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Curio & Relic/Black Powder Curio & Relics and Black Powder Firearms, Old School shooting fun!

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  #1  
Old 08-25-2010, 4:58 PM
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Default How I clean black powder guns

I just got a visitor's message, on my profile, asking me how I clean my BP guns. I sent him a PM and decided to post the info here as well. Feel free to add to or critique my meathods. Well, here it goes:

First, fire up your wood burning stove and put a pot of water on to warm up. While you are waiting for it to get hot, remove your barrel and then, remove the nipple. put a bit of soap in the water and when it starts steaming, remove it and put it on the floor. Toss the nipple in and let it sit. Dip a few Q-tips in the soapy water and use them to clean the hammer, action and anything else that has powder residue on it. Now, take the barrel and put it in the pot, breach end down. Take your ramrod and using a patched jag start working it all the way up and down the barrel. As soon as the patch gets wet, it will swell up and act like a piston pulling the hot soapy water up and down the barrel. You'll see BLACK crap coming out of the nipple hole for a couple of minutes. You may want to change the patch once or twice. You'll know when it's clean. When you are done, remove the barrel from the water, use Q-tips to clean the nipple threads and let it dry. It should only take a minute or so to dry since the water is HOT. Then, run a lightly oiled patch down the tube and oil the outside of the barreland the nipple threads too. Finally, find the nipple in the black soapy water and use a few Q-tips to clean the nipple to the best of your ability. Let it dry and reassemble the rifle. This whole proccess should take about 7 minutes after the water gets hot.

If you can't remove your barrel, there are some "kits" which consist of a brass adapter with a peice of tubing. That way, you just remove the nipple and replace it with the brass adapter and tubing. Then put the tubing in the hot water and start cleaning.

I also clean BP revolvers with nothing more than a pot of hot soapy water.

Remember to oil all steel parts as soon as they are dry.

I always remove nipples for cleaning.
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Old 08-25-2010, 7:16 PM
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I know the wood burning stove adds authenticity to the bygones era of black powder, but if I don't have access to such a stove, will an electric kettle do?
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Old 08-25-2010, 7:34 PM
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What kind of oil do you use?
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Old 08-25-2010, 7:35 PM
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Dishwasher is pretty handy too especially for handguns. Make sure you take off all the wood and do it when the wife and kids are gone...
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Old 08-25-2010, 7:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigthaiboy View Post
I know the wood burning stove adds authenticity to the bygones era of black powder, but if I don't have access to such a stove, will an electric kettle do?
What is the "electric" thing that you aretalking about?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaq View Post
What kind of oil do you use?
I'm really not picky. I've got a lot of different kinds.
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Old 08-26-2010, 9:53 AM
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Sperm Whale Oil.

You might also mention using an oven mitt, gloves or hotpad. That barrel gets HOT!
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Old 08-26-2010, 5:58 PM
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My solution:

1. Fill your bathtub with hot water and soap

2. Remove any wood, optics, sights, slings, and the nipple/breech plug

3. Take your ramrod with a patch (should be good and tight) and swab the bore making sure to draw the water all the way up.

4. Repeat til water is clear.
a. steel wool if necessary

5. Run dry patches until COMPLETELY dry

6. Light oiled patch

7. Reassemble



Similar to the idea above, this is just how i do it. Kinda fun if you ask me. But in-lines are a pain, with the trigger group and barrel being attached.
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Old 08-26-2010, 7:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSACANNONEER View Post
I just got a visitor's message, on my profile, asking me how I clean my BP guns. I sent him a PM and decided to post the info here as well. Feel free to add to or critique my meathods. Well, here it goes:

First, fire up your wood burning stove and put a pot of water on to warm up. While you are waiting for it to get hot, remove your barrel and then, remove the nipple. put a bit of soap in the water and when it starts steaming, remove it and put it on the floor. Toss the nipple in and let it sit. Dip a few Q-tips in the soapy water and use them to clean the hammer, action and anything else that has powder residue on it. Now, take the barrel and put it in the pot, breach end down. Take your ramrod and using a patched jag start working it all the way up and down the barrel. As soon as the patch gets wet, it will swell up and act like a piston pulling the hot soapy water up and down the barrel. You'll see BLACK crap coming out of the nipple hole for a couple of minutes. You may want to change the patch once or twice. You'll know when it's clean. When you are done, remove the barrel from the water, use Q-tips to clean the nipple threads and let it dry. It should only take a minute or so to dry since the water is HOT. Then, run a lightly oiled patch down the tube and oil the outside of the barreland the nipple threads too. Finally, find the nipple in the black soapy water and use a few Q-tips to clean the nipple to the best of your ability. Let it dry and reassemble the rifle. This whole proccess should take about 7 minutes after the water gets hot.

If you can't remove your barrel, there are some "kits" which consist of a brass adapter with a peice of tubing. That way, you just remove the nipple and replace it with the brass adapter and tubing. Then put the tubing in the hot water and start cleaning.

I also clean BP revolvers with nothing more than a pot of hot soapy water.

Remember to oil all steel parts as soon as they are dry.

I always remove nipples for cleaning.

+1 on this, soap and HOT water are best!
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Old 08-26-2010, 8:21 PM
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I do basically the same thing but I use a kettle of boiling water which I pour down the barrel.

However, when I am at the range between shots I use a blow tube to keep the fouling moist in my Sharps rifle. Every 10 rounds I run a few T/C resoaked cleaner pads through the action. When I am getting ready to leave for the day I do the same procedure except I do a much thorough job of cleaning so it doesn't rust by the time I get home.

One more thing, if you are loading blackpowder centerfire cartridges, I have a small container filled with dishwasher detergent. Everytime I fire a case I drop it into the solution so the brass does not become corroded. I had a few cases that did not make it into the solution and by the time I got home from the range they were already corroded from the BP.
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