SOLD FOR: $2111
Make: W.S. Van Horne
Model: Ballard Rifle
Serial Number: 8332
Year of Manufacture: Modern Reproduction
Caliber: .40-50 SS
Action Type: Single-Shot Falling Block Rifle with Double Set Triggers
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “W.S. VAN HORNE STOUT OHIO” and “40 – 50”. The bottom of the receiver is marked with the serial number.
Barrel Length: 30” Octagonal
Sights/Optics: The front sight is a windage adjustable globe sight with an interchangeable pinned leaf that is dovetailed to the top of the barrel. The tang sight is elevation adjustable with an adjustable peep wheel. The rear of the barrel has a two piece rail system installed.
Stock Configuration and Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth wood with straight grip, straight comb, and crescent metal buttplate. The wood shows some light compressions and draglines. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13 5/8” and 12 5/8” from the fronts of the triggers to the back of the buttplate. The smooth metal buttplate has some scabbing at the heel and toe and scattered light pitting. Overall, the stocks rate in Fine Condition condition.
Type of Finish: Brown w/ Blue Lever, Hammer, Triggers, and Falling Block
Finish Originality: Refinished
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp and deep. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 93% of its current metal finish.There are two small spots of thinning on the bottom of the barrel. There is scattered faint pitting under the finish on the barrel. There is standard operational wear. The screwheads are sharp. The markings are hardly visible. Overall, this rifle rates in Fine condition as refinished.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The set trigger is extremely light. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork, and Accessories: Included with this rifle is a metal case containing a bullet cast, primer tool, 140+ 30-40 Krag brass straightened to 40-50 SS, and 22 .40 bullets.
Our Assessment: Mr Van Horne certainly knew what he was about, he was able to trick our writer! This custom target rifle was built on an 1880s Ballard action, with a 30” octagonal barrel which tapers slightly from about 1.115” at the receiver to 0.932” at the muzzle. The barrel is chambered for the .40-50 Sharps Straight cartridge, the case for which can be made by fire-forming a .30-40 Krag to a straight-wall, and about 140 cases are included which have been fire-formed to this rifle’s chamber. A custom Rich Hoch nose-pour bullet mould made just for this rifle is included, as well as some bullets which were poured in the mould. Marked “R. HOCH”, the mould was made by Rich himself, not the later Hoch Moulds brand of Colorado Shooter’s Supply. Scope blocks are installed for J. Unertl-type external adjustable rings, but the rifle also has a very nice set of target sights installed. With the included brass, bullets and case-prep tool, if you’ve got powder and primers, you could take this rifle out shooting the day it is delivered! Better still, thanks to the quality of Van Horne’s work this rifle doesn’t look like an Antique, but it is, and can be shipped directly to the winning bidder. This is a great package for the avid rifleman, with quality work on a quality action and quality tools for making your cartridges. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the rifle looks good, too! Please take a look at our photos and get ready to bid on what promises to be a great shooting rifle!