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Discussion in 'General Muzzleloading' started by chawbeef, Dec 18, 2019.
They have plenty of ash trees in Europe.
Thank you Stophel.
I don't understand what makes some people think that their "reasonable thought," is the same as someone else's. Not only now amongst our contemporaries, but between our contemporary way of thinking and our experiences compared to someone 250 or more years ago with a completely different set of experiences, values, and concerns. I'm pretty sure we can all look back over just the last 75 years of history and find examples of the "reasonable thought" of the times resulting in something we adamantly disagree with now, just as there are things we do based on what we consider reasonable thinking that our grandparents and great grandparents would not approve of or consider as an option.
This is why I asked what the goal is in my response. Is the goal an hc/pc ramrod that isn't hickory? And of so are we talking field expedient or made at home? Or are we talking about just wanting to make a serviceable ramrod in our home workshop, regardless of historical accuracy, that is not hickory, something unique. Which is fine, just don't tell me that because you think it's a good idea, our forefathers must have thought so too.
The whole idea of “reasoning” what they would have done with the conclusion that “obviously they did the thing I like to do the way I do it” is a complete farce. Tiresome at best. Why not just say, “I like to do it this way and don’t care whether this way is the way it was done historically or not.”?
I have been on the opposite side of this argument often here. Rather than saying they "must" have done it a certain way I'll usually argue they "probably" did. (e.g. one pole shelters) People tend to think similarly even when separated by time or distance. As for "field expedient", I'm sure almost any nearly straight tree branch of not too large a size could, or would have been, whittled and scraped down to make a replacement wiping stick. Many I have seen in museums seem to have been made just that way.
I think many here are taking my statement as an attack. It was not. It was a statement as to documentation, and the requirement for such. Reasonable thought must come into play for without it one can argue the item never existed. A simple example; if there is no documentation of what material(s) European ramrods were made of back in the period (for argument, we have one reply that “it looked like Beech!” from 1972, which is considered historical to the time period of the 1970’s) then by the lack of this documentation, the ramrod did not exist!
Gun makers and gun enthusiasts have always taken great pride and interest in their guns. I think people used whatever wood was suitable and easily available, but I also think they went to great lengths to import whatever they desired. Antique examples of guns have been adorned with everything from gold to whale bone and ivory. Importing ramrods would be no different to the discerning owner.
We should remember one difference between us and them.
We’re a bunch of gun nuts. They weren’t.
We fiddle with our guns, we read about guns, we get together to talk about guns, to show off guns.
A gun was mostly a hammer back then. They had special guns, they took care of their guns, they might have named some. But they didn’t care about guns.
A boy who grew up in Pennsylvania that saved enough to buy a rifle may have spent his hard won coin on a Maryland rifle, or a Virginia . He didn’t care. No one told him his wrist was too thick or too egg shaped, no one said you shouldn’t use them inlays.
We know that hickory was the go to wood. But I really doubt if one used anything else it would excite a comment from anyone. As fare as museum pieces are concerned we have no idea how many have an original ramrod and how many have a replacement.
We see a few candy stripped or fine rosewood or mahogany rods, but we see some sticks that may be years younger then the gun in question. And we see lots of guns with field mortifications.
we know exactly what a WW2 tank or bomber should look like, but we know crews made a lot of modifications.
We know of lots of buggered up old guns, and I’ve seen more then one that had a dowel fit in that didn’t fit the pipes real well.
Sorry but your "reasonable thought" is very flawed. While we want to know what material was commonly (or even uncommonly) used for ramrods, we do not need to know what material they were made from to know that they existed. Paintings, first hand accounts of how guns were loaded, the very presence of thimbles on the guns all confirm that ramrods existed even tho they do not tell us from what what or even how they were made. The reasonable "speculation" would ask what materials were readily available, suitable for the task and reasonably priced. We could then say that xyz was likely used, but tradition, personal preferences and matters of style could easily take things in a different (unlogical to us) direction.
There is one thing we can all agree on, That ramrods weren't originally made from aluminum, fiberglass, or delrin.
Or even brass. Now steel is different. Iron was too soft and was prone to bending.
I have brass, steel, wood and one that I can't identify.
I love history and am enthusiastic about learning more at every chance. IMO, we tend to get overly focused on studying a singular time period without delving into the before and after aspects. To a great extent the story of the fur trade is the story of the settlement of north America.
So, I skip the reenactment scene. The muzzle Loading hobby is to me, just that . It's about the firearms, the hunting and shooting get togethers. Some shoots are limited to period correct outfits and I could conjure up an outfit very much like is worn their just to participate but it seems like it would be offensive.
There are quite a few others here that are the same. After all, it's a traditional muzzle Loading forum. No requirement to be pc beyond the guns we talk about.
A whole lot of history gets created on forums like this and I'll say I've been around long enough to see history being born and make its way to fact. It's not the speculation and wondering that is at the root of it but rather our eagerness to "know" that carries us down that road.
Just me rambling. Got nothing to do with individuals or beliefs.
I have several for all my guns, hickory, oak, cherry, mahogany. I like the different look each has after I finish them with various stains. If you use it right, I don't believe you have to worry much about breakage.
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