Author Topic: Making a witness mark on the ramrod  (Read 14738 times)

C. Cash

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Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« on: May 04, 2016, 11:30:04 PM »
So, dumb question for you all, but was wondering what you all have used to make a witness mark on your ramrod.  I've tried pencil, but it rubs off and is hard to see on a dark ramrod.  How do you make them?

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2016, 11:47:34 PM »
With a knife.

A very fine line.  Drop in rod, hold blade stationary and twist rod against the edge.  Marked.   Won't rub off.
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Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2016, 12:03:34 AM »
After I have the load I want worked up, I do as Wade does and then take a three corner file and file a very slight grove around the knife cut.

Offline David R. Pennington

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2016, 12:29:27 AM »
Just a little line scored with the patch knife. Not deep enough to weaken the rod.
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Offline P.W.Berkuta

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2016, 01:22:50 AM »
Me too - quick, simple & works. Don't make it deep just in case you have to "erase" it ;D.
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HAWKEN

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2016, 07:23:02 PM »
I used a permanent magic marker, the kind used to mark clothing, and did it the same way as the others.......robin

nosrettap1958

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2016, 08:08:36 PM »
I make 2 marks with a knife exact same way as noted above.  One for completely unloaded then the second when I have, what am I saying, when the rifle has settled on a load she likes.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 08:09:33 PM by crawdad »

Offline Candle Snuffer

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2016, 04:47:13 AM »
I used a permanent magic marker, the kind used to mark clothing, and did it the same way as the others.......robin

Same here. Also have used an ink pen. I like the idea of using a three corner file.
Snuffer
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C. Cash

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2016, 04:51:01 AM »
Thank you for all the replies!  OK....will give it a try.  I will see if the perm. marker stays on and if not will try the knife scribe.  Appreciate the input.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2016, 06:52:40 PM »
I used to use a witness mark on the rod, marked with a knife blade held flat on the muzzle, rod rotated - until about 1980. I had also used a felt marker pen. Since about 1980, I merely seat the ball onto the powder exactly (as close as possible) the same, each time. 

I think that people who have shot a fair bit/lot, will not need the witness mark, but note, that if shooting a long time without cleaning (as we do) that you cannot seat to the mark all day, yet you will be ON the powder the same ( you can feel when the ball is on the powder) - due to the buildup of fouling in the powder chamber area.  Over a day's shooting, the mark's distance to the top of the muzzle might grow to 1/4".   Learn to seat the ball on the powder the same each time and by feel, you will know when the load is correct for consistent shooting.

 If I've neglected to pour in the powder, or "dry ball" as it is called, the ball pushes past where it should have stopped & I know immediately that I have neglected powder - usually elicits an "OOPS".

 Then, through the nipple seat (nipple removed) or vent is dribbled 3F or 4F (usually) powder, ball seated onto that tiny charge and fooot--puck goes the ball out the muzzle,into a tree or "tink" off a steel plate.
Daryl

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C. Cash

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2016, 11:48:22 PM »
I hear you Daryl and good to hear.  Yeah I normally "know" when the ball is properly seated.  One time I was a little rushed or distracted and I was sure I had the ball down on top and went to give it the final compression with my palm and low behold It went down another inch plus.  That gave me the heebie jeebies and I have been a lot more careful.  My boy is starting into the sport and I would feel good about him having a witness mark to verify.

Offline Candle Snuffer

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2016, 03:09:49 PM »
Yes, after 40+ years in this sport a person does get to the point where the witness mark is really not needed, but it's a good idea to have one, especially the new to the sport shooter.  I've shot in many candle snuffing shoots over the years where all the light at the firing line was just a candle lantern (if you chose to load by it), but mostly you just get to know where your ramrod should be once the loading process is over in the dark, just as in the light.
Snuffer
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Offline J Henry

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2016, 03:44:31 PM »
  I marked my ram rod with a very fine Magic Marker, dots,dark enough to see if you look but not obvious.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2016, 07:20:31 PM »
You guys are right about people new to the sport or don't shoot very much, should mark their rod so they know they are in the vicinity they should be.

Too, new shooters who are not taught right off bat to use thick wet patches may need the mark to rod to be able to discern they are where they should be in loading depth.

I always put the hole of the starter over the rod and give that a smack once the ball is on the powder. That 'sets' the load with the same compression each time.  In my own tests, failure to do that will increase shot to shot velocity spread as well as lowering the average velocity by 100fps.  My test on that was in my .45 GM barrel.

Note the smack on the starter knob to finish seating the ball.  Pls, do not THROW your rod onto the ball as you see the other fellow doing. That was a military loading rule - 3-throws & is not needed for our clean shooting loads today and indeed, could possibly cause a detonation in 'prime' conditions of  high heat/low humidity.  Ross is shooting a smoothbore.  I had fired off perhaps 50 to 55 shots that day before this loading demo- without wiping. Ross had fired his usual 80 to 100 - no wiping.

« Last Edit: May 11, 2016, 07:22:45 PM by Daryl »
Daryl

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C. Cash

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2016, 01:33:00 AM »
I love the efficiency and speed of your loading, as well as the looks of your starter.  I look more like an episode of the keystone cops when I reload but I am getting better. ;D

Offline Daryl

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2016, 08:40:16 PM »
We are all still learning. Each new rifle or barrel is a new learning experience.  Once everything is "down pat" for a given rifle, trying other combinations, say of target size, loads (patches or size of ball) conditions, as in comparisons of different weather on the load's accuracy and point of impact, all from the bench to eliminate poor holding, can also be a good teaching tool.

The smaller the bore, the more 'testing' must be done. The larger the bore, the more forgiving the rifle becomes.

For example, my 14 bore rifle's sights have not been moved since she was sighted in back in 1986. The loads have changed slightly, with 3 drams of 2f GOEX being my go-to load now for close range trail walks, instead of 82gr. 3F. Today, the 2F gives same the same velocity and POI  as 3F gave years ago, 1,225fps.  My hunting load of 165gr. 2f GOEX has been reduced to 140gr. 2F GOEX- my 200yard sight is still zero'd at 200yards. With 165gr. fo today's 2F, that sight is zeroed at 200 meters (220yards).

Thus, experimentation of one sort or another is never really done - it just gets easier or is more quickly accomplished.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Gun_Nut_73

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2016, 01:29:02 AM »
I used a permanent magic marker, the kind used to mark clothing, and did it the same way as the others.......robin

This is what I do.  I draw a ring around the rod for an empty barrel.  Anything less than that distance means a load or obstruction.

nosrettap1958

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2016, 02:51:44 AM »
I used a permanent magic marker, the kind used to mark clothing, and did it the same way as the others.......robin

This is what I do.  I draw a ring around the rod for an empty barrel.  Anything less than that distance means a load or obstruction.

I agree there. Make at least that mark on the ramrod when the barrel is empty.  I made a load mark and I kind of wish I didn't.  Like Daryl said, the load you can feel when its right (seated) with a lot of shooting.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2016, 02:52:39 AM by crawdad »

Ray-Vigo

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2016, 04:47:20 AM »
With a knife.

A very fine line.  Drop in rod, hold blade stationary and twist rod against the edge.  Marked.   Won't rub off.

Exactly how I do it as well- a little notch with a patch knife by turning the rod at the muzzle while in the bore.

C. Cash

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2016, 11:47:22 PM »
Thank you all!

BartSr

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2016, 08:23:25 AM »
I start marking the range rod (only) with paper tape until a desired location has been established.  ANd it's not permanent, for a while anyways.   :)

BartSr

Offline heelerau

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2016, 02:07:21 AM »
I do the same as a lot of you, with my long rifles, a patch knife sat on the muzzle to cut a fine line when the rifle is loaded. I have actually ground one on the steel range rod I use to load my PHVolunteer .451, has been most handy when I have been distracted during loading !!
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Offline Bluesmoke

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2016, 02:34:03 PM »
Here are the witness marks  on my Pedersoli .54 percussion Tryon range rod.
Yes it does need a lathe to do it but makes the marks very visible and permanent.
They are about .020' deep x the same wide indelible marker ink rubbed into the grooves.


Offline hanshi

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Re: Making a witness mark on the ramrod
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2016, 10:50:06 PM »
I use to ink a witness mark on my rods but stopped that years ago.  I can seat by feel just fine and don't need them.
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