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Thread: An unusally lucky barrel swap

  1. #1
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    An unusally lucky barrel swap

    Been waiting and putting off swapping out the barrel on a Ballard I have here. The full octagon #3 weight barrel has a chamber problem, and I recently picked up a nice finished #3.5 or #4 weight half octagon barrel in .40-65, already fitted to a Ballard action. as some may know the chance of it fitting another Ballard without work is pretty slim, but I decided today was the day it would get a test fitting.
    After spinning the old barrel off, I spun the new one on by hand and it appeared a bit short of indexing. But I spun it back off and wiped the threads clean, and prepped it to go on. With just minimum pressure on my action wrench it turned right into place! Easy enough that I spun it off again and added blue Loctite to the threads and put it back on a 3rd time.
    Then I removed the target scope bases off the old barrel and to my surprise thee new barrel's D&T holes were identically spaced, so I could simply swap bases! Can't get much luckier than the barrel fitting, unless it's having everything fit! The only real work will be opening up the forearm wood channel to fit the larger barrel. Then it needs a hole D&T in the barrel to match the forearm screw.

    So here's the Ballard action that got the barrel swap.



    The new to me Douglas #3.5 or #4 weight barrel.



    Installed, and waiting for a forearm.



    And the .32-40 breech seating tool that came with the barrel deal. It will be used on one of my four other .32-40 Ballard rifles.


  2. #2
    Boolit Master swamp's Avatar
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    Better get a lotto ticket.
    swamp
    There is no problem so great, that it cannot be solved by the proper application of high explosives.

  3. #3
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    Preacher Jim's Avatar
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    You have been the most fortunate fellow I have seen. Only one time in all these years have i had a perfect alignment with a swap.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preacher Jim View Post
    You have been the most fortunate fellow I have seen. Only one time in all these years have i had a perfect alignment with a swap.
    If I'd tried this barrel on all 30 of my Ballard rifles, I'd have guessed it wouldn't fit any of them! I was shocked it fit, and on the particular gun I wanted it to go on too! If I played the lottery, I'd buy a ticket!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Oh, heck, that happens all the time to me. (Well, it has once.) Random Stevens .28-30 barrel from an eBay listing, sleeved and threaded for a Ballard, did the same thing when screwed it into an equally random #2 receiver from a Gunbroker buy. Half a flat brings it snug and indexed. I assumed that Ballards were index-threaded like Winchesters until you told me they weren't.!
    So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Good for you, Vall! The one time I put together a Ballard #2 from random parts, I got to within about 3/4 of a turn or so, but was still clocked wrong and had daylight showing between breech face and shoulder. My replacement barrel was a 22 target barrel from a locally known '50s gunsmith (in Ohio) being put on a Gunbroker receiver shell found in California and using a block assembly from Charlie Dell's junk box. If they had been Winchester parts like I was used to, they would have all fit together closely if not perfectly, so imagine my surprise when I actually had to have my Ballard parts FITTED! I guess that's why they call it my "FrankenBallard." Glad that one worked out so well for you... I guess with the large number of Ballard parts you have worked with over the years the odds in your favor just finally came up. Sometimes Karma is our friend!

    Regards,
    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  7. #7
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Agreed Charlie! I rarely have had an issue with other parts in my various Ballard rifles. But I've never had a barrel turn on without some fitting needed! Worse case is when you turn one on by hand and it goes just past indexing! Then it becomes a major task to face the mating surface, index it, cut the excess off the chamber, and ream it again. Not to mention refitting the forearm wood to make is shorter by one thread. That's a major task on a Ballard if you want to keep the little nub dowel that fits into the receiver! Fortunately this receiver has the two pins on the front like a Pacific, so no alignment dowel on it.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Finally got my forearm wood fitted after many hours of slowly opening up the barrel channel! Unfortunately the high grade wood has no straight grain lines, so a corner popped off during the fitting process. By the time I noticed it missing, I couldn't locate the chip and had to make a new filler piece! Now I'll have to repair the finish on the filler and make it match. You can just see the little triangular shaped piece I filled in.



    But I do like the much heavier contour on the new barrel, and half octagon shape!



    I ordered another Ballard hard rubber shotgun buttplate for it. They should be a close shape match where they meet the buttstock, and it might be more comfortable with the .40-65 Cartridge loads. I can save the schuetzen plate if I want to reinstall it anytime.



    That's a heavy barrel, and gun weighs about 14 lbs. now!


  9. #9
    Lucky lucky Dog!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Thanks Oscar!

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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
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