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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Ballard-Pope stock replacement (Read 1922 times)
Gunfunpow
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Ballard-Pope stock replacement
Jan 7th, 2019 at 3:10pm
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So I've got this Ballard that has a 3.5" long buttplate. There's no way it fits my shoulder, and according to CPA's website, anyone else's  either. Since the forearm on the Ballard is incorrect and the buttstock is as well, I'm thinking of ordering a pistol grip buttstock and a correct Ballard forearm. I would like to use the existing holes for mounting the forearm and palm rest mount. I believe they are not what would be there originally but I don't want to swiss cheese the bottom of the barrel. Do I get a strong enough attachment using the screws for the palm rest and the one centered in the short forearm, even though the replacement forearm is longer? Basically I mean all screws are much aft of center for the longer forearm. Or am I splitting hairs?
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Ballard-Pope stock replacement
Reply #1 - Jan 7th, 2019 at 3:50pm
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Hard to say what's original for a palm rest since Marlin never offered them, and Pope didn't do many complete guns. I can tell you where my palm rests are on my two Pope Ballards, but they aren't the same as each other either.
As for whether you'll get a strong enough attachment using the forearm screw, and one more, that should work easily. The 2nd screw doesn't even need to attach to the barrel. Mine use the forearm screw, and a threaded bezel inside the forearm for the 2nd screw.
And the buttstock through bolt on a factory Ballard is pretty much centered on most models, but not on guns like the #7 Long Range, or #4 1/2 Mid Range. Those two use different drop to their stocks, so not centered on the through bolt.
As for a buttstuck through bolt for a Pope barreled Ballard, they can be anywhere.

PS- All Ballard forearm attachment screws are forward of center. The rear is held with the pin into the receiver face, so forward is normal. But the lengths of the forearms, and the point of attachment varies a lot. I once measured all of mine for a friend who wanted to know where to mount his, and was surprised to find about 5 different forearm lengths, and about the same number of common attachment points for the screws.
« Last Edit: Jan 7th, 2019 at 3:59pm by marlinguy »  

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Gunfunpow
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Re: Ballard-Pope stock replacement
Reply #2 - Jan 7th, 2019 at 5:16pm
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Interesting, on mine the two palm rest screws go into the barrel along with one forearm screw. I will have to dismount the buttstock to find out the through bolt story. Does the top of the stock comb center on the bore line or the tops of the scope mounts? Or, does that depend on stock design from CPA?
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Ballard-Pope stock replacement
Reply #3 - Jan 7th, 2019 at 5:29pm
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Gunfunpow wrote on Jan 7th, 2019 at 5:16pm:
Interesting, on mine the two palm rest screws go into the barrel along with one forearm screw. I will have to dismount the buttstock to find out the through bolt story. Does the top of the stock comb center on the bore line or the tops of the scope mounts? Or, does that depend on stock design from CPA?


I don't own a rifle with palm rest that both screws attach to the barrel. So yours sounds quite unusual.
The stocks vary on how much drop, and whether the drop is a slight angle from receiver to buttplate, or a more exaggerated drop. One thing I've noticed on almost all schuetzen or factory schuetzen stocks is the line on the top of the stock. I can lay a cleaning rod on top of the stock and the end will point almost perfectly at the center of the bore. Whether the stock has 1" drop, or 2" drop, they all come very close to that angle pointing at the bore.
But hunting type single shot rifles often have less angle to the stock and the top line often points an inch or so below the bore. If you look at these two factory Marlin Ballard stocks, you'll see the top line of these stocks points right at the bore center at the chamber.

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But this Pope Ballard I have doesn't fit the norm.It's comb points above the bore at the chamber end. Maybe because it was always a scoped gun?

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This Schoyen points right at the chamber as most do:

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Gunfunpow
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Re: Ballard-Pope stock replacement
Reply #4 - Jan 7th, 2019 at 6:32pm
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So, other than factory Marlin, it seems that the custom gunsmiths did the stock work to customer specs? If that can be judged looking at your  Schoyen and Pope as well as mine. Especially the shad belly on that Schoyen, or was that for just a position rifle? Would like to use a Pope styled stock, but with a butt plate that actually fits me. Those are beautiful rifles, I hope my woodwork is up to snuff! Thanks for the tutorial Vall, I certainly do appreciate it.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Ballard-Pope stock replacement
Reply #5 - Jan 8th, 2019 at 12:00pm
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You might consider a different buttplate if the gun fits you well now, but buttplate is not usable. What does your present buttstock/buttplate look like? If the buttplate has no return on top like the Schoyen I posted, then a newer reproduction buttplate might be shaped to fit it, and just two new holes needed to attach it.
I made up a "hard rubber" type Ballard buttplate for the Schoyen to use it for benchrest, or cross stick shooting. I bought the repro Ballard buttplate from Vintage grips and boiled it in hot water to soften it. Then with gloves on I held it to the buttstock and taped it in place until it cooled. Then I removed the excess material around the edges to fit it. I swap both buttplates back and forth for offhand or benchrest shooting. The Schoyen buttplate just wasn't comfortable off the bench.
  

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Gunfunpow
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Re: Ballard-Pope stock replacement
Reply #6 - Jan 9th, 2019 at 2:54pm
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Here's what I have now. It's hard to tell how it fits since the butt plate is too small. It does seem too high and it seems the cheek rest needs to be thinner. I was looking at the Ballard mid range stock at cpa rifles. I am leaning towards the schuetzen style butt plate as well, just one that fits better.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Ballard-Pope stock replacement
Reply #7 - Jan 10th, 2019 at 11:44am
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If you're looking to replace the stock, but get a more generic small schuetzen buttplate, the #6 1/2 Rigby, or #8-#9 Union Hill models all used the small Farrow stle.
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A Mid Range would be a shotgun buttstock, and usually have a different drop to them also. My #4 1/2 Mid Range has the through bolt hole drilled much higher to allow for the drop that Marlin used on them. You can see how far below bore line my Mid Range stock is:

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Gunfunpow
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Re: Ballard-Pope stock replacement
Reply #8 - Jan 10th, 2019 at 7:50pm
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I guess that I would like a stock that was comfortable for shooting from the bench and that was correct for the time frame of the rifle. How would I even tell what model this rifle is? I'm not so sure that what I want in a stock would even be correct for the piece. I reckon I've got to figure out whether I should put a stock on it that would be correct for its vintage, or something practical for shooting. Thanks for helping me out Vall, I really do appreciate you taking the time to respond and post pictures with examples, which is very helpful, thank you. Doug
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Ballard-Pope stock replacement
Reply #9 - Jan 10th, 2019 at 9:19pm
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Most likely your action is an old #6 Schuetzen, although which it is doesn't matter much. It's the heavy non rebated frame, and pistol grip, so those are typical of the #6. Of course with a Pope style lever it omits the original which would give another hint of it's original configuration. A plain 4 1/2 non engraved Mid Range could be another possibility, but they were loop levers and most were engraved, so not many plain.
Regardless of what it was, all Ballards used the same tang for the through bolt, whether they were straight grip, pistol grip, cast or forged. And since it's a Pope, I'd keep the present stocks and set them aside. Then stock it for the type of shooting you enjoy, and is comfortable. The factory Union Hill with small Farrow Swiss buttplate is a nice stock and buttplate that does dual duty for benchrest or offhand and wont be uncomfortable for either.
But if most of my shooting was off the bench, and I had the offhand stock you have now, I'd probably go with the Mid Range 4 1/2 with the shotgun buttplate. I love them for benchrest or cross sticks, and your gun is early enough it would match the era.
  

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Gunfunpow
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Re: Ballard-Pope stock replacement
Reply #10 - Jan 10th, 2019 at 10:03pm
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Great, thanks so much for that info! I took off the butt plate and it looks like somebody epoxied the bolt head to the wood. Tomorrow looks interesting! Would this rifle have had checkering? I've been trying to find patterns, but google gives plenty of pictures.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Ballard-Pope stock replacement
Reply #11 - Jan 10th, 2019 at 10:45pm
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Gunfunpow wrote on Jan 10th, 2019 at 10:03pm:
Great, thanks so much for that info! I took off the butt plate and it looks like somebody epoxied the bolt head to the wood. Tomorrow looks interesting! Would this rifle have had checkering? I've been trying to find patterns, but google gives plenty of pictures.


Most Pope rifles I've seen had checkering, and every #4 1/2 and #6 were checkered, as they were deluxe models. The #6 was actually a straight grip stock fitted to a pistol grip frame. Very unusual setup Marlin used for the #6 Schuetzens. This is my #6 Schuetzen with Schoyen barrel:

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It has the early Germanic style buttplate. My other #6 has Marlins later variation buttplate, and Zettler Bros. barrel. The buttplate on my Zettler Bros. #6 looks similar to your Pope.
2nd one down from top in this picture:

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JLouis
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Re: Ballard-Pope stock replacement
Reply #12 - Jan 11th, 2019 at 12:30am
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What can become somewhat confusing at times for those who might be new HM Pope never did any stock work only barrel  So when you hear something along the lines of what Marlinguy just previously mentioned about every stocked Pope rifle he had seen. Also please keep in mind that Pope did not have anything to do with the actual stock work himself and it's only being used as a figure of speech per-say.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Ballard-Pope stock replacement
Reply #13 - Jan 11th, 2019 at 10:14am
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Exactly. Pope never cared about doing stock work, or really didn't care about aesthetics, as those things didn't make guns shoot better.
I recall seeing a picture of one of Pope's personal rifles that appeared to have unfinished, or semi finished stocks on it. I figured he must have done them, and stopped whenever it reached the point of fitting him, and shooting well.
  

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Gunfunpow
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Re: Ballard-Pope stock replacement
Reply #14 - Jan 11th, 2019 at 9:40pm
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So did Marlin sell barreled receivers or only complete rifles? And if the owner wanted he could change out the wood for whatever they wanted? Or if they wanted a schuetzen style they could factory order it? Maybe I'm getting lost in the weeds. I'm going to find out if I can change out the butt plate for something that actually fits and then modify the current butt stock to fit me and the new butt plate. That would be the path of least resistance anyways. Those stock examples you posted Vall are quite tempting, and I may yet go that route. I don't want to ruin the look of the existing stock by installing a butt plate that looks awkward. Thanks again for all your help and taking time to post those pictures, I can't thank you enough, it's very helpful of you. Doug
  
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