Do NOT use a wooden dowel. If you think a jammed bullet is bad, wait until you have a broken piece of a wooden rod jammed between it and the barrel.
Use a brass rod and go FROM the muzzle back toward the chamber.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.