Ballard A-1 Mid-Range

Discussion on Bullets and Bullet Lubes, Casting, Swaging, Paper Patching, and Lube Cookies.
.22-5-40
PostsCOLON 40
JoinedCOLON Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:32 pm

Ballard A-1 Mid-Range

Post by .22-5-40 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:01 pm

Spent most of the other day measuring the .40-70. Cleaned & lightly oiled bore..pure lead slug revealed .4094" groove dia. .404" bore. 1-20" twist Those grooves are only .0027" deep. Someone must have kept the grand/greatgrand kids away from this one..the bore is bright and spotless. Years ago I had Tom Ballard make up a couple of adjustable P.P. moulds..but at the time I had sworn off black..so were cut for smokeless. parallel side cup based drops .40l"-.402" dia. from 20-1 alloy. A tapered one measures .398 at base. I ran the parallel sided one thru a .3995" sizer (.0045" under bore) & wet patched with .0016" tracing. dried, dia. over patch .0065" I next ran it thru a .398" sizer & again wet patched with same paper .406" over patch. Next I ran slug thru .396 sizer & tried wet patching with .0016" parchment paper ..stuff goes limp when barely damp..but won't stick to itself..so I dry patched slug. Dia. over patch .4045" I have a .394 dia. sizer & thicker papers. I'll have to try pushing these slugs thru bore for fit. Only have 1 .40-63 case from Buffalo Arms & a .405 pin goes in 1/8" & tight. will have to wait for cases, die-set & shellholder before I can try expanding case. Probably have to wait until fireformed for final dimensions. Lots of work and learning ahead of me!

gunlaker
PostsCOLON 396
JoinedCOLON Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:46 pm
LocationCOLON British Columbia

Re: Ballard A-1 Mid-Range

Post by gunlaker » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:31 pm

I'm interested to hear how it shoots. I've got a Ballard Pacific in .40-85 that I'd like to get shooting. Maybe later in the year though as I have a lot on my plate. It also has a really shiny bore. I have no cases yet, but will call RMC one of these days, and then get Steve Brooks to make the mould.

Chris.

.22-5-40
PostsCOLON 40
JoinedCOLON Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:32 pm

Re: Ballard A-1 Mid-Range

Post by .22-5-40 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:38 pm

This is kind of late..just came across my original post from last march. I was able to take rifle to 100yd. range in August as the .40-70 Bertrum brass from Bufallo Arms came in...but I wasn't ready yet for paper-patching so what to do?? I recently had came across an Ideal 406150 mould. Cast from a soft 30-1tin/lead bullets dropped right at .406". Seated only by base band in case mouth, bullet was a nice snug fit into rifling..(this rifle has no throat..as per original paper-patch chambers. chamber ends in shoulder & rifling begins right there). I figured with most of that bullet in bore, the kick of the Swiss 11/2 charge would bump it up to full .4094" groove dia. No notes with me, but if memory serves, a full 70gr. drop tubed & 1/16" veg. fiber wad brought level to bullet base band seating depth. I really didn't expect much in the way of accuracy what with a new to me rifle out for first time shooting an undersized grease groove bullet with black..something I had never before tried..anyway..I was reallyout there just for case fire-forming. Firing off Bullsbag front rest you can emagine my surprise when 5 shots cut a ragged 1" group! I had also loaded some g.g. Brooks bullets sized to .409 groove dia. I was sure these larger dia. bullets would shoot much more accurate...However, I got patterns instead of any kind of group?? It wasn't until I cleaned and measured those fired cases that I found out what was up. They had expanded from a nice snug fit on a .409" bullet to around .430" I.D. What the??? Then it dawned on me that this rifle was chambered for the .40-63 Ballard Everlasting type case! Thats why the groove dia.bullets didn't group..most of their body was unsuported in those overly expanded fired cases..as opposed to the smaller .406" g.g. which was nearly fully supported in bore. So at this time, I have a supply of RCM .40-63 Ballard Everlasting cases turned from solid stock, and with large pistol primer pockets cut. I also sent RCM a chamber cast and these cases fully fit to chamber end. I have been experimenting with larger than normal paper-patch "slicks", .395" thru .3995" dia. Patching with thinner .0014, .0018, & .002" papers. A patched slug @ .4045" is a nice snug push all way thru bore and one patched .405" goes thru like a very tight patched muzzleloader load..but with no damage to patch. Looks like I will have my work cut out for mewhen warm weather returns.

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