View Full Version : cleaning a muzzle loader

July 4, 2010, 03:03 PM
I bought a muzzle loader to resell, but I have to find out if it fires, and maybe have a little fun in the meantime. If I take it shooting 1 time, do I have to clean it, and thus buy the cleaning supply's? Or can I leave it once?

July 4, 2010, 03:12 PM
Well, you have not stated your shot-string but at any rate, yes clean it. Even with what I shoot and even though I might just shoot it no more than a few times, I still clean. I would suspect it probably needs cleaning right now. I'm to understand that you have loading suplies but not cleaning supplies ?? .. :confused:

Yes, clean and;
Be Safe !!!

July 4, 2010, 03:30 PM
Yes, I have loading supplies, but no cleaning stuff, I basically just swab the barrel with black powder solvent, right? And, actually, it's clean as a whistle.

July 4, 2010, 03:37 PM
Even if you just shoot it once it will need to be cleaned within a few days. Some people will demand it be cleaned as soon as you get home. Don't need any solvents just soapy water, a jag, some patches and some vegetable based oil.

July 4, 2010, 03:45 PM
HOT soapy water, will get it clean. A brush and a jag should fit your loading rod they do mine. Equal parts Isopropyl, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Murphy's Oil Soap makes a good BP solvent and you might have all that stuff already.

July 4, 2010, 03:55 PM
Doesn't have to be hot but it doesn't hurt. I usually use it hot.

July 4, 2010, 04:33 PM
I prefer hot water as it drys faster with less rusting. For someone new to BP you might shrink from water on a gun but BP residue as well as most substitues [777, pyrodex, trail boss, etc.] are far worse for causeing damage to the barrel than water, cleaning is vital to maintain the resale value of a BP gun.

Doc Hoy
July 4, 2010, 04:34 PM
If you haven't shot it yet, make sure it is not already loaded. Not uncommon for loaded long arms to be sold without the seller remembering that it is loaded.

Just check how far the ram rod goes down the barrel.

July 4, 2010, 04:35 PM
cleaning is vital to maintain the resale value of a BP gun.

It's vital to it's well being and appearance.

July 6, 2010, 12:19 AM
A muzzle loader doesn't necessarily need to be fired in order to see if it shoots. It's recommended to just put a cap on the nipple and point the muzzle at some blades of grass. When the cap is snapped a blade of grass should be moved by the hot air passing through the barrel and out the muzzle. This can also be done in the bathroom with the muzzle being held near the toilet water. You may be able to see the water move when the primer is set off.
Another method is to remove the nipple and then check the flash channel to see that it's clear. Then as long as the gun isn't loaded, shine a light through the nipple hole and look to see if the light can be seen in the bore from the muzzle end by putting your eye up close to the muzzle. Wear some safety glasses so debris doesn't fall into your eye from the dirty barrel.
I often hold the nipple hole up close to a light bulb to do this because I find that it's easier that way.
As long as the flash channel is clear and the percussion cap (or 209) is capable of being ignited after being struck by the hammer, striker or firing pin, then it can be determined that the rifle is in firing condition without needing to actually fire it.
Save your powder and then you won't need to risk doing a bad job cleaning it.

July 6, 2010, 10:28 AM
I bought a couple of BP rifles that had been fired once and put in a safe for an undetermined length of time. I bought them used and the dealer had a lot of guns he was selling for the original owner's son after he passed away. All of them had been fired once and put in a safe. All of them had some rust in their bores from that one shot. I could kick myself for passing up some of the deals (a Pedersoli Brown Bess that sells for $1300 new was marked $850, but was marked down to $150 but I was completely broke. :( )

I finally got all the rust out of my rifles, but it would have been a lot better for the guns if the guy had taken a few minutes to clean the bores before he put them in his safe. BP doesn't do too well around here, having rust patches in the bores really hurt the resale value, too.

Wild Bill Bucks
July 7, 2010, 11:37 AM
My cleaning kit consists of a bottle of windex, and a few patches. The Windex will remove anything in the barrel, and doesn't leave any moisture behind to create rust. This is really handy at the range, as I like to clean out between every shot. Total clean up takes about 5 minutes at the end of a day at the range. A touch of Bore Butter in the barrel for storage, and your good till next year.
There is no real good reason to put a muzzle loader up without cleaning it first.
It's just like any other piece of equipment. It's only as good as the maintenance you give it.

July 7, 2010, 10:45 PM
Black powder is corrosive, definitely clean it after shooting. If you use a patched ball there will be no lead in contact with the bore so plain old hot soapy water works great.