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Got lucky after over 30 years of hunting and hoping, and was able to buy a Marlin Ballard #6 1/2 Rigby Model Offhand Rifle last weekend! A very rare 1st model that JM Marlin only offered from 1878-1880, and the 1st model used Marlin's pistol grip receiver, but with German style straight grip stocks.
All these various Rigby Models were very expensive when new, and all were factory engraved versions. This one is chambered in the .40-65 Ballard Everlasting cartridge, which is as rare as the guns, having only been used for a couple years before it too was replaced by the later .40-63 Ballard Everlasting cartridge! Bore on this rifle looks like new, probably because the cartridges were unobtainable as they went obsolete early on.
The engraving is by LD Nimschke, and has a buck and doe on the left side, and running buffalo on the right side. The buttplate is the German style, and is unusual in it's silver plated, not nickel like others I've seen. It was nearly black with tarnish when I bought it. The scope is a 32" Stevens Ideal 6x long eye relief scope, with dovetail mounts for this rifle. The buttstock has an inlay of a crescent moon made of abalone shell. Likely a lucky piece the owner thought might help his shooting? I was able to polish out the silver tarnish, and bring it back to near new condition. We'll see how long until it tarnishes again?

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Ura-Ki

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Seems to be going that way lately, a bunch of really rare firearms have been coming up for sale or at auctions, things I never would have had a chance at normally! But, they have been showing up a lot more lately, so, I'm trying really hard to be a good boy and not blow it all, but did have to grab one very special rifle to add to the collection, I couldn't say no, and the price was last too good to be true!
 

johnny bob

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I was able to polish out the silver tarnish, and bring it back to near new condition. We'll see how long until it tarnishes again?
I had a friend recommend "Renaissance micro-crystalline wax polish" as used by the British Museum and restoration specialists. He had a S&W that was outstanding. :)
 
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NICE ! Cartridges of the world (Frank Barnes) 8th edition says "It should be possible to convert the 45-70 case to work in these rifles."
i just saw we are on 16th edition now.
 
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NICE ! Cartridges of the world (Frank Barnes) says "It should be possible to convert the 45-70 case to work in these rifles."
My copy of COTW states you might use .444 Marlin cases to make the .40-65. I don't think you can make them from .45-70 as the case is 2.10" and the .40-65 Ballard is 2.38" long.
You can make .40-65 Win. from .45-70 as they're very similar length.
 
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Here in UK we can BUY .40-65 brass from Henry Krank -

  • 40-65 STARLINE BRASS CASES (PKT 50)

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40-65 STARLINE BRASS CASES (PKT 50)​

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Quick overview:​

40-65 Starline Brass Cases pkt 50. Overall Length inches - 2.097 - 2.104. To be used with a large rifle primer.
Starline brass is the maker of Americas finest brass cases for reloading ammunition
SKU:377D
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£41.00

That's Winchester brass, not Ballard brass. The .40-65 Ballard is a completely different case.
 
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