Tips and tricks for newbies

Discussion in 'Blackpowder & Musket' started by easterner123, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. easterner123

    easterner123 New Member

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    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.
     
  2. Hawg

    Hawg New Member

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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.
     

  3. markerdown

    markerdown New Member

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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 :eek: 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
     
  4. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

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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
     
  5. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  6. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

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    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
     
  7. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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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!
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  8. easterner123

    easterner123 New Member

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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?
     
  9. Hawg

    Hawg New Member

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    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.
     
  10. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    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.
     
  11. w_houle

    w_houle New Member

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    Have you tried pillow ticking?
     
  12. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

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    W:

    The 0.018" patches that I have are of the pillow ticking material, I'll work my way up to them as I break in the barrel, and get a bit more experience with muzzleloading.

    Thanks,

    TXnorton
     
  13. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    TX - just out of curiosity, who makes your .54 Hawken, and do you know the rate of twist of the barrel? The reason I ask is because many older sidelocks came with either a 1:66 or a 1:48 twist. My T/C NewEnglander is 1:66 and because of the slower twist stabilizes round balls much better than conicals. My CVA Frontier rifle has a 1:48 twist and shoots conicals better than round balls - in fact from a bench it will shoot into 2" at 100 yds with Lee R.E.A.L. conicals. My .58 CVA Mountain rifle has a 1:66 twist also and thus shoots round balls more accurately.
     
  14. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

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    RL:

    My .54 Hawken is a Pedersoli Rocky Mountain version. It is an absolutely a beautiful piece of work with a gorgeous maple stock. When Cabellas put this on sale from $999 down to $699, I had to jump on it!

    Barrel is 34" long with a 1 in 66" twist. This should be well suited for accuracy with patched round balls, but not a fast enough twist rate for conicals or sabots.

    I am still in the learning process with the muzzleloader. I have been working 7days/week for the past month, so I have only been able to take it to the range twice so far. I'll get to shoot it again next week-end.

    TXnorton
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009
  15. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    That sounds like a nice gun! Pedersoli makes some of the best quality rifles to be had today. With a barrel like that you should have a real tackdriver with patched RB's. Post a range report when you get done, I'd love to hear what it can do! Good luck.