View Full Version : Questions on BP/ML

September 17, 2001, 03:01 PM
I've seen that BP firearms can/should be cleaned with soap and water, but I have a few questions:

What kind of soap is best for this chore?
Are modern detergents acceptable?
Would there be any problems with hard water?
Can standard/modern gun cleaning chemicals and equipment be used?
Are the primers and such still corrosive?
Can you recommend any good books to get started with?
Any other tips, suggestions, caveats, etc?


September 17, 2001, 04:31 PM
Soap - I use a mild dish-washing liquid in warm-to-hot water (some recommend using cold water only but I believe that it's easier to dry warm water).

Modern detergents - Would not recommend harsh detergents.

Hard water - I live in a very-hard-water area so I use filtered water when possible. Don't really know the answer.

Modern gun-cleaning chemicals - I was taught that petroleum products will react adversely with black powder and that Hoppe's No. 9 and BP fouling mixture smells like rotten eggs. I'm partial to Thompson Center products and normally use their Bore Butter as a lubricant.

Primers - Yes, they are corrosive.

Books - Both NRA and NMLRA publish basic training books which cover loading/firing/cleaning etc.

You will probably get as many different opinions on your questions as you get answers.:)

Good luck and keep your powder dry.

September 17, 2001, 05:19 PM
I am in total agreement with mcneill

September 18, 2001, 09:32 AM
I'll just add a bit to this one.

Black powder and pyrodex are not corrosive as you buy them, but once fired they form very corrosive salts which pull moisture out of the air and will do damage overnight if left in your gun. You can use either a mild soap (dish soap) or just plain water. The key is to dissolve and remove those salts! After a good scrubbing rinse with the hottest water you can so it dries fast and lubricate with a natural product as petroleum based products used with modern guns can react with the BP or Pyrodex to for gunk the next time you use the weapon.

To learn more - get the booklet from NMLRA and or go to this link for some quick information on one method to clean your gun.


Remember, cleaning your gun is all a part of the experience of BP shooting;)


September 20, 2001, 08:35 AM
Welcome to the sport, if you are planning on hunting the upcoming Utah ML Deer Hunt I suggest you spend some time at the range this weekend. 7 days and counting!

I like hot (from the tap) water and dish detergent (which are normally mild) I use a brass brush that fits my bore and cleaning patches. If your barrel is removable from the stock you can submerge the breech end in water and with a tight fitting patch on a cleaning jag pull water to the muzzle end. Repeat until it is clean. Then run a dry patch down the barrel to remove excess water and finish with a patch of BP solvent (not necessary, just the way I do it). With the barrel clean I coat it lightly with oil. You should clean other metal parts exposed to BP foulings too. Don't use bore butter to prevent rust - it is a great lube, but it is not meant to prevent rust.

Caps are corrsive, but not as much as BP and Pyrodex. Pyrodex is more corrosive, but produces less foulings.

Most BP shooters don't use smokeless solvents. Some folks believe that ML barrels become seasoned over time, and that the microscopic pores in the metal suck up lube, which makes for a better shooter, less foulings, and easier cleaning. Smokeless solvents will prevent this from happening. I don't know this for sure because I've always used the system mentioned above. I do know my guns get easier to clean over time.

Books: Sam Fadelas is the best for the beginner, and Lyman's BP manual is a close second.

Places to get info: If possible find a local ML club (and if you do post it here or email me. I live in Springville and don't know of any local ML clubs). Go to the Library and check out every ML book they have- and if you find one you really like buy it. My website as some good info for the beginner too, so surf over to it.

Good Luck, bp shooting is a blast!

May God have mercy on the terrorist - because American sure as hell won't!

September 29, 2001, 11:43 PM
I won't try to tell anyone how to clean their frontloader. But I'll tell you how I clean mine.

First I never use water hotter than I can hold in my hand.
I know of two instances where flintlocks have exploded because the owners used boiling hot water to help dry the inside of the barrel. The barrel expanded around the breechplug and let water into the threads. It weakened the seal and that is where they blew out. This is one of the reasons T/C does not recomend it in their manual anymore.
I use a combination of alchol-Murphy's oil soap-Hyd. Peroxide.
Plug the touch whole and fill the barrel about three inches from the muzzle.
It will start to foam. Let this go for about 20 min. in the corner.
Pour out the fouled mixture and add warm water. About 3 times
Unplug the touch whole.
If you don't the vacume may suck the patch off the rod and into the barrel.
Run patches down the barrel then oil and patch the barrel again.
Turn the gun upside down and let it set for a time.
Run one more patch down the barrel.
This removes any residue oil which may gather at the base of the barrel and cause your gun to misfire the next time you need it.
Be careful not to get this mixture on the finish of your stock cause it may discolor it.
Thats how I clean my guns.
I don't have misfires and I spend a lot less time cleaning.