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Shockingly I don't remember EVERYTHING, and I need to know what exactly, Ballard rifling is.

I have a chance to buy an early post-war Marlin 39-A .22LR rifle which still has the original Ballard rifling.

I'm very familiar with Marlin 39 series rifles and Marlin's Micro-Groove rifling, but I can't remember ever hearing just exactly what Ballard rifling is.

I've had three nice Marlin 39's and stupidly sold all three over the years.
Now I'm having shoulder problems (ANOTHER possible torn rotator cuff) and shooting my 870P Police shotgun or even the M1 Garand is out of the question.

Sooooo, I've been looking for a nice .22 and of all of them I've had or seen, the Marlin is "it".
In any case, I've been SHOCKED at the prices of Marlin's and the older ones are more expensive than new ones.

A friend has an old one that's been in his family, so I'm going to get a look at it next week.
 

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Here you go Dr.D--

'In the post-war growth of the "Baby Boom" Marlin began to experiment with a number of new ideas. Up to this point, all Marlin rifles had been made with so-called "Ballard rifling". This was typically 6-groove rifling that was cut one groove at a time, with each groove being cut by multiple passes of the cutting head, generally to a depth of about .004". This is the time-tested method for making a rifled bore, but it is time-consuming and tedious. In the early 1950s Marlin started experimenting with a new form of rifling that was cut with a single pass of a multiple grooved tool head (which presumably speeded up production significantly). Each groove was smaller and shallower than "normal" in this process. Since each land would provide less overall "traction" on the bullet, Marlin put in a lot more grooves and lands (commonly 16 or more). Thus was born Micro-Groove rifling. After Micro-Groove rifling had proven itself in Marlin's line of .22 rimfire rifles, it was added to the centerfire line in the mid-1950s. Claims were made that Micro-Groove rifling produced better accuracy because it distorted the bullet less, but I have never been able to tell any significant difference in the accuracy between Ballard rifling and Micro-Groove rifling in my own group shooting.'

Taken from this website...

http://www.leverguns.com/articles/fryxell/marlin_history.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very much.

In other words "Ballard" rifling appears to be nothing more than old fashioned standard cut rifling versus "Micro-Groove" rifling which sounds like standard model "button" rifling.

If this one will shoot as well as my 1980's production 39's, and it's in good shape, I may go for it.
 

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While Ballard rifling is indeed cut, I believe it is different from "standard" cut rifling in that the lead edge of the lands is sloped rather than vertical. I am fairly confident of that answer, but have not researched it to be positive.
 
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