20 ga. Ballard rimfire shotgun shell NPE


#1

Here is a 20 Gauge /.65 Ballard new primed empty rimfire shotgun shell. The only information I can find on it are a couple of descriptions from Buttweiler Auction catalogs. He started it was for a short lived Ballard combination rimfire/percussion shotgun from the 1860’s. The fired rimfire case could be fitted with a percussion nipple and fired in the same gun as a percussion cartridge.

No Headstamp
Rim: .578” (19.25mm)
Base: 0.663” (16.84mm)
Neck: 0.663” (16.83mm)
Case length: 2.28” (57.97mm)
Rim Thichness:0.08”(1.96mm)

Does any have a pictures, drawings or other information on this cartridge and gun? Any idea of who manufactured the cartridges (CTM?)?

Thanks,

Paul


#2

We had 20 bore in sale 3 lot 39 & had this to say.

"A quite scarce .64 or 20 Ga Ballard NPE, unheadstamped, with a 2.282” oal and showing a blackish priming compound. Made for a Ballard shotgun with a dual-ignition system (a swiveling hammer). The maker of this shell is unknown but tick marks are not unlike C.D. Leet’s. "

This one went for $900 but years later Ray Hanning turned up a bunch & those were selling for around $500, as I remember.

Apparently there is also a 16 bore?

As to RTB’s statement that a nipple could be fitted to a fired RF case sounds a bit hard to do to me. After all the head is just a sheet of not too thick copper. I’d think it a lot more likely a steel or turned brass case fitted with a central nipple would have been used.


#3

Thanks Pete,

I agree with you about the percussion nipple. It doesn’t sound like it would be a practical thing to do. I thought if they could be reused there might have been a devise to puncture a hole in the base of the cartridge and use it like some of the other separate primed patented ignition cartridges of the time (Smith, Burnside, Maynards etc). That’s why I was curios as to what the gun looked like and any patent drawing that might exist.

My example doesn’t have the tic marks on the base typically seen with CDL products but that doesn’t mean it’s not Leet.

Paul


#4

Ballards with dual ignition, RF/percussion, were fitted with a percussion nipple in the breech block. If the shooter ran out of RF ammo they would punch a hole in the base of an MT case and reload the case in use it the same way the early Maynards were designed.


#5

Well Orange, a guess that explains it. Thanks!


#6

TO ALL:

ABOUT 20 YEARS AGO A FRIEND OF MINE WHO COLLECTED BALLARD RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS HAD ONE OF THE GUNS AND A SET OF RELOADING TOOLS. IN THIS SET WAS A WOOD DOWEL WITH A POINTED PICK IN ONE END. THE CARTRIDGE CASE FIT INTO A METAL CYLINDER WHICH SAT ON TOP OF A RECESSED WOOD BLOCK, THE DOWEL, PICK END DOWN, WAS INSERTED AND THE OTHER END RAPPED WITH A WOOD MALLET TO PUNCTURE THE END OF THE CASE. SOMEWHERE I HAVE AN OLD BALLARD ADVERTISEMENT (REPRINT) THAT SHOWS THESE TOOLS.


#7

Hi Paul.
Years ago when I still had my US rimfire collection, I picked up a 44 Ballard with no headstamp that had been fired. The case had a very neat, small hole in the middle of the head that had obviously been struck from the inside. It was loaded with a round lead ball, so I didn’t take it apart. It had come out of a junk box for less than $1, so I didn’t think it was a fake. I did finally figure it out that it was indeed for the ballard rifle. About 30 years ago I also had a 44 ballard percussion case which looked very similar to the early percussion Maynards with the flat head. It too got traded off for something I couldn’t live without. Something else for you to look out for.

Cheers,
Will.


#8

Thank you all for the info. Clears things up.

Paul


#9

Paul, below you can see a related ad published in 1868 and details of the Merwin & Bray rimfire/percussion system of 1864, as used in these Ballard shotguns. These were made in the 1867-69 timeframe by the Merrimack Arms & Mfg. Co. in Newburyport, Mass. Regards, Fede.


#10

Thanks Fede,

You always come through with the answers.

Paul