The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Black Powder and Cowboy Action Shooting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 19, 2006, 12:44 AM   #1
trilogy
Junior Member
 
Join Date: September 19, 2006
Posts: 2
Cleaning a Black Powder with rust down the barrel

I recently purchased a Black Powder rifle and went to the range with a friend, afterwards he told me to clean it by running water down the barrel until it came out clear and then hang it up to dry. I let it dry for about two days and put it away and opened it today to fine that the inside of the barrel had rusted as far down as I could see. My questions are how do i get the rust out? and what is the correct way to clean a Black Powder rifle after a session on the range? I have a Connecticut Valley Arms Percussion Rifle if that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance,
Matt
trilogy is offline  
Old September 19, 2006, 06:34 AM   #2
BigV
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2005
Location: Akron, OH
Posts: 328
I would recommend NOT listening to your friend when it come to cleaning firearms.
Using hot water works well for cleaning black powder. Use a patch and hot soapy water. You can follow up with a patch and good powder solvent to insure all powder residue has been removed. Then run clean dry patches through your barrel until it is clean and dry. Follow up with oil; bore butter, grease or some other lubricant to prohibit rust. If the gun is to be stored for some time I would recommend a loose patch with grease. Run a few patches through the barrel before shooting it again to remove the excess grease. Black powder is VERY corrosive and will damage a barrel very quickly if not cleaned and maintained properly. Remove the breach plug (if your gun has one that’s removable) and nipple and clean them as well. Also use powder solvent on the outside of the barrel followed by a lubricant to prevent rust on the outside. The rust you are seeing is most likely surface rust and can be removed with a patch and good solvent followed by a good lubricant as stated above. Also read your owners manual (if you don’t have one, get one), I am sure there is a procedure outlined in it for cleaning and maintaining your firearm. Hope this helps.
BigV is offline  
Old September 19, 2006, 07:18 AM   #3
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16,225
Use a bore guide and hit it with a copper brush and solvent. Then patches soaked in solvent. When it's cleaned of rust, then oil.

What your friend suggested kinda sorta works with hot water and the barrel is heated such that any water evaporates, but to leave it unoiled exposes the metal to oxidation.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old September 19, 2006, 08:42 AM   #4
Wild Bill Bucks
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2005
Location: Southeastern Oklahoma, Next door to Sasquatch
Posts: 1,259
A hair dryer works well, for making sure all parts are free of water.

Never leave any weapon with water on ANY part. Always oil after cleaning, before storage.
Wild Bill Bucks is offline  
Old September 19, 2006, 09:59 AM   #5
oldmaster111
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 19, 2006
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 199
After a day at the range, I always boil a pot of water with a little dish soap in it, then remove the nipple and pour the water down the barrel. After that I clean the rifle as I would a centerfire rifle, with a fine coat of oil for the barrel to prohibit rust. Boiling water will evaporate quickly, and the cleaning will get anything you may have missed.
oldmaster111 is offline  
Old September 19, 2006, 11:01 AM   #6
arcticap
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 15, 2005
Location: Central Connecticut
Posts: 2,973
You didn't specify whether you have a percussion sidelock or an inline with a removable breechplug, or what type of powder you were shooting with.
People clean their guns in different ways, some use hot soapy water and some use black powder solvents.
You need to have some of the right gadgets to help get the job done.
A caliber appropriate cleaning jag and a patch removal "worm" to help you remove a patch if it comes loose down inside the barrel, is almost a necessity if it's a sidelock. Sometimes the jag/patch combo. will get wedged into the barrel along with your cleaning rod if the patch is too oversized, so I use an undersized jag and larger homemade patches. A .41 caliber jag virtually fits almost all of my larger caliber rifles and I use a lot of cleaning strokes to remove as much fouling as possible. But you have to use a tight fitting patch, but not too tight to get stuck, so I cut my own to size.
Some folks fill up a small tub or coffee can with hot soapy water and stick the breech end of the barrel into it with the nipple removed. Then the suction of the tight patch being stroked up and down will flush out much of the powder residue. But then you have to dry the barrel as quickly and thoroughly as possible, and then lubricate. Many use a water displacing product like WD40, ballistol, RemOil...but there may also much better products for long term protection depending on personal preference.
I use TC Bore Butter or Wonderlube, but then I don't put water in my barrels to begin with, I use blackpowder solvents. You really have to clean all of the residue off of any threads and where ever it may have accumulated inside and out on your gun each and every time you shoot.
Hopefully your gun only has some surface rust and no permanent damage or pitting will result that will have a noticiable affect. Use a bronze brush on your cleaning rod as suggested and stroke the bore until it's clean with the additional help of any kind of solvent, and then lots of patches until it's as clean as possible. Then repeat if necessary. Brass or nylon brushes help to remove stubborn deposits on the outside (but try not to overdue it with a brass one, although it's usually totally harmless). And try to soak the nipple in something to help keep it clean and free from forming rust that will block the channel, and try to do the same for the drum where the nipple fits. I use pipe cleaners or little pieces of wooden dowel with a piece of patch and use a twisting motion to remove stubborn deposits in there. That's where solvents can help.
Make sure everything gets coated with a good lubricant, and after a few days I sometimes will go back and stroke the barrel a few more times to insure that I removed all of the residue and that no oxidation is occurring.
I'll even try to remove any residue from the exposed areas of the lock and mainspring located in the stock and under the barrel, and apply oil with a cotton swab.
Good luck and remember that half of muzzle loading is about keeping the gun clean. The culprit is corrosive salts that are the by products of shooting powder containing sulpher. Even the "non-corrosive" powders that don't contain sulpher need to be thoroughly cleaned so that the residue won't absorb moisture and cause rust that way. They may give a person a little more time to do the cleaning, but they don't always perform as well since, every product has it's advantages and disadvantages.
There are other methods people do use to help smooth out a rough barrel, including using toothpaste (silica), bore paste, valve lapping compound (water soluble), # 0000 steel wool, 3M teflon cleaning scrungy pads etc....but some of these methods should only be used on barrels that have problems that are either from more long term damage or are of a more distinctive nature where an alternative remedy and their use may be required to solve a problem. You also don't want to end up having to spin a cleaning rod with an abrasive material attached inside your barrel with an electric drill unless it's absolutely necessary.

Last edited by arcticap; September 20, 2006 at 07:18 PM.
arcticap is offline  
Old September 19, 2006, 05:16 PM   #7
trilogy
Junior Member
 
Join Date: September 19, 2006
Posts: 2
Thanks for all the replies. I'm shooting a percussion sidelock with pyrodex RS. Can you guys recomend a good powder solvent and/or an oil to use? Also, whats the cheapest place to get all this, at the local gun store (Imbert and Smithers) or online?

Thanks,
Matt
trilogy is offline  
Old September 19, 2006, 07:15 PM   #8
Doubletaptap
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 9, 2006
Location: Around north Houston
Posts: 287
Matt, ya don't need no powder solvent. Take a brass brush to that rusty barrel with some Breakfree CLP(walmart) and scrub the devil out of it. Then take a piece of 3M green scrubbie(Pan scrubbers from the supermarket) and scrub it well again. Then dry it out with patches.
Take as many patches as it takes till they come out clean.(a little gray don't hurt.)
Then rinse the barrel again with hot water and a swab stroking up and down with the water in the barrel. I put my barrel in the oven with the door open on 210 for about 15 minutes.
Then take a patch with bore butterand coat the inside of the barrel. When you're ready to shoot, run a couple dry patches in it before loading.
Hope this helps.
__________________
Don't believe the hype!!!
Doubletaptap is offline  
Old September 19, 2006, 11:40 PM   #9
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16,225
You can use old fashion dish soap and hot water. As for oil, any modern oil will do.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old September 19, 2006, 11:50 PM   #10
arcticap
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 15, 2005
Location: Central Connecticut
Posts: 2,973
When you're at the range and you need to remove fouling from your barrel, or if you don't want to mess with hot soapy water at home, black powder solvents are very useful for cleaning. It really depends on how thoroughly a person performs the task.
Every solvent has it's own characteristics, some work better than others, but I use Hoppe's Number #9 Black Powder Solvent & Patch Lube to remove Pyrodex residue with a high degree of success. You still need to use elbow grease to get all of the residue out of the sharp corners of the lands and grooves, but it works especially well if the patches used are tight enough. And if employed properly, metal bore brushes shouldn't normally have to be used to scrub the barrel or exterior clean after use.

There are some better solvents, but you don't always get as much per bottle, and if you try more than one of them, you'll learn when each product can be the most useful: (TC"s #13 Solvent does not clean as thoroughly IMO.)

Shooter's Choice Black Powder Gel
Butch's Black Powder Bore Shine, (but be careful about getting it on your stock)

Ballistol is a special type of mineral oil that claims to be helpful in removing fouling and for use as a short term rust preventative. Another product called Eez ox is supposed to be among the best rust preventatives, but I haven't tried either of them. http://www.eezox.com/

TC Bore Butter or Wonderlube (which is a paste and patch lube), when applied liberally after cleaning helps to prevent most oxidation as long as the bore is clean and dry.
All regular gun oils that you put into your barrel should be removed before shooting.
I've heard that Birchwood Casey Sheath is an excellent one to try.

There's a lot of different solvents and lubricants for sale here. The prices include shipping but not the additional $3.95 handling fee per order, and they also sell Pyrodex etc....

http://www.grafs.com/muzzleloading/3426

Last edited by arcticap; September 20, 2006 at 11:03 AM.
arcticap is offline  
Old September 20, 2006, 07:46 AM   #11
Steve499
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2004
Location: Central Missouri
Posts: 533
My black powder solvent on the range is rubbing alcohol. It sets me back $0.79 a pint.

Steve
Steve499 is offline  
Old September 20, 2006, 08:11 AM   #12
BigV
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2005
Location: Akron, OH
Posts: 328
Quote:
My black powder solvent on the range is rubbing alcohol. It sets me back $0.79 a pint.

Steve
An old timer BP shooter gave me a recipe for black powder solvent along time ago.
1-cup water
1-cup rubbing alcohol
½-cup ammonia
I used it for years and it works great.
BigV is offline  
Old September 20, 2006, 08:15 AM   #13
sundance44s
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 6, 2006
Location: Hernando , Ms.
Posts: 579
Sundance44s

I`ve bought a few muzzle loaders with rusty bores .. and used a piece of 00 steel wool on my cleaning jag with some wd40 on it ..sometimes you can save them sometimes ya just can`t .. the ones i couldn`t save well enough to shoot round balls ..still will shoot buffalo bullets pretty good .
sundance44s is offline  
Old September 20, 2006, 08:44 AM   #14
Wild Bill Bucks
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2005
Location: Southeastern Oklahoma, Next door to Sasquatch
Posts: 1,259
At the range- Windex ( cleans everything from oil to water cleanable products like BP or Pyrodex or 777, and dries quickly)

In the field- spit on a patch works very well, for all.

If you just bought the rifle, and the barrel was in good shape, and the only rust that is in it was from when you cleaned it and put it up wet, then there probably isn't a lot of damage done. Just clean as others have suggested, and don't ever put it up wet again. Damage to the barrel rarely comes from short term rust inside the barrel. Most damage is done by letting the rust stay in the barrel over an extended period of time.
Wild Bill Bucks is offline  
Old September 20, 2006, 11:20 PM   #15
Smokin_Gun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 4, 2005
Location: Mojave Desert, CA
Posts: 1,195
At the range I use Mooses Milk which is 1 part water soluable machinist oil and 9 parts water on my pillow tickin' patches. Kinda cleans the barrel everytime you load it...also swab it if fouled with the same stuff.
At home I get a bucket of scalding hot dish soap water and a length of tygon tube that fits the nipple. Take a wet patch and pump the water in and out, brusht the barrel if needed...pump the water till the barrel is hot. And patch dry along with letting the heat disipate the moisture. And coat it if you like with a protectant. T/C makes a good solvent Number 13 Black Powder Solvent, simular to Mooses Milk...good stuff. Along with any of the above mentioned products, everybody about covered all the good ones.

Here's a Pic of the Lube Pills for sale.
click on Pic

My friend and associate 90# Junkyard Dog is selling lube pills. See the pic below. About 200 44's in a box and 300 36's in a box. Free labled box. Lubrication of cap&ball revolvers. Lube pill(grease cookie) lubrication placed over or under the ball in the chamber. Recommended method,"place under the ball & over the powder". Keeps your barrel and chambers from fouling all day long and guards against chain fire and cylinder drag when used with blackpowder. The pills work. contact: "90# Junk Yard Dog" (rifle@vol.com)
__________________
"I Smoke Black Powder" "Favor an 1858 Remington"
SGT. Smokin' Gun, Mosby's Rangers 43rd Virginia Cavalry C.S.A.
SASS# 19634, ...
Admin:http://blackpowdersmoke.com/oldcoots/index.php
Smokin_Gun is offline  
Old September 22, 2006, 09:04 PM   #16
Osage
Member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2005
Location: Missouri
Posts: 69
Breech Plug

How often do y'all take the breech plug out of your gun? I've had my Lymans GPR for several years and have never taken it out.
Osage is offline  
Old September 24, 2006, 11:49 AM   #17
moosejr
Junior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2006
Location: Hays,Ks.
Posts: 4
On a sidelock like the gpr You should never have to take the breech plug out.If you remove the nipple and pump hot water or your choice af cleaner through the hole using the cleaning jag and patch as a piston it will do a nice job of keeping the plug clean. If you're still unsure they make a variaty of scrapers and brushes made just for this purpose.
__________________
Aim small, Miss small "THE PATRIOT"
moosejr is offline  
Old September 24, 2006, 02:00 PM   #18
Wild Bill Bucks
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2005
Location: Southeastern Oklahoma, Next door to Sasquatch
Posts: 1,259
Osage,
If you shoot an inline, it should be taken out and cleaned every time the rifle is cleaned for storage.
On a side lock, most guys never take them out, they just flush water in and out of them. This is Ok, if you never intend to replace the nipple. If you shoot a lot, you will want to unscrew it and grease the threads occasionally to keep the threads from rusting the nipple in permanantly. If you never take it out and grease the threads, the residue from the powder charges, will work their way into the threads and will eventually make it, to where you can't get it out. If you do take it out, be sure to put it back in the proper alignment with the hammer.

If you are like most guys who only shoot your side lock 10 or 12 times a year, then store it for a year, it probably is stuck in the threads now, so I would just hunt with it, then buy another ML when the nipple wears out.
If you shoot 50 to 100 rounds a year with it, then I would clean it up at least every 25 rounds or so, just to keep it in good shape.

You may shoot it for 30 years without a problem, but sooner or later, any part of a rifle that is left with powder or water on it, is going to give you trouble. I would rather be safe than sorry later. A little extra time, and oil, won't cost that much, when your cleaning up anyway. Just my .02
Wild Bill Bucks is offline  
Old September 24, 2006, 02:06 PM   #19
Wild Bill Bucks
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2005
Location: Southeastern Oklahoma, Next door to Sasquatch
Posts: 1,259
Sorry Osage, I mis read, I thought you were talking about taking the nipple in and out. moose is telling it right. The plug should not be removed from the sidelock. I doubt if you can find enough tools and vices to get it out anyway. I tried to take one out on a Thompson New Englander once, and finally had to give up and take it to a smithy. They are in there a lot tighter than you might think.
Wild Bill Bucks is offline  
Old September 24, 2006, 07:12 PM   #20
BigV
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2005
Location: Akron, OH
Posts: 328
Quote:
If you are like most guys who only shoot your side lock 10 or 12 times a year, then store it for a year, it probably is stuck in the threads now, so I would just hunt with it, then buy another ML when the nipple wears out.
Yep, It's allot cheaper to buy a new ML then to drill the nipple out and re-tap the breach plug...
BigV is offline  
Old September 25, 2006, 10:45 AM   #21
Wild Bill Bucks
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2005
Location: Southeastern Oklahoma, Next door to Sasquatch
Posts: 1,259
Since the in-lines have come out, the pawn shops are full of side hammers, some here can be had for 20 or 30 bucks. Most of them haven't been shot a whole lot.
Wild Bill Bucks is offline  
Old October 4, 2006, 12:35 PM   #22
ArcherAndShooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2005
Location: Spring, TX
Posts: 106
cheap sidelocks in pawn shops

Quote:
Since the in-lines have come out, the pawn shops are full of side hammers, some here can be had for 20 or 30 bucks. Most of them haven't been shot a whole lot.
This just amazes me. I always thought the appeal of ML shooting was to engage in primitive armsmanship, to get under the skin of history, as it were.

I also wish it were true down here in Houston. If anyone knows of such incredible deals around here, PM me, I'd love to check 'em out.
__________________
The Second Amendment - America's ORIGINAL Homeland Security
ArcherAndShooter is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:07 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11100 seconds with 7 queries