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Ramrod for loading in the field...

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Splitear

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Newbie question here. I took a muzzleloading course this past winter, and I distinctly remember the instructor saying that you should avoid using the stock ramrod for loading whenever possible, and use a range rod.

Now, does this advice apply when in the field (I would think not)? Should I get an aftermarket ramrod for hunting?
 

mooman76

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If you just have a stock wood ramrod that comes with the gun, I'd say yes. A range rod wouldn't be a good choice for the field but good for the range, hence the name. You will of coarse get many different choices of what to use.
 

Eterry

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I'm convinced most folks load their muzzleloader much tighter than they did 150 years ago and may need a range rod to hammer down an uber tight prb.

I used my ramrod and only my ramrod for years, and replaced it several times, using (gasp), dow rods from the discount center.

I have several range rods, and I use them... at the range. In the field I usually use the ramrod the gun came with, or the one I made for it. BTW, now I don't use dow rods...often. I never had one shatter, but had them crack and fracture while using.

That being said, if I'm in a dove field and shooting a lot while standing pretty stationary i'll carry a range rod, it is admittedly easier to load with than a ramrod. Otherwise, I will use my ramrod.
 

Carbon 6

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Newbie question here. I took a muzzleloading course this past winter, and I distinctly remember the instructor saying that you should avoid using the stock ramrod for loading whenever possible, and use a range rod.

Now, does this advice apply when in the field (I would think not)? Should I get an aftermarket ramrod for hunting?
A range rod is a beautiful thing and I recommend that everyone has one. The ramrod on your gun is something that you need to learn how to use and how to evaluate.
Many factory production guns come with crappy ramrods, but a good wooden ramrod is a thing of joy and beauty.
I'm not carrying a range rod into the woods and I'm not replacing my wooden ramrod with an unbreakable one for a multitude of reasons.
I want my traditional gun to be as traditional as possible.
 

sawyer04

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I am not one to ram the ball to the point of needing range rod in the field. Just remember to grasp the rod close to the muzzle and not 3 feet up from the muzzle when seating the bullet, that said I never figured why, and I see old experienced shooters do it, just keep bouncing the ram rod off the seated bullet. Is this some kind of ritual or habit?
I make ram rods out of hickory splits , said before, however I see they make dowel rods out of synthetic material something like decking boards and I am tempted to try one of those.
 

FlinterNick

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I have range rods that I've made myself from Holm Oak and aluminum. I turned them down to a trumpeted shape at the tip for calibers .72 and .54. The aluminium rods work very well and don't dent the insides of the barrel.
 

Jeff Gleason

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Hunting, I use a delrin rod to load before I leave the truck, and at the range. I wipe between every shot to make sure I am not over straining the ramrod, inviting breakage. IMO tight loads and fouled bores in the field, you're just asking for a broken ramrod.
 

Phil Coffins

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Using a ram rod correctly will allow you to use a good wooden rod for all loading needs. In the field that rod maybe called on for any task from loading to cleaning. Have a good one with pinned tips and use it correctly. It will serve you well for many years.
 

Kansas Jake

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Splitear, your instructor said to avoid using the rod with the gun. That is pretty good advice with most production rods that come with guns unless they are brass, aluminum or something unlikely to break. Now for me the operative word here is "avoid." You can use it, but use caution. I've used hickory rods for years when hunting. I had one mishap many years ago and broke the rod due to a missed shot and buck fever trying to reload. I use range rods when target shooting etc.
 

Zonie

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Newbie question here. I took a muzzleloading course this past winter, and I distinctly remember the instructor saying that you should avoid using the stock ramrod for loading whenever possible, and use a range rod.

Now, does this advice apply when in the field (I would think not)? Should I get an aftermarket ramrod for hunting?
Use the range rod if it is convenient.
Before you start using the ramrod that came with your gun be sure to check it to see if it has grain breakout (runout). If you see shapes in the grain that looks like this picture, do NOT use that ramrod for loading.

ramrodgrain1.jpg


The shape of the grain in the sketch is due to the actual grain boundries in the wood breaking thru the surface. This means the grain of the wood is at an angle to the length of the rod. If a lot of pressure is applied to the rod like it is when you load your gun, often, these grain boundaries, which are very weak, will break or shear off. That leaves a stick with a razor sharp edge on it and more than a few people have had their broken ramrod poke right thru their hand or wrist.

Even notable named companies like Thompson Center supply their guns with ramrods that have this problem so regardless of who made your gun, be sure to check the ramrod for grain breakout. (I have yet to find a TC supplied ramrod that doesn't have grain breakout.)

Replacement ramrods can be bought from places like Track of the Wolf. Usually (but not always) the ramrods they supply don't have this problem.
 

Sidney Smith

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I use the wood ramrod when deer hunting as I usually only need to use it once or twice max. That said I did break mine last year on the opening day of deer season when I loaded the gun at the truck. Fortunately I was able to get the rod out and the gun was properly loaded. I now have two wooden rods in case I break one, plus I carry the range rod with me as a backup.

I always use a nylon range rod when at the shooting range. When loading multiple times on an increasingly dirty bore, it's a good idea to use a stout range rod.
 

Carbon 6

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First thing I do with any muzzleloader I get whether it it new, used, or even a kit is to inspect the ramrod and replace if necessary.
By "replace" I mean make a new wooden one for it.

A wooden rod may not be the strongest rod, but no other rod fits a gun as nicely or has the weight, beauty and feel that it does.

For me, putting anything but wood in the thimbles is akin to shooting carbon or aluminum arrows out of a longbow, just wrong.

A range rod can be be made out of anything that suits your fancy, I'm fond of cold rolled steel with a large wood pommel and a brass muzzle protector.
 

FlinterNick

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First thing I do with any muzzleloader I get whether it it new, used, or even a kit is to inspect the ramrod and replace if necessary.
By "replace" I mean make a new wooden one for it.

A wooden rod may not be the strongest rod, but no other rod fits a gun as nicely or has the weight, beauty and feel that it does.

For me, putting anything but wood in the thimbles is akin to shooting carbon or aluminum arrows out of a longbow, just wrong.

A range rod can be be made out of anything that suits your fancy, I'm fond of cold rolled steel with a large wood pommel and a brass muzzle protector.
I’m working on a ramrod currently, tapering down from 7/16 to 3/8, wooden hickory rod for a Brown Bess. I’ve never broken one and I use them frequently As loading rods over the steel rods for the other military guns I have.

Aluminum works great as a wooden rod substitute you can stain them brown too and brass tip them, if they bend out of shape just bend them back.

Derain rods in my opinion suck.
 

FlinterNick

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I’m a fan of using oak for ramrods, its a strong wood and maintains flexibility. Its also widely available at Home Depot and Lowes.

I’ve been searching for a Yew dowel rod for a ramrod. Yew is one of the strongest and most flexible woods, famously used for the English Long Bow.
 

tenngun

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I have hickory ramrods and range rods for range shooting. My guns take a 3/8 inch tapered and I use a 7/16 as range.
The important thing on a rod is short stokes. Never go more then five or six inches.
Rods break from two ways
1) lateral pressure. Too high it’s easy to push side ways. Our arm work on a pivot and so the force goes in a circle.
2) the ball stalls. Reaching high the rod bends in a curve.
By working close to the muzzle it’s hard to put on lateral pressure by mistake. And it’s hard for the rod to bow and break.
Get a good hickory or try the oak.... but use it right it won’t break
 
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Why not learn to correctly use the wooden ram rod and be done with it, I have never seen any written documentation that originally use of Delrin, aluminum and all the other wonder materials would of been used.
 

FlinterNick

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Why not learn to correctly use the wooden ram rod and be done with it, I have never seen any written documentation that originally use of Delrin, aluminum and all the other wonder materials would of been used.
I agree, I've never busted a wooden rod in any of my guns. lightly tap the round with a downward thrust, no swaggering etc. I've never had a stuck ball or busted rod.

The only reason why I'd use a synthetic rod to be honest is to keep my wooden rods.... pretty.
 

Greg Blackburn

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It's a personal choice. If any of you were to look into my car trunk, you'd think I was either a serious mechanic or a burglar. I carry a crowbar and window punch tools. I also have a full-sized axe, a 5 pound CO2 extinguisher, plus a smaller ABC unit. I was a firefighter for a time and since leaving the department I have come up on several wrecks and I like the ability to take immediate action.

If you want to carry a rod capable of pulling a ball, do so. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

I do know not to use the supplied wooden rod as a cleaning rod! I was 18 and very stupid. I warped the heck out of that wooden rod! :doh: I would assume as long is one is loading with force applied directly down the length of the wooden rod, one should not break it.

After I wrecked the supplied wooden rod, I used a carbon fiber/composite rod with my CVA Bobcat for loading in the field. I have never owned a "range rod" although I have two composite rods for cleaning. I have never had to a pull a ball.
 

ADK Bigfoot

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I use a brass or aluminum range rod when at the range or when loading my first load at camp or truck when hunting. I use the standard hickory ramrod for any subsequent shots when hunting. I have only cracked one hickory ramrod, and that was in a sub-zero primitive biathlon when I got a ball stuck halfway in a dirty bore (6th shot). It was so dry and cold that there was no moisture in the fouling and I got excited and did not spit patch after three shots, as I normally do. Fortunately, I was at the last station and someone behind me handed me a good stout brass range rod so I could ram it home and get the shot off. I missed, of course.

I now have aluminum under-barrel rods that I install in the pipes when I am going "deep" and will be too far from the camp or truck to solve a problem. Very little weight for their strength. I started with a brass under-barrel rod, but it threw off the balance of the rifle. That's now my range rod. Great for long strings on the line.

Why do shooters bounce the rod repeatedly? They saw someone do it. No good reason.

ADK BIGFOOT
 
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