Author Topic: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face  (Read 972 times)

Offline JLayne

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Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« on: May 12, 2019, 12:35:26 PM »
I have a .40 caliber Chamber's York County rifle that was built from a kit. It was my first build, which I recently finished. The way the rifle was designed and built, for better or worse, the face of the breech plug fell about dead center of the pan. So, on the advice of a gentleman at Rice Barrel Company, I drilled for the touchhole liner with the breech plug in, drilling through the side wall of the barrel and about half way across the face of the plug.  I then used needle files and sandpaper to remove any burrs from the drilling, and polished the breech plug face and the drilled portion before installing the Chambers' White Lightning liner and reinstalling the plug.

I took the rifle out for its first range outting yesterday and the lock worked flawlessly and the ignition worked great as well, for about eight shots. On the ninth shot, I got a misfire, and tried repriming several times and clearing the touchole with a vent pick with no success. The powder in the pan was igniting, but not setting off the main charge. Finally, not having a 40 caliber ball puller, I took the rifle home, removed the barrel and breach plug, and tapped the ball and patch out from the breech with a long wooden dowel before cleaning the barrel. The powder looked mostly dry, but there was some at the very back(where the breech plug face would have been) that looked crusted and somewhat baked on. Now, I was using Goex FFF in the bore and had been swabbing the bore between each shot with a cleaning patch pre-saturated with Thompson No. 13 bore solvent (1 pass with a twist against the breech plug face) followed by a dry patch ( 1 pass and twist, flip it over and 1 more pass and twist).  I also wiped the pan out between each shot and ran a pick in the touchable every three shots. My best guess is either some baked on burnt powder built up around the inside of the breech plug notch and touchole, or some bore cleaner from the pre-saturated patches didn't get dried out sufficiently and moistened the powder next to the touchole. In either event, I would be interested to hear any advice more experienced shooters might have on the likely cause and how to avoid it in the future? Also, if anyone out there also has a notched breech plug face, is there a technique for cleaning out that recess between shots?

Thanks in advance.
Jay

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2019, 02:32:09 PM »
I have that same notch in breech plug of my hunting rifle. I never wipe between shots and rarely have a miss fire. I fill barrel with water and let set then push patch through barrel to flush water out touch hole. May do this twice if I have shot it many times.

Oh forgot to say plug vent with round tooth pick to let water soak barrel.
Dennis
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Offline JLayne

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2019, 02:43:17 PM »
Thank you.  How many shots are you able to load and fire before the loading becomes difficult? Only reason I ask is that I was wiping between shots because I have always been told that for range work with repetitive firing, loading will get difficult after two to three shots if not.

Don't know if it matters for the answer, but I was using Hornady .395 round balls with pre-cut and lubed .010 patches from Cabelas.

Thanks again.

Jay

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2019, 03:15:45 PM »
Honestly, I started out with using pre-lubed patches over 32 years ago, but gave up on them after having the same experience as you. I've never had much luck with any of the commercial lubes or the pre-lubed patches etc .
For hunting I like bear oil/grease or Track of the Wolf's Mink Oil.  For shooting matches etc I like a wet patch. I began using Windshield Washer fluid with some neets foot oil added to it, and it works well [ see Daryl's posts on this ]  The use of a good wet patch keeps the bore nice and clean, since there is only the fouling from the last shot.....ie it doesn't accumulate.
As to your notched plug, and liner . How deep is the notch ?  That is, does the touch hole [ 1/16th ? ]  kiss the face of the plug ? or is there some relief ie off the face of the plug ?   The liners are concave so I just want to make sure that you don't have a fouling trap somewhere.

Offline JLayne

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2019, 03:57:25 PM »
Thanks. Don't have it measured, but I would estimate the notch to be about 1/8 inch deep, since I am using a 1/4 inch liner and the hole sits just a hair behind the face of the breech plug face. At the center of the face of the plug, it tapers up in a roughly conical shape and is a little more shallow. I smoothed over the edges of the notch left by the drill bit with a needle file and sandpaper working down to 1000 grit before installation. (I would take pics but it has been cleaned and reinstalled since yesterday). I didn't see any fouling caked on the notch itself when I removed the plug yesterday. I plan on using the rifle for target shooting and will be firing probably 10-20 shots on an average day.  So if it gums up every tenth shot and misfires, well that makes it a no go as a range rifle for my purposes. Consequently, I really hope all I did was simply get the powder damp from the swabbing between shots.  But I think I will give that TOTW Mink Oil a try.

Thanks again.
Jay

 


Offline smokinbuck

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2019, 05:31:24 PM »
I shoot a .40 table gun and sometimes put 20-25 shots through it in a day. I wipe between each shot with a spit patch and a dry patch, my lube is Mr Flintlock. Have had no problems loading or cleaning. I also put soapy water in the bore prior to cleaning and flush it out through the nipple.
Mark
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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2019, 05:31:40 PM »
Don't wipe between shots.
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Offline Daryl

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2019, 05:53:38 PM »
I am sure that wet patch twist, just rubs fouling into the vent's concave face.  After several shots, you've got it full, along with the crease in the breech face.

I would learn to shoot using load combinations that do not require wiping while you are shooting. Simply smooth up your crown and use thicker patches.

Most of us here use a wet patch for plinking, but 100% Pure Neetsfoot Oil  or Trck's Mink Oil for hunting. I finally procured some bear oil - clear like water for another test.
Years ago I used bear grease & especially marmot oil which was super as a patch lube & boot water proofing agent and leather preserver.
Daryl

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Offline rich pierce

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2019, 07:46:41 PM »
With a Rice barrel I think that 0.010” patch is too thin to allow good performance, both accuracy and carrying enough lube to keep it easy loading without cleaning between shots. I’d go 0.015” minimum.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline BJH

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Faceing rod
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2019, 08:05:43 PM »
During certain combinations of humidity and temperatures I get what I call a charcoal deposit on the face of my breech plugs. I keep a number of caliber specific breech scrapers used dry to take care of cleaning the breech. I have some notched breech plugs and have had some occasional issues.  A scrape job and a touch hole picking and I shooting again. I’m not one of the wipe frequently crowd, unless the conditions dictate. I don’t twist the cleaning rod. For playing at the range I use simple green soap for cleaning as well as patch lube. It really shines where the gun gets abused with a hundred shots or more at a youth field day. BJH
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Offline hanshi

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2019, 10:59:33 PM »
I've had and still have a few guns with a breech plug - unless I misunderstood your description - "grooved" across the face.  I don't wipe the bore when shooting, and clean all guns exactly the same every time.  Any buildup on the breech face is always easily removed with soaking, patching or sometimes a scraper.   If this doesn't do for your cleaning maybe something else is also at work.
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Offline recurve

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2019, 03:54:11 AM »
You could use "Herbs" method shoot then load powder, patch  ,ball and wet patch on top using a loading/cleaning jag slightly smaller than the bore . It rides over the fowling on the way in seats the ball ,then cleans as it is pulled out. This insures that nothing is "pushed" into the breach area. 

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2019, 04:25:37 AM »
First off get rid of those thin patches as they are not thick enough to seal the load, your groves are probably deeper than 10/1000 and use a decent patch lube. It will make a world of difference.

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2019, 04:56:09 PM »
Thank you.  How many shots are you able to load and fire before the loading becomes difficult? Only reason I ask is that I was wiping between shots because I have always been told that for range work with repetitive firing, loading will get difficult after two to three shots if not.

Don't know if it matters for the answer, but I was using Hornady .395 round balls with pre-cut and lubed .010 patches from Cabelas.

Thanks again.

Jay

To be honest I don't remember ever shooting that rifle over 20-25 times in one session and that is with original Lehigh Valley Lube and I have never had to clean the rifle but one time and that was when I was ready to go home.
I use the same lube in my 36 cal rifle and normally shoot it 25-35 times before cleaning it. Best lube I have used seems to keep bore from fouling as bad as my beeswax/crisco mix.
Dennis
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Offline kudu

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2019, 05:23:31 PM »
I essentially clean the bore each Time I load.

I pour the Powder From the measure, and use a patch SOAKED with 1part Ballistol 24 parts water. for my Patch Lube

When I short start the ball the excess Moose Milk is squeezed off and the barrel is cleaned with the the ball being seated pushing the Fowling ahead of it to sit just atop of the powder and all shot out upon with the squeeze of the Trigger.

I shoot alot of line matches and get good results from this method.
I recently shot a shoot with 10, 5 shot matches with some Practice bulls on some of the targets so 55 shots or so no problems other than breaking Two Flints. and getting real Tired.

I think you'll need to do a good soak in your final cleaning/meaning plug the barrel I use the Moose Milk concoction mentioned above. for cleaning let set for 5-10 min
blast it out the touch hole with a patch on your Jag/rod.

Maybe do it twice the dry it and oil the bore.

I dont think your NOTCHED Plug is that big a deal unless its real deep or rough.
I think that cleaning between shots got some powder damp in the NOTCH portion of your breech.

I Know several people that swab Percussion rifles between shots and waste(use) lots of caps firing TWO for each shot one to (Open,DRY) the Patened Breech and then load and fire with another cap.

Oh well its all fun.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 05:28:40 PM by kudu »

Offline Daryl

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2019, 08:21:27 PM »
Sounds exactly right, kudu.  :)
Daryl

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Offline alacran

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2019, 02:12:26 PM »
When I used to shoot Teflon patching, I had no choice but to swab between shots. That was specially true in AZ.  There was no way to get a ball down the barrel after the first shot, without hammering all the way down.
After I got my first Rice radius grooved .50 cal barrel. I found that after shooting one relay, 5 shots, the breech face would get caked up with burnt powder and I had to scrape the it in order to continue shooting. That was unacceptable. Using Teflon patching with that rifle had to be abandoned.
Mind you there was no notch cut on the breech face so that was not the source of the problem. The problem was swabbing between shots. There is more area in the radius grooves and I was pushing a lot of gunk on to the breech face.
I quit using Teflon patching and after experimenting I settled on .495 ball over .018 pocket drill lubed with bear oil. With that combo I can shoot a 25 target trail walk without ever having to wipe, and no build up on the breech face.
 I believe the source of you problem , is wiping between shots.

Offline trentOH

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2019, 07:13:13 PM »
When I used to shoot Teflon patching, I had no choice but to swab between shots. That was specially true in AZ.  There was no way to get a ball down the barrel after the first shot, without hammering all the way down.

What little I know of Teflon patching is what I have seen (and tried once) at the Offhand Line at Friendship. The Teflon shooters there wipe between every shot, or else it is nearly impossible to load. So it's not just a hot and dry situation in Arizona. It's humid and hot or not in Indiana also.

For some people, it's the cat's meow. For me, it was just a pain in the butt.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2019, 04:40:07 AM »
When I used to shoot Teflon patching, I had no choice but to swab between shots. That was specially true in AZ.  There was no way to get a ball down the barrel after the first shot, without hammering all the way down.
After I got my first Rice radius grooved .50 cal barrel. I found that after shooting one relay, 5 shots, the breech face would get caked up with burnt powder and I had to scrape the it in order to continue shooting. That was unacceptable. Using Teflon patching with that rifle had to be abandoned.
Mind you there was no notch cut on the breech face so that was not the source of the problem. The problem was swabbing between shots. There is more area in the radius grooves and I was pushing a lot of gunk on to the breech face.
I quit using Teflon patching and after experimenting I settled on .495 ball over .018 pocket drill lubed with bear oil. With that combo I can shoot a 25 target trail walk without ever having to wipe, and no build up on the breech face.
 I believe the source of you problem , is wiping between shots.

good notes :)
Daryl

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Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2019, 02:48:04 PM »
Regarding the use of jags and patches, many have mentioned the fact of pushing the fouling down the barrel.
I take a jag , as purchased ,  chuck it in my drill , and file it down in diameter . The idea is for the jag to catch the patch on the way up , bunching it up into the grooves and pulling the fouling out...not down .   

Offline JLayne

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2019, 08:38:27 PM »
All,

Thanks for all of the good advice. I have ordered some non-lubed thicker cotton patching (.015) and some pre-cut pillow ticking patches (.018)as well as the things needed to make the lube recipes some of you suggested. I will experiment with them and stop wiping between shots and see how that works.

On another note, assuming pillow ticking (.018) turns out to be the best patch material, do any of you ever buy it in bulk from a fabric store like say, Jo-Ann Fabrics, instead of buying the pre-cut ticking patches? If so, can you point me to an item number or link to look for the stuff I need, as there appears to be pillow ticking and mattress ticking, and I may be wrong, but would assume the mattress stuff to be thicker. Seems if I could get the right stuff in bulk, it would be cheaper to pre-lube the material and cut my own patching at the muzzle, and the patching would be more consistently centered.

Thanks,
Jay

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2019, 11:18:19 PM »
Take a good caliper and measure your 18/1000 patches as a lot of the advertised figures are wrong. Find a good patch material,measure it and go from there with a good lube.

Offline stikshooter

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2019, 04:50:06 AM »
All,

Thanks for all of the good advice. I have ordered some non-lubed thicker cotton patching (.015) and some pre-cut pillow ticking patches (.018)as well as the things needed to make the lube recipes some of you suggested. I will experiment with them and stop wiping between shots and see how that works.

On another note, assuming pillow ticking (.018) turns out to be the best patch material, do any of you ever buy it in bulk from a fabric store like say, Jo-Ann Fabrics, instead of buying the pre-cut ticking patches? If so, can you point me to an item number or link to look for the stuff I need, as there appears to be pillow ticking and mattress ticking, and I may be wrong, but would assume the mattress stuff to be thicker. Seems if I could get the right stuff in bulk, it would be cheaper to pre-lube the material and cut my own patching at the muzzle, and the patching would be more consistently centered.

Thanks, I spend more time at Joannes Fabric than the wife,just don"t forget the calipers ! and when you find the right one return and buy lots of that lot/Ed
Jay

Offline JLayne

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2019, 02:15:52 PM »
Take a good caliper and measure your 18/1000 patches as a lot of the advertised figures are wrong. Find a good patch material,measure it and go from there with a good lube.

You were right. Just measured the dry .018 pre-cut patches I ordered from Midway. They all come in between .020 and .021.

Offline JLayne

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Re: Cleaning Notched Breech Plug Face
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2019, 02:25:36 PM »
I am sure that wet patch twist, just rubs fouling into the vent's concave face.  After several shots, you've got it full, along with the crease in the breech face.

I would learn to shoot using load combinations that do not require wiping while you are shooting. Simply smooth up your crown and use thicker patches.

Most of us here use a wet patch for plinking, but 100% Pure Neetsfoot Oil  or Trck's Mink Oil for hunting. I finally procured some bear oil - clear like water for another test.
Years ago I used bear grease & especially marmot oil which was super as a patch lube & boot water proofing agent and leather preserver.

Question for Daryl,
When you say smooth up the crown, as a novice, how would I go about doing that without damaging it and ruining the accuracy potential of the rifle?
Thanks,
Jay