After many years of searching, I've finally found one of the "Holy Grails" of Ballard #2 Hunters! I can't even remember when I began this search, but this weekend I stumbled across a guy who wanted to sell his "#4 Ballard" with double set triggers. A quick glance told me it wasn't a #4, as it has a cast receiver, and although it's a very early gun with no caliber stamping, it obviously wasn't in a caliber that any #4 Ballard was ever offered.
The seller produced this old box of Western .32-20, and said, "This is what it shoots."
I think my heart stopped for a few seconds, and I took another look at the chamber, and sure enough it was a #2 in .32-20! The bore is pretty nice, as is the exterior of the barrel. The gun is turning a bit brown, but lots of barrel blue still exiting. Of course the case colors are non-existent, but it does have a nice smooth finish to the metal. Stocks were pretty dry, so they will need lots of Snake Oil to bring them back to life.
The really neat things are the original midrange tang sight, and Ballard combination globe front sight, plus double set triggers, and the correct centerfire only breechblock, with all matching numbers! And to top it all off, it shoots extremely well! Seller had a 250 yd. range behind his home, so we set up targets at 50 yds. and shot most of a box of ammo through it.
I think this may complete every caliber for the #2 Hunter in my collection. I have them in .44 Ballard XL, .44-40, .38 Long, .32 Long, and now the .32-20. I hope that's all, or I'm going to go off on another search!