Tuesday, 11 October 2016


The ramrod seems to be the most forgotten part of an 18th century gun when it comes to looking for information. One would think that such an important tool would receive more attention. I have noted over the years that all ramrods, original antique & modern, are always too short to be of any practicle use. When I came to make a new ramrod for my fusil, I made it out of steel & I made it longer than the barrel. Secured in the ramrod pipes under the barrel it sticks out beyond the muzzle, but with a round ball it makes no difference to the accuracy.
This is the other end of my fusil's ramrod, the end which fits through the ramrod pipes. I forged a worm on the end for cleaning the barrel.

This is the screw tip to my fusil's steel ramrod. When removed, I can screw on a "screw" tip for pulling a load.

As you can see in this image, the ramrod I made extends beyond the muzzle. This gives me a little more rod to hold when loading.

The new wooden ramrod I made for my pistol has an antler tip.

The only information available for these ramrods is that they are English.

The only information available for these ramrods is that they are English.

Ramrod or cleaning rod screw ends. No dates or any other information available.

Ramrod or cleaning rod worm ends. No dates or any other information available.

Flintlock blunderbuss by GE Kope Wangen, circa 1750. 
As you can see on this example the ramrod does not reach beyond the muzzle.

The first (top) ramrod is flared and is from a Double Barrel 12 Gauge Side by Side Percussion Shotgun made by SCOTT & Co. LONDON in the 1830's. The second ramrod has a brass tip and is from a Single Barrel 12 Gauge Percussion Shotgun having the Black Powder Belgium Liege Proof Mark of the 1830's.
As you can see in this image of my fusil, & the .32 caliber rifle below, the ramrods extend beyond the muzzle.

More information on ramrods & loading rods here: http://www.cablesfarm.co.uk/ramrods-and-loading-rods/#more-1442


Gorges Smythe said...

I worked in a muzzle-loader shop for 3-1/2 years and saw this all the time. A few guys, like yourself, left the rod longer. Most just bought long-shanked jags for cleaning. I suppose the idea was that for loading only, the shorter version was long enough. I prefer the extra length myself, even WITH a long-shanked jag.

Keith said...

Good to hear from you Gorges. I don't like having to place my hand over the end of the ramrod in order to push the load home, especially with mine as it has a worm on the end! Loading rods are usually longer. but that does not help in the field unless you carry it with you.
Regards, Keith.