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Thread: Loose Ramrod in '61 Springfield

  1. #11

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    Hallo!

    Correct. Repro M1855/M1861 ramrods are made to a number of "variations on a theme" when it comes to the originals. What one will normally find is that the thickness and length of the swell varies.

    What that can do is place the swell in places other than the ramrod channel location so that it can be loose, or it can be so out of shape that it nned to go under the upper band (wbich it cannot do).

    A number of years ago, there were repro M1861 ramrods poping up all over, apparently made by different lads and shops without regards for the size and position on the ramrod shaft. Becauu the Italians socket fit and braze ratehr than fit, pin, and braze the swells they had/have a habit or bending or snapping off. So, a number of sources set out to feed the demand for one piece rammers that were lathe turned (again apparently without regards to original dimensions).
    Also for the N-SSA community some were made longer in length than "regulation."

    Also, a number of so-called "one piece" ramrods were peddled that were just the old Italian brazed socket types so were two and sometimes three pieces counting the threaded on tulip heads. Several reputable shops were embarrassed, or claimed to be embarrassed, when the scandal came out.

    Curt
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    27

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    Thanks Curt, seems like the best option is to test fit until I find one that fits. Hopefully there will be some options at Vicksburg next weekend.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    King of Prussia, PA
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    1,583

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    Craig,

    When you take your new/old M-61 into the field, the lose ramrod problem may solve it's self. If the rifle hasn't been used for a while and was stored in a dry home, the stockwood may have shrunk. Being out in the damp camp conditions, my well swell the wood back up again.
    Bill Rodman, If you need a really bad example.
    King of Prussia, PA
    wrodman1@aol.com

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    27

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    That is a good thought Bill, if anyplace is humid enough to swell a wood stock, it should should be Mississippi. Not sure how long it has been since the rifle was in the field, so I am not sure if it is dried out. There is a product that wood workers use that will swell up wood, I had thought about using a bit of this in select areas of the ramrod channel to tighten it up as well.

  5. #15

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    Hallo!

    Sticking was a problem with the originals and one of the reason why the design was changed in 1863 and 1864 (along with the thicker rod to help prevent bendings).

    Trivia.. they also had decided to go with a ball screw with a brass protective cover on the small end. Along with a complicated multi-tool. Both never went into production, and they stayed with the wiper and ball screw attachments.

    Curt
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    545

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    Craig, the musket has been in my safe with a dehumidifying rod since the Spring. I would expect the wood will swell in the humidity. Over the years the ramrod has seemed to be looser at times, and tighter at others...sometimes even a bit stiff to remove. I also found spinning it seemed to tighten, or loosen as it were a bit in some places...maybe the swell is not perfectly round, or the rod slighlty bent...I couldn't tell with the naked eye. That is the ramrod that came with the musket when I got it though.

    This discussion also remined me that the reason the bands seemed a little looser the other day may have also been that it had been in the safe for a few weeks. When I set the band springs as we discussed, it had been out in my shed for a day or two.

    Funny thing is I had the Enfield apart out there, and last night I told my wife before we went to bed that I was going out to bring the stock in because it was humid and I didn't want the stock to swell, or warp without the metal on it. I think moisture does definitely effect wood.

    I'd be willing to bet a night out in the Mississippi humidity will fix the loose ramrod. Don't forget to Barricade the metal before Vicksburg...really helps keep rust off in the field.
    Galen Wagner
    Yellowhammer Rifles
    Oak Park # 864 F&AM
    Montgomery, AL

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    King of Prussia, PA
    Posts
    1,583

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    If you'll notice, on lot of orginial Enfields, the butt plate has lip that sticks out around the stock. They weren't built that way. The stockwood has just shrunk over the years. Knowing how quickly the British were turning out those Enfield rifles, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of that shrinkage took place in the first years of the weapon's life. It's funny, I own an original Enfield. In the summer the ramrod is difficult to remove, while it comes right out during the winter months, when the heat is on in the house.
    Bill Rodman, If you need a really bad example.
    King of Prussia, PA
    wrodman1@aol.com

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