I've got a new Austin & Halleck Mt. Rifle, and fitted a cleaning cloth around jag and pushed down with a slow twist to clean out barrell prior to initial shooting.
The jag wouldn't come out once it was all the way down. I screwed a wooden hand ball into the end of the ramrod sticking out, pulled, and the ramrod (wooden) broke. At this point I assume I'll either remove nipple, stuff gunpowder down hole, and then reassemble and fire, or else use the CO2 contraption to blow ramrod out.
Anybody had this problem? If so, how did you solve it?
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July 18, 2005, 12:30 PM
If you have a good seal you might be able to pop it out with a cap. I sometimes have to put a bit of powder behind the nipple and shoot it out. Don't use much powder because you probably won't be able to seat the jag when shooting it out. If you have access to the CO2 it would probably be best.
July 18, 2005, 12:34 PM
I'd use the compressed air gizmo first. It's worked good for me for removing a ball. Can you grab any part of the ramrod with vice grips? Put the gun in a vice and pull.
July 18, 2005, 12:52 PM
or you can remove the breech plug and shove it on through if the others don't pan out. Careful using powder to shoot it out - you don't want to have it blow up cause of the jammed rod.
July 18, 2005, 01:52 PM
Man you must have that ramrod stuck.I'm not familar with the A&H Mt Rifle.If you can pull the breech plug , push it out that way I would suggest trying that. The compressed CO2 would be another option. I doubt if you could get enough powder in the nipple to blow it out.If there is a tight enough seal possible the small amount of powder might do it.I've never got one stuck that badly.Good luck.
July 18, 2005, 05:18 PM
I had good luck with stuck ramrods by pouring a good bit of blackpowder solvent down the barrel and letting the patch soak for a few seconds. The ramrod usually comes right out. If not then try the CO2 deal. The powder trickled in behind the nipple scares me.
July 18, 2005, 06:13 PM
I had that happen to me once. I had enough wood sticking out that I put it in a vice (the remains of the ramrod) and pulled. It came out. Unfortunately, the jag and fitting remained behind. I was new to things and hadn't bothered to drill and pin the end fitting to prevent that. I ended up removing the breech plug and pushing it (actually hammering) it out. I had put on too thick a cleaning patch. You can be sure when it goes in hard, it is going to come out even harder. Lesson learned - pin the end and go to a composite material rod for cleaning. Use the wood ramrod only for loading.
Good luck. That would sure be frustrating if you were on a hunting trip of a lifetime. That is why I always have a spare rifle along for any hunting trips more than a hour from home.
July 18, 2005, 10:09 PM
I wouldn't try to shoot it out. Saturate the powder to deactivate it. Have someone remove the breech plug and extract the dampened (and deactivated) powder from the breech as well as the ball. Insert a brass rod and tap the broken ramrod out.
Some shooters soak their ramrods for a year before they use it. Let me ask around as I forgot what it's soaked in. :o Hickory is the best and get straight grain hickory.
July 19, 2005, 07:16 AM
I've read that putting powder under a nipple and shooting it off is a real bad idea. The powder is too close to the nipple, and the flash hole may be small which builds up pressure and blows out the nipple. Never had it happen...don't want to
I suspect when you started pulling, the patch pulled backward and wadded up.
If the ramrod is too short to grab, I'd try the above.
July 19, 2005, 03:33 PM
From what I can tell in reading, they used to soak the ramrods in coal oil, and your right, they often soaked them for up to a year.
July 20, 2005, 12:33 AM
NO, NO, NO, don't even consider shooting that stuck ramrod out with powder! It might work. Then you'd advocate it to others. It might make you a brand new Austin & Halleck Mt. Piece of Junk, the shrapnel from which might well maim or kill you! We always ram our bullets tight onto the powder--why? To prevent there being a space between the powder and the bullet in which pressure can build up, making Old Betsy into a bomb. Whatever powder you trickle into the bbl through the nipple hole will by definition not be rammed tight behind your stuck cleaning jag. ergo, you'd be creating a bomb. Furthermore, your stuck jag is in there tighter than any patched ball could possibly be, so pressures will be even higher.
Holy H. Smoke! Don't do it! Don't even think loudly about it.
I gotta agree with the previous suggestions: Try the CO2 method, and then if/when that fails unscrew the breech plug. If you have to hire a gunsmith to do that, pay him and smile. It beats a trip to the ER any way you look at it. If your jag simply cannot be removed, well, buy yourself a new bbl, and think (a) this is a tuition payment to the University of Hard Knox, and (b) it still beats a trip to the ER.
I understand that unusable BP bbls make admirable horseshoes stakes.
July 20, 2005, 10:46 PM
I have used Kroil (other penetrating oils would work, too) poured in the barrel and allowed to soak for a day or so. On a flinter, I used a ball inflation needle on the air hose inserted through the touch hole and throttled in air until the ball moved. Now, it moved out right quickly- my careful air throttling technique was a bit rusty- and the .735 ball (Brown Bess) went out the shop door (open), hit the hitch on the one ton, angled rearward and down under the minivan and killed one of the sleeping cats. At least I think it was sleeping before it got killed and had not just died of natural causes and simply served as a convenient backstop.
Another time on a percussion gun, I rigged a piece of fuel line from the nipple to the air gun nozzle, cinched down tight with a couple of worm drive clamps. Same 24 hour oil soak, same careful air throttling technique, but this time I put a blanket over the muzzle to catch the .530 ball. Everything worked like a charm. I picked up the blanket to retrieve the ball for the lead bucket. Hmmm... Hole in blanket. Unfold blanket further. Ball falls on floor. I refold 3 and a half point Hudson Bay blanket. Rose colored, antique, 3 and a half point Hudson Bay blanket...
You really should reduce compressor pressure setting below 175 psi. Other than that, feel free to use my proven techniques.
July 21, 2005, 02:39 PM
I've shot a jag out with 3-4 grs FFFF. Funny story and it worked out fine, but I woulnd't do it again. The jag came out with a "fffpppu" in a lazy arc and bounced off the bottom of the cardboard target backing 15yds away. The gunsmith couldn't get the breachplug out and it's actually what he said to try.
I would try air/co2. I've also heard of folks pumping a ball out with grease.
July 21, 2005, 03:55 PM
Good idea! Hydraulic pressure would be a slick way to go. Gas compresses and high pressure could release suddenly, sending the obstruction flying. Hydraulic pressure doesn't compress so when things come loose, they simply ooze out. I wonder if you could find a grease zert with the same threads as the nipple? Then you could pump it out with a grease gun. You'd also have a well oiled barrel to clean up :D .
July 23, 2005, 12:54 AM
Nifty idea OldNamVet :cool: If hydraulics can be used to operate heavy equipment, why not drive a stuck ramrod from the barrel?
Smokemaker - Thanks! :) Your memory works where mine has failed. :uhoh:
July 25, 2005, 10:34 AM
Alright I'm convinced, will be going with the CO2 method first. May take a 2-3 weeks before I can get the equipement. Will post the results.
The grease method sounds intriuging. Are there grease zert threads that will match up to those of the nipple.
July 25, 2005, 09:41 PM
Water. Pour a couple of table spoons down the barrel, and pull your patch right out. Can't count the number of times I have had to do this during a shoot. Loves me some tight cleaning patches.
July 30, 2005, 02:50 PM
August 8, 2005, 03:10 PM
angled rearward and down under the minivan and killed one of the sleeping cats.
Ya know, I bet that sorta thing takes some 'splainin' to the rest of the family. And I won't even mention that nice blanket. "Dang moths, making such a big hole."
August 10, 2005, 09:13 PM
Been there. Seen it many times before too.
What always seems to work? Water and Murphy's oil soap down the barrel.
Same thing you use to get your wedding ring off when the wife's away ;) Works the same way.
August 11, 2005, 08:13 AM
I once removed a broken ramrod thusly:
I machined a brass plug slightly less than bore diameter with a short twist drill soldered into the business end.
This device was used in a short tee handle and turned by hand to drill out the ramrod.
It took awhile but no damage was done either to me or the rifle.
My belief is that ramrod breakage is minimized by using a short starter for loading and a brass rod for cleaning chores.
August 11, 2005, 09:45 AM
So, any updates? I'd suggest trying soapy water in the bore to saturate/lube the mess on out of there. Then CO2 to expell the patch,jag,rod.
August 13, 2005, 07:53 AM
Coal oil is kerosene. Soaking works best with hickory rods.
August 13, 2005, 05:44 PM
As we speak, there are at least 10 hickory ramrod blanks absorbing "coal oil" in my shop.
As for how long it's maybe 10 years.
My buds and I really stick to the short starter idea and ramrod breakage is next to nothing.
My pet deer rifle is a built from kit Thompson Hawkin with which I have killed 15 deer.
I'm still using the origional hickory ramrod that came with the kit.
For range shooting or cleaning, I like a brass rod and for the occasional stuck ball- bullet problem I use the said brass rod with a tee handle, the working end a large wood screw adapted to the same brass tee handled rod.
I shoot only black powder and clean the bore after 3 shots as a practice.
I don't mean to sound like a preacher but using my ideas, I don't break ramrods.
August 13, 2005, 06:51 PM
At the range and for cleaning, I normally use a brass rod. It takes apart and lives in my range box (aka, "junk kit"). For field use I use the rod that came under the bbl. My .50 is a Traditions Fox River Fifty, a cheap model. The very first time I tried using the issue wooden rod from below the bbl, I broke said rod--fortunately not with a stuck patch down the bore. (I said it was a cheap gun--had a cheap dowel for a rod.) So I loaded the gun and hunted, using my buddy's rod.
When I got home I ordered a fiberglass rod from Dixie Gun Works. Cut it to length and epoxied a brass jag on 1 end. It is a dull brown, and looks almost correct beneath the bbl of my rifle.
Have had no further breakage problems.
50 cal gal
August 16, 2005, 01:40 PM
I was really glad I read this, I helped a guy loosen his stuck ramrod at the range the other day. I told him to dump some lube in the barrel, just like you said. In no time he had it out. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.
October 11, 2005, 09:25 AM
Finally got the CO2 kit in the mail and on Columbus Day I removed barrell and assembled the CO2 kit. Tied a bit of flourescent orange ribbon to ramrod. When I squeezed the CO2 applicator trigger I hear a swoosh and the ramrod flew out and landed about 30 -40 ft. away. It was all so simple. Was not able to locate the cleaning cloth anywhere. The barrell did jerk back and cut my finger.
Thanks for all the advice.
October 11, 2005, 12:01 PM
Scotjute--Hey, man, glad yr problem is finally solved! And thanx for the follow-up report! Sorry to hear abt the cut finger; hope it wasn't serious.
So, now, are you going to practice up and hunt this fall w/yr smokepole?
October 11, 2005, 12:24 PM
Probably just limit it to target practice this year. One of my goals is to go deer-hunting with it, but I need more practice. I'm picking up another file to work on the wedge pin. Its not tapered and I didn't want to drive it in til I've filed a bit of taper into it.
October 11, 2005, 09:35 PM
Why did you disassemble the gun before using the CO2?
October 12, 2005, 12:13 AM
Now I'll bet you'll go out and buy a dedicated range rod for cleaning and range work. Those plastic ones by T/C are great.
Now would someone elaborate further on the hows and whys of soaking ramrods in kerosene?
October 12, 2005, 10:52 AM
I dis-assembled the gun because the CO2 applicator would not fit between the hammer and the nipple.
I've already bought two replacement "Wonder Rods" to circumvent this problem in the future.
October 14, 2005, 12:06 AM
this has been a very informative thread!!!
We had a stuck rod our second time out,and my son saw a hole drilled in my triler hitch that was about ramrod size so he wedged it in there and yanked.Oout she came.Luckily!
I will be geting a more durable 'range rod'for the next outing.
October 16, 2005, 12:02 PM
Congratulations on removing the ramrod.
October 26, 2008, 11:36 AM
I came across this post just in time. I have a load stuck down my barrel due to a misfire after getting caught in the rain all day this weekend. When I went to pull the ball to clean it the jag broke off. Do you think the CO2 system has enough pressure to clear the entire load, ball and all? Scotjute, what kind of CO2 system did you get?
October 26, 2008, 02:43 PM
CO2 should be able to move all of it.
October 27, 2008, 07:16 AM
Pour enough cleaning solvent down the barrel to saturate the patch and push it all thru from either way. It will come right out. Got that T-Shirt.
October 27, 2008, 01:45 PM
I am looking for a good flintlock rifle but haven't found it yet. In the course of chatting to flint guys I heard the following 'stuck in the barrel' story - I forward it as it was told to me.
The party concerned somehow found himself with a ball stuck midway down the barrel. He thought that unscrewing the vent plug, inserting a small amount of BP, and firing it in the usual manner was not a good idea as he feared a bulged barrel.
His solution was to unscrew the vent plug and block the inner end of its channel with a filed down small brass screw. He then introduced about a teaspoon-full of fizzy antacid powder into the chamber, followed it with a squirt of water from an eye-dropper, screwed the vent plug back in as quickly as possible and awaited results.
He said the stuck ball shot out with a "hell of a bang".
I don't vouch for the truth of this story, which you may have heard already.
It seems to be the poor man's version of a CO2 ejector and could be easily modified for percussion rifles. One could also develop this line of thought as a cheap alternative to black powder, but I am stopping here!
October 27, 2008, 01:59 PM
You must be talking about using Brioschi. While it does sound like a plausable idea, if it doesn't work I'd be concerned about the residue drying out and hardening into something like cement and further complicating the problem. :rolleyes:
October 27, 2008, 02:26 PM
The question was raised about the little co2 discharger being capable of such a task.........
FWIW; About two years ago at the range, I "dry-balled" a .54 GPR.
I didn't have a puller, or the Co2 discharger with me, so I just got another rifle from the truck and finished my range session.
When I got home, I immediately cleaned the rifle I had been shooting and poured a little Black-Solv in the barrel of the one with the stuck ball.
After getting the first rifle cleaned, I put a new Co2 cartridge on the discharger, and fired the stuck ball.....that ball came out with such force it glanced off the garage floor, hit the blade on my chop saw, glanced off that and broke the garage window....when it rang the blade on the chop saw, my first thought was I had somehow just shot myself!
That ball may still be going, for all I know!
Don't underestimate the power of those little Co2 dischargers....especially at the range when other folks are present. When you release that pressure make sure the rifle is pointed in a safe direction.
If you get careless, you can get the scare of your life, maybe something even worse could happen.....although I never heard of anyone getting hurt real bad.
October 28, 2008, 09:26 PM
PA_LR - Don't remember which type it was but it certainly did the trick. The ramrod flew out about 30'.
October 28, 2008, 11:14 PM
I made a range/cleaning rod out of 5/16 steel rod, a brass door knob, and used a 5/16 brass flair fitting for muzzle protector. The setup works good only cost a few bucks to make.