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Old March 9, 2015, 11:38 AM   #1
Oldjarhead
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Black powder revolver cleaning

I am thinking of finally diving into black powder percussion revolvers. Watched a lot of YouTube cleaning videos. One video recommended using warm water and soap, soaking it in a sink. What is best? Thanks.
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Old March 9, 2015, 03:24 PM   #2
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Depends. If you have an open top, I always break it down and throw the barrel, cylinder into a bucket of soapy water. Then use a blackpowder solvent on the frame. On a Remmy I soak the cylinder and use solvent on the frame and barrel. You could take off the grips and soak the frame too, but usually I wait awhile to do that. I am sure you will get alot of tips in this forum.
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Old March 9, 2015, 09:21 PM   #3
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Isn't it bad to use soap with the hot water when cleaning cap and ball revolvers? I'm not totally sure
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Old March 9, 2015, 09:38 PM   #4
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I've always used hot/war water with liquid dish soap, but I've been reading of those who don't do such, but instead use something like Ballistol instead. I've fought flash rust several times and considered it a part of the game. I'm curious.
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Old March 9, 2015, 10:40 PM   #5
campingnights
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Warm soap and water always worked fine for mine. Dry em off and lube them up and you'll be fine. Soap, warm water and WD40 kept my BP stuff fine for a over a decade, then I got out of the hobby for awhile and just kept the long arms.
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Old March 10, 2015, 04:38 AM   #6
Hawg
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Soap and water is all I've ever used. I use bore mops instead of patches. I also only fully disassemble maybe once a year.
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Old March 10, 2015, 05:40 AM   #7
darkgael
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Clean

Quote:
Isn't it bad to use soap with the hot water when cleaning cap and ball revolvers?
Nope. That is one of the beauties of using BP.....you just wash your gun. And then make sure that it is dry.....WD40 ("Water Displacement 40) is effective. So is pouring a small amount of 100% alcohol over the gun and parts after cleaning. Then oil and done.
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Old March 10, 2015, 06:52 AM   #8
rodwhaincamo
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I much prefer using Ballistol instead of WD-40 as Ballistol is an oil that mixes with water but when the water evaporates it leaves the Ballistol.
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Old March 10, 2015, 11:24 AM   #9
Oldjarhead
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Is Break Free CLP safe to use on black powder revolvers? Just purchased a Uberti 1861 Navy in. 36 caliber.
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Old March 10, 2015, 12:55 PM   #10
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You can use whatever you wan't to protect the metal when the gun is not in use. BUT EVERY trace of a petroleum product like CLP better be gone before you fire it. It will be a MONSTER to clean if you don't. ONLY non petroleum products are best for Black Powder shooting. Stuff like Ballistol, bore butter, a black powder specific cleaner / protectant (like Hopps black powder NOT no.9), or a homemade lube / protectant. I use Beezwax and Mutton Tallow mix for my black powder lube. I use it to lube homemade wads, patches, and before I got some Ballistol I wiped the guns down with a coating of it too. NARRY a problem.
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Old March 10, 2015, 08:25 PM   #11
Hawg
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Petroleum based oils are ok in the action. Personally I usually use Remoil in my actions but anything will work. Its the bore and chambers that are persnickety. You don't want petro based oils where there's combustion of black powder or most of the subs. You can use petro oils for storing as long as its completely removed before loading and firing. It wont hurt anything it just makes an easy cleaning job harder.
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Old March 17, 2015, 08:55 PM   #12
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Black powder revolver cleaning

In answer to the question about CLP, yes, it will make a big mess. Before I learned better, I sprayed the bore of my .50 cal rifle with it because I had to put off cleaning for a couple of days. It took a LOT of hot soapy water to get that mess out of my barrel, and lots of time. It turned out alright, but lesson learned the hard way.
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Old March 17, 2015, 10:14 PM   #13
Bishop Creek
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Quote:
Soap and water is all I've ever used. I use bore mops instead of patches. I also only fully disassemble maybe once a year.
I'm with Hawg, all I have ever done with my revolvers for the past 45 odd years is hold the breech end of the barrel under the faucet in the kitchen sink with hot water to let the fouling pour out then run a few patches down the barrel to dry it. Do the same with the cylinder. Sometimes I use dishwasher soap, some times not. The hot water allows the gun metal to get hot and dry quicker. Then I lube it with Rem oil on the outside and olive oil in the barrel. Take the pistol apart once a year to clean the internal parts.
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Old March 18, 2015, 09:07 AM   #14
DD4lifeusmc
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cleaning

Back in the 1970's an old man then, taught me to use plain rubbing alcohol.
New gun
break it down, stone any obviously rough spots.
soak the action parts in the R.A.
q-tip or such scrub the action cavity with R.A. and the rest of the frame.
Wipe dry. the R.A. evaporates pretty fast no rust.
now wipe the individual action parts clean and dry. install.
Back then CVA made a great patch grease. No longer made. closest is bore butter, or homemade with beeswax and lard (tallow). mix thin, about like vaseline, perhaps a bit thicker. Pack the entire action with the stuff.
Residue can't get in. replace the trigger guard.
Also cock the hammer, and apply down in the cavity there, using q-tip or similar, wipe a fine film both sides and face of hammer and hammer slot.
what residue lands there, easily wiped off.
Same with cylinder opening in frame and cyinder. apply a liberal amount to back of cylinder on the ratchet.
Leave the chambers and bore clean and dry unless you are storing for a long time. Then any old gun oil will work just fine. No need to buy the exotic high priced stuff.
Two of my Navy Arms 1858's are 35 years old. Not a spec of rust on them.
They were kit guns, so did not have the factory blue. So now have a aged worn patina to them. I sometimes touch them up with bluing, but it just wears off again with use.
on the R.A> try to go with at least 80 or 90 %
I clean the guts out every couple years as needed.
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Old March 18, 2015, 11:18 AM   #15
maillemaker
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I use dishwashing detergent soap and hot water.

Obviously you have to remove the grips if you are going to do a dunk cleaning.

I do a dunk cleaning every time. I do not disassemble the action every time. I can get away with this because I have an air compressor with a blow-off gun. When I am finished cleaning, I use compressed air to blow every trace of water off of the gun, including out of the barrel, and out of all nooks and crannies, and I pay special attention to blowing it out of the action.

Then I do a follow-up cleaning with Ballistol.

Then I liberally spray Remoil into the action.

About once a year I do a full disassembly and clean.
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Old March 18, 2015, 01:14 PM   #16
georgiacatweazle
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what do you use to polish up the brass ? mine has a little discoloration and doesn't go away with rubbing with a dry cloth. was thinking of brasso ? but doesn't that weaken brass?
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Old March 18, 2015, 02:33 PM   #17
DD4lifeusmc
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polish brass

Quote:
what do you use to polish up the brass ? mine has a little discoloration and doesn't go away with rubbing with a dry cloth. was thinking of brasso ? but doesn't that weaken brass?
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aome fine steel wool is just fine. Any over counter brass or chrome polish will work fine. Won't hurt the metal
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Old March 18, 2015, 06:17 PM   #18
chunky_lover
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ive only shot my bp pistol twice
first time I cleaned with typical gun cleaners, maybe balistol dont remember

when I went to go shoot it next time all percussion cap holes were blocked
I got really worried I wasnt going to be able to shoot the loaded cylinders, but I added new caps and thankfully that worked
guess cleaning it somehow clogged the holes

last time I used it I didnt clean it yet, still not sure
really dont want to hammer out that clip to take cylinder out, just thinking it may loosen how tight it came when reassembling
dont want a gun rattling apart after all the dovetail for the ram rod clip on the barrel came too loose from the factory I had to jb weld that in

and dont want to drop complete gun in water to clean
unless its okay if I take off the grip really havent looked into how that attaches yet


but I know its all crusty looking but the cap holes are open
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Old March 18, 2015, 08:44 PM   #19
Bishop Creek
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Quote:
when I went to go shoot it next time all percussion cap holes were blocked
I got really worried I wasnt going to be able to shoot the loaded cylinders, but I added new caps and thankfully that worked
guess cleaning it somehow clogged the holes
For cleaning out the nipples, ie.: your "percussion cap holes," on my revolvers, I use a nipple pick. They come in real handy, even at the range. Scroll down about halfway, this website has three different nipple picks listed:

http://possibleshop.com/s-s-tools.html
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Old March 19, 2015, 11:06 AM   #20
44 Dave
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Most every time I shoot I swab the gun before I even head home, then clean soon after.
Part of cleaning is holding the cylinder up to the light to look and see that the nipples are clear and dry.
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Old March 19, 2015, 12:53 PM   #21
maillemaker
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Quote:
ive only shot my bp pistol twice first time I cleaned with typical gun cleaners, maybe balistol dont remember
"Typical" gun cleaners, like Hoppes #9, are solvents for smokeless powder and don't work very well if at all on black powder residue.

Ballistol works great on black powder residue though.

Quote:
when I went to go shoot it next time all percussion cap holes were blocked
I got really worried I wasnt going to be able to shoot the loaded cylinders, but I added new caps and thankfully that worked
guess cleaning it somehow clogged the holes
Many black powder shooters, particularly with muskets, will "snap caps" prior to loading a live charge. That is, you fire a couple of percussion caps with no charge down the barrel. This blasts any crud/oil out of the nipple and fire channel that might cause a misfire.

Revolvers tend to be a bit more forgiving - I never snap caps on them but then I don't saturate my chambers with oil, either.

In any case if a chamber fails to go off following up with a second cap will often do the trick, as you discovered. Failing that if you clear out the nipple with a nipple prick, as described above, you can usually open up things enough to get a cap to ignite the charge. If you don't have a nipple prick a sewing pin will do.

If all else fails you can carefully unthread the nipple and remove the charge out the threaded hole. Once the charge is out you can drive the ball out using a nail from the rear that fits down the threaded hole while the cylinder is sitting on a block of wood with a hole drilled in it for the ball to drop into/through.

Steve
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Old March 19, 2015, 09:10 PM   #22
Bishop Creek
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Quote:
Once the charge is out you can drive the ball out using a nail from the rear that fits down the threaded hole while the cylinder is sitting on a block of wood with a hole drilled in it for the ball to drop into/through.
I have done that a few times myself over the years. Easiest way to unload a cap 'n ball revolver.
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