Re: diameter of ram rod
I buy a box of those alcohol pads that are pre packaged (the one's people use for injections) and wrap 'em around a jag. I just run one down and it will get it clean enough to load the next one.
Alcohol dries very quickly, so your powder won't get wet. I also use those to wipe off my frizzen and flint. Powder residue will attract moisture from the air very quickly. Removing the powder residue will give you a much better chance of your next shot not going "click".
“Nothing external to you has any power over you.” -Emerson