Your ramrod is a safety tool …….. One of the first tricks that I was taught years ago was marking my ramrod. Place your ramrod into the barrel. We want the ramrod tip resting on the breech plug, with the barrel empty. Make a scratch mark on the ramrod even with the muzzle. I lay a sharp knife across the muzzle and rotate the ramrod against the blade. I want a visible mark all the way around. This is your indicator of an empty barrel. Now load your rifle using your normal load. Repeat the procedure marking the barrel again. These two marks will help in a number of ways. It’s always easy to verify that your barrel is empty or loaded. It’s too easy to be distracted as you load. A marked ramrod can quickly verify where you are in the loading process. In some situations you may be asked to demonstrate that your rifle is empty. Your ramrod is the tool to use.