From the moment I became interested in black power shooting and started to collect old rifles of the “west”, I was fascinated by the Ballard. For me it’s the most beautiful black powder (single shot) rifle ever developed. Marlin made the Ballard a really fantastic rifle for target shooting.
The moment was great three years ago when I could buy a beautiful engraved Ballard No. 41/2 A-1 Mid Range rifle at the place of James and Peg Aplan in Piedmont (near Sturgis, South Dakota). I couldn’t wait till the rifle was in Holland. I’ve shot this rifle several times and it shoots really fantastic and is very accurate.
In the mean time I bought the comprehensive book about Ballards from John Ducher and to my great astonishment I read that this rifle was also studied by Dutcher (serial #8358, p. 146). I started to correspond with John Dutcher and we visited him last year in Denver at the beginning of a trip by RV through the Rockies. He is very nice person and it was a special moment for me to meet him.
I was already aware of the valuable character of my old Ballard and had decided not to use it as a “shooter”. That’s why I visited the Ballard Rifle Co., LLC during the same trip thinking about having a “copy” of this Ballard made.
I was impressed by the beauty of the rifles I saw at your company and the professional way you make rifles. That’s why I decided at the end of my trip to order a “customized” Ballard. We have been in contact several times by phone and you always stayed calm when I was worried about something.
In the end the company started my rifle (I had to wait 6 months). A few weeks ago it was finished and shipped to Holland. Of course I was excited when I picked up the rifle from Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam). I drove home as fast as I could to see me Cody-Ballard. And… It looked exactly like what I had expected!
It’s a fantastic piece of craftsmanship. Also the engraving) with two Red Stags on both sides) from Ernie Lytle is beautiful.
So I want to thank you and your companions for doing this great job.
Next week my friend Chris Goed, who is a gunsmith in Holland and specializes in black powder guns, will make me a bullet mold for my new Ballard. I’m sure it will shoot the same as it looks: fantastic! A friend of mine took several pictures of the rifle and I will enclose them as a memory of making this rifle for me and to show others the beauty of the rifles you make. Thanks again and until we meet again!
Sake W. Jager