For those of us that know Elmer and have known him for years , know of his shop , have been there and bought and sold barrels and other gun parts over the years, YES , we know he is a Hell of a Gun Smith. BUT, The man is really getting old. He has been through more visits from the BATF than anyone I have ever heard of. His memory has had better days. I don't have a dog in this argument , but , I have had arguments with Cecil for many years over just about anything that goes bang. I believe if anyone of you lucky gentlemen that have a Devine TX or Devine Tex or even a unmarked Devine M 1 A , you have what you have and the rest of us wish we did. Bob.
Interesting note is when SA INC Geneso Il took over they also marked the barrels with city and state. I thought this was a BATF requirement. Mine was also purchased from the original owner who drove down from New Braunfels Tex to Devine Tex to buy his M1A. He paid 300.00 and sold it to me for 700.00
I bought it in 1989 and I bought 50 M14 mags lightly used for 3 dollars each from Paragon surplus. It is all going to get higher and higher in price no matter what Elmer says he did or didn't mark on the barrels.
Last edited by Johnny in Texas; 12-30-2012 at 08:12.
Serial #187, NM marked, NM drawing number. I own the barrel. A buddy owns the rifle. It's been re-barreled at least three times since the 70's:
What's interesting is that my buddy worked for Elmer over one summer which is what led him to buy the rifle. Last time I called Elmer (2003 or so) he remembered him and wanted his contact info. My buddy lost contact with Elmer when Elmer went on "vacation."
Last edited by Texasflyboy; 08-14-2012 at 11:56.
There's long been equal parts fakery and ignorance about early M1A's. If you're looking at one and have questions about it, Cecil usually knows what you need to know. Or if Elmer didn't want anybody calling him he'd say so. A rifle that somebody else completed on a bare Texas receiver can't be a "Devine" M1A. It gets overlooked that Elmer sold some bare receivers and may have included some among the assets he transferred to the Reeses.
I have a Devine ser.00123x all G.I. Parts NM ,2 line devine hand stamped under gas plug RT I BX 2I0,second line DEVINE TEX, note on first line I was used in place of 1. I have talked to Elmer and he is 83 now. A fine gentleman. My Pal in San Antonio will see him at next weekends Jan.2013 gunshow down there. The rifle still T.E.'s less than 1 on the throat . When I got it, it was just test fired and sat in the closet for near 40 years. A very fine made M1A that is made right&correct. Sak,hr,trw , G.I rounded butt-fat stock. Maybe when the weather break's I will fire it.
Last edited by jeep; 12-31-2012 at 04:14.
What is a Radium Dr. S.A. Tex worth compared to a Devine Tex marked rifle? Both were MFG'ed by Elmers company. Elmer only made the receivers so that is all it takes to make it a Devine rifle the other parts are all USGI. The unique thing about these rifles is when and where and by whom the receivers were MFG'ed. I will say that an early one with a T-44 stock is probably worth more than one that has been rebarreled and restocked. Elmer restocked and glass bedded these rifles as well as many other armorers.
Last edited by Johnny in Texas; 12-30-2012 at 08:26.
I don,t know on today's crazy market,but it appears Devine's are worth about 3-4 grand in excellent unchanged condition(condition without mod,s =$). You have early LH rifles too. Elmer was very good as you stated to,but as he told me he was close to the Lackland base and had talented armorer's from there working on M1A's too. Elmer was a very good shot and won many medals&trophy's to. He served in the Airforce in Korean War. I like my Devine and it is made right as can be. A very well done M1A National Match. Long live the LoneStar Elmer Ballance.
Last edited by jeep; 12-31-2012 at 05:22.
You could ask Cecil. As long as it's a genuine Elmer Ballance M1A, I don't think it'd make any diff to value either way, all else being equal.
Yes the late Melvin Smith machined those Valley Ordance cast rec.'s and those rec. he hand polished and contoured them himself. Along with Elmer they put a together a nice M1A rifle in those day's in Texas. The legend was born.
Last edited by jeep; 12-31-2012 at 07:31.