Author Topic: Tow  (Read 5503 times)

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Tow
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2018, 07:20:05 AM »
What抯 the benefit of using tow instead of running a few patches down the barrel?

It抯 what they did in the 1700s.
Andover, Vermont

Offline Robby

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Re: Tow
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2018, 08:52:49 PM »
Afgan, (1)Whenever possible I like to do things the way they were done. (2)My wife saves worn out flannel bed sheets for me  and I cut them up for cleaning patches, but all that scissor work raises cain with the arthritis in my hands anymore. (3) Its reusable and that lends itself to my frugal nature. (4) I have some really cool worms.  ;D
Robby
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Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Tow
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2018, 09:18:19 PM »
This is just an observation about how they did it in the old days.

Of the hundreds of rifles that are in collections, I have seen no rifles from the days of flint that have a bore that is unrusted.  I have to assume there must be some, but I've never seen any.  If tow was used to clean them, I want no part of it.  And I am unwilling to sacrifice a rifle to discover than I cannot get it clean enough to prevent iron worms from consuming my precious rifle.  I doubt that cotton flannelette was available then, but it is now, and works perfectly.

Bill Hey (God bless his soul) sent me a box full of tow, and I bought two worms from (I think) Jim Webb, but they are only to add to my collection of HC stuff.  A brass jag reduced to carry two flannelette patches, a stiff steel rod, and a bucket of tepid water is my regime.
D. Taylor Sapergia
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Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

Offline Dave Marsh

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Re: Tow
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2018, 10:07:08 PM »
Given that you use a bucket of tepid water I assume that on your rifles with pinned barrels you remove the pins and flush the barrel in the bucket just like a hooked breech.  Which is fine with my rifles except my SMR with a lollypop tang.  I took it out and it is so awkward to deal with that I dropped it and bent the tang.  All came out ok but the sick feeling I had when it bent stopped me from unpinning that one.

Dave
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Offline Robby

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Re: Tow
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2018, 01:15:24 AM »
You may be right Taylor, but even so it will cut my flannel usage by ten if I only use them to dry things out. I am very particular about keeping my barrels clean and dry. If it doesn't work out, so be it.
Robin
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We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. A. Lincoln

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Tow
« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2018, 01:53:39 AM »
I guess if you can get your bore clean using TOW I would say go for it but I have bought the left over bolts of cotton flannel for years and if it cost me more, I dont care because it works for me.  I suppose I can afford the extra expense as I dont spend anything on all those gee wizz cleaners sold and only use plain old water to good effect for around 50 years now.

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Tow
« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2018, 02:45:04 AM »
I see no reason why cleaning with tow should leave a bore more prone to pitting than cleaning with a jag and patches. Old guns from the jag cleaning era have bad bores too. We don抰 leave fired guns loaded. This was common practice on farms and frontiers. Fire the gun, reload, leave it loaded till next time it抯 shot. We know this because we find old guns fouled and still loaded from time to time. Due to circumstances quite different from our modern ones, guns might be cleaned with muddy water or not at all, and seldom by removing the barrel and pumping water through it. Dry patches or even dry tow might often have been hard to come by. I抦 guessing a couple weeks of soggy spring thaw and rain slagging through mud, struggling to make miles and cook food after dark and find a dry enough place to sleep might leave rifles getting less effective cleaning around a sputtering campfire than in my dry basement.

« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 02:45:35 AM by rich pierce »
Andover, Vermont

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Tow
« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2018, 02:53:06 AM »
Taylor,

I do not think it was tow causing trouble in the bore, it is Very much more likely to be the interim years, between use and arriving in our hands.
The guns Keith Neal wrote of in the Packington story, were completely rust free both inside and out in most cases.
These guns are of the vintage of which we speak here.
The no -rust outside was due to being kept "anointed' with deer tallow; An excellent preservative.
So yes, I am sure the rust we see is the years of neglect and even living in the barn or loft/attic, than caused by faulty cleaning practices.
I have no antique rifles that show no rust in the bore, until we get to the 1850's that is, not earlier, but smoothbores yes, mirror bright and not cleaned up later, and these would be cleaned in the same manner, with tow.   Tow I still use . 

Robby,
If you start one of your sheets with a sharp knife, it should tear down full length at that width of your patch, then only the cross cuts to bother you.

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Tow
« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2018, 06:06:10 PM »
What抯 the benefit of using tow instead of running a few patches down the barrel?

Here's why I prefer tow to patches (benefits that appeal to me):

No patches to buy or cut.  Once you buy a hank of tow, you've got a lifetime supply-wash the dirty, save the oily, reuse both.
One hook/worm good for many calibers.
I get a clean breech face without any scraper, only tow and water.

Confounds those who only "dabble in" front-stuffing.   :P 


 

Hold to the Wind

Offline Mike_StL

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Re: Tow
« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2018, 06:50:16 PM »
Because of the open fiber structure and the toughness of tow, you will not only wipe out the fouling but you will be scrubbing the bore.  Not only does two clean better than a patch, all you need to do is rinse out the used tow, spread it out to dry and it can be reused many times.  I keep a tow and toggle (a wad of tow tied onto a linen thread) to wipe the bore between shots.  The open nature of the tow fibers allow the tow wad to slide over the fouling and bunch up to pull a lot of fouling out. Then pour some water over the tow to rinse it out and you are ready for the next time.

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Tow
« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2018, 09:03:55 PM »
Strong Bear:  I have only one SMR - a Kibler - and I do not remove that barrel to clean.  But all my other rifles and guns I do.  The next time I attend our BC Rendezvous which will be the end of August 2019, I will use tow to clean my Kibler rifle.  I am willing to learn old things.
My Joseph Lang rifle dates from the middle of the 19th C and has a mirror rifled bore; a rifle that was obviously cherished and cared for.  I agree with posters about when the rust occurred on rifles and guns from the flint era and even later.  Most parts of this continent are not forgiving when it comes to oxidation of iron, particularly the east - the birthplace of the longrifle.  I see pictures of rifles in collections that are thick with dry red rust in the lock area and in the bore, and I shudder to think of the neglect.
D. Taylor Sapergia
www.sapergia.blogspot.com

Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

Turtle

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Re: Tow
« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2018, 03:01:17 PM »
 After trekking and camping sleeping on the ground with my gun  for several days and shooting my flintlock every day, I am amazed the original guns are not in terrible shape. I have tried many techniques, cleaning methods, and greases and oils-with some, but not complete success. They must have known something I don't.

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Tow
« Reply #37 on: November 21, 2018, 05:58:22 PM »
Tow has been used for a Long time for cleaning, as well as for wadding. (Yep, we all know this!)

Here's a couple of photos of old German bags/flask hangers from the 1580's or so.
The small bag top still contains tow, cut into about 2" lengths for wadding a ball.  (Photos from Michael Tromner originally)

The metal loops below are for the flask.






It is also interesting to see the ball cartridges in the patron at the top of this set.   The sprue has been left attached, and the paper cartridge tied to it!  (This could account for many old balls found, with sprue still attached.)

I questioned Michael about the tow, thinking for sure it was for cleaning, but he told me it was cut short, so most likely for wadding as he suggested.

Offline yulzari

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Re: Tow
« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2018, 09:54:31 PM »
Interesting cartridges Richard. With the paper choked onto the sprue. Piobert (of Piobert's Law fame) noted that the French made a trial of casting a nail in the musket ball as below:


I am guessing that the length was the length of the paper cartridge. How it was loaded I don't know but maybe it was choked on the nail?

John
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Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Tow
« Reply #39 on: November 21, 2018, 10:49:15 PM »
John,

If we get into this, we might just re-invent the wheel!

Maurice mentioned this, (Ball with a tail) and I thought he'd maybe had too much heat in India...

If these balls Have the long tail, it would appear that they predate the French trials by centuries.
I wonder john, if the attached paper Stays attached in this case?   If so, that would also prevent rotation.

More stuff to try!

Offline Daryl

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Re: Tow
« Reply #40 on: November 21, 2018, 11:07:12 PM »
Yes - got me thinking about Rendezvous smoothbore events - or just have better range than a normal 20 bore smoothbore.

4 times the accuracy or the common musket - we've already done THAT with patched balls.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline OldMtnMan

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Re: Tow
« Reply #41 on: November 21, 2018, 11:55:47 PM »
I use this from Dixie. I tried other places and it didn't work as good as Dixie's. Like everything else at Dixie's. It isn't cheap. Read the reviews.

https://www.dixiegunworks.com/index/page/product/product_id/4210/category/593/category_chain/578,346,593/product_name/PA4500+Flax+%22Tow%22

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Tow
« Reply #42 on: November 22, 2018, 12:40:57 AM »
Pete,

That stuff in your link looks like something an owl coughed up!

Hmmm,  That makes me wonder...

Daryl,

At Bazel in Switzerland, a competition in 1605 has the smoothbore shooters competing at 570 feet, (190 yards), offhand , no shoulder stock allowed, target being 30" in diameter;
Are you up for it?   ;)

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Tow
« Reply #43 on: November 22, 2018, 12:52:46 AM »
I suppose that long spru we find on a ball cast in one of Jeff Tanner's molds would be too short to wrap a paper tail onto when making paper cartridges.

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Tow
« Reply #44 on: November 22, 2018, 01:01:22 AM »
Seeing how few of us submitted targets for smoothbore at 25 yards, I doubt you'll generate any excitement with a target that is practically impossible.  There are a couple of targets on the smoothbore trail at BC Rendezvous that are 'out there' but they are not as big as the Swiss example.  One is an oxygen cylinder at about 150 yards.
D. Taylor Sapergia
www.sapergia.blogspot.com

Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

Offline OldMtnMan

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Re: Tow
« Reply #45 on: November 22, 2018, 01:42:22 AM »
Pete,

That stuff in your link looks like something an owl coughed up!

Hmmm,  That makes me wonder...

Daryl,

At Bazel in Switzerland, a competition in 1605 has the smoothbore shooters competing at 570 feet, (190 yards), offhand , no shoulder stock allowed, target being 30" in diameter;
Are you up for it?   ;)

I'll have to find an owl and compare.

Offline yulzari

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Re: Tow
« Reply #46 on: November 22, 2018, 02:01:02 PM »
I think the trick is to find an owl small enough to go down a very large bore and train it to carry the ball to the target and peck a hole and pop the ball through it....... Now where is my medication?
Nothing suceeds like a beakless budgie

Offline Flint62Smoothie

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Re: Tow
« Reply #47 on: November 22, 2018, 04:50:24 PM »
I see no reason why cleaning with tow should leave a bore more prone to pitting than cleaning with a jag and patches.
Same here ... any rust wasn抰 due to the use of tow, but rather a combination of the age and oil used - if any.
All of my muzzleloaders will shoot into one ragged hole ALL DAY LONG ... it's just the 2nd or 3rd & other shots that tend to open up my groups ... !

Offline OldMtnMan

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Re: Tow
« Reply #48 on: November 22, 2018, 05:46:08 PM »
They either didn't care in the old days or didn't know better. I'm not sure if the bores rusted while they used them or over the decades of non-use they rusted up until we got to see them. I'm thinking the latter.

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Tow
« Reply #49 on: November 22, 2018, 06:02:41 PM »
After freshing 2 barrels from the mid 1800s I am sure these barrels got in the shape they were in from decades of use plus neglect. The areas above the breechplug are eroded at least 0.030. There is no rifling remaining in the powder chamber and this is why barrels were often set back during use. Remember that the Lewis and Clark expedition freshed their barrels during their 3 year trip.

We don抰 know how they cleaned their barrels or whether they kept the guns loaded after firing and reloading, but it wouldn抰 surprise me.
Andover, Vermont