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SF90
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How do you clean your BP gun
Mar 24th, 2017 at 12:11pm
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Now I'm sitting on my arse doing absolutely stuff all, I got to wondering how people clean up their shooters after a session.
Solvent, water, alcohol - how do you do it ?
  
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jakkos
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Re: How do you clean your BP gun
Reply #1 - Mar 25th, 2017 at 7:23am
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Normally i strip the rifle. I fill a bucket with hot soapy water and pump the liquid up and down the barrel using a cleaning rod. This can be done with the breach plug in or out, but if i have left the pug in, i remove the nipple and move the cleaning rod more slowly to allow the water plenty of time to flood the barrel. Next is a series of dry patches to make sure the bore is completely dry and clean. Normally a blow of compressed air through the flash hole to ensure that it all is clean and dry. Patches lubed with a good gun oil next. Then an oiled cloth wipe over the barrel. Re-assemble the rifle. give the complete outer a good wipe down with a slightly oiled cloth. Then should be good to go.  Smiley
  

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Re: How do you clean your BP gun
Reply #2 - Mar 25th, 2017 at 11:00am
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Pretty much as Jakkos has said only I use Marine CRC , its for lubrication and salt protection, that's pretty much what black powder is.
  
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SF90
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Re: How do you clean your BP gun
Reply #3 - Mar 25th, 2017 at 11:10am
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That's the way I've always done it - a cold water flush followed by warm soapy water, then a jug of hot water, dry patches and an oiling.
In the bush I use a ballistol/water mix and clean as best as I can.

All my BP shooters have shallow rifling and clean up nicely, all bar one - my deep rifled flintlock - and with that I have some troubles getting the fouling out the corners of the lands - it's square cut rifling.
My mate has the same gun and he phoned up a bloke in the States - Dutch Schoultz who promotes waterless cleaning. That's using solvents only to clean, i.e. - moosemilk.
So - I went that method and discovered I was pulling some nasty crap out a couple of days later, then more a couple of days after that.
I was playing with balls and patching at that time and figured the lube from the patches was likely not being cleaned out by the moosemilk - so went back to hot water cleaning hoping it would flush or soften the residue allowing it to be wiped out easier.
I also used alcohol swabs in an attempt to shift it.
It was a chore to clean that gun and I wasn't always happy I'd done a good job.

Nowdays I shoot a paper patched minie - the only lube being a smear of vaseline/beeswax on the patch. It shoots well and I can get off three accurate shots before it requires wiping.
It's quick to load too - no wad, the minie straight down on the powder.
After shooting I spritz the bore with moosemilk then home for a proper cleaning.

One thing I have never tried is WD40. A lot of guys in the BP club slush WD40 in the bore and say it helps with the cleanup.

I have much to learn with this gun - was hoping someone with a bit more experience would have developed a more effective method.
  
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Re: How do you clean your BP gun
Reply #4 - Mar 25th, 2017 at 1:10pm
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I had a few issues with bullet lube build up. Thats probably because i overdid the lube a bit when casting my bullets. Now i use less lube on them and mostly the problem is gone. Stlii run a patch through after every second or third shot. Am also firing cast lead bullets gas checked in my 7mm08. smokeless powder though and runs nice and clean. Wink
  

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Re: How do you clean your BP gun
Reply #5 - Mar 25th, 2017 at 10:48pm
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Whichever method you use I have found a well saturated patch of eezox on the cleaned bore stops any after rusting.
Before I used this I would always get a orange patch a few days after cleaning,but not with eezox.
  
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Re: How do you clean your BP gun
Reply #6 - Mar 26th, 2017 at 12:40am
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Got a suspicion Ballistol does a similar job to eezox - can't say I've tried the latter - nor CRC.

Did some thinking today, something I should probably have done years ago.
When you shoot a gun the powder blast follows the bullet up the bore. The lubed bullet will lay down lube to a greater or lesser extent throughout the bore, which will be overridden by burnt powder deposits.
If not cleaned, the next bullet will scrape out some of the former deposits, but will also add another layer - and so on.
That's why a muzzleloader gets progressively harder to load.
So - if my thinking is correct, there will be alternating layers of lube and powder deposits.
Cold water will deal with the BP fouling but won't look at the lube layer - which in my case is a home concoction of beeswax, soap, tallow and oils.
Probably a bit over the top that lube, but I had a lot of fun making it and it's worked well for grease cookies etc, etc, in my other guns - and it worked well as a patching lube in that helped the patched ball down the barrel better than anything else I tried - could load three shots with the wooden ramrod.
Ballistol is water immiscible, or soluble and should have been a perfect lube, but proved a real bastard to load - almost had to stand on the rod to get the ball home. I broke two or three rods trying out various lubes - neatsfoot, olive oil and others I've forgot - so stayed with the grease lube - remembering I need to load this out on the hill.

Today, I took a lump of beeswax and rubbed it with cold water - nothing.
Next I rubbed it with warm soapy water - nothing.
Then I tried the Ballistol/water moosemilk - nothing.
Methylated spirits - nothing.
Shit !

So - I tried petrol and got to see some action.
I know petroleum products are frowned on in the BP gun - everyone says so - and I know why - so I've avoided them.
But - what if you used petrol to shift the lube, a petrol patch followed by a water patch to shift those alternating layers.
Meths will clean out the petrol - it mixes with it. I know this because I've shoved it in a petrol tank to take out the water - and I tried it today - mixes perfectly.
So - a few alcohol patches to mop up the petrol and top it off with a final oiling.

I've never heard of anyone cleaning up with petrol - there might be a really good reason why no one does - but I just might try it next time I shoot black at the range.

Will report back when I do, but it might be a while.

  
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Re: How do you clean your BP gun
Reply #7 - Mar 26th, 2017 at 6:15pm
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I use ballistol and water to clean up, dry patch then Eezox as a protectorant.
I used to finish with a patch of straight ballistol but found I still got the dreaded orange patch a few days later.
Not so with eezox.

Fouling depends on the load and powder,I can shoot all day using a beeswax/laolin based lube WITHOUT cleaning at all.
To be fair its a light load and swiss powder which is clean burning.
Im using a minie in a Parker hale three band rifle.
I think the secret is finding the right lube, after a half dozen shots the bore seems to reach a state of equilibrium with each shot pushing out as much fouling as it creates.
That all said my target BP rifle is carefully cleaned and dried after each shot but that's more for ultimate accuracy than anything else.

WK
  
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Re: How do you clean your BP gun
Reply #8 - Mar 27th, 2017 at 1:56am
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I looked up that Eezox on the Internet - got onto a site that compared natural waxes, various oils, Eezox, Ballistol and Lehigh Valley stuff over three months in a moist environment.
The latter three were the star performers with no discernible difference between them at the conclusion of the test.
If I had a concern with Eezox, it would be that it dries to a hard finish.

I rate Ballistol as a protective coating, never had a problem with it on or in any of my guns - it's just that I kept hauling crud out of that barrel and I put that down to substandard cleaning due to my not getting all the lube and fouling out of the deeper rifling.
I don't have this problem with my other shooters. I put some fairly stiff charges (hunting) through them and they clean up nicely.
The only point of difference is the depth of rifling.

I looked up some papers my mate sent on Dutch Schoultz's cleaning system and noticed he was pulling black crud on consecutive cleans - same as I was.
He put it down to fouling migrating out of the barrel steel pores.
I've played with metal (Toolmaker) a good part of my life and I really don't know if metal has pores or not, but I've heard others bring it up - so I'll sit on the fence over that one.
Dutch's RB loading procedure used a Ballistol/water treated patch which was allowed to dry. This made for hard loading - but he was after competitive accuracy.
So - why was he hauling crap out of his barrel after the initial clean - maybe his assessment was right - maybe metal does have pores - and I hope it does, because if it's otherwise I just made a giant dick of myself over on the 'firearms' page.

I saw your guns over on the other page and that Enfield of yours brings back some memories. I had one the same plus the matching three band Snider when I was somewhat younger.
Both were originals and in really good condition, you could pick them up moderately easy then - weren't so many collectors around.
I never got that Snider shooting worth a damn but that Enfield was a different matter. I shot quite a few deer and goats with that thing - once again PP'd bullets some old timer showed me how to do.
Both long gone now, but I do have a Parker Hale Musketoon I take out every now and then - and a sporting Snider which took some effort to get shooting. I do the same with those minie's as I do with the .54 flintlock - hollow point and plug the base and I've never seen a more effective bullet on deer than those things.

Target shooting was a discipline I never got the hang of - never even came close to it. Quit when I was asked to call shots at the two hundred yard range and couldn't see with binoculars what the others were seeing with the naked eye.
  
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Re: How do you clean your BP gun
Reply #9 - Jun 26th, 2017 at 11:18am
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Heres a good opportunity for someone to put a booklet together on all the do's n don'ts with BP! how to clean etc. someone like myself who thinks he will give it a bash - can't be that hard ..... could save a bit of learning the hard way & learn the safe way! Id pay a small penny for such info!!! Shocked
  

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when your dead you don't know your dead. All the pain is felt by others. Same thing happens when your stupid!
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Re: How do you clean your BP gun
Reply #10 - Jun 27th, 2017 at 9:20pm
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levactn wrote on Jun 26th, 2017 at 11:18am:
Heres a good opportunity for someone to put a booklet together on all the do's n don'ts with BP! how to clean etc. someone like myself who thinks he will give it a bash - can't be that hard ..... could save a bit of learning the hard way & learn the safe way! Id pay a small penny for such info!!! Shocked


There's plenty of books on BP shooting with both muzzleloaders and cartridge guns and there's a lot of stuff on the Internet as well.
It is a big subject as there are many styles of gun and ignition systems, and then there's - do you intend to shoot patched ball, cast lead bullets or the old hollow based mini ball.
Another thing and probably the most important - what do you intend to use your gun for - target shooting, hunting and if so, what do you intend to hunt with it.

If you were to look on the "Show us your gun" page you will see a variety of what I'm talking about - military style muskets, and target shooters from 'Wanganuikid', flintlocks and a matchlock from 'Flintlock' and modern shooters from 'Seventeenths', "Massiveattack', Avon7' and others.

Those modern Lyman caplock replicas are a very good gun, and if I was starting anew - that is likely where I'd be headed. Either them or a Pedersoli - and there are likely other good guns out there, but those two makers have earned their reputation.

One thing you will not get with a BP gun is high velocity, maybe up to 2000 fps with a ball shooter and not much over 1200 fps with a slug. These velocities will limit your range to not much over 100 yards for both ball and slug as they shoot like a football heading for the goal posts.
Unless of course you hunt with a rangefinder and know how to set your sights for the range you're shooting at, but for people like me who can't tell 100 yards from 130 out there - keep your hunting close.

I'm discounting modern inline guns and replica BP substitute powders as I know very little about them - I only shoot black.

I was with a friend a few months back who shoots an original Westley Richards No 2 musket and was there for two kills on red deer.
With a modest charge of 55 grs FF powder and a 420 gr hollow point pure lead bullet and both deer ranged at 100 yards (give or take), he aimed for the top of the withers and plonked the bullet through the shoulder mid body. Performance on both animals was identical - they slowly walked 10 or 12 yards and fell over. Both bullets blew completely through on both animals which proved a surprise to me given the powder charge.
I shoot 45-70 with the same bullet and 75 grs BP I drop tube and compress and am accustomed to that type performance - but 55 grs ????

It has been said that the soft lead bullet is the perfect hunting bullet - and I can't disagree with that.

One thing BP hunting will do is put the HUNT back into hunting - and if you don't get pissed off with it, you will get hooked.

And to finish - the smallest calibre BP gun I've owned (from memory) is .45 - yet I've often wished I had a .32 or .36 for rabbits and stuff like that - cheap and fun shooting.

And to finish yet again - I haven't managed to get my flinter down the range. It's only 3 miles away but my car shit itself and I got caught up with other stuff.



  
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Re: How do you clean your BP gun
Reply #11 - Jun 27th, 2017 at 11:19pm
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And, before I go to bed .............

Cleaning your BP shooter adequately is a vital part of owning one.
Forget about that fouling in the bore for a couple of days because you're buggered or your missus has found something urgent for you to do and you just forgot it is not going to do that barrel any good.

I've got a an old Reilly sporting Snider I've known for many years - got it off a mate.
The bore in that gun was almost mint, yet when I got it from him it had suffered badly from improper cleaning - the bore dark and the rifling indistinct with some pitting near the breach.

Thinking about it, I de-breached the gun and shoving a wooden dowel up the barrel with a wooden disc an inch or so back, I cast a lead plug with the idea I'd use valve lapping compound to spruce that bore up.
At that point I found my thinking faulty as the barrel was tapered from the breach to the muzzle, so I biffed my lead plug and got to work with brushes and solvents.
It's still rough but shoots okay out to fifty yards which is all I ever use it at.

When I was with my Westley Richards mate in the above post, the one I got my Snider from, I found out why the bore had suffered. That evening he cleaned his gun by pouring a cup of water down the barrel followed by a dirty old bore snake - job done.
Shining a torch from the breach when he went to the crapper I looked down that barrel and it was as black as my Snider's.

There are many thoughts on how to clean a muzzleloader - you'll read them in the books and all over the Internet, but most echo each other and I found nothing to make me sit up and take notice - hence my starting this thread.
I don't know all the product out there, what's good, what isn't, but unless something startling comes along I'll stick to what I know - and I will try petrol next time I shoot, though my original problem is probably non-existant now I'm shooting a lightly lubed paper patched bullet - we shall see.

  
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