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This was one of the best tips I ever read from the pros about improving long range shot to shot consistency when shooting a muzzleloader. If you are either sighting in your gun before a hunt, or simply sitting in your deer blind later on, remember to remove the ramrod from underneath your gun barrel before you have to shoot. Just set it down beside you until you're either done for the day, or if you have to reload your gun. That ramrod jiggling around underneath the barrel and sliding forward a few inches each time you shoot has a detrimental affect on you hitting the same exact spot twice in a row, especially further down range There has to be the same barrel harmonics taking place (barrel vibrations as the bullet travels down the bore) from shot to shot if you ever hope to see your gun's best accuracy. All that ramrod movement going on below as the gun is in full recoil disrupts that. At real close ranges, (20 yards or less) leaving your ramrod in place beneath the barrel won't make hardly any difference. You will still be able to hit close to where you aimed to because the bullet doesn't have enough travel distance to stray off target that much. But how often can you depend on having a real close, easy shot on a deer like that? I know I can never count on it where I hunt. I also know that making this little change in my muzzleloader shooting habits works. In the last several years I've managed to kill three different deer, all from 188 - 210 yards out (laser measured distances) with my T/C Omega muzzleloader. I always remember to take the ramrod out right away and lay it down beside me in the blind. Since I'm also setting high on a hill, there's nothing but air and opportunity in the way of me and whatever I see out yonder. And from me having sighted in my gun beforehand with the ramrod out, at ranges anywhere from 25 to 200 yards out, I know exactly where my bullets will hit if I do my part by staying steady while aiming and squeezing the trigger. Try it and see if it helps make a difference in your long-range accuracy. Doesn't cost a thing unless, of course, you forget to pick up your ramrod when you're done.
 

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I've used the process for so many years, I can't remember the last time I shot with a ramrod in the rifle while hunting. Never target shooting. I guess maybe when I used to hunt from ladder stands most likely.
I actually have no ramrod on my rifle anymore. No bands, no thimbles. I use collapsible ramrods which go into a pouch.
For most hunters and the shorter ranges they hunt, its not absolutely necessary, but for those who intend to shoot long range, yes, remove the ramrod.
 
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"Very Interesting" as the German guy would say on the Hogen's Heroes series. Encore, were did you buy the collapsible ramrod? I am assuming you still use a push rod or am I still out of date? I realize you use the land race bullets, thanks, R.
 
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"Very Interesting" as the German guy would say on the Hogen's Heroes series. Encore, were did you buy the collapsible ramrod? I am assuming you still use a push rod or am I still out of date? I realize you use the land race bullets, thanks, R.
https://www.arrowheadrifles.com/product/3-piece-ramrod-with-sheath-bore-guide/


Although the above is not the exact rod I use, my intent before starting back up in the spring is to have one for hunting. The unit I have now is a 3-piece, but it screws together and not as easy or quick as the one above.
I use the collapsible 100% for loading. At the bench I use a full length solid rod for patching, but that's patching only. I do not patch if for some reason I needed a second round loaded while hunting.
 

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If you want to improve your groups even further remove your front sling stud if your front forearm support is anywhere close to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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https://www.arrowheadrifles.com/product/3-piece-ramrod-with-sheath-bore-guide/


Although the above is not the exact rod I use, my intent before starting back up in the spring is to have one for hunting. The unit I have now is a 3-piece, but it screws together and not as easy or quick as the one above.
I use the collapsible 100% for loading. At the bench I use a full length solid rod for patching, but that's patching only. I do not patch if for some reason I needed a second round loaded while hunting.
Very interesting
 

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Very interesting
Please note that these type ramrods are for loading bullets. If you were to hang up a patch using it patching or scrubbing you wouldn't get them out in one piece.
One of the reasons I also have the 3 piece screw together.
 

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For much more detail and a better understanding of how "barrel harmonics" affects accuracy in any type of rifle, click on either: https://www.guntweaks.com/barrel-harmonics.html or www.stocks-rifle.com/harmonics.htm. Once you've read what these authors say about it, you will notice that there are numerous other online sites that cover this subject thoroughly. It is interesting stuff.
One thing that helps, especially with LONG RANGE, is a barrel resonator. The builder of my rifle uses one without fail on all his personal muzzleloaders for long range target or hunting.
This last summer he was banging steel at one (1) MILE with one of his custom builds.
 

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Sorry im not drinking the kool aid on this one. I have an encore pro hunter and have always practiced with ramrod in and shot deer with ram rod in. Some at longer ranges too. As long as your rod is fully stowed away it has no affect. Or at least ur practice will be same as hunting situation. Id leave ram rods all over the woods if this were the case. And what the heck do you do with it when ur in a treestand?!?
 

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Sounds like a tip I might try the next time I'm at the range.
 

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Sorry im not drinking the kool aid on this one. I have an encore pro hunter and have always practiced with ramrod in and shot deer with ram rod in. Some at longer ranges too. As long as your rod is fully stowed away it has no affect. Or at least ur practice will be same as hunting situation. Id leave ram rods all over the woods if this were the case. And what the heck do you do with it when ur in a treestand?!?
I don't think it's important at all for hunting. Maybe trying to close a group though.
 

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Guys, for the extended season hunter who's just out for meat on their table, along with the range most hunters will shoot, leaving the ramrod in should still get you "minute of deer". Especially for those who shoot at a deer instead of a spot on the deer.

I can assure you though, you WILL NOT find a ramrod, ramrod band or thimble on accurate rifles at any inline match and there's a reason for that, as explained above.
If you're going to shoot long range (beyond 200yds) extremely accurate, you do not want the ramrod in the rifle.
 
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Does this tip apply even if the ram rod doesn't seem all that loose on the muzzleloader? How much would this tighten groups at 50 or 100 yards?
 

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I have always took mine out more because I'm worried it will somehow shake a little loose and in the moment of getting ready to wack a deer. I might not notice its hanging out a little and I'm afraid I would nick it or something. Plus it never fits them hoops real snugly and the weight of the gun resting on it changing something up .
 

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"Very Interesting" as the German guy would say on the Hogen's Heroes series. Encore, were did you buy the collapsible ramrod? I am assuming you still use a push rod or am I still out of date? I realize you use the land race bullets, thanks, R.
That was Wolfgang from "Laugh-In".

Glasses Head Vision care Smile Gesture
 

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Does this tip apply even if the ram rod doesn't seem all that loose on the muzzleloader? How much would this tighten groups at 50 or 100 yards?
Steve, for most hunters its likely they'll never notice the difference. They're hunters and not precision shooters. That in no way makes them bad, but there's a huge difference.
When you start attempting to shoot .5moa or less at all distances (50 to 500yds), especially long range, that's when every contributing factor must be eliminated, and that includes ramrods and the associated.
I always urge those who want to see precision marksmanship with modern inline rifles, to just attend one match at Friendship.
 

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Or just seat the ramrod the same with every shot. Yes, it makes a difference if it is in or out of the gun. But, consistency is the key. Even then, there will be very little practical difference. A slow muzzleloader with a 50 caliber barrel is not as easily affected by such things.
 
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