I solved this problem decades ago. I have never owned or even shot a Ballard. When you could buy a very nice one for two hundred dollars, I still passed. A friend of mine cracked the receiver of a factory engraved Ballard with a mild load of 4227 in a 32-40. Bo Clerke bought the rifle, welded the frame, rebarreled it and made it a .22. I think a Ballard loaded with BP blew up a few years ago at the Quickly Shoot. The action just looks weak to me. I feel the same way about the Stevens 44. I do own and shoot the Stevens 44 1/2.