Ramrod and Follow Up Shot Questions

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DanJo

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Sep 30, 2019
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Hello everyone, got a few questions for you. Despite having some black powder weapons for many years I'm still very much a novice that just enjoys the hell out of shooting these things.

This morning I was playing with loads for an upcoming short range hunt next month. Boomstick in question is a Traditions G4 Pursuit Northern Magnum in 50 cal. I didn't stretch it out too far today because I found out in a hurry last year a scope is just about useless where we hunt and this was an irons test day. Great irons though! Williams fire sights I believe they're called and what a lovely picture. So at only 40 yards or so I'm shooting sub inch groups with Barnes 290gr T-Ez saboted bullets. For whatever reason (sabot thickness?) these are loading slightly easier than the 250gr version from Barnes and I wanted to see if I could get a second sabot down without swabbing the bore. Did it snap the ramrod or give me a hernia or really open up the group? These are what I aimed to test out but encountered something else along the way I wanted to ask you guys about. Oh, and yes, you can absolutely get a 2nd round down the barrel without swabbing. It's only barely more effort than the first one, which isn't inconsiderable, but nothing that led me to think I was on the verge of snapping anything. Follow up shot landed within an inch of the first clean bore shot. Granted it took me two minutes to reload for that follow up shot, which is what prompts this long winded rambling.

So. What are your procedures for a follow up shot? Is it even realistic? Is the follow up shot the .44 on my belt because it's faster than a two minute reload and it's right there and we're inside a hundred yards anyway? I'll tell you how mine goes, deliberately skipping spit swab for speed's sake, and you are invited to poke holes in the method and steer me to smarter pastures.

Kablooey!! ... and now let's assume I need a second shot on an animal. Break weapon, pull primer. Pull ramrod from under barrel. ** Surely you guys are using the ramrod supplied and not dragging around a second range rod with you hunting??** Unscrew, flip, and screw back on extender/jag part of rod to make it longer. Screw on T handle because I can't imagine another way to seat a saboted bulled without a T handle all the way down to the charge. Pour speed loader tube of 777 FF loose powder in. Send bullet down the tube with rod. Unscrew T handle. Unscrew, flip, and re-screw extender jag part of field rod back on to itself and put back in home under barrel. Put T handle in pocket. Place 209 primer in breech plug. Look up and wonder where deer went in the half hour that's gone by.

This system has to be badly flawed. I notice even in the videos online guys are using field rods to mark charges but range rods to actually do the loading. What about hunting situations? Don't miss? Don't make a bad shot? How do you guys do the second shot and what steps can I improve on or eliminate to get back in the game quicker?

I hope that's not impossible to follow and I appreciate anyone who took the time to read it. Thanks guys and gals.
 

sheriffjohn

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Sep 10, 2021
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Using a flintlock, flask, bullet block with patched roundballs, I can reload faster than some with modern M/L's. If the load is a bit sticky and a tree nearby, I push the ramrod down by shoving it against the tree. Lots of lube is my go-to thing.
 

deermanok

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Jan 29, 2020
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That 2 piece ramrod on the traditions never was a good idea, imo. I used to own a Buckstalker rifle the only time I needed to reload quickly, I didn't unscrew the ramrod, I dumped powder and bullet in the barrel, started it with my short starter. Then rammed the charge down and used my short starter again on the end of the ramrod as an extension to seat the charge.
These days, I pretty much only shoot patched round ball. I don't need to swab between shots.
If you're shooting a saboted bullet as your hunting bullet, maybe try something like a lead conical for your second shot. Might be able to load that up pretty easy.
 

CatamountRob

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Jul 12, 2015
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I use traditions rifles with the 2-piece ramrod all the time for hunting. It takes just a few seconds to swap the piece around. I shoot, watch the deer until it’s down or disappears and then reload. I can reload very quickly but I’ve done it dozens of times. I don’t recall ever actually needing a follow up shot but there have been times that I could have shot a second deer if I’d been so inclined.
 

Confederate rifleman

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Feb 21, 2008
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1,581
I like rifles with full length rammers.
I like my Omega too. But have to use an extender in the field...Never found it to be an issue though.
Its always in your best interest to swab between shots. You didn't have much difference between first and second shot, after a couple minutes. But give it more time, and that fouling sets up, you may be worse than shocked. Especially with Triple 7.
Ask me how I know...
If using BH 209, never mind.
Swabbing between shots gives the best possible chance of making sure the ball/ bullet or sabot will be on the charge where it belongs, and not hung up on fouling. It also helps maintain a uniform bore condition, which really helps accuracy. Also, if shooting corrosive powders ( Holy Black, Pyrodex Triple 7 etc) it helps make sure corrosion doesn't get a head start on your bore.
I also find swabbing gives me a chance to replay the shot in my minds eye. And stop shaking like a leaf...
 

Mar Nut

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Sep 9, 2019
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9
I have found that after the third shot it takes more effort to get bullet started and accuracy is not as good. Now, that is my gun and others may differ. If I wanted to take breech plug out and clean the barrel of most of the burnt powder I could continue with 3 more shots, Have done this at times. But how many shots I will get in a day of hunting will not be over 1 or 2, so I am good with cleaning after third shot.
 

Confederate rifleman

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Feb 21, 2008
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A swab with rubbing alcohol, damp not drippy, and a couple dry patches will take care of the fouling and crud ring. No need to pull the plug in the field. Unless you're pulling the charge and/ or have a stuck bullet/ ball or sabot.
 

Mar Nut

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Sep 9, 2019
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That is true Confederate rifleman, I do not pull the plug until I clean at end of day of shooting....just run a proper size welders wire thru flash hole after each shot. I use the rubbing alcohol to swab too.
 

DanJo

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Sep 30, 2019
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3
I use traditions rifles with the 2-piece ramrod all the time for hunting. It takes just a few seconds to swap the piece around. I shoot, watch the deer until it’s down or disappears and then reload. I can reload very quickly but I’ve done it dozens of times. I don’t recall ever actually needing a follow up shot but there have been times that I could have shot a second deer if I’d been so inclined.
Are you then shoving a full bore or saboted bullet down with just the rod and no palm saver or T handle?
 

Frank in Fairfield

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Dec 11, 2020
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When we used to hunt with stick and bow, we would wait a considerable amount of time to allow the animal to lay down and die. Some animals fall right away but most will run a ways. After the shot, sit down, have a snack and reload in slow methodical fashion. If you made a good shot, your animal won’t be far away and will have probably bled out..
 
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DanJo

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Sep 30, 2019
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Good point, Frank. Most of the time lost is fiddling with the 2 piece underbarrel ramrod. But as you say, What's the hurry? If the animal is badly wounded and suffering I will have my sidearm. Not sure where I got this idea you needed a follow up shot ready immediately
 

Okie Hog

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Jan 22, 2008
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881
I can't imagine another way to seat a saboted bulled without a T handle all the way down to the charge.
When hunting there's drilled golf ball in my pocket. It goes on the end of the ramrod. Yep, the Traditions ramrod is a pain.
 

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