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Brass Jag History?

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Guys we’ve all seen them. The brass jags:



But when did these threaded, stepped, brass jags first show up on muzzleloaders?

The 1970s? What about earlier, were they ever say used in the late “traditional” muzzleloading era such as with the percussion rifles? Just curious.

-Smokey
 

tenngun

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I don’t know how old for that style. A jag was supplied with fine cased guns by the early nineteenth, and fine long guns by later.
But that style? Ml boom after Turner Kirkland.
 

Carbon 6

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Ya know, it is possible to clean your rifle without using a jag at all, or any ramrod tip accessory. You can use just a bare rod, a piece of string, and a piece if tow or cloth.
It does work.
 

Rifleman1776

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Guys we’ve all seen them. The brass jags:



But when did these threaded, stepped, brass jags first show up on muzzleloaders?

The 1970s? What about earlier, were they ever say used in the late “traditional” muzzleloading era such as with the percussion rifles? Just curious.

-Smokey
The shape is very like the ends whittled into 'wiping sticks' I have seen in museums. Not a new idea just a new material. But, like tenngun said, many accessories were found in fine cased sets that would not be found in the north Americans woodsman pouch.
 

rich pierce

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LD, I had not seen that type of jag with a bell-bottomed end before. Very cool. I will try to make one this week. If you have any more pictures that would be great. I wonder what the slot is for.
 
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The shape is very like the ends whittled into 'wiping sticks' I have seen in museums. Not a new idea just a new material. But, like tenngun said, many accessories were found in fine cased sets that would not be found in the north Americans woodsman pouch.
Interesting. I’ve been researching jags and worms lately.
 

Coot

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Ya know, it is possible to clean your rifle without using a jag at all, or any ramrod tip accessory. You can use just a bare rod, a piece of string, and a piece if tow or cloth.
It does work.

I seem to recall reading about the Lewis & Clark expedition cutting "wiping sticks" presumably to use for cleaning rather than loading the guns. These "wiping sticks" could have had the ends whittled into a jag, or used as cut to push down some tow or bit of rag on a string.
 

Carbon 6

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I seem to recall reading about the Lewis & Clark expedition cutting "wiping sticks" presumably to use for cleaning rather than loading the guns. These "wiping sticks" could have had the ends whittled into a jag, or used as cut to push down some tow or bit of rag on a string.
I "whittled" one of my rod ends in such an attempt. It did not work that well but does make the rod easier to grab used the other way round when you get to the bottom of the barrel.
I whittled it wrong.
 

plmeek

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The shape is very like the ends whittled into 'wiping sticks' I have seen in museums. Not a new idea just a new material. But, like tenngun said, many accessories were found in fine cased sets that would not be found in the north Americans woodsman pouch.
I agree with Rifleman1776 and Coot. Wiping sticks sometimes had a jag like feature whittled on the end of the stick.

I showed this painting by Karl Bodmer before of an Assiniboin Indian with a wiping stick in addition to a ramrod in his trade gun.


The wiping stick appears to have a worm with tow wrapped around it on the upper end and a jag like feature on the lower end.
Bodmer Pasesick Kaskutau_detail enlarged.jpg


Jags go back to the 17th century. "Brass" ones, unsure.

View attachment 20326

LD
As Loyalist Dave pointed out, jag like tools have been around for a long time. The ones he showed in the picture are all iron which makes sense because iron could easily be forged and filed to the desired shape. Brass could not be forged and needed to be cast and filed. More time consuming than forging iron.

I don't know when brass jags became a common tool. Maybe late 19th century or later. Certainly after the mid-19th century. I say that because the modern brass jag is turned on a lathe. A suitable lathe for turning a brass jag wasn't commonly available until mid-19th century as the industrial revolution really took off.
 

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