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Old November 5, 2011, 03:52 AM   #1
BML
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Black Powder cleaning solvent.

I know that it is possible to buy black powder cleaning solvent but I have three questions.
1. Is it effective?
2. What is it made from?
3. Would paraffin do as well?
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Old November 5, 2011, 04:24 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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1. Yes, but... water with some soap or detergent would do as well.
2. Water with soap or detergent and soluble or emulsifiable oil.
3. No. Black powder residue is a mix of water soluble and insoluble solids. Nothing will remove it as well as a water based cleaner. Paraffin (kerosine in the USA) will not dissolve it or even flush it well.

You should, of course, dry and oil the gun after cleaning with water or an aqueous mixture. Many people will recommend HOT water for the self-drying action.

My regular nitro solvent is M-Pro 7. My black powder solvent is M-Pro 7 diluted 1:1 with water. I know people who use a "Moose Milk" made of Ballistol and water, everything from 1:7 Ballistol:water to 1:1.
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Old November 5, 2011, 07:08 AM   #3
thallub
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IMO: The best black powder cleaner is Windex with vinegar. It's now called Windex Multi-Task. It's about three percent vinegar. The acid in the vinegar vinegar dissolves and neutralizes the base in the black powder residue. You can sometimes see it fizz. Windex Multi-Task also works well with the black powder substitutes except for BlackHorn 209.

Nothing else cleans a breechplug as quickly and as easy as Windex Multi-Task. Spray it on and hit the breechplug with an old toothbrush. Windex Multi-Task is good for swabbing the bore between shots. Prior to leaving the range i swab the bore with a wet patch: The bore is left wet. At home the bore is again swabbed with a wet patch followed by dry patches. Then the bore swabbed with a patch moistened with Hoppe's Bore Scrubber followed by dry patches. If the gun will be stored the bore is swabbed with a patch moistened with light gun oil.

Many CASS shooters use Windex with vinegar to clean their guns.

Last edited by thallub; November 5, 2011 at 07:20 AM.
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Old November 5, 2011, 08:43 AM   #4
Rifleman1776
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Water or soap and water is all you need.
Sometimes I will pour some hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) down the bore to clean crevices in the breech area. Very effective.
Fancy commercial products are not necessary.
Do lubricate well when finished.
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Old November 5, 2011, 09:19 AM   #5
Pahoo
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I use water for drinking.

Stopped using water many years ago and save it to drink and water the plants ....

Mostly use Ballistol, Mineral spirits and Bore Shine. ..
These solvents are all water based.



Be Safe !!!
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Old November 7, 2011, 09:36 AM   #6
Jim Watson
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Quote:
Mostly use Ballistol, Mineral spirits and Bore Shine. ..
These solvents are all water based.
This will be news to the guy who wrote the label on Ballistol where it says "mineral oil" and the guy who runs the oil refinery that gets mineral spirits out as a cut off the oil. The regular Bore Shine is a petrochemical nitro solvent like Hoppe's but they make a BP product that no doubt has a lot of water in it.

I used to use Windex All Surface with vinegar and it did well.
After The Incident and fire, I could not find any to restock with so I bought some Clorox Green Works, "all natural, no bleach." It cleaned ok on the range but when I recleaned at home with M-pro 7, I got out a brown patch. Flash rust from one of those natural ingredients.
So I quit using that and just diluted some M-pro 7 which works well, has rust inhibitor, and was on hand.
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Old November 7, 2011, 09:51 AM   #7
zucchi
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Best answer I've seen

As thallub said:
Quote:
IMO: The best black powder cleaner is Windex with vinegar. It's now called Windex Multi-Task. It's about three percent vinegar. The acid in the vinegar vinegar dissolves and neutralizes the base in the black powder residue.
I took black powder to my lab (where I work), ignited it, washed/rinsed the residue with clean water then did a pH test on the water. It was high in pH meaning basic. Since then, I've been using my own diluted vinegar solution to clean my BP guns followed by a rinse with a weak sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) solution to neutralize any residual vinegar, followed by soap & HOT water. When it's dry, I coat everything with melted Crisco for storage; I can only get these guns out to the range about once/year.

The vinegar based Windex is better because it has surfactants that help the vinegar to stick to the residue which allows more time for it to work.
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Old November 7, 2011, 06:45 PM   #8
Doyle
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Zucchi, do you think we could prevail on you to rerun that test with black powder substitutes (Pyrodex and 777)?
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Old November 8, 2011, 09:47 AM   #9
zucchi
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I don't have any BP substitutes with which to run the test. Even if I did, I need to check with the new lab manager. I did that test some five years ago and personnel has changed. The previous lab manager was a fellow firearms enthusiast. I haven't really sussed out the new lab manager. They can get kinda funny when you run "unauthorized" tests.
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Old November 10, 2011, 12:04 AM   #10
Ideal Tool
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Hello, BML. I had gotten away from B.P. shooting for many years..then I found a Ballard No. 3 in .25-25 Stevens. Shooting Swiss 3FG. Dreaded the thoughts of cleaning in this small bore..Tried some of Butch's Black Powder Bore Shine..3 wet patches & 1 dry..bore was spotless.
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