Tips and tricks for newbies
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:00 AM   #1
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Default Tips and tricks for newbies

A buddy of mine told me the best way to clean a Thompson center Arms barrel was to remove it from the gun. Then fill the kitchen sink up with hot water and some dish soap, take the ramrod and a patch and run it through while the barrel is submerged on one end, the result is suction and a very effective cleaning.

I am new to muzzle loading and have only shot my hawkens a few times. Any tips or tricks would be appreciated.

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Old 06-13-2009, 05:09 AM   #2
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A five gallon bucket is just as effective and doesn't muss up the sink. Once it's clean spray it out liberally with WD-40 to displace any water left behind. Run a few more patches to remove the WD-40 and lube with a vegetable based lube. You do not want to use a petroleum based lube in a bore or revolver chambers. It's ok in the action or lock. You need to periodically remove the nipple and use anti seize on the threads. Some people remove the nipple every time they clean but I find it unnecessary. Before you load it up run a clean patch down the bore and fire a cap to make sure everything is clear and burn off any lube in the bottom of the chamber. Some people store rifles muzzle down so excess lube won't pool in the chamber.

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Old 06-13-2009, 03:21 PM   #3
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+1 on the 5 gal bucket. I used the kitchen sink 1 time when I first got my rifle, the mrs had a cow and I never heard the end of it. I use the WD 40 to displace moisture, even used the oven once to dry out the barrel, and tried the mrs hair dryer. I've had the best luck with CLP down the bore once she's clean.
Of all my guns, the mrs does not like my T/C hawken, reasons listed above ....................markerdown

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Old 06-13-2009, 07:12 PM   #4
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I am pretty new to black powder muzzle loaders having bought my .54 Hawken just this past month. My prior BP experience is in cap and ball pistols and BP Cartridge guns. I did buy one of those $6.00 BP cleaning outfits with the little brass adaptor that screws in place of the nipple and is attached to a small diameter plastic tube. This is where you swab up and down the bore with a tight fitting patch on a ramroad and the tube is placed in a container full of a cleaning solution. The adaptor/tube sucks in and pumps out the hot water solution as you work the ramrod/patch in and out. I tried this out with a large cup of very hot water mixed with ballistol and after a dozen strokes in and out of the bore with the ramrod the bore was cleaned up very well. I carefully dried out and lubricated the bore afterwards. Checking even a week later shows no rust and a very clean patch.

For $6.00 at Dixie Gun Works it seems like a good system to me.

TXnorton

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Old 06-14-2009, 02:42 AM   #5
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Even better than Ballistol or petroleum based lubes is T/C Bore Butter. After rinsing the bore with boiling water (which evaporates leaving a dry bore) run a patch saturated with T/C Bore butter through the bore. The residual heat will liquify it and ensure penetration into all pores. I have left my BP rifles this way for years with no rust formation.Bore Butter is a natural lube which smells like wintergreen, and it does not form a gummy varnish over time. It greatly reduces fouling when used as a bullet or patch lube and virtually eliminates the need for swabbing between shots as very little residue builds-up inside the barrel. Petroleum based lubes and cleaners actually increase fouling and necessitate frequent swabbing between shots. It also makes a good chamber grease for BP revolvers. Try it, you'll like it.

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Old 06-14-2009, 10:23 AM   #6
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Default Bore Butter - Good Stuff!

RL:

Bore Butter is great stuff, I use it a lot on my other BP firearms. I did the post cleaning Bore Butter bore swab on my Hawken as you described, followed by a few dry patches to remove the excess.

For the Hawken (I have only had it for one month old now, with only two trips to the range with it so far) I have been using the store bought pre-lubricated patches for shooting, and cleaning patches sprayed with TC's T17 cleaner / lubricant for between shot cleaning. I recover quite a bit of fouling in these between shot cleaning runs (I am using GOEX 2Fg BP).

I am still trying to work up the right ball diameter/patch thickness combo for this rifle. I have a boat load of the prelubed patches in .010", .015" and .018" and no "dry" patches in those thicknesses. I'll try using Bore Butter for between shot cleaning and see if it helps reduce the residual fouling.

I use Bore Butter for cleaning all my BP firearms including my Walker Colt replica C&B pistol, and my Uberti Model P in .45 Colt, and my Pedersoli Sharps in .45-70. All I shoot in the Model P and the Sharps is BP cartridge rounds.

The Walker Colt used to get a hard build up of percussion cap residue from firing. I now coat the hammer area metal surfaces with a light coat of Bore Butter before firing and this makes post-shoot clean up much easier. The residue does not harden and it wipes away easily. I notice a similar percussion cap hard residue inside the hammer cup and around the base of the nipple on the Hawken, so I'll try pre-coating thse areas with a bit of Bore Butter before my next shoot.

TXnorton

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Old 06-14-2009, 12:59 PM   #7
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TX - I too have always had build-up around and inside of the nipple. I always used a pick to get it out, but I never thought of applying the bore butter to that area - good idea! The benefits of Bore Butter ARE cumulative - the more you use it the better it works - particularly if you have been using petroleum-based cleaners and lubes in the past, like I used to. Apparently the metal pores absorb whatever you put into the bore, and getting it out takes time. I buy the OxYoke dry patches and lube them myself - it's messy, but I don't mind lubing with Bore Butter cause it smells good and is not greasy like the old wheel bearing-type greasy crap I used to buy (which oddly enough was also made by T/C). It does soften the carbon fouling to the point where removing it is a simple matter of passing a patch down the bore, and this is particularly helpful when it comes to cleaning revolvers, a chore I hate! After an accidental chain fire many years ago with a cheap brass framed Sheriff's .44, where a .454 ball ripped into my thumb, I use it to grease the chambers whenever I shoot my Old Army - which is hardly ever anymore. I love the stuff, even though it's gotten very expensive and sometimes hard to find. I don't shoot round balls too much anymore because my main hunting rifle has a 1:48 twist. I mold my own R.E.A.L. bullets (385gr. .50cal) and I pack the grooves with bore butter and load up a bunch of speed loaders. I also use small charges of FFFg in my rifles instead of the FFg. I get less fouling, better ignition, and a "crack" instead of a "boom". I only use a 60-70gr. charge so I don't think there's any danger of overpressure. My brother (the engineer/physicist) claims I'm crazy to do this, but I've been doing it for 15 years and have never blown a breech plug or nipple....I used to use Elephant Powder, but I can't find it anymore, so I'll be going back to Goex soon - I hate Pyrodex!

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Old 06-14-2009, 01:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RL357Mag View Post
TX - I too have always had build-up around and inside of the nipple. I always used a pick to get it out, but I never thought of applying the bore butter to that area - good idea! The benefits of Bore Butter ARE cumulative - the more you use it the better it works - particularly if you have been using petroleum-based cleaners and lubes in the past, like I used to. Apparently the metal pores absorb whatever you put into the bore, and getting it out takes time. I buy the OxYoke dry patches and lube them myself - it's messy, but I don't mind lubing with Bore Butter cause it smells good and is not greasy like the old wheel bearing-type greasy crap I used to buy (which oddly enough was also made by T/C). It does soften the carbon fouling to the point where removing it is a simple matter of passing a patch down the bore, and this is particularly helpful when it comes to cleaning revolvers, a chore I hate! After an accidental chain fire many years ago with a cheap brass framed Sheriff's .44, where a .454 ball ripped into my thumb, I use it to grease the chambers whenever I shoot my Old Army - which is hardly ever anymore. I love the stuff, even though it's gotten very expensive and sometimes hard to find. I don't shoot round balls too much anymore because my main hunting rifle has a 1:48 twist. I mold my own R.E.A.L. bullets (385gr. .50cal) and I pack the grooves with bore butter and load up a bunch of speed loaders. I also use small charges of FFFg in my rifles instead of the FFg. I get less fouling, better ignition, and a "crack" instead of a "boom". I only use a 60-70gr. charge so I don't think there's any danger of overpressure. My brother (the engineer/physicist) claims I'm crazy to do this, but I've been doing it for 15 years and have never blown a breech plug or nipple....I used to use Elephant Powder, but I can't find it anymore, so I'll be going back to Goex soon - I hate Pyrodex!
Just wondering why is pyrodex so bad? Nothing in favor of the brand, but I just started. What type of powder do you recommend?
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Just wondering why is pyrodex so bad? Nothing in favor of the brand, but I just started. What type of powder do you recommend?
Pyro isn't bad. It's all I use. It has a bad rep for rusting and corrosion which it doesn't deserve. I've never had an ignition problem with it using standard caps. I'd rather have bp but failing that I'll take Pyro over any of the other subs. It's cheaper too.
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easterner123 View Post
Just wondering why is pyrodex so bad? Nothing in favor of the brand, but I just started. What type of powder do you recommend?
I've had misfires & hard ignition with Pyrodex due to it's sensitivity to temp. changes and condensation. This is a concern in the northeast in December. BP is more forgiving IMO and also seems to produce more energy. Try them side by side and you'll notice the difference. The one benefit to Pyrodex is it doesn't smoke as much. I love Elephant Brand BP - but I don't think it's produced anymore - It was imported from Brazil I believe. Now I am back to using Goex BP.
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