The ramrod served as a loading aid for a muzzle-loading weapon .
Ball pullers , scrapers or eyelets could be attached to the ramrods provided for this purpose . Thus, the ramrod served not only as a loading aid, but also to restore the ability to fire and to clean and maintain the weapon.
With rifles, the ramrod is usually housed under the barrel, in a groove in the stock . He is held there by a ramrod spring. Some pistols had a ramrod hinge below the muzzle. The ramrod was permanently connected to the weapon and could not be lost.
The iron ramrod
The iron ramrod was introduced by Leopold I to his grenadiers in 1698 and to the Prussian army from 1718 . Before that, ramrods were made of wood, which often broke in combat so that the musketeer could no longer be used.
Later the ramrod was made of steel.
- Gottfried Erich Rosenthal : Encyclopedia of the war sciences of their history and literature. Seventh volume, fifth division, by Carl Wilhelm Ettinger, Gotha 1801.
- General German real encyclopedia for the educated classes . Eighth volume, FA Brockhaus, Leipzig 1845.
- Bernhard von Poten (ed.): Concise dictionary of the entire military sciences: Fifth volume: Ibrahim Pascha bis Krieg von 1859 , 1878, pp. 205–206 
- Prince Leopold I of Anhalt-Dessau (1676-1747): "The Old Dessauer": Exhibition for the 250th anniversary , publisher Museum of Natural History and Prehistory , 1997, p.244