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Thread: Ballard Barrel

  1. #1
    Member nibenza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Ballard Barrel

    Novice here.

    I own a 1895G 45/70 and want to buy some Garrett 520 which require a Ballard barrel. Checked my rifle and don't see any reference Any help from the gurus?

  2. #2
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Arco, Idaho

    Default I gotta assume...

    That you've got a Marlin Guide Gun and want to use Garret bullets? And the bullet manufacturer specifies Ballard type rifling?
    Here's the deal...
    There's an awful lot of Marlin .45-70's that used their 'Micro-Groove' rifling, which, with jacketed bullets does a creditable job. It doesn't work REALLY wonderful with cast or swaged bullets, though, especially when driven at any kind of velocity.
    To check and see what you have, make sure the rifle is empty, use a bore light, open the action, and take a look down the bore, and if there's more than what, I believe 6 grooves, you have the MicroGroove. The "Ballard" rifling uses fewer grooves/lands, and is quite a bit deeper, wider, and more distinct, and also the type you'll encounter is 99.9% of all commercial and military rifled barrels these days.
    IF you have a Guide Gun, and it's of fairly recent manufacture, you'll likely be just fine. All you'd have to do is learn to tolerate the recoil from them 500+ gr. slugs!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    I believe DW is correct. All late model (appx last 6-8 years) have Ballard style rifling. I don't know the year they went back to good rifling but all the Guide Guns I've seen were six groove Ballard style.

    When Marlin reintroduced the 45-70, in 1971, the first few had Ballard rifling (using up old barrel parts, I guess) then for 30 years they were 12 groove "micro-groove" barrels. The heaviest hard cast will not stabilize in the micro-groove barrels.

    The original 1895 model rifle was in 45-70, with Ballard rifling, then that cartridge was dropped along about 1922. It came back in the 1972 catalog.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?

  4. #4
    Member AKdutch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Guide Gun

    I purchased my Guide Gun in 45/70 about 6 years ago, but didn't know anything about it having 'Micro-Groove' barrel. It caused me fits cause I could shoot under 2" groups with jacketed bullets, but everytime I loaded heavy cast bullets over 1600 fps it would open up the groups to about 12" or even more. It was very frustrating until someone on this forum told me about the 'Micro-Groove' barrel. Now I just shoot Kodiak jacketed bullets and they do awesome. John


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