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Spud
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ID strange cartridge in Ballard Pacific
Oct 8th, 2019 at 4:02am
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Hello all. A while back I got hold of a decent Ballard Pacific with a near perfect bore. I suspect that this might be due to the odd cartridge it was chambered for. (On closer examination of the action I discovered a small crack at the rear RH corner of the breech block mortise  Smiley but after a discussion with Marlinguy, I determined it was fixable...thanks again Vall. It's back from that repair and I might cover that in the Gunsmithing section.)

Back to the cartridge & yes it appears to be completely original. It's a .44 and a Starline .45 x 2.6" case is a slip fit in the chamber. However on slugging the bore I found that the bore dia. was .422" and the groove was .434". A soft lead slug driven into the throat also revealed a long .35" freebore section (see photos below).
At first I thought I had a .44/75 but after a check of Donnelly's manual I'm now leaning towards the .44/90 or .44/100 Remington Straight. However, that cartridge used a bullet with a nominal dia. of .442" which would appear to be oversize for my chamber.
I had RMC make up some everlasting style thick walled (.020") cases based on my chamber specs (they chamber nicely) to accommodate groove dia, paper patched projectiles. What do people think? Am I on the right track? Also does anyone have a suggestion on what this cartridge is? Experimental? The amount of freebore has me puzzled. That's quite a jump from the case mouth to the rifling.
Spud
  
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Spud
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Re: ID strange cartridge in Ballard Pacific
Reply #1 - Oct 8th, 2019 at 4:04am
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And here's the case & cast of the throat showing that freebore  section.
  
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Spud
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Re: ID strange cartridge in Ballard Pacific
Reply #2 - Oct 8th, 2019 at 4:13am
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Here's the Pacific. Not often found out here in Oz....
  
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oughtsix
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Re: ID strange cartridge in Ballard Pacific
Reply #3 - Oct 8th, 2019 at 7:30am
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a WAG,  a 40-70 Maynard.   It's close,  but not exact. But we are talking about a a really old gun.  Or maybe it's a .43Spud   Smiley
  

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Bent_Ramrod
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Re: ID strange cartridge in Ballard Pacific
Reply #4 - Oct 8th, 2019 at 9:42am
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And Looking through Cartridges of the World, the closest match I see is the .44-2-5/8” Sharps.  This had a 0.446” bullet diameter.  The .44-100 Ballard would be more logical, but the case in that instance is 2.81”, a little long; unless it could squeeze into the “freebore” you have shown in your casting.
  
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marlinguy
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Ballards may be weaker,
but they sure are neater!

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Re: ID strange cartridge in Ballard Pacific
Reply #5 - Oct 8th, 2019 at 9:57am
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The groove diameter is what messes with any speculation of various cartridges it might be chambered for. It does seem to match the .44-75 Ballard or the .44-100 Creedmoor the closest. But both use larger bullet diameter.
The only thing I could guess is a special order barrel based on the standard Ballard .44-75 chambering. The small bore, and amount of freebore don't add up with anything I know of.
  

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SSShooter
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Re: ID strange cartridge in Ballard Pacific
Reply #6 - Oct 8th, 2019 at 10:32am
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Spud wrote on Oct 8th, 2019 at 4:02am:
On closer examination of the action I discovered a small crack at the rear RH corner of the breech block mortise  Smiley but after a discussion with Marlinguy, I determined it was fixable...thanks again Vall. It's back from that repair and I might cover that in the Gunsmithing section.
Spud 

Looking forward to your thread on the repair in the Gunsmithing section.
  

Glenn
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OLD TUCK
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Re: ID strange cartridge in Ballard Pacific
Reply #7 - Oct 8th, 2019 at 12:04pm
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You may have a Rifle that has been "Freshened" this is a process that used to be where a spoiled bore was rusted out from neglect. The Smith just set it up
and Bored it just enough to clean it and then re-rifled it. This created a standard chamber with an oversize Bore and Groove diameter. I own a M1886 Winchester in 50-110 Express. The Bore is beautiful, but the Groove size is .526. Now the standard for 50-110 or .50 Express was .515 Groove.
The first time I shot it the Bullets just Whistled down range and did not go any where near your shot was aimed. Slugged the Bore and found the problem. On thinking about it I cast some .515 diameter Bullets out of 60/1 Lead/Tin and loaded it with a Case full of Fg Black. Shot very good out to 100 yds and really did a good job on a Deer. So that might be the answer to your problem. HTH Regards, FITZ. OLD TUCK. Smiley
  
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Bill Lawrence
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Re: ID strange cartridge in Ballard Pacific
Reply #8 - Oct 8th, 2019 at 2:42pm
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I'm with Fitz on this.  In the days of softer barrels, "freshening" a bore was relatively easy to do; moreover, when gun owners were hampered by remoteness and shallow pockets, freshening was often the most practical thing to do.  Would that have described Australia in the late-19th/early-20th century?

Bill Lawrence
  
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oneatatime
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Re: ID strange cartridge in Ballard Pacific
Reply #9 - Oct 8th, 2019 at 6:52pm
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But he has a standard chamber with an undersized bore and groove not vice versa. Did they freshen the chamber and the freebore?
  
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wesg
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Re: ID strange cartridge in Ballard Pacific
Reply #10 - Oct 9th, 2019 at 4:45pm
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Its roughly a 1.25 deg leade. Could be whatever reamer was run in there had enough length on the leade to clean it up down to the smaller bore dia.

As to why? Screw up from the factory? Or the bore was recut and the wrong reamer, or the only thing available was oversize? Lathe turned cases fixes it now, and maybe then as well.

'Cheap' fix, rebore and rifle it bigger yet?
  
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oneatatime
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Re: ID strange cartridge in Ballard Pacific
Reply #11 - Oct 9th, 2019 at 7:48pm
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No fix necessary.Take a .44 Spcl/Mag seating die and open it up a little for a short neck sizer, just enough to hold a .434-.436 bullet, and let her rip. The bullet will bridge the freebore and all will be well.
  
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Hiwall55
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Re: ID strange cartridge in Ballard Pacific
Reply #12 - Oct 10th, 2019 at 4:50am
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I would send the barrel to Bob Hoyt to be freshened  up to .446/.438  and shoot it as a 44-100.
  
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Spud
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Re: ID strange cartridge in Ballard Pacific
Reply #13 - Oct 10th, 2019 at 5:21am
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Thanks for those replies & suggestions. The chamber & bore dimensions on this old Ballard are certainly a real puzzle but I'm determined to get this her shooting again. To that end I've taken oneatatime's suggestion on-board (thanks for that) and sized the the neck of a fired .45x2.6" case down a wee bit to hold a .436" 400 gr projectile. The photo shows the sized case with seated projectile in place (a good snug fit) along side a fired case. This set-up chambers OK so next stop is the back paddock to test it out. Will keep you posted  Cheesy!!
Spud
  
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Re: ID strange cartridge in Ballard Pacific
Reply #14 - Oct 10th, 2019 at 11:01am
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What is your Alloy? Lead/Tin mix? I feel that bullet with a decent charge of Black will Bump right up to Groove size if your Alloy is soft enough. Good Luck. FITZ. OLD TUCK. Smiley
  
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