pm
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Have to watch the scale on the side when adjusting this style of sight as they can suddenly move and surprise you. If you note the marks and know where you started then the surprise sudden movement wont be a big deal. I had to learn the hard way, so I write it down in my notebook before loosening the eyepiece.
  

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powderman
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Re: Ball & Williams Ballard sporting rifle .44 rimfire
Reply #40 - Aug 27th, 2018 at 5:56pm
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Here are a couple of old Ballards I have. A Merrimack No.44 and a R Ball No.46.

The R Ball has original nickel plate on the frame, breech block, trigger, forend cap, and buttplate. Lever and hammer casehardened. Barrel blued. The original tang sight has no graduations, otherwise like the reproduction sight mentioned in Reply # 37.

Regards,
Powderman

« Last Edit: Aug 28th, 2018 at 8:30pm by powderman »  
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Reverend Al
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Re: Ball & Williams Ballard sporting rifle .44 rimfire
Reply #41 - Aug 27th, 2018 at 10:22pm
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Very nice wood on the nickel Ballard ...
  

I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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powderman
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Re: Ball & Williams Ballard sporting rifle .44 rimfire
Reply #42 - Aug 28th, 2018 at 8:49pm
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The wood is nicer than shows in the photos. The varnish has darkened and clouded with age making the grain hard to see unless the gun is in hand.

The nickel plate on the iron parts is in unusually good condition. The nickel plate on the brass forend cap and brass buttplate have lost about 30% due to large pieces flaking off the brass. 

Regards,
Powderman
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: Ball & Williams Ballard sporting rifle .44 rimfire
Reply #43 - Aug 28th, 2018 at 9:40pm
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Actually, even though it is a bit dark from age it sure doesn't take much imagination to see just how much feathering there is in the buttstock just behind the wrist of the action.  That is a beautiful piece of wood ...
  

I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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JLouis
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Re: Ball & Williams Ballard sporting rifle .44 rimfire
Reply #44 - Aug 28th, 2018 at 9:46pm
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Yes indeed!
  

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