Ball & Williams Ballard 1469

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by djk1505, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. djk1505

    djk1505 New Member

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    Feb 21, 2010
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    My friend has an old rifle they found in a barn several years ago. We were just going through the safe today looking at going shooting when I came across this rifle. We have been searching the internet but can not find anything about it.



    The markings are as follows,

    Ballard and Williams
    Port Chester Mass.

    On the left side of the barrel is
    Merwin & Bray Ag... cant read the last letter
    New York, Ny

    On the right side of the barrel is
    Ballard US Patent
    November 5 1861

    And stamped twice on the top is the numbers 1469

    Can anyone help in identifying this rifle? We are both very curious to the caliber and if it would be worth refinishing or keeping in the condition it is in. As soon as I learn how to post pics on this forum I will add those as well.

    Thanks

    Thanks
  2. djk1505

    djk1505 New Member

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    Feb 21, 2010
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    Hopefully these attachments worked!

    Attached Files:

  3. BillM

    BillM Active Member

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    Amity Orygun
    Your search-fu is weak today grasshopper:)

    http://rock-island-auction.ammoland.com/3279.html

    DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT REFINISHING IT!!!!!!!!

    Wipe it down with a clean rag, keep it safe and dry. Looks like you
    may have a fairly rare one there---get it professionally appraised
    sometime. Nice rifle.
  4. djk1505

    djk1505 New Member

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    Thank you for the response! Thats it!!!!!!!
  5. BillM

    BillM Active Member

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    Looks like you are missing a bit of wood on the right side of the fore-end,
    and the condition on the one in the link is quite a bit better.

    Here's a link to another one with more pictures and a mention of caliber.
    Not SURE yours is a US contract gun, but it sure looks like one.
  6. hrf

    hrf Active Member

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    It appears to be the .44 rimfire carbine. During the Civil War the state of Kentucky bought several thousand, and the state of New York also bought 500. Flayderman's Guide lists value as $850 for Good condition and $2500 for Fine condition. Tell your friend to NOT try and improve appearance with steel wool, etc. which will only lower collector value.

    If it has the MM cartouche like the one on BillM's Rock Island link, those were made for a U. S. Government contract in 1864, and Flayderman's lists value as $2750 Good to $4750 Excellent.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2010
  7. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Just to clarify, that marking should be "Ball & Williams". They made Ballard patent rifles 1862-1865, mainly on military contracts either for states (Kentucky and New York) or for the Federal government.

    That looks to be in pretty fair shape. The only thing I would want to fix would be the end of the lever, which someone bent closed when it should be a "U" shape. (Don't try to fix it cold, it may break; use heat carefully.)

    Jim
  8. wetdoghunting

    wetdoghunting New Member

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    I have almost the same gun without the rear & front sights in the same condition, but the numbers on top are 4438 printed once and worcester mass on it. I was wondering if anybody has any info. on this gun thank you.(caliber,when it might have been used?)
  9. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Merwin & Bray were the sales agents; the guns were manufactured by at least five different companies. There is a fair amount of info on those rifles in Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms, too much to retype here. I recommend you buy the book, which has a vast amount of info on that and other firearms of the 18th and 19th centuries.

    I can't find that Port Chester address anywhere and the only Port Chester I am aware of is in NY; are you sure it isn't Worcester, Mass.?

    Jim
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
  10. Danny

    Danny Member

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    I remember seeing one of these in 95% condition. His gradpa had it stored in a safe deposit box. The boy was not all there and he traded the owner a 700bdl for it. However it was a brass shell, 50 cal, that had silk from stopping the powder from falling out. It had a nipple primer. Just wondering if you guys have ever seen one of these? It was also a carbine a w/saddle ring.
    Danny
  11. TRAKS

    TRAKS New Member

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    I GOT A SIMILAR GUN WITH A EXPOSED BARREL OCTAGONAL LENGTH OF 23 5/8" LONG AND THE BREECH - LEVER - AND BUTT PLATE IS ALL CAST BRASS...TOTAL LENGTH IS SOMETHING LIKE 38 5/8".....

    BEEN ASKING EVERY FORUM ABOUT IT AND ALL EVERYONE SAYS IS CALL ME I WANT IT...

    TRAKS
  12. jasperab

    jasperab New Member

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    I have one of the Ballards that were shipped to Kentucky. It was stolen in a raid by Quantrill's Raiders and returned to Missouri and carried by Henry Akers during the war. When Henry died in 1920, his wife gave it to Charles Oldham (founder of the Oldham Sausage Co. and former Mayor of Lee's Summit, Mo.)
    When Charley died in 1980 I obtained 5 guns from his collection including the old Ballard .44.
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