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This was J.M. Marlin's idea of what a Re/De-capper should be for his Ballard rifle:



Here is another picture of the tool with its companion bullet seater. These are for a Marlin-Ballard #1 1/2 "Hunters Rifle" in .40-63 Ballard Everlasting - Marlin's reloadable and boxer-primed answer to .40-70 Sharps Straight.



The decapping rod has a little brass cap or "acorn" that screws onto the end to protect the pin from a drop. Just slide the case onto the rod until the pin contacts the primer flash hole, then rap the rim with a leather mallet to pop out the primer.

The Ballard bullet seater was a 2-piece device. slide in the primed case, pour in the powder charge, drop in the proper bullet, and push the plunger to refusal to seat it to the proscribed depth.

xtm
 
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Again,

The tools are as interesting as the guns...
If you don't mind my asking, where are you finding these gems? I've scoured gun shows and shops and never seem to find anything like these, and the tools from your other post. I wouldn't mind finding some of the old gear for a 45/90 or 70...

giz
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Gizamo said:
......where are you finding these gems? I've scoured gun shows and shops and never seem to find anything like these, and the tools from your other post.
giz
This sounds so stupid, but... these tools are where you find them. ;) I haven't seen one of these tools for sale at a gun show for 10+ years - but that doesn't mean that there aren't any out there.

I familiarized myself with the tools so I could ID them when they did show up before my own eyes - and for a while, I bought them in any configuration and caliber whether I needed them or not. Later, I traded several I had for several I needed. In the case of the .40-63 Ballard tools, I found the tools first, then swapped into a .40-63 rifle later. :D I'm still looking for an original Marlin-Ballard bullet mould.

When you know what they look like, they sometimes show up for sale at flea markets and antique shops as something they are not. The Ballard Re/De-capper was sold to me as a bullet swage. I knew what it was, but the knowledgable seller insisted that you sized .40cal. bullets with the little tool. :roll: I bought the rare Pope Re/De-capper at a clearance sale at an antique mall in Florida. The seller wanted to sell a whole box of odds-and-ends for $200. I saw the device on top of the pile in the box and he stated to me that it was some kind of gun item, but that was it - so I slapped down two Benjamins and bought the whole box without looking closely to see what else was in there. I was happy to find the scarce tool and he was thrilled to sell me his junk. There was also a Pope bullet lubricator, an original stock and forend for a Win. Hi-Wall in XX Deluxe wood (!), some scarce SS bullet moulds, a couple of newer Ideal moulds, ~200 25-20SS cases, and a few other interesting things in the box - all valuable and extremely tradeable items, and maybe the best gun gear score I've ever made.

Original .45-70 and .45-90 tools bring a stiff premium over the tools for odd cartridges - for obvious reasons. Original Sharps tools bring the most $$(stratospheric $$), Winchester and Remington next, with the Mass. Arms, Eli Whitney, and other oddballs at the low end. I don't follow the market or look for them anymore, but if one ever shows up for sale in a cartridge I need or think I might need someday, I'll pay a shameless amount of $$ to buy it because they are getting more and more scarce.

You seem to be very interested in the single shots - particularly the big bores. Do you have any of the older "classic" books on single shot rifles, loading and shooting them, and using the original tools? Venturino and a few others have written fine books on the big bore SS rifles in recent years, but there is a wealth of good "original" information out there from Ned Roberts, Jim Grant, Gerald Kelver, and others. If you don't know about the SS writings of any of these fellows, I will PM some titles to you. Sometimes the most useful information is gleaned from older writings studied under new "light"....

xtm
 
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