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Old April 30, 2012, 07:14 PM   #1
flintlock.50
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Barrel just won't come clean!

Explain this to me. I've been shooting my flintlock using Thompson Bore Butter for years. It often seems like I just can't get the barrel squeaky clean. The patches often look OK, but never spotless. I just attributed the slightly dirty patches to that fact that I don't usually remove the barrel. This weekend I removed the barrel and both poured and pumped hot water through it till the patches came out clean. Still a dry patch always had some dirt on it. So I tried using some Thompson's bore cleaner. I followed the directions and even poured some down the barrel, tilting the barrel back and forth to wet the barrel well. I then let the barrel sit. Here's a picture of a patch I used to swab the barrel with with Thompson's cleaner. The instructions say to swab the barrel with wet patches till they come out clean. I'd say this one looks pretty good; not spotless, but still pretty good.



Now here's what the dry patches looked like. Note that they are picking up some dirt; not much, but they still aren't clean.



I usually quit when the patches look like this, so I decided to swab the barrel with a patch saturated with Thompson's Bore Butter. Here's is what that patch looked like.



Note that this is AFTER lots of hot water pumped and poured through the barrel AND all my wet patches looking pretty clean!

What's going on here? I must have used 25 patches last night and I was still couldn't get a patch to come out clean!
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Old April 30, 2012, 07:21 PM   #2
Beagle333
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I dunno. My last patch after cleaning is one just drippy-gooey with Bore Butter and I store the rifle that way, then when I swab before I load it again, the patch comes out just a light yellow, like . . . . well, . . Bore Butter.
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Old May 1, 2012, 10:05 AM   #3
toolslinger
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Do you use a bore brush or mop?
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Old May 1, 2012, 12:28 PM   #4
Grant D
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I use soap with the hot water to clean the barrel, then boiling water to wash it out, then oil it. That works for me.
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Old May 1, 2012, 02:09 PM   #5
4V50 Gary
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What Grant D suggested. Lots of hot water. It's old fashioned, but it works.
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Old May 1, 2012, 03:53 PM   #6
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Leave the bore butter out of it!
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Old May 1, 2012, 04:18 PM   #7
straight-shooter
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01.Hot soapy water then just plain hot water.

02. Dry patch then hoppes no. 9 then Dry patch again.

03. lightly oil with CLP

Done.
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Old May 1, 2012, 04:33 PM   #8
Chris Underwood
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i had a problem similar to this. What i've done now is i never use soap and water when i did my barrel would just turn to rust and would never get it clean. What i do now is use a brush run it down 3-4 times turn the barrel flat on the table and tap it 3 times against the table you'll see a pile of powder fall out if it. I repeat this process 3-4 times. I then use bore bright to clean any extra that's still i the barrel.and then i run a dry one down 3 times and then they come out clean. then i finish it of with bore butter if i'm not gonna be shooting my gun in the next 2-3 days. hope that helps.
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Old May 1, 2012, 04:59 PM   #9
Grant D
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Chris: That's why you use boiling water in the barrel,it's so hot it evaporates completely so it won't rust. After shooting my cap and ball revolvers I put the barrel and cylinder in boiling water, so when you take them out all you have to do is oil them and your done.(Of course that's after the normal cleaning)
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Old May 1, 2012, 06:04 PM   #10
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I prefer to use chemistry to elbow grease. Seal the touch hole, fill the barrel with solvent, cork the muzzle, let it soak. Also works well for smokeless powder. In reenacting many of us use a 3 in 1 solution of rubbing alchol, peroxide and Murphy's Oil Soap, though of course we use blanks there.
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Old May 1, 2012, 08:14 PM   #11
flintlock.50
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Quote:
Do you use a bore brush or mop?
I just use patches, no brush.

I started by swabbing the bore with a wet patch to get most of the really black stuff out. Then I poured hot water down the barrel and let it run out the touch hole. When patches still came out dirty, I put the breech in a tub of hot water and pumped water in and out using a patch on a jag. These eventually came out clean… or so I thought. When I used dry patches, they came out a little dirty as shown above.

Then I remembered that I had a bottle of T/C cleaner, so I followed the directions and swabbed the bore with patches saturated with that. They didn't pick up anything and all came out looking pretty good. So I tried the dry patches again, and got the same dirty rings again.

Next I plugged the touch hole again and poured some T/C cleaner down the bore. I covered the muzzle with my thumb and tilted the barrel back and forth to get the cleaner everywhere. Then I let it sit for a while. All the subsequent patches looked OK, not great but OK. So I tried the patch saturated with green Bore Butter. It came out filthy! I ran a few more dry patches through the bore, then another one with Bore Butter, then gave up.
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Old May 1, 2012, 09:16 PM   #12
Newton24b
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all you need to do is

SATURATE the barrel with good old fashioned Hoppes No. 9. wait a while, say 20 inutes, then swab it out and repeat a few times.


it takes 70 year old cosmoline out of a rifle, itll get your barrel clean.
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Old May 1, 2012, 09:41 PM   #13
flintlock.50
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Quote:
SATURATE the barrel with good old fashioned Hoppes No. 9
Only problem with that is that the Bore Butter tube says never use a petroleum based cleaner once you've started using Bore Butter. Bore Butter claims the barrel becomes "seasoned" after a few trips to the range and petroleum based cleaners will remove the seasoning (kinda like scrubbing your cast iron skillet till you see bare metal). It's not a nice thing to do.
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Old May 2, 2012, 02:29 AM   #14
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What I think is happening is that the mineral oil in the Bore Butter works like a slow acting solvent.
If there's any residue left in the corners of the rifling grooves (or any where else in the bore), then the application of Bore Butter can slowly dissolve it and then lift it off the metal.
It sometimes requires friction to remove stubborn residue and cotton patches can only provide so much friction because cotton is soft.
And if the patches aren't as tight as possible then there's always the possibility that some trace amount of residue can get left behind.
I coat the bore with Bore Butter and then check it after a day or two by swabbing it out to see if there was any additional residue left over that was loosened from the metal surface. If the patches come out dirty at all, I'll swab the bore some more and then reapply some more Bore Butter.
A bronze or Tynex bore brush can also help to clean any remaining residue from the rifling grooves.
There's also more powerful solvents like Shooter's Choice Black Powder Gel. I'm not sure which TC solvent was used, but IMO TC #13 isn't among the most effective solvents for removing stubborn substitute powder residue.

Last edited by arcticap; May 2, 2012 at 12:02 PM.
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Old May 2, 2012, 11:25 AM   #15
FrontierGander
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Dump that piece of poo bore butter! Its nothing more than a wax that builds up and causes rust issues.

Take that barrel off and put it into a bucket of boiling hot water and pump it repeatedly.

Next use something like birchwood casey gun scrubber or carb cleaner and flood the bore good and again, swab it.

Follow up with a good oil like Barricade, Rig #2, montana xtreme gun oil or the bore conditioner.

Bore butter is only good for patches when shooting patched round balls.
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Old May 2, 2012, 02:10 PM   #16
thallub
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What Frontier Gander said.
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Old May 2, 2012, 09:06 PM   #17
flintlock.50
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Quote:
Bore butter is only good for patches when shooting patched round balls.
All I shoot are patched round balls. I shoot a traditional flintlock.
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Old May 3, 2012, 06:36 AM   #18
mykeal
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I think what he means is Bore Butter isn't a good barrel cleaning medium; it's only real use is as a patch lube.

As for the 'seasoning' claim, I believe they've quit doing that; at least the T/C web site has removed the claim. It's BS.
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Old May 3, 2012, 09:50 AM   #19
Wild Bill Bucks
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I haven't found anything any better for cleaning than plain old Windex. It works on Black Powder, triple 7, or Pyrodex, equally well. Spray patches until wet and run them down the barrel until the barrel is clean, then a few dry patches to finish. Windex only takes a few seconds to dry after used, so no time for rust to settle in, and a little rust preventative down the barrel on a patch before storing. Much cheaper than most of the other stuff (except hot water) and a whole lot less messy.
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Old May 3, 2012, 11:10 AM   #20
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+1 On What Wild Bill recommends. You don't have to do this but, I finish by rinsing with cold water, blowing dry with an air compressor then running a wool bore swab with Hoppe's down it. Been using the same technique for over 18 years with no rust or problems with using a petroleum product.
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Old May 4, 2012, 08:41 AM   #21
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Barrel just won't come clean!

Quote:
I just can't get the barrel squeaky clean.
I hope your not one of those weak wrist'ed swishers while cleaning up your smoke poles barrel. No more whining "I can't get it clean" Sir you have to exert some authority and show that barrel who 's the Boss!! The only way to accomplish that task is plenty of soap & hot water an endless supply of correctly sized cleaning patches. If you choose to get nasty because your barrel still appears to be disrespectful concerning your cleaning effort. Try using a bore brush occasionally on it. Sooner or later it will come around to meet your expectations. Now bring that Dawn detergent back to your wife and asked for her forgiveness concerning your recent act of misappropriation you committed in HER kitchen._ Now. I think your good to go Sir..
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Old May 4, 2012, 06:26 PM   #22
Newton24b
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you do realize that their is only one commercial cleaner for black powder that does not contain kerosene or petroleum products, and that is the one that is NOT getting your gun clean, and resulted in this thread?

hoppes no 9 is not going to be beaten by bore butter, i learned the hard way with a sidelock. pure silicon isbetter then bore butter.
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Old May 4, 2012, 06:30 PM   #23
flintlock.50
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Understand, I'm not cleaning with Bore Butter. That's intended to be my last patch to protect the bore. I used lots of hot water, tight patches and T/C bore cleaner. The patches come out clean till I swab with Bore Butter, then they come out dirty. The Bore Butter seems to be softening residual something.
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:09 PM   #24
Newton24b
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how old is the gun? it is modern steel, and not iron?

any surface imperfections in it? had similar issues with a rough bore once.


However this is what i recommend. its easy to do and notexpensive. and its fun.

1. clean the barrel with as much of that thompsons stuff as you want. till you get the patch as clean as you want.

2. get atsko silicone in a spray can, sometimes just says "camp dri" on the label. it only contains air and silicone. spray it down the barrel till its nice and slimy.

3. use a brash brush with a patch on it. slide it down. i KNOW it will look nasty as can be.

4. switch to simply saturating a patch on the brush till its clean. and only has a slight offwhite tinge to the patch. your barrel should be clean.

and oil the gun with a real preservative. i swear by hoppes 9 and pure silicone. silicone creates a true pore filling barrier.
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Old May 5, 2012, 01:13 AM   #25
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Barrel just won't come clean!

Quote:
I've been shooting my flintlock using Thompson Bore Butter for years. I just use patches, no brush.
It appears you insist on using Thompson's Bore Butter time after time on your second from the last patch and than running one more patch down the barrel to wipe the excess lube out. Upon inspection of that last patch. It again comes out a little dirty. Sir Trying to get by with a ram rod and T/Cs bore butter, liquid cleaner and a some patches apparently isn't enough to resolve the problem.
Quick tips:
Do you have a bore brush of proper caliber to help in cleaning your barrels rifling?
When pumping hot water into your barrel from it's breech end. Have you unscrewed and removed the barrels vent liner?
Do you have a bore light to check your barrels overall condition after cleaning?

As said: You've been shooting your flintlock for years._ Are you now just taking notice that your barrel is not cleaning up after being shot? or has it always been a problem and over looked?

There are much better products on the market than those you are currently using. Others here have offered very good guidance. And as you know. To do a job correctly you must have the proper tools.
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