Marlin Ballard loading tool

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marlinman93
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Marlin Ballard loading tool

#1 Post by marlinman93 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:46 pm

After a long wait, I finally got the Ballard Ball Seater I purchased at Denver. The long wait was really about 30 years of trying to find a Ballard Ball Seater as they're so rarely seen these days!

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The ball seater is a tool Marlin offered for people who were far away from anywhere they might buy ammo, and had to reload their own. This tool, along with a re-de-capping tool would allow the shooter to reload his own ammo if he had a supply of powder and bullets.
The case was inserted into the base of the tool and then powder was poured into the opening on top. A bullet was dropped in the top, and the seating plunger dropped in and pushed down to seat the bullet to the exact depth needed. A small notch in the base of the seater allowed a knife tip, or small pick to extract the assembled cartridge if it stuck once the bullet was seated.

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This seater is in .38-55 Ballard, and were offered in the late 1870's and 1880's. I have several re-de-cappers in various calibers as they seem a lot easier to locate. Now I have at least one full loading set for the .38-55 Ballard caliber!
Pre WWI Marlins and Singleshot rifles!
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earlmck
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Re: Marlin Ballard loading tool

#2 Post by earlmck » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:04 pm

Now that is really something! Congratulations on the nifty acquisition.

Does give a fellow renewed appreciation of the loading tools we have now.
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is he who heals the most gullies.
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Rusty
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Re: Marlin Ballard loading tool

#3 Post by Rusty » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:02 pm

Wonderful worksmanship!
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gamekeeper
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Re: Marlin Ballard loading tool

#4 Post by gamekeeper » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:08 am

That really is an interesting piece of kit, wouldn't it be great to know what stories it could tell ?.
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GunnyMack
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Re: Marlin Ballard loading tool

#5 Post by GunnyMack » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:13 am

If a guy had a lathe & a mill those could be quite easy to reproduce. Nice find, first I've seen one of those. Let's see some side by side accuracy tests- loading tool groups vs modern reloaded groups.
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fordwannabe
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Re: Marlin Ballard loading tool

#6 Post by fordwannabe » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:16 am

Very neat piece of history Vall. Thanks for the education.
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marlinman93
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Re: Marlin Ballard loading tool

#7 Post by marlinman93 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:09 am

Thanks guys!

The bottom three lower right side of my display case are all the re and decapping tools that would be the other part of the Ballard reloading tool kit.

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Those 3 are in .38-55 Bal., .40-63 Bal., and .40-90 Bal.

There's no reason these tools couldn't put out loaded ammo as accurate as any commercial ammo. I've been told by those who've reloaded with them that the only deficit is seating depth for the bullets since it's fixed with these tools. But clever guys have put shim washers under the plunger to adjust the depth and seat the bullets out further if needed. So even the bullet depth can be adjusted this way.
Pre WWI Marlins and Singleshot rifles!
http://members.tripod.com/~OregonArmsCollectors/

Bill in Oregon
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Re: Marlin Ballard loading tool

#8 Post by Bill in Oregon » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:27 am

Wonderful acquisition, Vall. This tool would make it possible to follow the old practice of loading a single case over and over at the bench a la the golden age of schuetzen.

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marlinman93
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Re: Marlin Ballard loading tool

#9 Post by marlinman93 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:51 am

Bill in Oregon wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:27 am
Wonderful acquisition, Vall. This tool would make it possible to follow the old practice of loading a single case over and over at the bench a la the golden age of schuetzen.
Yes it certainly would Bill! Of course scuetzen shooters don't shoot fixed ammo as they breech seat their bullets. So it would only be used to charge the cases, and not seat bullets.
Pre WWI Marlins and Singleshot rifles!
http://members.tripod.com/~OregonArmsCollectors/

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