Wooden ramrods?

Discussion in 'General Muzzleloading' started by Sinner, Mar 26, 2011.

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  1. Mar 26, 2011 #1

    Sinner

    Sinner

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    Have things really changed so much? I have been away from muzzleloading for about 20 yrs. I recently bought a lyman GPR .54 percussion kit and finished it and went to the local range to shoot it. There were two other guys there. Now I understand the concerns of some today about blowing down the barrel between shots ( I DON'T WANT TO OPEN THAT CAN UP HERE), and will follow whatever the clubs rules are, even if I disagree. BUT, what about the nonsense of NOT loading with a wooden ramrod?!
    Yes, unbreakable ones make sense, but since when have outdoorsmen become so squeamish? "It might break and impale your arm!" I was told. You ought notta do that!"
    I was flabbergasted. I disagree, but will not blow down my barrel at the range, nor will I any longer use my wooden ramrod in front of the light hearted.
    I guess I've kind of ranted on... but my question is, Are people no longer using wooden ramrods?
     
  2. Mar 26, 2011 #2

    Dave Rosenthal

    Dave Rosenthal

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    Ramrod for show, Range rod for GO!

    Never used the ramrod on my rifle! Now with the 10 ga. bird hunting, I'll use the ramrod. During a competition with a loading area, the Range rod for the SxS comes out too!

    Dave
     
  3. Mar 26, 2011 #3

    jethro224

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    I use a stainless steel range rod a lot at the range. The wood ramrods get a lot of use too.

    Were you at least wearing your helmet? :haha: :youcrazy:
     
  4. Mar 26, 2011 #4

    paulvallandigham

    paulvallandigham

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    Most of the Ramrods that are sold with factory built guns are of questionable wood- often only pine-- and usually have grain run-out. When you replace them with a good Hickory rod, with straight grain, you can use it for two life times, and still get good service after that! :shocked2:

    I use my range rods at the range, and like Dave, I use my ramrods that come with the gun ONLY in the field. However, I took the pipes off my DBL shotgun, and carry my hickory Range Rod into the field with the gun. I tuck it down the middle of my back, with the jag under the top of my jeans, behind the belt. my hunting bag strap hold the middle of the rod to my back. The Handle sticks up over my hat. But doesn't interfere with my swing or shot, even on high pass shooting. I have had lots of comments on that hickory rod, with the walnut, doorknob shaped handle on it over the years, but it works.

    I have given some small thought to making a small belt loop to put on the strap of my hunting bag, so that I can carry the rod as one would carry a long sword. However, I don't like the idea of the jag catching on brush as I am walking and turning. I would have to find a way to carry it so that the jag end was at least knee high, to make it comfortable to carry that way.

    Yes, wooden ramrods are still used- PROVIDED they are of good wood, and will do the job. I use them to load, not to clean my barrels. There are T-handle fittings that can be affixed to the front of the rod to allow you to use that handle to pull stuck balls, and wads, but I prefer to use my stronger, Stainless Steel Range rod for that purpose. For Light weight AND strength, nothing beats a good quality Hickory Ramrod.

    The only problem I see recurring among new shooters who use their ramrods is trying to shove that rod down the barrel in one stroke, by holding onto the very end of the rod- often pushing it with the palm of their hands. Instead, the hand-over-hand method of loading a rod down the barrel should be employed, with the distance between your hands and the muzzle never exceeding 8 inches, as a general rule. Yes,your hands get dirty, but that is why you carry a bottle of water, and some towels with you to the range or in your vehicle when in the field hunting!
     
  5. Mar 26, 2011 #5

    Pete Gaimari

    Pete Gaimari

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    Nobody has said anything at the range about my hickory ramrod, or blowing down the barrel.

    Maybe they don't want to approach Grizzly Adams. :idunno:
     
  6. Mar 26, 2011 #6

    CoyoteJoe

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    My ramrod and "range rod" are both wood. I use the range rod 90% of the time, pretty much use the under-barrel rod only if I need to reload when hunting or if I forget the range rod. My range rods are 7/16" hardware store dowels which are much easier to grip than those skinny little steel rods. I put a tip on one end, sometimes just a .40 S&W cartridge case, threaded for accessories and a wooden ball, drawer pull or piece of antler for a handle on the other end. I favor tight loads and the only time I've ever broken a ramrod is when I stepped on one.
    Recently however I was sanding down a 3/8" hickory rod to fit the 9mm thimbles on my Blue Ridge. I attempted to straighten a bend by bending it the other way and holding it a few seconds. Suddenly there was a sharp crack and the rod flew into FOUR PIECES, each with a very sharp end.
     
  7. Mar 26, 2011 #7

    rabjr

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    I mainly use a range rod at the range but do use my Hickerys too to go through the motions of reloading in the field I guess...just really depends on the day. Never had anyone say anything about wooden rods.
     
  8. Mar 26, 2011 #8

    necchi

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    I gave up wood rods after I impailed my hand,
    Still have the scar in my palm and it's been at least 20 years.
    Don't care what others use nor what they say about what I use.
    I have a few Hickory rods around for the looks, but when it comes to loadin or cleanin, at the range or in the feild it's NOT wood.
     
  9. Mar 27, 2011 #9

    Zonie

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    Question? Did they actually forbid you to use a wooden ramrod or did they just suggest that using one could be dangerous?

    To me, the answer makes a difference about my responce.

    If they actually forbid you to use one I strongly disagree with them. Properly used a wooden ramrod can be quite safe provided it doesn't have any grain runout.

    If they were just telling you that using a wooden ramrod can be dangerous I think they were just trying to be helpful. I have told several people about the dangers of using ramrods with grain runout and have gone so far as to describe the correct way to ram the load with it.
     
  10. Mar 27, 2011 #10

    Bill Hall

    Bill Hall

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    All I use is the wooden ramrod on the gun. Been doing it for 30 some years. To me, that's just part of the fun, and sequence, of loading and shooting. So when I'm out in the field, things just happen automatically.

    I did stick a broken ramrod in my hand once while reloading after missing a bull elk. My fault, as I used a cheapy dowel, and didn't pay attention to the grain (I could have been a tad excited too). I think it would take a WHOLE bunch to break a ramrod made from split hickory. Bill
     
  11. Mar 27, 2011 #11

    Norinco

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    I think he was referring to the practice of blowing down the barrel being prohibited by his local club, not wooden ramrods.

    Personally, I have nothing against wooden ramrods and use one myself. I find the overprotective safety concerns to be unfounded. Wood ramrods are what people have used for centuries. I use wood arrows (which people have used for millennia), which I figure are subjected to harsher forces than a ramrod is, and hold up just fine. As many have said, properly made, wood ramrods will last indefinitely.

    In the Boy Scout Rifle Shooting merit badge book, it says to keep your hand no more than I think four inches above the muzzle when ramming in a ball so if the rod breaks, the splintering will not be as severe. I think as long as you don't grab the top of the rod and try to ram in a ball that was just short started, you'll be fine.
     
  12. Mar 27, 2011 #12

    gifford

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    At our club some use wood range rods, some use metal ones and a few use their rifle's ramrod on the primitive range. I use wood range rods for the rifle and smoothbore at the range, the under barrel variety in the woods. The pistol's ramrod is just there for looks, I use metal for that one.
     
  13. Mar 27, 2011 #13

    Sinner

    Sinner

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    Well, He didn't actually say the wooden rods were forbidden, but was adamant about how dangerous they were and did say they should never be used.

    While it's been many years for me, I do feel I know correctly how to inspect and use my wooden rod, and found it interesting to be "scolded" about using one!

    I really appreciate everyones input, and am glad to see not everyone has abandoned traditional blackpowder shooting for all the plastic and conventional type "improvements"!
     
  14. Mar 27, 2011 #14

    luieb45

    luieb45

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    I use the hickory wooden rod I got from dixie gun works. It has no grain run out so it's strong. The thing about a wooden ramrod is that you need to be careful on how you put pressure on it. I have a steel range rod but I only use that to clean or pull a ball. Our forefathers didn't lug around those pesky range rods so I ain't gonna :haha:.
     
  15. Mar 27, 2011 #15

    CaptainKirk

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    Yes, things have changed.... :shake:

    That being said, using a 'glass or steel range rod is a good idea. But to forbid you to use the ros that came with your gun...that's just wrong.
    When in Rome...(sigh)
     
  16. Mar 27, 2011 #16

    Rusty Spur 82

    Rusty Spur 82

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    Zonie,
    I need to check my ramrods but I don't understand what you mean by grain run out.What do I look for?
     
  17. Mar 27, 2011 #17

    Many Klatch

    Many Klatch

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    Rusty. If a wooden ramrod is made correctly, you should be able to follow the same line of grain all the way from one end of the ramrod to the other. Grain runout is when the grain lines take a sudden detour and exit the ramrod somewhere in the middle of the rod. That is the point where a ramrod will break.

    To properly make a ramrod, the wood should be split, and then split again into small squares, then pulled through a round hole in a steel plate. That way you know the grain runs all the way. I have a couple of ramrods that have a curve in them because of the curve of the grain, but I don't have any grain runout.

    I only use wooden ramrods. I always use the one in the ribs under the barrel for loading. I have longer bigger wooden range rods for cleaning and pulling stuck ball in the back of the truck in case I need it. I have a couple of stainless steel range rods at home that I use occasionally.

    Many Klatch
     
  18. Mar 27, 2011 #18

    Rusty Spur 82

    Rusty Spur 82

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    Many,
    Thank you for the explanation.I understand now and know what to look for.I am happy that the OP brought up his question because it opened a discussion that I never even gave a thought to.I have,however,had my hand run through with a stick at one time and it is a very painful experience that I don't care to repeat.
     
  19. Mar 27, 2011 #19

    bigbore442001

    bigbore442001

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    I use the standard wooden rods for my muzzleloading shotguns but the polymer and aluminum jobbies for the rifles. As a rule you aren't pushing with the same pressure on a wad and over card wad as you would be with a bullet.
     
  20. Mar 27, 2011 #20

    Poor Private

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    I have several miltary style muzzies. 53 Enfields, 63 Remingtons just as examples. I have been using the steel rammers that have come with them for years. I have never had a bad experience yet. I have even boughten a couple of spares for a just in case scenerio- broken, shot down range, a loaner. I am still using the opriginals that came with the guns. One is from the 60's. I see no scoring or rough spots in the barrels. All my barrels are eye blinding shiny when I toss a bore light down them.
    Personally I figure it's the gun owners choice on what to use, as long as they will pass a range inspection. If a range is to get to politically correct I move on. Sounds like that range is too power hungry, by telling you what you can and cannot use in your own weapon, or them fellers have no idea themsleves.
     

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