Ballard receivers with forging flaws

pjogrinc
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Ballard receivers with forging flaws

Post by pjogrinc » Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:36 pm

I've seen several Ballards with forging flaws in the steel on different parts of the receiver. All looked like cracks with the metal missing, but closer inspection revealed that it was a forging flaw in the steel.

How common is this on the old Ballards and since most of the forging flaws where lengthwise in various locations of the receiver, none around breach area or area back of the hammer block,

Would these guns still be safe to shoot with original black powder loads ??

John Boy

Re: Ballard receivers with forging flaws

Post by John Boy » Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:29 am

The early model JM Ballard #3 Gallary Rifle I am putting back together has a cast iron barrel and receiver. The receiver has several small pockets and many pits in the casting. They were discovered after I had the receiver in the solution to break the barrel. Prior inspection showed the receiver to be smooth but the pits and pockets were filled with rust

Safe to shoot? Depends on the caliber. The larger calibers are recommended only for black powder reloads

pjogrinc
PostsCOLON 23
JoinedCOLON Fri Dec 21, 2007 10:47 pm
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Re: Ballard receivers with forging flaws

Post by pjogrinc » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:37 am

This is a J.M. Marlin forged receiver, not cast, in 44-77 SBN. Black powder or BP substitutes are the only powder I would ever think of using in these old guns.

Shoot what it was designed to shoot has always been my motto. It is not worth taking a chance on blowing up a great old gun, no matter what it is. Those that shoot smokeless in these old guns, I believe, are just lazy and do not want to do the cleaning required. There is no modern smokeless powder that I know of that has the same pressure curve as Black powder, even if it is low pressure. YA ! A lot of people have gotten away with it and maybe only 'shot the gun loose', but that is signs of over pressure and eventual failure. Why abuse a good piece of history!

Kelley O. Roos
PostsCOLON 944
JoinedCOLON Sun Nov 20, 2005 6:55 pm

Re: Ballard receivers with forging flaws

Post by Kelley O. Roos » Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:21 pm

John Boy,

Did you get that barrel off?

Kelley O.

pjogrinc
PostsCOLON 23
JoinedCOLON Fri Dec 21, 2007 10:47 pm
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Re: Ballard receivers with forging flaws

Post by pjogrinc » Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:01 pm

Well, had a metal engineer look at the receiver and he said that it was caused by 'scale' being hammered/folded into the metal during the forging process. He measured the width and depth with some kind of machine that uses optics and laser to measure surface variations/defects. The widest spot he could find was 0.00178 inches wide and max depth was 0.00378 inches. He blasted it with a laser on another machine in the deepest spot to a depth of .00527 inches and then checked it. Good metal below was his comment. He said not to worry about it as structurally its no worse then a gouge in the metal.

Maybe I got over concerned when I looked at it with a 10X jewlers loop !!!! As to the naked eye, it looks like a scratch.

John Boy

Re: Ballard receivers with forging flaws

Post by John Boy » Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:07 pm

Did you get that barrel off?
Kelley - Yep, after a week's soak in Marvel Mystery Oil and Vinegar. Was holding my breath after I found that the receiver was cast iron but one twist with the receiver wrench ... a big smile on my face and a sigh of relief. The extractor (round cylinder type) came out like butter too.

For the good of the order: If re-lining any of the Ballards with the cylinder type extractor, use the smallest diameter liner. Drilling the pilot hole will cut too much metal out in the bore at the breech

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