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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Ballard #6 1/2 1st model straight grip Rigby (Read 1002 times)
marlinguy
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Ballard #6 1/2 1st model straight grip Rigby
Oct 4th, 2021 at 3:45pm
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At the CGCA show I was fortunate to spot a 1st model Rigby Ballard. The Rigby Ballard rifles are mostly pistol grip versions, but for the first couple years they were pistol grip receivers, but with German style straight grip stocks.
I've wanted one of these rare variations for quite some time, and discovered this one during setup Thursday. I hesitated for whatever reason, and finally told myself I'd be mad forever if I didn't buy it.
The caliber is .40-65 Ballard Everlasting; not to be confused with the Winchester version made much later. The .40-65 Ballard is similar to the .40-63 Everlasting that replaced it in 1881. Not sure why Marlin dropped the .40-65 EL, as the two cases are so close that you can shoot the .40-63 EL in the .40-65 EL, but not the other way around.
 
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According to my good friend, engraver and historian Bob Evans, it's likely LD Nimschke engraved, or at the least from Nimschke's shop. A running buffalo on the right side, and a buck/doe on the left side. The gun has the top Rigby flat cut for a full length scope, and a friend had this Stevens 32" long eye relief scope for sale there. He gave me a great deal on it just because it had dovetail rings, and he felt my Rigby deserved to have a period correct scope to fill the dovetails.
The cheekrest on the stock has a small crescent moon made of abalone nicely inlaid in it. Supposedly this was for "good luck" so maybe the owner thought it gave him an edge? 
The buttplate is the German style also and has a flat bottom to it to match the flat bottomed buttstock. It's unusual, as it's the first Ballard schuetzen buttplate I've encountered that is silver plated, not nickel plated. It was very tarnished to a black tone, but some Flitz brought the silver back to it's warm polished look.

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Scope fit on and really completes the old Ballard I think. Need to work up loads for it, but have a couple other new single shots I'm working on loads first. So may be awhile before it gets range time. I also want to get a dovetail riser to allow for more elevation of the rear scope ring, so I can see how it does at longer distances too.

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oneatatime
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Re: Ballard #6 1/2 1st model straight grip Rigby
Reply #1 - Oct 4th, 2021 at 3:53pm
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Vall let me fondle this one at the show and it fit me like a glove - but, Vall said it was too warm for gloves so he carted it on off;-)
« Last Edit: Oct 5th, 2021 at 1:22am by oneatatime »  
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Re: Ballard #6 1/2 1st model straight grip Rigby
Reply #2 - Oct 5th, 2021 at 12:35am
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Thatís a nice rifle, canít wait to see how it shoots
Gumpy
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Ballard #6 1/2 1st model straight grip Rigby
Reply #3 - Oct 5th, 2021 at 10:29am
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Grumpy gumpy wrote on Oct 5th, 2021 at 12:35am:
Thatís a nice rifle, canít wait to see how it shoots
Gumpy


Thanks Gumpy. I have a lot of hope for it as the bore is as good as any new gun! I was a bit shocked to see a 1878-79 era rifle with such a beautiful bore.
  

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John Rigby
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Re: Ballard #6 1/2 1st model straight grip Rigby
Reply #4 - Oct 5th, 2021 at 11:47am
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Gorgeous Ballard Vall.  Bet it shoots lights out.
  

John Rigby
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marlinguy
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Re: Ballard #6 1/2 1st model straight grip Rigby
Reply #5 - Oct 5th, 2021 at 12:24pm
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John Rigby wrote on Oct 5th, 2021 at 11:47am:
Gorgeous Ballard Vall.† Bet it shoots lights out.†


Thanks Mike! I'm hoping so! Going to be working up loads for this, and my Creedmoor rifle today, and maybe hit the range soon with both to see.
I'll take my old Huntington hand press, and Harrells powder measure, and do most of the load work at the range.
  

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Re: Ballard #6 1/2 1st model straight grip Rigby
Reply #6 - Oct 5th, 2021 at 3:30pm
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Vall,
Was that lever made by Marlin or was it from the parts they acquired from Brown/Merrimack/Ball & Williams?
That is a very gorgeous rifle.  Looking forward to a range report.
Scott
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Ballard #6 1/2 1st model straight grip Rigby
Reply #7 - Oct 5th, 2021 at 4:51pm
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830singleshot wrote on Oct 5th, 2021 at 3:30pm:
Vall,
Was that lever made by Marlin or was it from the parts they acquired from Brown/Merrimack/Ball & Williams?
That is a very gorgeous rifle.† Looking forward to a range report.
Scott


Scott,
This is a Marlin made lever Scott.
The earlier Brown lever was a ring similar to this, except not quite closed. And the Brown levers had a hole for a pin in the frame to align with the hole.
The lever for single trigger Ballard rifles marked "JM Marlin" are all closed ring levers like this Ballard. Later 1881 and newer used the S lever.
This is my early 3 digit serial number #4 that is loaded with leftover Brown Mfg. parts and the Brown lever.

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This is my .50-70 Govt. #4 also with Brown lever:

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« Last Edit: Oct 5th, 2021 at 6:02pm by marlinguy »  

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Re: Ballard #6 1/2 1st model straight grip Rigby
Reply #8 - Oct 6th, 2021 at 6:42am
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Congratulations!  That's a great rifle.  With a like-new bore, we hope to hear great reports from the range.

Curly
  
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Re: Ballard #6 1/2 1st model straight grip Rigby
Reply #9 - Oct 7th, 2021 at 4:57pm
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Congrats on That beautiful Rigby find Vall.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Ballard #6 1/2 1st model straight grip Rigby
Reply #10 - Oct 7th, 2021 at 5:30pm
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CptCurl wrote on Oct 6th, 2021 at 6:42am:
Congratulations!† That's a great rifle.† With a like-new bore, we hope to hear great reports from the range.

Curly


Me too! Waiting for my friend who sold me the scope to come up with a rear dovetail elevator so I'll have enough adjustment to get further than maybe 200 yds., as these rings don't allow much elevation.
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Ballard #6 1/2 1st model straight grip Rigby
Reply #11 - Oct 7th, 2021 at 5:30pm
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Fritz wrote on Oct 7th, 2021 at 4:57pm:
Congrats on That beautiful Rigby find Vall.


Thanks Fritz!
  

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Re: Ballard #6 1/2 1st model straight grip Rigby
Reply #12 - Oct 7th, 2021 at 6:28pm
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Really nice rifle Vall. It's a bonus when they come with a well cared for bore. I'd be interested in the bore specs. when you get around to slugging it ..I wonder why they phased out the .40-65 in favor of the .40-63?  I like that straight stock too....hope the "lucky moon" works for you (I'd say it already has in snagging that rifle!).
Spud
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Ballard #6 1/2 1st model straight grip Rigby
Reply #13 - Oct 7th, 2021 at 8:31pm
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Spud wrote on Oct 7th, 2021 at 6:28pm:
Really nice rifle Vall. It's a bonus when they come with a well cared for bore. I'd be interested in the bore specs. when you get around to slugging it ..I wonder why they phased out the .40-65 in favor of the .40-63?† I like that straight stock too....hope the "lucky moon" works for you (I'd say it already has in snagging that rifle!).
Spud


I have four Ballard rifles in the .40-63 and one in .40-85 that are all between .410"-.411" groove dia. But this one is slightly larger at .412" groove. I'll have to check my .40 caliber molds and see if any drop that large?
  

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Re: Ballard #6 1/2 1st model straight grip Rigby
Reply #14 - Oct 8th, 2021 at 11:10pm
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marlinguy wrote on Oct 7th, 2021 at 8:31pm:
Spud wrote on Oct 7th, 2021 at 6:28pm:
Really nice rifle Vall. It's a bonus when they come with a well cared for bore. I'd be interested in the bore specs. when you get around to slugging it ..I wonder why they phased out the .40-65 in favor of the .40-63?† I like that straight stock too....hope the "lucky moon" works for you (I'd say it already has in snagging that rifle!).
Spud


I have four Ballard rifles in the .40-63 and one in .40-85 that are all between .410"-.411" groove dia. But this one is slightly larger at .412" groove. I'll have to check my .40 caliber molds and see if any drop that large?


I may have an old Ideal that casts pretty close to that.its a long RN.i can't recall the number right now.
  
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