Ramrod Revolution: The T/C PowerRod

By Randy Wakeman

XS Power Rod
The PowerRod, as formerly produced by XS. Illustration courtesy of XS Sight Systems.

Few items in the muzzleloading world are overlooked more frequently than the lowly ramrod. That is, until you begin using them! Ironically, some of the finest muzzleloading rifles I've tested come with the most painful or cheaply made ramrods. That includes otherwise superlative offerings from Knight Rifles, Savage Arms and other fine companies. Yet, anytime a muzzleloader is loaded, a ramrod is employed.

There is a ramrod on the market that is both superior and affordable. My only embarrassment comes from the fact that for a long time I didn't know it existed. The ramrod of which I write is the Thompson/Center PowerRod. Billed as the ramrod that "stores like a field rod and works like a range rod," their ad copy is no exaggeration.

The PowerRod is well made of sturdy 7075 T-6 Aluminum and is generally black anodized. The top of the ramrod has a folding "T" handle that is permanently attached and makes seating even stubborn sabots easy. The handle rotates flush when mounted in your rifle's thimbles and not in use. It does not shake or rattle. You won't even know it is there until you use it and then you will be delighted.

I've used the PowerRod on several rifles of late: the Thompson Encore, the Austin & Halleck 420, the Savage ML10-II, the Remington 700ML, the Knight Elite, the Knight Extreme, the CVA Optima, the White 98 and others. The improvement over the factory ramrods in remarkable, particularly in the case of the Savage, Encore, Remington and Knights.

The PowerRod has built in "witness marks," a thoughtful touch that makes it easy to verify the proper repetitive ramrod depth for a specific powder charge and projectile combination. As the witness ruler area is on a flattened side of the rod, any marks you personally make with your knife or a drop of nail polish are unlikely to become obscured. Already Austin & Halleck and Knight Rifles are offering the PowerRod as factory accessories. PowerRods come as standard equipment on some Austin & Halleck models.

It is a joy to point up an economical product that really makes anyone's life easier. The T/C PowerRod does everything it promises to do, and is a spectacularly good product. T/C PowerRods are available from Cabela's.

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Copyright 2003, 2016 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.