Short starter for .32 to .38 caliber, 5/16" brass rod, made in the USA
Short starter, ball starter for .40 or .45 caliber patched round balls, 3/8" hickory rod, brass tips
Short starter for .50, 7/16" hickory rod, maple ball handle made in the USA
Known as a Short Starter or ball starter, use the small stud to bump the patch and ball into the muzzle, to engrave the rifling. Use the longer rod to start the ball, then use your ramrod. Use short strokes of your ramrod to seat the ball on the powder charge. Avoid grasping the ramrod high above the muzzle, which may flex the rod to the breaking point. Short strokes, about the length of the starter rod, will work perfectly.
Wipe the bore after each shot, including the first shot. A dirty bore may result in a stuck patch and ball, or a broken ramrod. A patched round ball slides smoothly down a clean bore. Modern synthetic patch lubricants (Wonder, 1000, Miracle) are very slippery, allowing reloading without wiping, but this is not good practice.
The maple ball is fitted with a short brass stud and a longer concave brass rod (smallest size) or brass tip (larger calibers). Finished in hot linseed oil, with waterproof glue, the brass rod and tip should give a lifetime of service.