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Thread: Ballard #2

  1. #1
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Ballard #2

    Our monthly collector gun show was today, and the theme was "Interesting Rimfires". Since the Ballard #2 had the reversible firing pin to shoot some calibers in RF and CF, I did a display of my #2 Marlin Ballard rifles.

    All various caliber #2, and some with special features:



    Top is a #2 in .38 Long with set triggers, and vernier tang sight. Combination front sight. Bottom is another in .44 Long with full length scope in Malcolm mounts.:



    Center is a #2 in .32 Long with standard features. Early JM Marlin ring lever, and Gallery midrange tang sight:



    Top #2 in .32-20 with special order presentation grade, checkered wood, with cheekpiece, and shotgun buttplate. Rare longrange gallery tang sight, and globe front sight.
    Below #2 in .32 Long with numerous special order features. Nickeled, pistol gripped receiver, and loop lever. Rosewood stocks, with cheekpiece, Swiss buttplate, checkering, horn tip, 1/2 octagon barrel. Midrange vernier tang sight, and combination front sight.



    Yes, I shoot them all. No closet queens here.

  2. #2
    Beautiful sir. Thanks for sharing.
    NRA Life Member

  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    Very nice

  4. #4
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marlinman93 View Post
    Our monthly collector gun show was today, and the theme was "Interesting Rimfires". Since the Ballard #2 had the reversible firing pin to shoot some calibers in RF and CF, I did a display of my #2 Marlin Ballard rifles.

    All various caliber #2, and some with special features:



    Top is a #2 in .38 Long with set triggers, and vernier tang sight. Combination front sight. Bottom is another in .44 Long with full length scope in Malcolm mounts.:



    Center is a #2 in .32 Long with standard features. Early JM Marlin ring lever, and Gallery midrange tang sight:



    Top #2 in .32-20 with special order presentation grade, checkered wood, with cheekpiece, and shotgun buttplate. Rare longrange gallery tang sight, and globe front sight.
    Below #2 in .32 Long with numerous special order features. Nickeled, pistol gripped receiver, and loop lever. Rosewood stocks, with cheekpiece, Swiss buttplate, checkering, horn tip, 1/2 octagon barrel. Midrange vernier tang sight, and combination front sight.



    Yes, I shoot them all. No closet queens here.
    All I can say is WoW what a collection !!! Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



    missionary5155's Avatar
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    Good morning
    Thank you for the photos of this group of Ballards ! They are a joy to carry about the woods and river bottoms.
    Mike in Peru
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Home built Matchlock similar to what an early 1600 Colonial soldier might have.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Those two pistol grip #2s are a revelation to me. I didn't know such a thing existed! Are the receivers on them cast, like the rest of the #2s, or are they forged? Where did the DST # 2 come in the production of Marlin-built Ballards? I've seen modern made "#2" Ballards with DSTs, but not originals. Finally, how rare are the ring levers like the one on your middle example? I've been looking for one for several years now and only found one for sale on flea Bay while I have seen only a very few on guns being displayed or for sale.

    I've read and reread the big three Ballard books, Dutcher, Layman, and Wolff, as well as about everything else I can lay my hands on, but you, my friend continue to school me every time you post. Wish we lived closer so I could actually see your collection in person rather than just virtually.

    Regards,
    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  7. #7
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
    Those two pistol grip #2s are a revelation to me. I didn't know such a thing existed! Are the receivers on them cast, like the rest of the #2s, or are they forged? Where did the DST # 2 come in the production of Marlin-built Ballards? I've seen modern made "#2" Ballards with DSTs, but not originals. Finally, how rare are the ring levers like the one on your middle example? I've been looking for one for several years now and only found one for sale on flea Bay while I have seen only a very few on guns being displayed or for sale.

    I've read and reread the big three Ballard books, Dutcher, Layman, and Wolff, as well as about everything else I can lay my hands on, but you, my friend continue to school me every time you post. Wish we lived closer so I could actually see your collection in person rather than just virtually.

    Regards,
    Froggie
    Charlie,
    The scoped #2 is also a ring lever. The ring levers appear on all early #2 Ballards, and they will have the JM Marlin marking, vs. Marlin Firearms Co. marking. I somehow don't own but one typical MFACo. "S" lever #2 presently. I have owned numerous, and the "S" lever is more commonly found since it started in late JM Marlin production, and continued to the end.
    Yes the pistol gripped #2 are also cast frames, and pistol gripped #2's are extremely rare!
    I've owned three #2 Ballards with DST breech blocks. They run throughout production of both JM Marlin and later MFACo. marked Ballards, but were a special order option. An unique feature of any DST #2 cast action is they do not have the reversible firing pin. Instead they are centerfire only, as Marlin did not build the flat firing pins in a double set trigger breech block.
    Wish we lived closer too Charlie! But if you ever make it to Oregon, I'd enjoy having you stop by for a visit and to show you my collection!
    Last edited by marlinman93; 01-29-2018 at 06:03 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    "It aint easy being green!"

  9. #9
    Maybe we could get a carpool going?
    NRA Life Member

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    What we really need is a friend with a nice Lear Jet available!

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  11. #11
    Boolit Master GARD72977's Avatar
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    I would like to know more about the 32 long chamber. I have seen guns for sale in this caliber but thought they were rimfire. I would be a lot more intrested in a 32 long centerfire.
    " If you cant do it with a 308 , you dont need to do it!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I can answer that for you, GARD72977. There was a CF version of the 32s, it came in short, long, and extra long, and the first two may be nicely substituted with the 32 short and long Colt pistol cartridges. That’s why you see so many Ballard #2s in 32 with reversible firing pins.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  13. #13
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Yes, the .32 variations were available in RF or CF, so if you see one it could be either, unless the seller specifies which. The Ballard being the easiest to convert, since it was designed to reverse the firing pin quickly! Others can be converted by talented hobbyists, or gunsmiths with some work. Bores vary in size from as small as .308" on some Colt handguns, to as large as .317" on some rifles. Just depends on the maker. Case lengths on various .32 Long cartridges can also vary a lot! I've got cartridges that are the same OAL loaded, but case lengths that are .1" different! The newer ammo seems to have forgotten these were heeled bullets originally, as most newer post WWII ammo uses the smaller .309" bullets that aren't heeled.
    I believe the .32 Extra Long may have only been CF, but not positive. Interestingly, the .327 Federal is almost identical case dimensions to the old .32 Extra Long.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Here's a comparison. .32 Long RF on left. Old .32 Long CF center. And .newer .32 Long CF on right. You can see the two left and center are heeled bullets of the larger diameter. But the 60's Cannuck on the right is not a heeled bullet, and bounces down most original bores. I had a bunch of the Cannuck in .32 Long RF, but sold it, since I don't need RF ammo for my #2's.


  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by marlinman93 View Post
    I believe the .32 Extra Long may have only been CF, but not positive. Interestingly, the .327 Federal is almost identical case dimensions to the old .32 Extra Long.
    .32 extra long rf shells were made, there was a box full on Gunbroker not long ago.

    https://www.gunbroker.com/item/744263031

    I have a #1-1/2 Remington with a ex. long chamber, as usual it is just marked 32

    p.s. nice to see the Ballards and that they are being shot.
    Last edited by kootne; 02-03-2018 at 03:40 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Thanks kootne! Makes sense that along with the short, and long in RF that they'd make the Extra Long. Just hadn't seen any previously.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Hooker53's Avatar
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    That is a grand collection and thank you for sharing. I have yet the honor of owning a Mod #2 it I look a couple times a week. Lol.

    Hooker53

  18. #18
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Thanks Hooker53!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    i have a BALLARD in 38/55 BALLARD with a BALLARD reloading tool. my gun has the reversible firing pin for rim fire. my question is what would the rim fire cartridge be for this gun in this caliber?

  20. #20
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toot View Post
    i have a BALLARD in 38/55 BALLARD with a BALLARD reloading tool. my gun has the reversible firing pin for rim fire. my question is what would the rim fire cartridge be for this gun in this caliber?
    It wouldn't be for that cartridge, and your gun is typical of many Ballard #2 cast actions that some uneducated gun tinkerer put a .38-55 barrel on. Most likely you'll find that your Ballard has a 3 line rollstamp on the left side of the receiver. If it is a 3 line, it's a cast receiver and Ballard didn't offer those in .38-55. If it's a 2 line, then it might be a reversible dual firing pin breech block was fitted to a forged 2 line receiver.
    If your gun is the 3 line cast action you should be very careful with loads, and keep them down to moderate levels. These cast actions weren't meant to hold higher pressures, and can crack or come apart in calibers like .38-55 if loads get above mid range levels.

    Which loading tool is with your Ballard? Is it a Ballard tool, or old Ideal, Marlin, etc.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check