Before we begin, I’d like to share my Christmas with you. I didn’t get any airguns or firearms this year, but I did get a wonderful reloading tool. It’s a Pope-style capper and decapper for priming and depriming cartridge cases while at the rifle range. You do that with the old-fashioned target rifles like my Ballard, and I’ve wanted to do it for a long time. But until I actually saw the tool and held it in my hands, I had no appreciation of how neat and handy it was!
This loading tool is a Pope-style capper/decapper. It’s cartridge-specific and very handy to use. This one is for .38-55.
This will help me shoot the Ballard in the style it was shot when the gun was new. It also eliminates a lot of extra clutter needed to load the rifle. I’m still waiting for a custom bullet mold that I’ll need before I start shooting the Ballard again (it’s on the way but didn’t arrive in time for Christmas).
The more I read the old books about shooting and guns written by men who were born in the 19th century, the more I realize how much alike we all are — and I don’t just mean shooters, now. I mean people, in general!
Let’s begin with nicknames or handles. We have some clever ones here on this blog. But are you aware that back in the late 1800s, shooters who posted letters in their favorite shooting publications — which at that time were mostly newspapers — did the same thing?
My Ballard is a factory-made special-order rifle made in 1886. It looks almost new and the bore is pristine.
Today, I’ll report on my progress in getting the Marlin Ballard to shoot. I’ll tie that back to airgunning, because the same principles that drive the accurate firearm rifle will work there, as well.
In fact, today’s something of a shocker and a screamer. The shock comes from how badly I prepared the ammunition, and the screaming came when I saw the last two targets for the first time.
To prepare to shoot the Ballard, two things must happen. First, the rifle was cleaned as soon as it returned from the range the last time it was shot. Because the barrel is so glass-smooth, it takes only a few minutes to clean. Then, it sits on display, proudly awaiting its next outing.
Today, I’ll fulfill my promise to tell you about the greatest gun deal I’ve ever made. Although the title says airguns, today’s article is about firearms. But the process by which I did what seemed to me to be impossible is the same one I described in Part 1 of this report series.
I’m going to have to give you some background information, which involves other gun deals, because without them I would never have been able to swing this deal. But first, let me tell you what I was up against. You are about to read the longest and most detailed single blog report I have ever made, so you’d better put on a whole pot of coffee and get comfy.