View Full Version : How to clean after using Black Powder

December 19, 2000, 04:32 PM
I mistakenly bought Black Powder ammo for CAS (and I bought a heck of a lot!) But now that I've shot it, I think it's kinda neat.

My question is, should I vary the way I clean my guns (Marlin 1894 CB II, and Ruger Vis-Baq's). I cleaned them with CLP, Powder-Blast, then Rem-Oil; this is my usual method. But someone told me (this scares me) that soapy warm water works great on black powder. I really hesitate to try this. Especially since my Rugers are finished with the Case-Hardened look.

Thanks in advance,


Bill Mitchell
December 19, 2000, 07:31 PM

Warm soapy water is a good way to clean up BP fouling. Also, some folks use vinegar (NOT ammonia) based Windex. Around here, Ballistol is quite popular for cleaning guns, and it does a number on BP fouling. Whatever you choose, don't let your guns sit after shooting BP-clean them as soon as possible after shooting them.

None of the above will harm the finish on your guns.

Bellicose Bill

December 21, 2000, 08:24 AM
Liten to Bill. He knows of what he speaks.

April 14, 2002, 10:32 PM
I recommend that you disassmemble the guns and use hot soapy water for cleaning. Then use a natural lubricant like TC's Borebutter(TM) to season the shooting irons.

You do not want to use any petroleum based oils as they will cause excessive fouling. Use the Borebutter or go with Ballistol for BP guns.

April 15, 2002, 07:40 AM
When I get back from the range, I dissasemble my revolvers and then head to the sink, were I proceed to scrub the parts clean. After that I blow off any excess water with my air hose.
Then back to the bench to clean the bore and lube um.


April 15, 2002, 10:55 AM
Hot soapy water, the hotter the better. If you get the metal hot enough, it will actually cause excess water to evaporate. Some cap n ball shooters actually clean their guns, without grips, in the dishwasher. Those would be the shooters with very understanding wives ;) . My dishwasher doesn't get hot enough in the drying cycle to work. I use Windex at the range, and the hot water method at home. This is only with cap n ball, however. For the limited BP cartridge I have shot, I used a mixture of 1/3 Murphys, 1/3 Hydrogen Peroxide and 1/3 water.

April 16, 2002, 10:27 PM
Ballistol (http://www.ballistol.co.nz/uses.asp)

BALLISTOL dissolves traces of lead, copper, zinc, brass and tombac, which are used to make projectiles and jackets for them. Residues of these metals will remain in the bore of any firearms as a result of shooting jacketed or unjacketed lead projectiles. The use of BALLISTOL makes scraping or brushing the bore unnecessary. Just pour or spray enough into the barrel and chamber, turn the firearm around several times to allow the liquid to reach all parts and let it "go to work". Later, the residues will then completely be cleaned out.

Due to its alkaline character BALLISTOL is ideal for cleaning and maintaining black powder firearms. BALLISTOL eliminates the need for brutal mechanical scrubbing and aggressive solvents.

Of course, you should also use BALLISTOL to treat your holsters, belts and carrying slings.

June 20, 2002, 12:16 PM
I use Windex w. vinegar,followed by Ed's Red.

Mike Irwin
June 20, 2002, 02:10 PM
No matter what you do, you HAVE to use some sort of solvent that contains a good deal of water -- hot soapy water, Simple Green, Windex, etc.

It's the water component that dissolves the corrosive elements in the fouling. Oil does not touch this stuff (it's very similar chemically to table salt), only water.

June 24, 2002, 12:43 PM
I use warm-to-hot slightly soapy water. Follow with a rinse of boiling water. (be careful) Hand dry gun and then place in an oven that was heated to 150 F and then turned off for about 15 minutes or so.
Note I do not leave oven on at 150 F when gun is in there, just heat it up to 150 and turn off. Just opening it to place gun in probably drops temp. in there by 5-10 F.

June 26, 2002, 08:48 AM
I haven't used water/water-based cleaners in my BP guns since Shooters Choice introduced their BP Gel. A petroleum-based cleaner it sticks to a cleaning patch and doesn't make a mess of things. I have an aversion to putting water to gun metal unless absolutely necessary. The BP Gel works wonders and cuts through fouling like nobody's business. Give it a try. You'll fall in love with it. Definitely worth the asking price, which by the way, is quite reasonable.