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Old September 9, 2007, 01:45 PM   #1
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"deep cut" Ballard vs MicroGroove

Looks like I'm going to be hunting with a Marlin Rifle chambered for a pistol cartridge. Two types of rifling are offered, "deep cut" (whatever that means exactly) Ballard type, and Micro Groove. Ballard cut barrels have slow twist and MicroGroove barrels have faster twist. Primary use will be with jacketed bullets at highest accurate velocities. Also having good accuracy with cast would be great too. Which would be better?

I have some ideas of wildcat chambering to improve the 200 to 300 yard performance of these, expecially in 41. The 410GNR has caught my eye. Limited bullet selection I know.

Also, I'm not finding my dream gun, which is straight stock with checkering, octagonal rifle lenght barrel (20), and until I get a better idea 41 mag caliber.

Thanks for any help/suggestions/ideas
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Old September 9, 2007, 02:05 PM   #2
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jacketed or plated for micro groove rifling
cast for ballard rifling
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Old September 9, 2007, 02:14 PM   #3
Blue Duck
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Well, of course the Micro-groove rifling is Marlin's normal rifling for many years. Micro-groove is a shallow rifling, which is supposed to not deform the bullet as much, and as a result will shoot more accurately. It does work pretty good, but is not my first choice for cast bullets, and Marlin is now back to producing lots of leveractions in the old ballard rifling, probably do to feedback from the cowboy action shooting people.

Even though the micro-groove rifling is really pretty good, I would rather have the ballard rifling. I really don't even like the micro-groove in the .22 rimfire, however I once had a Model 39A with micro-groove that was very accurate, but you did have to clean it more often, to maintain top accuracy.

Maybe someone else will chime in here with more information. However, I am afraid the rifle you are looking for will be a hard find. Of course when you say wildcat, you're saying custom. So if you have the money, I guess you can have what you want if you can find a gunsmith to do it.
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Old September 9, 2007, 07:31 PM   #4
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My Marlin Camp .45 has Micro-groove rifling. lead slugs are dirty in it, and it's difficult to clean the fouling as well.
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Old September 10, 2007, 09:40 PM   #5
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Pistol caliber rounds at 200-300 yd? You'd do better throwing rocks.
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Old September 10, 2007, 11:15 PM   #6
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when ballard rifling first came out i traded a micro groove 45 70 in for it. in this case accuacy did not change. go figure. bobn
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Old September 11, 2007, 07:36 AM   #7
Old Time Hunter
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What most other people have already said, the ballard cut rifling accomodates cast bullets and allows for slower velocities to still be accurate. It also allows you to use heavier bullets, which might offer more stability at longer distances, but 200-300 yards was never the intent of the pistol calibers. A stout load behind a 265 grain JSP, chambered for .44mag, in a carbine length barrel should be good to go for up to 150 yards. Anything longer and gravity plays a bigger part. There is only so much powder you can get into a short cartridge, so weight will have a larger factor in its knock down power at farther distances.
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Old September 11, 2007, 10:04 PM   #8
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I have purchased a Marlin 1894 in .41 Mag. In short, I love this gun. It is very accurate. My last trip to the range gave me a 3" 5 shot group. This was the only grouping I fired. It is capable of tighter groupings. Remington's Express ammo is a very good cartridge. I have come close to hitting soda cans at 200 yards. I have handily hit soda cans at 100 yards. If I were to hunt with it, I would try to keep the range around 100 yards. This gun has the Micro Groove barrel. It does not like lead or metal dipped stuff. I have been told that a harder cast bullet would do well, but I have not tried this yet. Normally all I shoot is Hornady XTPs and Remington soft points. I hope this is of some help.
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Old September 11, 2007, 11:49 PM   #9
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Pistol caliber rounds at 200-300 yd? You'd do better throwing rocks.
Depends on the pistol caliber. Remember, the 375 JDJ is a pistol round, as is the 500 S&W, the 460 S&W, 454 Cassull, 7mm IHMSA, 445 SuperMag, I could go on for a while. It's not just your dad's 38-40 anymore.
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Old September 12, 2007, 01:23 AM   #10
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Well, I have one of each -- a 39D with Microgroove rifling, and a 1894C with Ballard-type rifling. They both seem to work equally well, but the Ballard rifling is a little harder to clean when firing lead bullets. For the most part, I fire jacketted rounds, so it's really a moot point. I think which type of rifling it has is secondary to whatever things you like/dislike about the particular guns.
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Old September 12, 2007, 07:52 AM   #11
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I have used the older style Marlins for many years, in .30-30, .444 and .45-70 with both jacketed and lead bullets in the case of the .45-70. I have not noticed much difference, if any. I think this is mostly a publicity/marketing thing on Marlin's part. Hard to believe, I know...

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