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Old 07-05-2008, 12:51 AM   #1
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Default cleaning after each shot??

I have never fired a black powder rifle but would like to get one (not the new fangled ones, but the old kind). My son-in-law has one and says he must clean after each shot and it is a real pain in the south end. Is that accurate information? He hunts with the new type with scope and all. Not for me.

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Old 07-05-2008, 05:55 AM   #2
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What he, probably, meant is that he has to clean his black powder firearm at THE END OF THE DAY after he's actually fired it. No big deal! Get yourself some easy to use, 'Ballistol Sportsman's Oil' and you'll be home free.

Ballistol Sportsman's Oil

(Great for polymer frame pistols, too!)

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Old 07-05-2008, 12:49 PM   #3
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The very easiest way to clean a muzzleloader is with Windex with vinegar. This is the clear Windex. Nothing else eats up Pyrodex or black powder crud as well. It cleans up breech plugs in a snap. It is also good for swabbing between shots.

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Old 07-05-2008, 03:18 PM   #4
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vinegar is an acid-why would.nt it attack the metal?
How about the plain Windex?
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Old 07-05-2008, 05:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
vinegar is an acid-why would.nt it attack the metal?

The vinegar is very low strength and it will not attack steel. Been using it since 1999 with no problems at all. Mike Venturino is the former black powder editor of Guns and Ammo and Shooting Times magazines. Mike uses Windex with vinegar to clean his black powder guns.

The acid in the Windex with vinegar softens and dissolves the base in the black powder. It fizzes. It works just as well on Pyrodex or 777. It is great for dissolving the 777 crud ring.
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Old 07-05-2008, 07:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drboompa View Post
I have never fired a black powder rifle but would like to get one (not the new fangled ones, but the old kind). My son-in-law has one and says he must clean after each shot and it is a real pain in the south end. Is that accurate information? He hunts with the new type with scope and all. Not for me.
Don't clean after every shot! First of all you need some fouling in the bore to help retain the projectile from moving forward off the powder charge - this could be a potentially dangerous situation since when the projectile is not seated against the powder you now have a barrel obstruction. It is strongly suggested that prior to loading a bullet, you fire several percussion caps to dry out the nipple/breech of any residual oil - which can cause a no-fire due to powder contamination. Number two, if you clean after every shot you will most likely have a misfire since you will not be able to dry the bore completely and your powder will become damp or contaminated, depending on what you use to clean. I have shot traditional blackpowder firearms for 20+ years and have found that I can get at least 10 shots before fouling becomes an issue. You don't want to let the fouling build up to the point where it becomes very difficult to load - this can boost pressure to an unsafe level. If loading becomes difficult, usually all that is needed is to pass a patch down the bore lubricated with Thompson Center's Bore Butter - it is a great patch and bullet lube and also serves double-duty as a quick cleaner while at the range. Also it will not leave any powder-fouling residue, and it reduces powder fouling so cleaning is not necessary during a range/shooting session. Also, as far as cleaning at the end of the day, nothing works better or is cheaper than regular dishwashing liquid! Any muzzleloading enthusiast will tell you this. It completely dissolves black powder/carbon. Remove the barrel from the stock, and after scrubbing the bore and removing the nipple and cleaning the nipple hole/threads with a pipe cleaner, pour boiling water down the barrel from the muzzle end, let it come out through the nipple hole. The boiling water will dry instantly leaving a dry bore with no chance of rust forming. Now you can use a patch saturated with T/C Bore butter to "condition" the bore and prevent rust. The warm barrel will dissolve the Bore Butter and ensure that it flows into the metal pores thus completely protecting your firearm until the next time you use it.
P.S. - T/C Bore Butter comes in a white and yellow tube and smells like beech nut mint - it is all natural and contains no toxic chemicals. Repeated use will "condition" the bore so that fouling is greatly reduced. It is the best conical bullet/patch lubricant available because it contains no petroleum distillates to attract powder/carbon fouling and will not contaminate powder.
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:24 AM   #7
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I used vinegar in an '03 barrel and let it stand overnight in an upright position. Some of it leaked over the crown and now I have streaks on the barrel where once there was bluing.

Thanks for the replies

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Old 07-06-2008, 01:28 AM   #8
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RL357mag:

Thanks for the very detailed information. I really appreciate it. Now I need to find me a kit to build. I favor the very long rifles but am confident they are heard to keep steady from a standing position. Not like in the "last of the Mohicans."

How does one know if a rifle will shoot miniballs instead of round shot?

Thanks very much

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Old 07-06-2008, 01:28 AM   #9
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I used vinegar in an '03 barrel and let it stand overnight in an upright position. Some of it leaked over the crown and now I have streaks on the barrel where once there was bluing.

Thanks for the replies
Never use an acid to clean a firearm! That's why they use dilute ammonia to remove copper - it's a strong base. And never leave any cleaning solvent in a barrel overnight regardless of what you hear - it can etch the steel and destroy your rifling, not to mention your stock if it leaks out.
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drboompa View Post
RL357mag:

Thanks for the very detailed information. I really appreciate it. Now I need to find me a kit to build. I favor the very long rifles but am confident they are heard to keep steady from a standing position. Not like in the "last of the Mohicans."

How does one know if a rifle will shoot miniballs instead of round shot?

Thanks very much
Drboompa - the rate of twist determines which projectile to use. Generally a barrel with a twist rate of 1:66" is great for patched round balls - a 1:48 is good for both patched round balls and conical bullets, and less faster than 1:48 (most inlines) are only good for conical bullets. Look for 1:48 if you plan on doing any hunting. Most States allow conical bullets during the primitive season, except for I think Pennsylvania. I used to live in a shotgun only county in NY. Muzzleloaders were allowed during the regular season (shotgun) and I always chose to use my CVA .50 Frontier Rifle kit.
I could outshoot anyone with a 12 ga. and used to consistently win local Turkey Shoots with it. I also have a CVA .58 cal. Mountain Rifle kit that my dad gave me many years ago - it would put down a grizzly bear with the 525 gr. hollow base conicals that I use. I don't think CVA is in business anymore, and if they are they don't sell kits. I wanted their .32 Squirrel rifle but now Traditions makes it in finished form, calls it the "Crockett Rifle", and gets over $400 for it! I paid under $90 for my Frontier kit in 1989...times have changed! I think Lyman still sells their very popular and well-made rifles in kit form - but be prepared to spend some money...they are worth it though! Dixie Gun works used to sell a variety of kits, but I have everything I need and haven't looked at one of their catalogs in a decade or so. Good luck and welcome to the brootherhood!
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