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| | |-+  Cleaning a flintlock rifle.
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Author Topic: Cleaning a flintlock rifle.  (Read 4908 times)
patchbox
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« on: June 11, 2009, 08:25:29 PM »

After a range session with my flintlock rifle I remove the lock, remove the vent liner then screw in a fitting with an O ring that is attached to a piece of tubing that goes into a container of water. This allowes me to give it a good flush just like I give my rifles with a hooked breach. However, I wonder if the frequent removal of the liner does more harm than good. Any suggestions how to get her good and clean without removeing the barrel from the stock would be appreciated..........Chuck P.
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Leatherbelly
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2009, 08:44:28 PM »

 Leave the vent in! Just plug it with a round toothpick,fill 'er up with COLD water,let 'er sit for 10-15 min.Pull the plug and swab,first with a wet patch and.....then after your patches come out clean,this is what I do-Shoot the inside down with lots of WD40,till it dribbles out the vent.Then I dry it again.Oh,you'll need to wipe the fouling off the outside of the vent with a wet patch too. I clean my lock in cold water and use an old toothbrush drizzled with dish soap.Rubba dub scrub!
Welcome aboard!
ps, I'm shooting spit patches(or a liquid type lube for plinking)Grease patches,use hot water.,and a little dish soap.
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roundball
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2009, 08:52:32 PM »

"...However, I wonder if the frequent removal of the liner does more harm than good..."
I'm sure there will be good responses to the cleaning alternative question, but as food for thought about the liner, I'll mention one viewpoint using 1/4" X 28 stainless nipple and vent liner as examples:

When cleaning a caplock muzzleloader after using it, its considered very routine to pump flush through a nipple, then remove the nipple, pump flush through the seat...then when done with the barrel...clean, dry, lube, everything and reinstall the nipple.

IMO, the 1/4" x 28 stainless vent liner represents precisely the same environment.
 
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hanshi
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2009, 11:46:13 PM »

IMO there is no need whatsoever to remove the vent liner unless it's being replaced or the gun is being worked on.  Cleaning advice above is good.
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doug
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2009, 12:33:56 AM »

    I never remove the liner when cleaning but do use warm (not boiling) water because I find that it cleans the bore far better than cold water.  Also use a bronze brush rather than a jag.  I like to let lots of water drain through the vent to hopefully remove or reduce fouling on the inside of the liner

cheers Doug
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Daryl
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2009, 08:31:11 AM »

Most of us up here flush the barrel hard - with water. I use LB's technique in camp when I'm too lazy to clean the rifle my normal way. I do make one difference, in that after the barrel has been sitting with a full bore of cold water for a while - 'bout' 1 beer's worth, I put a patch on the muzzle, then pull the plug 'toothpick' from the vent and force the water out the vent in a hard push of the rod so it blasts the fouling out with the water. I repeat the soak a few times, then patchout clean and dry, then spray copious amounts of WD40 down the bore until it-too runs freely out the vent, rifle laying on an angle, vent down and paper toweling in the lock mortise.  A patch is run up and down the bore a few times and always comes out spotless.  The lock is cleaned in someone Else's  Wink coffee cup full of water.
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Roger Fisher
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2009, 10:09:01 AM »

You asked about a flinter and I suggest do not pull that vent each time.  Very unnecessary... Plug the vent as mentioned above.  I would suggest adgitate the water in the bore with the bare jag a few times to help loosen the crud...

On a cussin gun suggest do not bother pulling the nipple 'cept' once in a blue moon to make sure the threads are cleaned up..danger of cross threading when in a hurry and tired...  Many/most drums have a clean out screw in the end.  Clean the drum with a pipe cleaner via that opening, dry and oil with the bore.... Works for me.....  Pull and clean/oil the lock maybe every other time you shoot her....Unless many shots fired same session.... Smiley
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roundball
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2009, 11:06:15 AM »

Just so were clear everyone...I wasn't advocating anybody do anything.

I simply posted a viewpoint different from what most people have posted on this vent liner subject for the 10 years or so I've been reading forums.

I keep very detailed notes on my PC about every one of my rifles / smoothbores...the dates I shoot them, # of shots, every activity that takes place with them, all sorts of stuff.

Three Flintlocks in particular that I've mainly shot year round for the poast 10 years average a couple dozen trips & cleaning session per year...which adds up to the vent liners being removed/cleaned/lubed/reinstalled about 250-300 times each over the past 10 years...and they're still just like new today.

I know a lot of folks were raised on the notion "don't remove the vent liner"...read it for years...newcomers usually fall right in line and perpetuate that approach...and that's fine.

But its worth noting that that approach isn't a "necessary requirement"...and to make it clear that doing something outside the box doesn't automatically make it wrong to do it...just sharing a different viewpoint.

When I start shooting / cleaning the new Virginia, I'll be removing the lock & liner every time using a flush tube kit and for me personally am not worried about it...my feeling is that I HOPE I live long enough to wear out a vent liner & seat...
 Grin
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ehoff
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2009, 11:44:30 AM »

Its all personal prefrence, few people clean a rifle the same way. I can't take the liners out of my flintlocks as they all have Chambers white lighting liners. Now I've had flintlocks with removable lines and I usually took them out, but I also seemed to booger up the liner so eventually I just left them in. There is no wrong way.

As for patchbox's question on taking the barrel out, I personally don't for cleaning, too easy to damage that thin forearm, and too much of a chance of splitting the wood putting the pins back. Again its all personal preference.
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hanshi
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2009, 12:45:24 PM »

Just so were clear everyone...I wasn't advocating anybody do anything.

I simply posted a viewpoint different from what most people have posted on this vent liner subject for the 10 years or so I've been reading forums.

I keep very detailed notes on my PC about every one of my rifles / smoothbores...the dates I shoot them, # of shots, every activity that takes place with them, all sorts of stuff.

Three Flintlocks in particular that I've mainly shot year round for the poast 10 years average a couple dozen trips & cleaning session per year...which adds up to the vent liners being removed/cleaned/lubed/reinstalled about 250-300 times each over the past 10 years...and they're still just like new today.

I know a lot of folks were raised on the notion "don't remove the vent liner"...read it for years...newcomers usually fall right in line and perpetuate that approach...and that's fine.

But its worth noting that that approach isn't a "necessary requirement"...and to make it clear that doing something outside the box doesn't automatically make it wrong to do it...just sharing a different viewpoint.

When I start shooting / cleaning the new Virginia, I'll be removing the lock & liner every time using a flush tube kit and for me personally am not worried about it...my feeling is that I HOPE I live long enough to wear out a vent liner & seat...
 Grin

I admire anyone who can manage to keep detailed records of their shooting.  I've started countless times & forgot, lost or confused data.  Cry
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!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.
frontier gander
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2009, 01:26:56 PM »

i always take my rifle completely apart to clean. The fouling that gets under the stock worries me so i may as well do my part and keep my investments in good working condition.
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roundball
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2009, 02:29:27 PM »

i always take my rifle completely apart to clean. The fouling that gets under the stock worries me so i may as well do my part and keep my investments in good working condition.
I am so fanatical about cleaning & lubing I even remove the frizzen & frizzen pivot screw every time...Q-tip & pipe cleaner for the top of the frizzen spring, and the two pivot holes & shoulders of the frizzen bridle, plus the pivot hole on the frizzen itself.
Then Shooter's Choice grease on all those same places...spring, pivot screw, holes & shoulders...put it all back together...5 minute job.  May be overkill but when I put one up its showroom ready every time...then if I go off on a tangent and don't shoot it for months it doesn't matter
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LynnC
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2009, 02:40:29 PM »

I made me one of those gizmos that clamps over the vent with a hose on it to drop in a jar of water.  Pump flush action.  Run patches till clean.  Works pretty good.  Lock cleaned in the sink.

Sometimes I use the pluged vent, fill with water, blast it out the vent with the patched jag method.  Either way I'm getting the breech end good an clean...................Lynn
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Dpeck
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2009, 05:40:42 PM »

Always used the toothpick method mentioned.  There was mention made about screwslot vent liners causing some corrosion as the flash follows the slot.  Way back when there was also a theory about the slot jumping the flash for misfires.  Whether its true or not is very questionable but I have always used non removable vents.  Have had a little problem with corrosion on the barrel above and behind the flash area.  Best to pay attention to that area also and clean and oil well.  Taking the lock off and cleaning and lubing also helps its reliability.

DP
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SCLoyalist
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2009, 10:13:39 AM »

I've gone to using plain cold water, straight from the tap.  It takes me about a dozen patches.  I remove the lock, stuff patches in holes in the lock mortise, put a clamp-on barrel flusher/hose over the vent.  The flusher works okay, but when I started sending a breech scraper down I found that the scraper is more efficient in removing gunk than cleaning patches.   Repeat the flush/scrape cycle until the scraper comes up clean, then dry patches until the bore is dry and the patches are clean.  Oil the bore with Olive Oil.    On a good day, it takes 15 minutes.   The barrel has round bottom rifling, which may help some. 
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Roger Fisher
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« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2009, 11:25:15 AM »

I've gone to using plain cold water, straight from the tap.  It takes me about a dozen patches.  I remove the lock, stuff patches in holes in the lock mortise, put a clamp-on barrel flusher/hose over the vent.  The flusher works okay, but when I started sending a breech scraper down I found that the scraper is more efficient in removing gunk than cleaning patches.   Repeat the flush/scrape cycle until the scraper comes up clean, then dry patches until the bore is dry and the patches are clean.  Oil the bore with Olive Oil.    On a good day, it takes 15 minutes.   The barrel has round bottom rifling, which may help some. 
I would add that you did not soak that rock hard fouling in the breech long enough.  Suggest also that fit a patch worm on a seperate rod and fold a wet patch over it - go in to the breech and twist round and round a bit withdraw carefully this works also... Smiley
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LynnC
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« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2009, 11:46:05 AM »

Test Post.

Posted twice before and didn't show up
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LynnC
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« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2009, 11:50:05 AM »

Well Heck, Now it's working again Huh

When using the soak first, pump flush cleaning method I've never found the need for a fouling scraper.  Breech plug face shows nice & shiney Wink

Your mileage may vary.............................Lynn
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Dpeck
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« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2009, 12:11:49 PM »

I have been using a tip from Paul Matthews for BPC and using radiator antifreeze.  It has an anticorrosion agent which does seem to help with preventing rust.  Also seems to be very effective.

DP
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long carabine
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« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2009, 05:59:44 PM »

Take the lock off and spray it with a solution of 2 cap of murphys oil soap to water. (iI use a spray bottle)l set the lock aside then plug the vent with a toothpich and spray the solution down the barrel. Let it sit in the corner while I scrub the lock and oil it. Dump the solution out of the barrel, it looks like tar, then wipe down and oil using 10W30 motor oil. I do not take the vent liner out every time. No need to just clean it with a pipe cleaner. This process takes 15 minutes on a real dirty rifle. Long carabine
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quigleysharps4570
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« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2009, 06:40:57 PM »

I use a flush tube most times...lock comes off and liner out...don't take but a few minutes to clean her and put her back together. The gentleman whom built my little longrifle clued me in on that method, so I figure after years of match shooting and removing the liner he would've seen any ill effects.
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Pete G.
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« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2009, 09:34:14 PM »

I poke a feather in the vent. Seems to seal much better than a toothpick. Then I pour a couple of ounces of windshield washer fluid down the bore, put a finger over the bore and turn the rifle end for end a couple of times to wet the entire bore and then let it soak upright while I am putting up target frames and pouches, horns, etc. A couple of wet patches followed by a couple of dry ones, then a good scrubbing with a patch soaked in Break Free CLP. Use the patches to wipe the lock and breech. Takes longer to type that to do. This is the only way I have found to keep things rust free down here on the South Coast with 95 degrees and 95% humidity.
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Don Steele
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« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2009, 06:28:15 AM »

Fellas....even thought there's been plenty of good responses already, since nobody mentioned it...I just gotta chime in. BALLISTOL....
mixed with water for the initial bore scrubbing..( after the water soaking step). Last patches my bores see are straight Ballistol.  Keeps'em bright and shiny..!!
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erdillonjr
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« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2009, 09:57:50 AM »

I always remove the barrel and put it in a bucket of warm soapy water and flush it out that way. I never remove the vent liner. If you have a white lightning touch hole liner they dont come out. After the Barrel is clean I sqirt it all down with WD 40. Ed
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RonT
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« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2009, 01:02:59 PM »

another vote for the toothpick method.  Murphy's Oil/water.  Except, I plunge the barrel with a patchless jag after it sets for the above mentioned adult beverage timetable.  Usually two applications and I'm done.  Toothpicks are always (well...almost always) the same size and swell to seal any weeping leaks.  
R
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