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Ballard Rifles

Overview

Details regarding Marlin Ballard Rifles.

BALLARD RIFLES

John M. Marlin started manufacturing the Ballard rifle in 1875 and it remained in production until about 1890. 

During the Civil War, the U.S. purchased over 1,000 Ballard carbines.  Government tests in 1866 indicated the Ballard could be fired at the rate of 18 times a minute. All Ballards prior to Marlin's production were for use only with rim-fire ammunition.  Marlin-manufactured  Ballard had both numerical and noun model designations.  The numbers used were from 1 to 10, with fractions, such as 1 1/2, to identify some variations.

 

It appears that not long after John Marlin got into full production of the Ballard, different combinations of the available features could be specially ordered.  As a result, there are many fine Ballards that do not fit any category, ad description, or model number precisely.  To add to the confusion, the Ballard was a favorite of custom-stock, accessory, and barrel manufacturers; this resulted in many changes being made to the original factory product at the request of the owner.  Therefore, many special-order Ballards were produced by both Marlin and custom gunsmiths.

 

Among the various standard models can be found at least four types of barrels, three types of receivers, three different types of extractors, eight different levers, three different triggers, two types of hammers, four different-shaped butt plates, four variations of buttstocks, three types of breech blocks, and numerous types of front and rear sights.  The forestocks made by J.M. Marlin and The Marlin Fire Arms Company had a schnabel front end and were of at least three different shapes.

 

Throughout the years of production, Ballard's were available in a wide range of calibers. From the familiar .22 short cartridge to the 50 - 70 Govt., the Ballard could fit any shooting situation. Other calibers for which this model was chambered were 32 - 40 Ballard, 38 - 55 Ballard, 44 - 40 Winchester, 40 - 70 Sharps, 44 - 100 Ballard Everlasting and 44 Extra Long Ballard.

 

In all, there were 20 cataloged and identified models of Ballard rifles manufactured by J.M. Marlin and The Marlin Fire Arms Company.

 

Please bear in mind that Marlin has no parts and cannot service these rifles.

 

CARTRIDGES FOR WHICH BALLARD RIFLES WERE CHAMBERED

MODEL CALIBER
No. 1 .44 Long Rim or Centerfire
No. 1½ .40-65 Everlasting 2⅜”, .45/70, .40-63
No. 1¾ Same as above.
No. 2 .32 & .38 Long Rim or Centerfire, .41 Long Ballard, .44 Extra Long Ballard Centerfire, 44/40 Winchester, .22 Short & Long Rimfire,  .22 Extra Long, .22WCF
No. 3F .22 Long Rimfire
No. 3½ .40-65 Everlasting 2⅜”
No. 4 .40-70, .44 –77 Sharps, .50-70 Govt.,.38-50 Ballard Everlasting 1 15/16”, .40-65 Ballard, .40-63 Everlasting, .38-55 Everlasting, .40-70 Ballard Everlasting 2⅜”, .44-75 Ballard Everlasting 2¼”, .32-40  
No. 4¼ .40-70 Sharps, .40-90 Sharps, .38-50 Ballard Everlasting, .44-77 Sharps, 
.44-90 Sharps 2⅝” & 2⅞”, .40-90 Ballard, .44-75 Everlasting 2½”,
 .44-100 Ballard
No. 4½ A-1 .38-50 Ballard Everlasting 1 15/16 “, .40-65
No. 5 .40-70 Sharps, .44-77 Sharps, .50-70 Govt., .38-50 Everlasting 1 15/16”,
 .40-65 Everlasting 2⅜”, .40-90 Everlasting 2 15/16”, .44-75 Everlasting 2¼”, 
.45-70 Govt. 2 1/10”, .44-100 Ballard Everlasting 2 13/16”, .38-55 Everlasting, 
.44-63 Everlasting, .40-85 Everlasting, .45-100 Everlasting, .44-40 Winchester  
No. 5½ .45 Sharps 2⅞”
No. 6 .40-65 Everlasting 2⅜”, .44-75 Everlasting, .38-50 Everlasting 1 15/16”, .38-55 Ballard
No. 6½ .38-50 Everlasting, .40-65 Everlasting, .38-55 Ballard, .32-40 Ballard
No. 7 .44-100 Ballard Everlasting 2 13/16” & 2⅝”
No. 7½ .44-100 Ballard Everlasting
No. 8 .32-40 Ballard, .38-55 Ballard
No. 9 Same as # 8
No. 10 Same as # 8

BALLARD MODELS – PRODUCTION BY YEARS

MODEL DATES
NO. 1 HUNTERS 1876 - 1880
NO. 1 ½  HUNTERS 1879 - 1883
NO.  1  3/4 FAR WEST  1879 - 1882
NO. 2 SPORTING 1876 - 1888
NO. 3 GALLERY 1876 - 1888
NO. 3 F GALLERY 1882 - 1887
NO. 3 ½ TARGET 1880 - 1881
NO. 4 PERFECTION 1876 - 1888
NO. 4 ½ MID-RANGE 1878 - 1881
NO. 4 ½ A-1 1879 - 1883
NO. 5 PACIFIC 1876 - 1888
NO. 5 ½ MONTANA 1882 - 1883
NO. 6 SCHUETZEN 1876 - 1888
NO. 6 ½ RIGBY O.H. 1876 - 1888
NO. 7 LONG RANGE 1877 - 1882, 1886 - 1887
NO. 7 A-1 LONG RANGE 1877 - 1880
NO. 8 UNION HILL 1884 - 1888
NO. 9 UNION HILL 1884 - 1888
NO. 10 JUNIOR SCHUETZEN 1884 - 1888
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