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Old November 7, 2012, 07:17 PM   #26
4V50 Gary
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BTW, during the Siege of Petersburg (American Civil War) bored soldiers on both sides would scavenge spare ramrods and shoot them into the air and onto the other side's trenches. They found the noise of a ramrod in the air amusing.
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Old November 7, 2012, 08:51 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.willikers
Arrows fly pretty good without fletching.
The length and weight make up for it.
Doubt that the jag would make much difference either, for the same reasons.
If the ramrod tumbles, it's maybe due to the same cause as bullets tumbling - hitting something, like maybe the end of the barrel.
Yes, an unfletched arrow can stay head first in flight provided the head is heavier than the rest of the shaft. For stability, the arrow's center of mass must be forward of its aerodynamic center of lift or drag.
A ramrod without a weighted head will not have this stability. You don't need to actually shoot it to see this, just launch one like an arrow with a slingshot. If the brass jag is heavy enough, it may stabilize it but only when flying jag first.

.177 air rifle pellets also stay nose first when fired from a smoothbore because they have a solid nose and a hollow tail. (yes I tried it)
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Old November 7, 2012, 08:57 PM   #28
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During the late 18th Century, frontiersman Lewis Wetzel killed a sleeping Kickapoo at Fort Massac when he put a ramrod (stolen from a soldier) in the barrel of his rifle, placed the tip on the mans rectum, and pulled the trigger.
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Old November 7, 2012, 09:14 PM   #29
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Quote:
During the late 18th Century, frontiersman Lewis Wetzel killed a sleeping Kickapoo at Fort Massac when he put a ramrod (stolen from a soldier) in the barrel of his rifle, placed the tip on the mans rectum, and pulled the trigger.
I can only assume that was a practical joke gone wrong???
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Old November 8, 2012, 03:25 PM   #30
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Nope, Wetzel had a life long hatred for Native Americans and would kill them any chance he got.

The soldier from whom Wetzel stole the ramrod was found guilty of murder and was about to be hanged. Wetzel called out a confession to save the mans life, then took off and evaded capture.
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Old November 8, 2012, 03:30 PM   #31
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Yes. I've seen it happen, at our old muzzel loader club. I was the range officer for several years and have seen it happen. Scary but usually not damaging.
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Old November 13, 2012, 01:19 PM   #32
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The brass part of the T/C ramrod that came with my Omega, a good 6-7 inches broke in the barrel. I shot it on top of 150 gn of triple seven and 250 gn bullet. The recoil was really bad but the rifle held up.
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Old November 13, 2012, 09:38 PM   #33
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Quote:
Quote:
During the late 18th Century, frontiersman Lewis Wetzel killed a sleeping Kickapoo at Fort Massac when he put a ramrod (stolen from a soldier) in the barrel of his rifle, placed the tip on the mans rectum, and pulled the trigger.
I can only assume that was a practical joke gone wrong???
Wetzel hated the red man. I hated that he killed every one he came across. I doubt if he was joking.
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Old November 13, 2012, 10:08 PM   #34
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Many a man died in the Civil War with a ramrod in his chest.
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Old November 13, 2012, 11:28 PM   #35
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Quote:
Wetzel hated the red man. I hated that he killed every one he came across. I doubt if he was joking.
The intentional use of the ramrod is what threw me. Why not just shoot him, or use a blade?
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Old November 14, 2012, 03:16 PM   #36
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During that era, captured whites were often tortured to death by various tribes using many gruesome, twisted methods. Wetzel was a witness to many examples. Perhaps he was attempting to respond in a like manner, make a statement.
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Old November 14, 2012, 05:17 PM   #37
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As noted, firing the ramrod has been done many times. Observers in major Civil War battles have mentioned the glint of ramrods flying through the air.

As Newton24b says, if the rod is down on the bullet, it will act as a long and heavy bullet and a blown or bulged barrel is unlikely. BUT if the rod is stuck partway down, and a bullet is fired into it, the barrel will be damaged because the bullet will be stopped and its kinetic energy turned into heat, weakening the barrel and allowing it to bulge or burst.

Jim
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Old November 14, 2012, 06:17 PM   #38
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Quote:
The intentional use of the ramrod is what threw me. Why not just shoot him, or use a blade?
It was never recorded. My guess would be variety (and perhaps saving a lead ball).
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Old November 16, 2012, 08:45 AM   #39
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What good is saving your lead ball if you don't have a ramrod to load it with?

I think it was due to variety or some other twisted reason.
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Old November 16, 2012, 10:58 AM   #40
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Lighthouses and Cannons

Somewhat related; We have visited a number of lighthouses around the Great Lakes and on more that one occation, have noticed some fairly large black powder cannons. These were used to project a rescue line to ships out on the lake. Basically they project a long weighted rod, with a line attached. As long as you have plenty of by-pass and no air pockets, there is not enough restriction to do any harm. The barrels I saw were about 4Ft. long and 8" OD. ..

Be Safe !!!
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Old December 1, 2012, 11:04 PM   #41
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Idiot at the local (private) range shot his through his hand. He apparently had never shot BP before and went to Bass Pro to buy himself a brand new shiny inline and decided he would prime it before loading...

I think you can figure the rest out. He was found patching his wound by the blood trail to the bathroom...
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:10 AM   #42
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Pahoo,
There are similar devices to shoot rescue lines out of shotguns, using a long rod and line, with special blank loads.
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:00 AM   #43
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Quote:
Many a man died in the Civil War with a ramrod in his chest.
I've read a lot of books on the CW and never heard that before.
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Old December 2, 2012, 11:32 AM   #44
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Shot-Lines

Quote:
There are similar devices to shoot rescue lines out of shotguns
I'm well aware of these and they were quite common whenever we replenished at sea. The Tankers, Ammo ships as well as stores, would fire a line, between our stacks, prior to tranfer. I could see that they used shothguns and we would always try to "procure" their nylon braided shot-line. ..

We seldom got away with it. .....

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Old December 3, 2012, 11:32 AM   #45
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The short answer, is yes. if u dont believe me just leave your ramrod in the bore after loading. your ramrod will either end up looking like a pretzel 50 meters down range or it will just desentragate. I would not try this on purpose though as u could, maybe, cause a barrel rupture and a serious injury
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Old December 12, 2012, 02:15 PM   #46
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I have fired a ramrod out the muzzle on two occasions. Fisrt time from a .45 Kentucky just for fun. All went well except the rod has never been seen from again. The second time was not fun. The rifle fired while I was cleaning it in my front room. I have nerve damage to this day in my right hand. My best advice is DON'T.
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Old December 15, 2012, 08:03 PM   #47
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I was participating in a Rev War event in Elizabethton, Tenn. when we were "attacked" by a flying cannon ramrod. Our unit was advancing on the fort and the regular park personnel were firing the cannon from the wall. They were not familiar with firing the cannon multiple times. The cannon was fired, not swabbed, and a new charge of 1/2 lb. of black powder was rammed home. Problem was the powder was in a zip lock bag. It ignited as it was being rammed home. We saw, and heard, the ramrod coming and flattened out. The ramrod traveled about 50 yards end over end. The cannon crewman was wearing a heavy leather glove and did not suffer any injuries. The ramrod was not damaged. The spectators enjoyed the show.

I also knew a reenactor who was shot in the chest by a ramrod during the filming of a movie about the French and Indian War. The ramrod went through him and about 4" out his back. Fortunately no vital organs were damaged and he was fine after several days hospitalization. The ramrod was on top of about 100 grains of black powder and a paper wad. Rules on the movie set were "no ramrods" during filming battle scenes. No idea who actually had the ramrod in the musket.
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Old December 16, 2012, 09:16 AM   #48
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At a rendezvous event I visited last summer, this discussion came up. I was told that among reenactors and members of black powder clubs have come up with a rule when giving demonstrations or performing battles for the public. Their rule states simply that the ramrod will not be used at all. Powder and loose wadding is dropped into the barrel, one or two firm taps of musket butt onto the ground and the powder/wadding inside settles enough to catch the spark and make a nice noise.

It seemed to work quite well for these people, and I do not recall seeing a ramrod used at all.
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Old January 12, 2013, 01:14 AM   #49
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I shot mine out of my CVA Hawken .50 about 1978,it skipped down the field about 25 yards away and I felt pretty sheepish.Only done it once though...
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Old January 13, 2013, 12:06 PM   #50
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I shoot a .50 Lyman Great Plains Rifle, flintlock. From what I've been told by the experienced flintlock shooters is that firing the ramrod downrange is not a matter of "if" but a matter of "when" and that the real question is "will you ever do it again?" Many men do, indeed, do it again.
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