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General discussion => Black Powder Shooting => Topic started by: Phil Neal on April 27, 2019, 01:10:33 AM

Title: tuff to clean
Post by: Phil Neal on April 27, 2019, 01:10:33 AM
I recently assembled a Kibler colonial .54 with square bottom rifling.  It takes forever and a lot of swabs to get it clean.  I start with leaving a barrel of warm water to soak for awhile, then drain and start swabbing.  Takes at least 20 or more wet patches to start getting it clean.  Is this normal?  Should I have ordered the round bottom rifling?  Heard it is easier to clean, but did not know to what extent.
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: Huntschool on April 27, 2019, 01:42:24 AM
I would suggest that after soaking and draining you use a mixture of something like alcohol and ammonia with a touch of liquid soap to swab the barrel.  Meer hot water, though it will soften the crud, may not break it down enough.

I have been shooting flat bottom rifling barrels since the late 60's and have not had what you describe happen.  It usually takes me 4 patches to come up clean and that's been on Bill Large, Sharon, Rice, Douglas and Getz barrels.  I guess your mileage may vary.

Just some old guy thoughts.
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: smylee grouch on April 27, 2019, 02:36:44 AM
If it were mine I would never use hot water,ammonia or soap but room temp water, get it clean then use something like JB Bore cleaner and scrub it out with several patches, 10 stroke per side. Reclean with room temp water, dry and use WD-40, lots of it., Swab out the excess and go shoot some more. It willget better and then you can stop the JB stuff and just use room temp water and the WD-40 once you get it slicked up.
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: Hungry Horse on April 27, 2019, 02:53:44 AM
 I agree with Grouch on the cool water ( pour it full, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, dump, repeat, dry, and oil), but not withWD40, unless it is going to be a short time before you go shooting again. Out here on the left coast the WD40 evaporates quickly, and can lead to rusty spots. I prefer BreakFree, or some of the other heavier bodied gun oils.

  Hungry Horse
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: David R. on April 27, 2019, 03:08:07 AM
I use cold water. Lube with bear oil. Square bottom rifling. Clean in the field with maybe 1/2 dozen patches. Leave the hot water and solvents alone. Only time I use anything else is alcohol if itís below freezing.
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: Frank on April 27, 2019, 03:22:39 AM
On my Rice square bottom barrels. Two or three patches soaked in a ballistol/water mixture, 25% ballistol, 75% water or Black solve/water mixture. Then 3 or 4 dry patches to dry and then some WD40 down the barrel. Done. I run an oil patch down the barrel for long term storage. Takes about 5 minutes. Remove lock and clean by putting under warm running water, wipe dry and spray with WD40 to get rid of all moisture and then lube. This takes about 5 minutes also. Been doing .since the mid 1970s and never any rust. Never  saw the need to fill the barrel full of water.
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: tiswell on April 27, 2019, 03:46:19 AM
    I am interested in this issue because I have 2 or three more applications of finish before I finish mine and start shooting(and cleaning it). It sounds to me like your technique is not far out of the realm of what others do. Could it be that your patch jag combination could be just a touch more snug? Just a thought.

                                                                                                                                 Blessings, Bill
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: Phil Neal on April 27, 2019, 06:36:59 AM
Thanks for the comments, I never use hot water, just slightly warm with dawn soap.  However I may try some ballistol.  I finish with  CLP.  I shoot at least twice a week so am getting quite a few rounds thru it.  Maybe it will get easier soon?  Being in Nevada, rust is not a big issue.
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: Anonymous on April 27, 2019, 07:48:55 AM
Have lived in North Carolina for over 25 years. Plenty of heat and humidity. Clean with 1-5 Ballistol distilled water or Murphys and water solution. After cleaning I soak the bore with WD40.  Buy by the gallon and use a spray bottle. Blow out exceess with compressed air, run a dry patch down the barrel, another shot of compressed air and dry patch, then let sit for 24-48 hours muzzle down.  No rust, no problems, even after 12 months. If shooting again within 48 hours, or going hunting, flush with isopropyl alcohol.  If planning on storing long term will protect with Eezox.
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: Daryl on April 27, 2019, 08:16:47 AM
I have always thought soaps were either alkaline, acidic or salty.  I also figure they are a fix for a non-existent problem.
Here, we all use fairly tight ball and patch combinations that shoot very cleanly and thus clean very quickly.  The only buildup of
fouling is between the patched ball and the breech.
I use one patch with the water bucket cleaning and usually takes 4 to 5 for the drying. I use the same water for cleaning the lock
and use a toothbrush for cleaning it in the water. I use compressed air for blowing the moisture off the lock.  I wipe it dry with a towel
then spray it copiously with WD40. My locks have never rusted.
After drying the bore, I wipe it down on the outside with a towel, then spray WD40 down the tube to blast out any residual moisture.
I then patch that out using that patch to wipe down the barrel before replacing it on the stock.
My barrels have never rusted here in BC. Our average humidity is 50%.  For an average, that is fairly low.
If it's raining here, the humidity is usually around 80-85%.
If you live in a more humid environment, by all means use a better rust preventative. The WD40 is mostly for floating out any residual moisture.
This was recommended by Holland and Holland of England for use on THEIR antique black powder rifles.
Cold or cool water, no soap. Soaps are not needed. No sense fixing something that isn't broken.
I stopped using hot water and soap after reading the letter from H&H.(not the US bl. company nor affiliated with them)
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: alacran on April 27, 2019, 02:53:16 PM
We have very similar humidity conditions, I live in AZ.  Though we've had a wet winter things dry out real fast. When humidity starts running in single digits black powder starts to cake up specially in the the breech area. Use a bottom scraper to get that crud out . Like Frank, I use a mix of Black Solve and Ballistol mix .  Pretty much the same ratio as he does.  I do dilute the Ballistol 10 to 1 first. After barrel is clean, I then use 90% alcohol it gets more crud out. When those come out clean,  I use plain dry patches to get the barrel dry. I reuse those patches. Then I use a rust preventative .   I never use plain water at all. Been cleaning this way for 20 years.
 Like Daryl I use a tight patch/ball combo and I don't use very light charges. Also I use bear oil for lube. That minimizes fowling.
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: Fyrstyk on April 27, 2019, 03:00:51 PM
I would use the warm water cleaning method, but on the first passes after the soaking I would use a brush to loosen the crud from the corners of the grooves.  Once that is done, flush with warm water and patches until it comes clean.  It should not take more that 4 patches before they star coming out a light grey.  Then remove the excess moisture as outlined in many of the previous posts, and apply a good gun oil to the bore as final protection until the next time you shoot.
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: ron w on April 27, 2019, 05:08:13 PM
that was my thought as well ,....a soft brass bore brush to scrub the bore and then wiping with a light oil soaked patch until the patch comes out reasonably clean. there are also nylon bore brushes available if you worry about the edges of your rifling.
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: MuskratMike on April 27, 2019, 09:07:23 PM
Use a range rod to clean unless your ramrod has a 10-32 threaded end. Soak barrel with just tepid to warm water for 5 minutes. Drain and run a brass brush down the barrel 2 or 3 times. Fill barrel again with warm water for a couple of minutes then drain. Now use the cleaning patches starting with a wet one followed by dry patches til clean. This is how I clean my Kibler and it only takes 5 or 6 patches to do the job. After barrel is dry and clean last patch is soaked in WD-40.
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: alacran on April 28, 2019, 01:03:42 PM
I have never used a brush of any sort in my muzzleloading rifles. Never had the need.
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: thelongrifle on April 28, 2019, 03:34:30 PM
I have both round and square bottom rifles. I clean with #13 cleaner and lube with Natural lube. No problems with rust anywhere. Easy to clean. I use natural lube for patch lube and can shoot all day without cleaning.
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: MuskratMike on April 28, 2019, 04:27:52 PM
The purpose of the bore brush is not so much to clean the bore as it is to break up and loosen the residue that has been softened by the warm water. It just simplifies the process uses less patches and does a fine job which is what we all want. If someone wants to skip this step fine by me, just have to buy or make more patches than I do.
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: Frank on April 28, 2019, 04:53:38 PM
Never use a bore brush in a muzzleloader. They are not needed to completely clean the bore and also have tendency to get stuck.
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: smylee grouch on April 28, 2019, 05:15:32 PM
Many years ago I used a bore brush, it pulled apart on me when I tried to reverse the bristles and pull it out. Should have known better. I only use about 5-6 patches with the plain water treatment that I clean with . Bore comes out spotless and dry and two more patches for the WD 40 when I.m done.
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: bob in the woods on April 28, 2019, 05:37:47 PM
Water, room temp is fine. I don't use cold water because we have 9 months of cold here and "not cold" water works well  :)
Tow on a worm cleans up the barrel quickly, and then I use a couple patches to dry , with a final dose of WD 40 , then bear oil.  Doesn't take much time at all.  I always take out the lock and wipe it all down too. then oil it. This only take a couple minutes.  Once or maybe twice a year, depending on use, I take the lock apart and clean and oil it .
If a barrel is hard to clean , I would suspect it's past use and history. If there's any pitting, it's tough to get it clean without immersing in water. If substitute powders were used, I've had barrels that showed clean, but a day later were showing brown on a patch....and so on for 3 and more days !   
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: Dphariss on April 28, 2019, 06:41:18 PM
Using any petroleum oil in the cleaning mix can lead to problems.
Leaving oil in the bore and then loading and firing can cause problems.
Not getting all the fouling out is bad.
BP fouling will not necessarily rust under and oil film or if its wet with oil.
But what it will do is turn to an asphalt like substance in the bore or in crevices etc in the breech. This can need a jack hammer to remove. So always stand the cleaned and oiled barrel/firearm muzzle down over night on something the absorb they oil that will run out. I ofen store them muzzle down in the safe.
I have never used a breech scraper.  Unadulterated BP fouling is water soluble and sucks up water like a sponge even from high humidity. So using all sorts of cool concoctions to clean is a waste of money. I sometimes will put a drop of dishwashing det. in the bore and pour in some warm water. But I can't see where it does a darned thing. Ammonia is pretty nasty stuff on steel and I don't think it does a thing to BP fouling. It will remove metal fouling if its strong enough, like Sweets 7.62 but I avoid these since they can harm the barrel.
So I use warm water. I have 50 cal bore brush I use sometimes. It tends to speed things a little. In the larger bore sizes I can't see how one can stick a bore brush. This only happens in small bores, like 22-26 where the bronze bristles are too shot to flex easily.
I am going to try a water based patch "lube" for matches and see if that makes the cleaning easier over tallow or "neatsfoot". I would PREFER to use Sperm Whale Oil since its a higher friction lube than tallow or "neatsfoot". But its tough to come by anymore.

Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: MuskratMike on April 28, 2019, 10:38:16 PM
Not sure how you get a bore brush "stuck" if you use the correct size. Been doing it this way since 1973 and it always works, leaves the bore clean, no problems.
Fill barrel with tepid water, let soak for 5 minutes and drain. Run bore brush down 3-4 strokes. Refill barrel with tepid water let soak again for 5 minutes, drain and use cotton patches until clean (4-5). Let barrel dry, run a patch through soaked in WD-40.
End of story. It works, it ALWAYS works. No need to use anything else or other methods.
 Don't believe it? Try it after your next shoot.
The "Muskrat" has spoken!
Title: Re: tuff to clean
Post by: Jerry on April 28, 2019, 11:06:37 PM
In my current smoothbore I use Dawn and water on wads of tow. Never any petroleum products. I dry
With tow followed by a tow saturated with a natural patch, gun, or bore lube...