View Full Version : Rust in my barrel

January 16, 2012, 08:44 AM
I have a thompson center omega with weathershield barrell and i finally got around to shooting this thing after it has sat in the gun safe for a year. I shot it 3 times and then took it back home and gave it a good cleaning. When i got it back out of the same to start my scope leveling process i pulled the breech plug out and looked down the barrel and it was rusted. So i took my cleaning kit again and used the brush and broke everything loose swabbed it and oiled it again. a couple weeks later (this being last night) went down and looked at it again and it was rusted again. Now when i oil the barrel i was just oiling a swab and running up and down it. Some one told me to hold it with the muzzle down and oil it until it runs out on the ground. Is this true or is there another way i can get the rust to stop coming back. Its more of a surface rust cause a couple passes with copper brush and its clear. Also i store it in a good gun safe with a moisture sitck. thanks for the help

January 16, 2012, 08:52 AM
First what did you clean the barrel with?

Second use RIG in the barrel.

January 16, 2012, 09:05 AM
well off the top of my head im not for sure. I bought a thompson center cleaning kit that had t17 lube and then a squeeze bottle of something else. but the last time i did it i used rem oil on the swab to oil the barrel

January 16, 2012, 09:53 AM
the other squeeze bottle was also t17 bore solvent.

January 16, 2012, 01:22 PM
What powder did you shoot in it the last time?

TC cleaning/rust protection products are junk, especially the bore butter they try selling people.

I'd get some jb bore paste and run 50 passes to remove anything in there, then give it a good light coating with a GOOD quality gun oil like Barricade, RIG, Montana Xtreme gun oil or their bore conditioner.

January 16, 2012, 01:45 PM
i did use pryodex powder which i have been told is probably the cause.

January 16, 2012, 01:59 PM
I use Pyrodex and have the same issue. It's brush and oil often or the brown dust shows up again, even after multiple cleanings. But, I have 3 more pounds to use up in this order before I can try something else.

January 16, 2012, 02:06 PM
yes its a dusty powder that is brown. to me it looks like rust but a couple passes witht he brush takes it out. i was just wondering if the oil will keep it from coming back. I dont know if this is a good idea or not buy a guy i work with told me to use atf (automatic transmission fluid) on a swab and put on the inside of the barrel.

January 16, 2012, 02:27 PM
Did you guys use hot water and soap to initially clean the barrels? Black powder and Pyrodex fouling is not solvent soluble. Clean with water and some dishsoap rinse with boiling water poured through the bore, dry and then a light coat of oil for storage.


January 16, 2012, 03:00 PM
in my case i did not do that. I have shot 3 bullets out of my black powder and im in the process of selling the gun and dont want to give a guy a gun that has rust in it.

January 16, 2012, 06:30 PM
With Black powder or pyrodex water and some soap are the cleaning solvents to use. The corrosive salts and compounds in BP/P and especially in the percussion caps are NOT soluble in solvents but are Water Soluble.

Not sure what you can do now that the barrel is rusted [corrosion has already occurred] Suggest you try with hot water and dish soap and see if it helps at this point.

Normal cleaning:

dismount barrel from stock

remove nipple

Hot water and a bit of dish soap in a bucket.

with your jag on your rod, use a tight fitting patch

submerge the breech and nipple drum in the water

use the rod/jag/patch as a hydraulic piston sucking the water up into the barrel and forcing it back out through the nipple seat

In your case switch to your bore brush and see how much crud you can dislodge.

You might want to wrap some of a 0000 steel wool pad around a spare bore brush and see it that helps to remove some of the rust.

Back to the patch piston until the water you are pumping out is fairly clear.

Have the tea kettle on the boil and now rinse the barrel by pouring boiling water down the muzzle and out the nipple seat

WARNING!!! wear gloves or something to hold the barrel for this step it's going to get HOT!! and that's part of the idea as it will assist in the drying.

clean patches down the tube to dry.

and finish with a light coat of oil

Hope you can save the barrel but it sounds like the corrosion has got quite a head start.

Mike J

January 17, 2012, 09:00 AM
im not quite sure its rust. looking through the barrel i see no pits where its ate the metal. but when you run the brush through it a dust like powder comes out with the brush. do that a couple of times and the barrel is clear again. As i thought it was rust its more of a dust then a build up.

January 17, 2012, 09:25 AM
You could be lucky then. Try the above, which is the standard practice for cleaning black powder arms, and see if it helps.

Mike J

January 17, 2012, 09:50 AM
i will give this a try this evening

January 17, 2012, 09:54 AM
I had exactly the same issue as you with a new BP rifle that had sat unassembled for 30 years. At first I supposed it was light non-pitting surface rust, reasonable assumption given the 30 year delay in being fired.

I cleaned with hot soapy water, rinsed with hot clean water & dyed with a hair dryer till it was bone dry. I then lubed the outside & inside generously with gun oil. (I'll remove the gun oil before firing & use a BP lube).

The brown stuff you describe reappeared. It seems to be an after effect of Pyrodex, rather than rusting bore metal as the bore is slick & smooth, but the brownish-red stuff reappears even through a layer of gun oil.

I say this because my other BP guns are treated in the same way & have zero red stuff, the difference is that they have never had Pyrodex in them.

Do oil thoroughly & clean well to prevent actual rust & bore damage, but look to other possibilities as well.

January 17, 2012, 10:03 AM
No subject generates as many different responses as cleaning a black powder gun. Everyone has their own 'best' method and products. And most of them are right. Or at least adequate.

Commercial bp solvents are water based and will - repeat, will - dissolve bp fouling residue, salts and all. The only knock against them is that they cost more than plain water, which works just as well.

Some folks use mineral oil based commercial bp rust preventative products for cleaning; perhaps that's where the idea that bp solvents don't dissolve salts comes from. Ballistol, for instance, is not a bp solvent and is not intended as a cleaner, although many people, myself included, have used it to clean when good water wasn't available. It does do an acceptable job of carrying away bp fouling.

Likewise, Bore Butter is a lubricant, not a bp solvent. Thompson Center is guilty of some marketing excesses early in the life of Bore Butter (for instance, the barrel 'seasoning' claim), but they no longer claim it is a cleaner or a rust preventative.

Technically, rusting is the process of oxygen reacting with iron to create iron oxide. This chemical process is accelerated by the addition of heat. Using hot water to wash or rinse your barrel does indeed heat the metal and promote drying, but it also promotes the rusting process. Using hot air or heating the metal to dry it will result in flash surface rusting; this is not necessarily a problem if the surface becomes thoroughly dry and is then coated with a good rust preventative; the coating process will remove the flash rust while laying down the protective barrier.

January 17, 2012, 04:13 PM
What has me a bit confused is the reference to "dust" or "powder" coming from the bore.

That indicates a dry (unlubricated) bore which is not a good thing. I get a reddish-brown residue, but it is not dry because I use a layer of oil as a bore protector when the gun isn't about to be fired, so anything coming from my bore is "muddy" or wet, not dry as dust.

Are we missing something here maybe?

January 17, 2012, 04:52 PM
like i said i cleaned the gun right after i shot it with the t17 kit i had gotten. After i post on here they told me that it didnt have any protector in it like the package had said. after i noticed this i cleaned again and then i found the gun to be the same way. i have it all cleaned up now just waiting to see if any thing re appears

January 18, 2012, 06:37 PM
Theres gotta be something missing. I field clean all my weapons clean with only hot soapy water, patch dry and run bore butter down it and dont have that problem in my smooth bore, rifle barrel or handguns. I don't clean immediately ether, only when I can get to them all at once. Sometimes a day or two after a weekend full of shooting.

February 26, 2012, 02:48 AM
A good scrubbing and water rinse followed by an undilluted Ballistol patch solved this very problem for me.

February 26, 2012, 03:14 PM
Mr.Guido and anyone else that said to clean with hot water or just plain water will clean these barrels is right and I agree with them. Then run dry patches down and up till you see nothing on the patch. Now you have a clean dry barrel just run a good oil down the barrel. It's so easy why people want to make it so hard is beyound me I only used bore butter and never had a problem with rust in over 30 yrs. I just started using Ballistol last year and it is good stuff I just use it now. If you stop and think about it what the folks did back 200 hundred yrs ago. I just bought a second hand TC New Englander for $125.00 inside of the barrel was rusted to where I thought I was going to haft to replace it. Got to asking around how to get all that rust out and someone told me to try Evapo Rust Rust Remover.com You plug the nipple end up and pour it in the barrel up to the top Then leave it 24 hrs and pour it out and it will look black meaning it was finished eating the rust not the steel in the barrel flushed it out with hot water and run dry patches down the barrel till dry and coat with oil. Barrel will come out factory new. Buy the way this stuff cost about $30.00. So I went to Advance Auto and found a product called WD40 Specialist Rust Removal & Dissolver comes in a gallon jug and cost $30.00 works the same way as the other so I got it and did just what I said above for 24 hrs if the rust is really bad go for another 24 hrs. Lets face it if the barrel has been eaten up by the rust nothen will fix it. Most of the time it's just coated with the rust and no harm is done. If people that want to shot these old guns would learn water, scrub, oil, they wouldn't have these problems. I hope this can help someone. If not than you could say I talk to much. :rolleyes:

February 26, 2012, 06:59 PM
I use Pyrodex. I clean with soapy water and WD-40, lube the bore with Bore Butter and have no rust or brown whatever.

February 26, 2012, 11:39 PM
I ususally use plain water and pump in in and out of the barrel until patches on the jag come out clean. Then I spray WD-40 in the barrel and run more patches down to dry the barrel. Then for long term protection, I use RIG.

I spray the WD-40 in while the bore is still wet, the WD-40 actually wets the steel and lifts the water off the steel. This prevents flash rusting that occurs when wet steel dries off. I learned this from washing freshly honed engine cylinders. If you wash them clean and then let them dry, as soon as they dry, a layer of flash rust forms, if you spray them with WD-40 before they are dry, no flash rust.

You can also hook an air hose from an aquarium aerator to the nipple and let the air pump run all night to make sure that any remaining moisture in the bore evaporates. Storing the gun muzzle down is also good.

Wild Bill Bucks
February 27, 2012, 12:16 PM
Windex will clean out anything in the barrel and will dry quickly. I think what you might have is a seasoning problem. Any one who has been around cast iron cook pans will tell you that you have to season the pans or they will rust on you, no matter how clean they are. The best two ways of doing this, without damage to the rifle, is to draw boiling water up the barrel from a pan of boiling water, until the barrel is as hot as you can get it, and follow micheal cj's advice about the gloves. Then while the barrel is still hot, use a dry patch down the barrel as quickly as possible followed by a saturated patch of olive oil or cooking oil. Let the oil stand until the barrel has cooled then remove the oil residue with a dry patch or two. Repeat the process every 2 or 3 hunting seasons or trips to the range and you will find the rifle not only cleans easier but your bullets will tend to go down better without much clean-up between shots.
I don't ever use any kind of solvent in my barrels because it removes the seasoning from the barrel. Hot soapy water is all you need when you clean up at home, and windex at the range will work fine for between shots.

Seasoning can also be done at the range by shooting rounds as fast as you can until the barrel becomes hot to the touch, then put cooking oil in the barrel and clean out after it cools. The cooking oil will penetrate the powder residue and will be pretty gunky when you clean, but the seasoning will result in the same way.

If you treat your barrel just like a cast iron skillet, you won't have any problems with dusty brown stuff.

February 27, 2012, 10:42 PM
Incredible that old myth is still around.

The STEEL used in gun barrels is nothing like the metal in a CAST IRON frying pan. There's no such thing as 'seasoning' a gun barrel.

February 27, 2012, 10:48 PM
ROFLMAO http://www.northfloridashooting.com/images/anim_ROFLMAO.gif

Wild Bill Bucks
February 28, 2012, 12:17 PM
"this is not necessarily a problem if the surface becomes thoroughly dry and is then coated with a good rust preventative; the coating process will remove the flash rust while laying down the protective barrier. "

Basically what is described above is a short way of saying "Seasoned"

Iron is a basic element known as "Fe" on the element chart.
Steel is Iron that has had a certain percentage of Carbon added to it, which forms an Iron/Iron carbide alloy.

Stainless steel is steel which has had other metals alloyed such as chromium, vanadium, and others, to create different hardness, and characteristics.

So your mother's Iron skillet is a lot closer to your rifle barrel than you might think.
I own 7 different type's of Ml's from several companies, and I have done all of them the same way as I described. Whether my way is right or wrong is of no importance to anyone but me, but I can tell you I have had NO problems with rust or brown dust in any of my rifles or pistols (or mama's skillets) in the last 50 years.

February 28, 2012, 06:38 PM
I'm glad all your guns are rust free and certain that you take good care of them. Your process of thoroughly cleaning and then oiling the metal is an excellent one, as evidenced by the results you have achieved. However, you are not 'seasoning' the metal in the sense that your, and my relatives seasoned their cast iron cookware, nor is that 'seasoning' the reason for your success.

I'm well aware of the composition of metals used in modern firearms, including the replica black powder firearms currently being manufactured. I'm also well aware of the composition of cast iron. Yes, both contain elemental iron, but beyond that there is absolutely no resemblance. You might just as well say that water and alcohol are closely related because both contain elemental hydrogen.

February 28, 2012, 06:53 PM
After using a cleaning method of your choice, wax the barrel with Johnsons paste wax.Apply to clean patch work well full length of the barrel.I quit using oil on my guns 20 years ago.Oil migrates and protects for a limited amount of time,don't care how much you spent on the oil it will migrate removing the protection it once afforded.Museums wax their guns inside and out,I have done this to all of my guns B/P and smokeless for years never a spot of anything,finger prints just wipe away leaving no acids to rust the metal.

February 29, 2012, 07:33 PM
Steel is Iron that has had a certain percentage of Carbon added to it, which forms an Iron/Iron carbide alloy.

Just to clarify for those who may not be familiar with the steel making process, cast iron has a much higher carbon content than "high carbon" steel.

The reason that carbon is added to the iron in steel is that it is much easier to separate the undesirable elements from iron by removing all of the non-iron impurities as opposed to trying to selectively remove some. The carbon is then reintroduced in much lower levels than those present in cast iron.

December 6, 2013, 03:55 PM
Yeah, I have rust inside my barrel. It's a TC Impact, my first and possibly only muzzleloader until a fully stainless steel one is made.

I stopped using TC and Tradition cleaning products. I noticed massive rust development after I used their natural lube products. I now use a black powder solvent, brass brushes, and then use normal gun oil on a patch when done. The gun oil seems to make a bit better difference when I am storing the gun.

Recently, I was posed with the idea that the 209 primer I am using may be too hot for this barrel. I have been using Federal 209A which is among the hottest firing of the primers I have access to. I'm thinking I may use some weaker primers like CCI but the reality is that the damage is done so if this works then all I'm doing is preventing the damage from increasing.

Thoughts on this hypothesis???

December 6, 2013, 04:44 PM
Go at the slightly rusted barrel with some JB bore paste (per instructions), then clean completely
using both oil-based solvent and final soap/hot water.

Thoroughly oil the bore down w/ a couple of patches of BreakFree CLP (or WeaponShield (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/220438/steel-shield-weapon-shield-gun-oil-4-oz-liquid)) then oil it down again the next morning.
You're done -- and should not have a problem again as long as final step is BreakFree or its equivalent.

Forget "bore butter." (!!!)
All it's comprised of is bees wax, olive oil, yellow food color and a pinch of Wintergreen for smell.

December 6, 2013, 05:03 PM
Forget Bore Butter, seasoning barrels, and primers causing problems and brushes need to go. The best barrel cleaner is water.

I have been shooting M/L since 1974 and do not have rust in my barrels.

Use tap water at room temperature. hot water causes "FLASH" rust.

Flush the barrel with tepid water and dish water soap until clean. After cleaning, swab the barrel with patches until dry, check patches on your lips for moisture. Plug the nipple with finger or something and pour alcohol down the barrel and swish back and forth with your finger plugging the end of the barrel to remove any remaining water. Swab the barrel with patches until dry, check patches patches on your lips for moisture, continue until dry.

Swab the barrel with 3 in 1 oil or Barricade.

You will not have rust.

Barrels need oil or RIG to protect them, they are not skillets.

Curtis Simmons
December 7, 2013, 02:59 PM
I have been shooting BP for over 30 years, made my share of mistakes, learned a lot form my elders, and have researched on the web. I use nothing but T/C #13 and Bore Butter. These are all natural products, no petroleum ingredients. To me using all natural makes sense. I don't think there were many in the 18th and 19th centuries who had access to petroleum lubes so they used what they had, usually something they rendered from animal fat.It served them well so why not me? In my opinion you can "season" a barrel as all metal is porous. I think of seasoning a barrel for a ML is the same as breaking in a center fire barrel, it's a on going process with ever shot you take. The brown dust you see when swabbing the bore is the residue left after the bore butter has dried as it is water based. I wish I had a dollar for ever friend who has called me saying the had ruined their rifle with bore butter. Talk to a competition BP shooter and ask them why they are allowed a fouling shot before competing. Their bores are seasoned to the point that if they don't take a fouling shot, the first on target will be a flyer. Just my opinion based on my experiences.