cleaning after each shot??

Discussion in 'Blackpowder & Musket' started by drboompa, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. drboompa

    drboompa New Member

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    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.
     
  2. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

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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!) ;)
     

  3. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  4. montveil

    montveil New Member

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    vinegar is an acid-why would.nt it attack the metal?
    How about the plain Windex?
    Montveil
     
  5. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  6. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2008
  7. drboompa

    drboompa New Member

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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
     
  8. drboompa

    drboompa New Member

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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
     
  9. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    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.
     
  10. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    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!
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2008
  11. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There is a very big difference between using pure vinegar on a gun and using Windex with vinegar to clean a muzzleloader. Windex with vinegar is about 5% vinegar and will not hurt the blue or cause the barrel to rust. Been using the stuff since 1999 on my guns with no problems. My inline rifles get cleaned in five minutes thanks to the stuff.
     
  12. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    Hot soapy water is much cheaper than Windex and has been used by more people for decades to clean black powder residue.
     
  13. Slickrick214

    Slickrick214 New Member

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    That and Ballistol is all you need. I use hot water, brass birstle brush and a few drops of ballistol. After I get done with my musket its so clean you could eat off of it. :D
     
  14. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    Over the last 26 years I have literally tried every BP solvent on the market. The best I found was called Black Solve - I believe it was made in Canada- it came in a small plastic bottle and looked like green water...when I couldn't find it anymore I ended up going back to basics - dish soap and water - boiling water rinse - oil. For long guns I oil with T/C Bore butter after the boiling water evaporates. The stuff disolves and flows with the heat generated from the boiling water. The Bore Butter actually conditions the metal after repeated use and makes fouling a thing of the past. And since it is not petroleum based there is never any chance of cross-contaminating powder or caps. It's one product that actually works as stated! It also makes a really good grease for applying to loaded revolver cylinders and removes the crud build up on them so you can keep shooting instead of cleaning.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008
  15. Slickrick214

    Slickrick214 New Member

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    So far of all the black powder solvents I have used the only one that seems to really work is Ballistol. It seems to really get alot of the junk out of there especially in the nipple area leading into the breech. I've heard good things about Bore Butter but I haven't tried it yet.
     
  16. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    Ballistol makes a BP specific cleaner? I know they make a popular general putpose spray cleaner/lube. I've yet to try it, but I know of many who use it. I've been using G-96 for about 30 years and love the stuff - it doesn;t damage wood stocks either, but it's getting real expensive ($11/can) and very hard to find.
     
  17. Slickrick214

    Slickrick214 New Member

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    No they don't make a solvent specifically for black powder. They're general purpose Sportsman gun oil does the trick though. Whatevers in it is great at dissolving black powder, lead, and copper residue. Its not petroleum based so its all natural. Its suppose to be made of some plant oil. It works great but it smells like a dirty butt. After I let it sit in the nipple area and let it settle into the breech I clean it out. The first time I used it I couldn't beleive how much junk it got out of the nipple area. Globs of brownish black junk just came right out when I capped off the musket.
     
  18. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    I will have to try some. The petroleum based cleaners are known to screw up muzzleloades by filling in the pores with oil - this increases fouling. The T/C Bore Butter (also called Natural Lube 1000) is supposed to condition the bore each time it is used. Sounds like Ballistol might work in concert with the Bore Butter rather than remove it.
     
  19. Slickrick214

    Slickrick214 New Member

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    Check out Midway USA gun supplies. The last I checked they had 16oz's of Ballistol for pretty cheap. That was about a year and a half ago though and I don't know if the price went up. I still have that 16oz can from when I first bought it from them about a year and a half ago and that will probably last me another 2 years. Since you only need to use a few drops a 16oz can will last forever.
     
  20. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    I'm going to pick up the smaller can at WalMart this weekend! I need to replace the G-96 I can no longer find. Will Ballistol harm the finish on wood stocks?