Quantcast

Ramrod Question

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

Imacfrog

36 Cl.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
54
Reaction score
50
Location
Boothbay, Maine
I am new to black powder shooting and recently ran my finger up and down the ramrod (TC Hawken-percussion, 28" barrel, 1:48" twist). To my horror, I have discovered that there are two spots on the ramrod where the grain of the wood seems to be lifting up (on opposite sides of the rod) and creating a "catch" on my finger. The question is this, is this repairable or do I need to replace the ramrod. If repair, what are your suggestions. If replace, suggestions for a replacement (The Track of the Wolf?). Or maybe I am just being overly worrisome and cautious? Any insight you could offer would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

Phil Coffins

40 Cal.
Joined
Dec 7, 2017
Messages
718
Reaction score
634
Location
Colorado
A small catch I would sand lightly and be mindful to grip the rod in short amounts to seat the ball. Having a couple of spare rods is a good idea and you can inspect them carefully to cut the best part from an end or right out of the middle. When you decide to fit the tips to a new rod don’t neglect to pin them on.
 

Grenadier1758

58 Cal.
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
5,152
Reaction score
1,874
Location
St. Louis, MO
Those catches are indications of weak spots along your ramrod. While Phil's suggestion is okay for a short term solution, the long term solution is a replacement. Yes, cross pin the tips on.

Of course a working rod of brass or steel for loading and cleaning at the range is a recommended procedure.
 

Imacfrog

36 Cl.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
54
Reaction score
50
Location
Boothbay, Maine
Other than wood is more authentic, what is the downside to a delrin rod. Looking more for something to use in the field that will be dependable. I have a nice steel range rod for target shooting that came with the Hawken.
 

Prairieofthedog

40 Cal.
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
420
Reaction score
21
Other than wood is more authentic, what is the downside to a delrin rod. Looking more for something to use in the field that will be dependable. I have a nice steel range rod for target shooting that came with the Hawken.
Delrin is fine for a field rod. Make sure the ends are pinned. Keep the delrin rod clean,it has a softer outside coating that will pick up grit.
 

Zonie

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
MLF Supporter
Joined
Oct 4, 2003
Messages
31,236
Reaction score
4,096
Location
Phoenix, AZ
It sounds like "grain breakout" to me. That's where the company that made the ramrod just machined it out of a piece of wood without paying attention to what the grain of the wood was doing.
If this is done, the long strands of wood grain will be cut off making the outside of the ramrod look like this.

ramrodgrain1.jpg


Because the grain fibers break out the side of the rod, the rod can split along those breakouts leaving a razor sharp point that can easily go completely thru your hand when your ramming a ball.
You can leave the rod there for decoration but don't use it to ram a patched ball under any circumstance.
 

renegadehunter

32 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
382
Reaction score
155
Location
Idaho
I use a Delrin rod for hunting and have no troubles with it. Just make sure to not score it like some do a wooden rod for a "loaded" mark.
Like Grenadier mentioned, it is fairly flexible and requires not grabbing it very high above the muzzle if you have a tight PRB combo to load.
 

Imacfrog

36 Cl.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
54
Reaction score
50
Location
Boothbay, Maine
It sounds like "grain breakout" to me. That's where the company that made the ramrod just machined it out of a piece of wood without paying attention to what the grain of the wood was doing.
If this is done, the long strands of wood grain will be cut off making the outside of the ramrod look like this.

View attachment 38183

Because the grain fibers break out the side of the rod, the rod can split along those breakouts leaving a razor sharp point that can easily go completely thru your hand when your ramming a ball.
You can leave the rod there for decoration but don't use it to ram a patched ball under any circumstance.
This is exactly what is happening. I may just dab it with a little super glue and use it for “show” and go with a replacement Delrin rod for hunting. Being a nylon composite it would also have the the side benefit of being more weather resistant! Thanks for the responses.
 

Imacfrog

36 Cl.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
54
Reaction score
50
Location
Boothbay, Maine
I use a Delrin rod for hunting and have no troubles with it. Just make sure to not score it like some do a wooden rod for a "loaded" mark.
Like Grenadier mentioned, it is fairly flexible and requires not grabbing it very high above the muzzle if you have a tight PRB combo to load.
I had saw a suggestion on YouTube to spray a coat or two of lacquer on the Delrin rod. Your thoughts?
 

renegadehunter

32 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
382
Reaction score
155
Location
Idaho
I had saw a suggestion on YouTube to spray a coat or two of lacquer on the Delrin rod. Your thoughts?
I read a comment above about Delrin having a soft outer surface that will pick up grit, so I'd imagine the lacquer is suggested to make it harder and not allow grit to collect on it.
I clean with mine, so it gets soapy water all over it and I always wipe it down after I'm done. I certainly doesn't feel rough to me or make me concerned it is damaging my barrel from collecting grit.
 

Grenadier1758

58 Cal.
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
5,152
Reaction score
1,874
Location
St. Louis, MO
I've used a Delrin rod, admittedly it was a long time ago, and I just didn't like the whippyness when I was trying to use the rod to load a tight fitting ball. I needed to use short pushes to get a ball down. It was okay.

There are users here on the Forum that use Delrin rods and like them.
 

Zonie

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
MLF Supporter
Joined
Oct 4, 2003
Messages
31,236
Reaction score
4,096
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Although Delrin is flexible, if the right method of ramming a patched roundball or bullet is used, it will work OK.

The thing that some people do that is totally wrong is to follow the method that's used in the movies.
They see the hero grab the ramrod up at the top and in one mighty thrust, he rams the ball down the bore. This is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

To properly use the ramrod, after the ball or bullet is started in the bore locate the ramrod on top of the projectile. Move your hand up about 1 foot above the muzzle, grab the ramrod and push it down until your hand hits the muzzle. Then move your hand up a foot on the exposed rod and ram it down again.
Keep on doing this until the ball or bullet is tightly seated on the powder and your done.

Doing it this way with a good ramrod that doesn't have grain breakout is safe and effective. It won't break a good wooden ramrod or bend a Delrin rod.
 

renegadehunter

32 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
382
Reaction score
155
Location
Idaho
^^^Exactly right^^^.
I run an .018" pillow ticking patch with a .530 RB. After the barrel is fouled you aren't going to be able to load any other way anyway, except maybe with a robust range rod.
If you load like Zonie states you'll be fine with a good hickory rod if you prefer. Most that break them off and jab the sharp end through their hand weren't following this loading method.
 

firestick

36 Cl.
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
82
Reaction score
36
Location
The Bighorns
It is called grain run out. Any signs of grain lifting is a sign of grain structure failure. It may or may not last. IMO I would replace it with a quality rod. I just got a replacement from October Country myself. Last thing I need is to have one break and run it through my hand in some fashion. Really would put an end to the day in a hurry.
 

mushka

36 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Mar 20, 2018
Messages
520
Reaction score
271
Location
Yuma Az
A ramrod, whether wood, derlin, or steel is merely a tool. Tool use is learned so we should spend the time to learn to use it properly. This should be gospel for any tool.
 

brazosland

40 Cal
MLF Supporter
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
286
Reaction score
150
Location
Central Texas
I have brass rods I use for loading and cleaning. The only time my wood rods are ever used is for a hunting reload in the field.

Lots of great info in the replies above.
 
Top