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Ramrods, Hunting, other than wood ....

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I'm curious about this, and have read posts on the forum about broken ramrods while hunting. There seems to be interest in Delran type rods.
My question for the members is ... how do you folks slim them down to fit when they need to be tapered ?

I've used straight Delran rods on T/C's. Made to fit. But on long rifles it could be a different story. I have a sectioned rod made of steel - it is USA surplus made for the M-2. I got it to use as a backup in the field
if needed in cold weather. Needs an adapter tho for a jag. Not a problem.

SO, what method do you use to slim down a Delran rod to fit your long rifle ?
 
I'm curious about this, and have read posts on the forum about broken ramrods while hunting. There seems to be interest in Delran type rods.
My question for the members is ... how do you folks slim them down to fit when they need to be tapered ?

I've used straight Delran rods on T/C's. Made to fit. But on long rifles it could be a different story. I have a sectioned rod made of steel - it is USA surplus made for the M-2. I got it to use as a backup in the field
if needed in cold weather. Needs an adapter tho for a jag. Not a problem.

SO, what method do you use to slim down a Delran rod to fit your long rifle ?
I have sanded them down and then applied a good wax on the area sanded.
 
I’d question the need for a delran rod. When I started shooting black powder I, as most people bought powder one or two pounds at a time. After a few years of hunting and competition the cost saving of buying by the case became clear. The boxes that powder comes in are quite stout so I started saving them. I have three laying around and I’m sure there was two or three that are gone. The point is I have yet to break a wooden ram rod. How you use one is more important than the material.
 
I am not so lucky to have never broken a ramrod and the injury I incurred from it left me hesitant to go back to a wooden one. After my injury I ordered three ramrods. A steel range rod with a brass guide, a Delrin field rod for hunting and a wooden rod replacement for aesthetics. Delrin can be worked like other plastics. My rod came from Track of the Wolf ready to use and has a screw under a cap for unloading (which my original didn’t have. One thing that bothered me a tiny bit is that my replacement rods were about a centimeter shorter than the original.
 
I have Delrin range rods for all my muzzel loaders and wood rods for looks. That said I have never broke a wood rod, but my wood rod for my Renegade is over 50 years old and I am not going to chance breaking it. The Delrin rods work well for range and hunting,
 
Out of desperation, I recently had to slim down an old brown fiberglass ramrod blank. Hillbilly engineering - clamped my hand held drill in my bench vise, stuck the ramrod in the drill chuck and a partial sheet of 60 grit wet/dry sandpaper. The rod was 37 inches long.

Tricky Part - (get a helper for this) - hold sandpaper carefully but not tightly around the rod a good ways away from the drill to support the ram rod. Have your helper turn on the drill so it runs slowly and let the rotating drill do the work. HOLD ON TO THE RAMROD AT ALL TIMES WHILE IT IS SPINNING.

I was able to thin down a .50 rod to fit in thimbles much smaller in perhaps 20 minutes working alone with the drill locked at full speed. Perfectly concentric and, by switching to finer grit, ended up polished nicely. You have to support the rod in two places to work near the drill end. Anyway...
 
The point is I have yet to break a wooden ram rod. How you use one is more important than the material.
Good point, Phil. I too, have never broken a wooden ram rod but I am extra careful when seating a projectile, especially with my .32 Crockett. Both hands and no hard pounding. Short pushes at a time with hands somewhat close together.

However, when I first got my New Englander years ago, I still lived out west in the big mountains. One of the first things I did was buy a aluminum ram rod to take with me when I'm out in the mountains for days on end per hunt. I found out I do not like aluminum ram rod but the extra safety of it was worth it. Being way up in the mountains alone and putting a broken ram rod through my hand did not sound like fun. Plus the thought of breaking a ram rod and ending my hunt, considering I was up there for days on end.

An awesome member on here send me a new brass ram rod for my .32 Crockett. Haven't used it yet but it did add just under a pound to the weight to the ML, which I think will help steady it up a bit when shooting offhand. Kind of like a range rod and ram rod in one.

I do, however, still have a wooden ram rod for my GPR and I doubt I will replace it. Those old hickory ram rods are pretty darn tough and if used properly, should last a long time.

I have a big bore brass range rod for all but hunting.
 
I have all kinds of ram rods. I use a large Dewey coated rod for the range. It works perfectly. I have several Delrin rods I can also use at the range in various sizes and lengths. I have a collapsible rod for emergency use in the field, itf i happened to break a rod etc. I usually use the Hickory rods in the filed because I am only going to shoot once or twice! I see no problem when others choose Delrin etc. Ask yourself, 'would you want a barrel made out of steel used 150 years ago or would you like the steel of today etc. I have Sharon Barrels, Colerain barrels by Scott Keller and an Original Rice barrel. Many swear by GM barrels. My point is, there is nothing wrong with using "better" materials when they are available. Delrin rods work well for many people and give them a "safe" feeling as opposed to using Hickory. I say , use what makes you feel good and keeps you shooting.
 
I have one delrin but I find it to be a bit slippery.

@ETipp I've thought about the aluminum and for the exact same reasons you considered. I have a steel rod on A gpr but it adds a lot of weight. Wonder what can be done to aluminum to get away from the brightness 🌞🤔?
 
I have used wooden ramrods without issue and prefer them. That said, I had a .62 caliber Jaeger that required the ramrod tapering all the way down to 5/16". That particular rifle also required an exceptionally tight PRB to shoot it's very best, which really was the tightest grouping rifle I have ever owned. I broke a threaded tip off the wood rod and ended up making a brass ramrod for that rifle.
 
I have one delrin but I find it to be a bit slippery.

@ETipp I've thought about the aluminum and for the exact same reasons you considered. I have a steel rod on A gpr but it adds a lot of weight. Wonder what can be done to aluminum to get away from the brightness 🌞🤔?
Mine came black. I still don’t like it but I seldom shoot that ML anyway.

Considering the GPR is a RB shooter I would go with a hickory ram rod and just be mindful of it. I used a hickory ram rod on all my other ML’s I’ve had and never had a problem. Some were conical shooters that I sometimes had to get rough with to seat a Maxi Ball.

I have no plans on putting anything but a hickory ram rod on my GPR.

Getting ready to buy a ram rod for my wife’s Hawken and it will be hickory.

On a small bore such as a .32, I have always been extra mindful of such a small diameter hickory ram rod. But since an awesome member on here sent me a brass ram rod, that is no longer a concern. Not afraid of a hickory .32 ram rod, however.

I have found that a hickory ram rod is much quieter when reloading in the woods than a metallic ram rod.

My .02
 
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I have sanded them down and then applied a good wax on the area sanded.
I've done this same thing. I mounted my drill in a vise to hold it and taped the trigger down. I then put the ram rod into the drill to make a hill billy lathe. I plugged the drill in and used sand paper to sand down the ram rod until I got the correct thickness. I then applied a light coat of wax to clean it up. Just be careful and don't wear gloves. The sand paper can get hung up on itself and get sucked up onto the ramrod.
 
I'm curious about this, and have read posts on the forum about broken ramrods while hunting. There seems to be interest in Delran type rods.
My question for the members is ... how do you folks slim them down to fit when they need to be tapered ?

I've used straight Delran rods on T/C's. Made to fit. But on long rifles it could be a different story. I have a sectioned rod made of steel - it is USA surplus made for the M-2. I got it to use as a backup in the field
if needed in cold weather. Needs an adapter tho for a jag. Not a problem.

SO, what method do you use to slim down a Delran rod to fit your long rifle ?

The only time I’ve broken a ramrod was when i accidentally sat on it in my shop.

I think a wooden ramrod is fine and as long as the wood choice is suitable, the rod will last through the gun’s life. Derlin rods can be turned down and shaped like any fiber glass or epoxy resin mold. If you want a very strong durable ramrod, i would just get a custom steel rod made with a threaded or tapped end and brass tip.
 
There seems to be interest in Delran type rods.
My question for the members is ... how do you folks slim them down to fit when they need to be tapered ?
I am a long time advocate for the use of Delrin rods for safety reasons. I used to make and sell Delrin rods. To taper, just do like you might do for wood. Scrape with a blade. Or chuck up in a lathe or hand drill and use sandpaper until you get desired result. It can take a while but is doable.
 

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