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OrneryOaf

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gents,
Quick question. Gonna grab a couple hickory rods for range and field. Got a .54 percussion rifle that I know uses .530 balls. What size rod do you guys recommend? 5/16, 3/8 or even 1/2.... any better than another? Gonna try to get a muzzle protector as well if I need to
Thanks
 

Notchy Bob

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I would probably go with 7/16" for a .54 if I were using a straight, untapered wooden rod. If you want a spare ramrod that might get carried under the barrel, the size would be dictated by the inside diameter of your ramrod pipes. In that case, you would want it small enough to slide in place easily, but not so loose that it rattles or slides out when you tip the muzzle down, and not so tight that it would swell up enough to get stuck in the ramrod pipes in wet weather.

If you use an untapered rod in conjunction with a muzzle protector, it would need to be of a size to fit the hole in the muzzle protector. I don't normally use one, although they are generally recommended.

I like tapered wooden rods, but that's one item that you just about have to make for yourself because it needs to be properly fitted to your rifle. To make a tapered rod for a .54, I would start with a 1/2" straight grained hickory or ash blank. There was a very good and quite extensive thread concerning tapered ramrods recently, on this forum. You could probably find it with a search.

Shoot straight and be safe! Let us know what works best for you.

Notchy Bob
 

OrneryOaf

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OK, I didn't think about the size under the barrel ...hmm, gonna have to measure that thanks!!
 

tenngun

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Many old guns, even in larger caliber had smaller rods.
I like to get 7/16 and leave the last three inch’s full size and scrape the lower to fit the pipes. Many old rods tapered so I oft end up with 5/16 at the end.
 

longcruise

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For wood rods i use 3/8" . For steel or brass (yes, for on-board rods) it's 5/16". All calibers from 45 to 58.
 

Notchy Bob

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Many old guns, even in larger caliber had smaller rods.
I like to get 7/16 and leave the last three inch’s full size and scrape the lower to fit the pipes. Many old rods tapered so I oft end up with 5/16 at the end.
Yup... That's what I do, except I sometimes start with a 1/2" dowel, depending on the caliber of the firearm.

Tapering the last few inches of the rod's tail down to 5/16", as tenngun described, is frequently necessary with guns that have two lock bolts, because the forward lock bolt very often encroaches on the ramrod channel.

Notchy Bob
 

renegadehunter

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I'm using the factory size of 3/8 for my .54 TC Renegade with no loading issues.
 

OrneryOaf

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Wouldn't oak, maybe red oak be just as good?? Soaked in boiled linseed oil..Sorry, I like oak
 

Carbon 6

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Wouldn't oak, maybe red oak be just as good?? Soaked in boiled linseed oil..Sorry, I like oak
Red oak works just fine, or at least it has been for me. Just pay attention to grain run-out and do a flex test. No need to soak it in oil just give it a few good coats of tung or true oil.
 

mooman76

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I often carry my range rod in the barrel. Most of my guns have the original POS RR that I don't trust loading so I just leave it there and move my range rod to whatever gun I plan on shooting. In that case you could do a larger rod for a range rod but like the others stated, you are more or less stuck with the size that goes under the barrel.
 

OrneryOaf

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Ok, usually I don't admitt this but being a newbie, to hell with it. Got some new oak rods today...2 in 3/8 and 1 in 5/8...guess how well the 5/8 fits.
 

eggwelder

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I used red oak for mine. quartered the stock length-wise and arranged the 4 pieces so that any grain run out was countered by the piece next to it. looks like scope cross hairs in cross section. shaved it down and tapered it. it took a warp somewhere along the way while making it, but that really helps keep it in the pipes. very flexible and is capped with brass
 

OrneryOaf

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I've smoothed down the oak DOWEL and I'm gonna try to find a brass cap for the ball end and I will make a decent hardwood handle for the top.
 

Carbon 6

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I've smoothed down the oak DOWEL and I'm gonna try to find a brass cap for the ball end and I will make a decent hardwood handle for the top.
I thought you were making a ramrod, not a range rod. A range rod really should be steel or brass with a threaded end to accept jags, worms and pullers. The only exception being a shotgun, then a wooden field rod may be preferable or necessary.
Not saying you can't make a wooden one, just that a metal one is better.
 

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