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GT
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Range report for another ugly Ballard
Jul 26th, 2021 at 12:02am
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To appease some of the folks I shoot with, I did a little more work on my second striker Ballard - last night I "rough finished" the wood AND made a screw and attached the forend...   
I convinced the RO today that the Ballard is a service rifle of sorts and shot it in a reduced SR match.  The prone target shows promise, the prone rapid fire was bit of a disaster -DNF, but the sitting rapid fire was fairly good.  Awful hand didn't do so well either - here's a couple targets worth sharing Smiley
Caliber is a 40-70SS, bullet is a 455 gr BACO Nasa, burning 5744 powder.
Sorry if some of this is redundant, I think I posted something about how this rifle shoots in the past but I can't remember it... something about time and age involved here...
  

"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk"  T. A. Edison
"The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right" M.T.
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KWK
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Re: Range report for another ugly Ballard
Reply #1 - Jul 29th, 2021 at 4:38pm
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GT wrote on Jul 26th, 2021 at 12:02am:
... I think I posted something about how this rifle shoots in the past but I can't remember it...


Neither can I. Please tell us more about the rifle. That's interesting metal showing on the lower breech, for sure.
  

Karl
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bobw
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Re: Range report for another ugly Ballard
Reply #2 - Jul 29th, 2021 at 9:17pm
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Greg, what’s the wood handle laying in the case?  And is that a quick takedown screw on the lever?
Does looks like you’re having fun!
  
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Re: Range report for another ugly Ballard
Reply #3 - Jul 29th, 2021 at 11:37pm
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An elegant rifle and I'm so glad you finally made a forearm screw for it (though it appears one of your classic inner tube bands for securing forearms is being held in reserve, just in case).  And the damascus breech block sure does set it off.

Bill Lawrence
  
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GT
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Re: Range report for another ugly Ballard
Reply #4 - Jul 30th, 2021 at 12:01am
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Karl,
This is the second striker Ballard I built, the first one I did was a 22rf and I drug that post on for quite a while - to the point it wore  on me so I can only imagine how some of the members here felt.  This one is the second striker Ballard and I did it in a 40-70SS.  There was something about it back in the gunsmithing section, or maybe I tagged it in with the first post, I can't recall.  The striker is a design my son and I came up with.  The side plate is a piece of Damascus, the breech block is made from 8620 alloy and all the moving parts are made out of 17-4 stainless including the sliding extractor and arm, except the triggers- they are mild steel and case hardened.
I lost some motivation with this one until I decided to take it to a match over the 4th of July.  It was a Mile Match, lever gun and Safari animal shoot.  My intention was to shoot a Big Fifty I built at the match, and did, right up until I broke the rear sight off the morning before the match started.  No worries, I had a extra long staff made up for this 70 so with nothing to lose, I shot this one at the mile, and the safari match (311yds out to 1026yds) We had fairly heavy winds both days, 25 to 35 mph and this little Ballard did better than I expected - I had 0 out of 20 shots at the mile, but we saw all but two hits, a couple were within a minute of hitting and the vertical wasn't the issue.  After the shoot I had three hits in a row, go figure. 
It performed very respectable on the rest of the targets so it has my interest again.  I was gigged constantly about the finish on the metal and the wood, my inner tube bands holding the forend on created constant banter...  I'm going to surprise them all next weekend Grin
Here's a few pictures of it in its progression up to where it is today.  Eventually I'll do some more metal work and color case the action, I think a plumb brown on the barrel.
  

"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk"  T. A. Edison
"The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right" M.T.
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Re: Range report for another ugly Ballard
Reply #5 - Jul 30th, 2021 at 12:24am
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Bob,
This has become the normal for me on Ballards anymore.  I make a knurled knob for the lever screw.  As often I have to take the block in and out fitting things I made one with a larger knob and except for being just a little ugly it's real convenient - I'm building hammer style breech blocks that I switch out occasionally so it make the change easy.
The handle was some of the scrap from cutting out the stock from the blank.  I am following your lead and making some turn screws  from the scraps, but the one pictured is a handle for a cleaning rod.  I found some carbon fiber tubing on eBay and I had some bearings so this is becoming the norm for each of the guns I put together - matching wood. Grin
The last pictures show rods for 22, 40 and 50 calibers.
Greg
  

"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk"  T. A. Edison
"The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right" M.T.
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Re: Range report for another ugly Ballard
Reply #6 - Jul 30th, 2021 at 10:12am
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Your Ballard is good a looking gun!  Funny about the rods, been thinking of doing the same thing with the wood from the guns I built.  Yours look nice.  I need to find some rod material and give it a go.  Screws like that would be handy in building, a zipper would be easier if we could figure how to make one work! Cheesy
  
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Re: Range report for another ugly Ballard
Reply #7 - Jul 30th, 2021 at 11:11am
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GT & Bobw,

You guys and John Moses B should have been a team— no telling what you would have dreamed up and invented! The world of firearms would not be as we know it today!
  

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Re: Range report for another ugly Ballard
Reply #8 - Jul 30th, 2021 at 11:36am
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Bob,
I had a cleaning rod fatality this am Grin  One made for the 22rf didn't make it - probably glue an oak dowel inside and still use it.  It was a pultruded type material but it was all I could find in this size.  The twill or braided style carbon fiber holds up a lot better but 6 mm is about the smallest I seem to be able to find in it.  I'll keep looking.
Greg
  

"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk"  T. A. Edison
"The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right" M.T.
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Re: Range report for another ugly Ballard
Reply #9 - Jul 30th, 2021 at 9:42pm
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suprise us at little gun big gun  what this rifle wont be held together with duck tape  zip ties and rubber bands  Grin Grin
  
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Re: Range report for another ugly Ballard
Reply #10 - Jul 31st, 2021 at 10:17am
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Greg, that’s unfortunate on the rod.  But, that Ballard in the picture reminds of the one I got from Dave.  The pitted up one.  Except mine is much worse than yours.  I bought it more as a Ballard example than anything but I keep looking at it and seeing an interesting complete gun! Smiley
  
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Re: Range report for another ugly Ballard
Reply #11 - Jul 31st, 2021 at 11:30am
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knobsmt wrote on Jul 30th, 2021 at 9:42pm:
suprise us at little gun big gun  what this rifle wont be held together with duck tape  zip ties and rubber bands  Grin Grin


I may even have a forend on the Sharps too - with screws and everything... Grin

Bob, 
That was one of my first Ballards (first dozen anyway).  It is a Merwin and Bray that had a bore worse than a sewer pipe, guessing it was on a rack sitting horizontal fired with black and never cleaned.  The bottom half of the bore had growth and I made a decision to line it to 22rf.  Made a new manual extractor and had to make a liner for the first half of the 22 liner as the bore was corroded that bad - and it had been a 32rf.  Since the liner, it's been shot extensively, used many times to get folks "hooked" on this single shot discipline.  Grin Grin.
You really should start down the Ballard path with yours. Smiley
Greg
  

"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk"  T. A. Edison
"The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right" M.T.
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