Marlin Ballard No. 4 Perfection .32-40 30″ Single Shot Rifle, Antique

SOLD FOR: $1480

LSB#: 210906MB32

Make: Marlin Ballard

Model: Perfection No. 4

Serial Number: 17278

Year of Manufacture: 1884-1890 Antique

Caliber: .32-40 Ballard

Action Type: Single-Shot Falling Block Rifle

Markings: The bottom of the receiver is marked with the serial number. The left side of the receiver is marked “J.M. MARLIN. NEW-HAVEN. CONN. U.S.A. / PATENTED FEBRUARY 9. 1875. / BALLARD’S.PATENT.NOV. 5. 1861.”.

Barrel Length: 30” Octagonal

Sights/Optics: The front sight is a blade dovetailed into the barrel. The rear sight is missing leaving an empty dovetail. The top of the receiver has two drilled, tapped, and filled holes for installing a peep sight (not included). The fill screws are not original to the gun.

Stock Configuration and Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth wood with schnabel tipped forearm, straight grip, straight comb, and a crescent steel buttplate. There is a split in the top of the wrist and another smaller one on the right side of the buttstock. There are scattered nicks, draglines, and compressions throughout. The wood was refinished at some point. The LOP measures 13 3/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate, which shows scattered light erosion and minor pitting. Overall, the stocks rate in Very Good condition as Antique and refinished.

Type of Finish: Blued & Case Colored

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is bright with well defined rifling and faint erosion near the muzzle.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 40% of its finish. There is some faint case coloring remaining on the protected areas. There is thinning at all leading edges of the barrel. There is light surface erosion throughout the metal surfaces. There are spots of light pitting on the lever and receiver as well. There are scattered little nicks and scratches throughout as well. The markings are legible. Overall, this rifle rates in Very Good condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. 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: None.

Our Assessment:  The Ballard rifle is a single-shot breech loading rifle with a falling block mechanism actuated by a lever. The action provided for a camming action for the breech block, and a center hung hammer for fast lock time. The internal components were also contained in the breech block to protect them from fouling and dirt. The rifle also used a pull-rod system for attaching buttstocks. The rifling was also recognized as being superior, especially when firing grease-groove bullets. Marlin-Ballard rifles feature an automatic extractor. Certain models feature a double-set trigger, which is considered by riflemen of the time to be of excellent quality. Some variants include a reversible firing pin, so that the user could fire either rimfire or centerfire cartridges. This example is a No. 4 Perfection with a 30” octagonal barrel that has a bright bore. This rifle is in about Very Good condition as Antique. Please see our photos and happy bidding!

Marlin Ballard No. 4 Perfection .32-40 30" Single Shot Rifle, Antique
Marlin Ballard No. 4 Perfection .32-40 30″ Single Shot Rifle, Antique