Author Topic: Reusing Tow  (Read 697 times)

Offline Mike from OK

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Reusing Tow
« on: November 09, 2020, 03:18:45 AM »
Several months back my angel of a wife bought me a bag of tow from Townsend's. I believe it is hemp tow rather than flax tow but it seems to work well.

After it arrived I stuck it in my muzzleloader box and there it stayed for a while. Finally one night after shooting my smoothbore I put the tow worm on my ramrod and went about cleaning the bore with the tow.

Now it's nothing magical and I wouldn't say that it's better than a patch on a jag but it is certainly not inferior either. The best part is that it can be reused. I simply took the soiled wads of tow and some Ivory soap and washed the wads as I washed my hands, rinsed them out and laid them aside to dry.

Once they're dry they don't look like much... They're hard and stiff and kind of nasty looking... Like this...






But, if you take that stiff wadded up lump of tow and rub it between your hands like you were a kid rolling clay into a ball, it will soften and return to a usable state. Like this...





Ready for reuse.

Now this was probably "old hat" to a lot of the members here. But we get new folks in here all the time and I thought this little tidbit might be of some use to a newcomer.

Mike

Offline Molly

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Re: Reusing Tow
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2020, 05:01:02 AM »
I would say it's better than a patch on a jag.

Online Daryl

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Re: Reusing Tow
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2020, 05:12:51 AM »
I clean my barrels with the breech submerged in a stainless steel bucket of tepid water.
I use patches on jags, usually 2 layers of flannelette (jag turned to fit that) and water is drawn into the bore
and pumped back out through the vent of nipple seat.
I do not think the tow would cause the low pressure to draw in the water, nor the high pressure to pump the water
and fouling out of the bore and flush/clean the breech face - thus, no breech scraper need be used.
So - tow or not, depends on the way you clean, I guess.
Daryl

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

Online Not English

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Re: Reusing Tow
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2020, 06:55:20 AM »
Daryl, I've done the same myself. I really don't like to pull my barrel every time I clean. Unless you have captured barrel keys and a hooked breech. It can degenerate into an exercise in frustration if a pin is lost. Plus on a flinter you need to pull the tang screw to remove the barrel. My routine now is to leave the barrel in the stock and clean it the usual way. I do pull the barrel and clean as you say at the end of the season. After deer season up here in Wi. it gets  pretty cold, and that's usually my cue for a very thorough cleaning.

Mike, I've never used tow. I'd sure like to check it out. I've got a new  Fusil de Traite, maybe a smooth bore is a good place to start.

Online Daryl

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Re: Reusing Tow
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2020, 09:11:06 PM »
I do not find removing the pins or the tang screw to be any problem at all. Each to his own, I guess. 
I have 2 guns with pins & tangs and 3 guns with keys/wedges & hooded breeches.
Daryl

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

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Reusing Tow
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2020, 09:27:34 PM »
I do not find removing the pins or the tang screw to be any problem at all. Each to his own, I guess. 
I have 2 guns with pins & tangs and 3 guns with keys/wedges & hooded breeches.
Daryl, are you saying you only have 5 muzzleloaders?   ;D
St. Louis, Missouri

Online Daryl

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Re: Reusing Tow
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2020, 04:12:05 AM »
Yes - sad, isn't it. ;D
Daryl

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

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Reusing Tow
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2020, 05:23:28 AM »
Yes - sad, isn't it. ;D
Itís just SHOCKING!  I guess you prolly have a few unmentionables.

Iím getting down to about 8 muzzleloaders I shoot. But I have a couple in progress and so we will see. Iíve found the more I have and use, the worse I shoot. Every gun takes getting used to.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Reusing Tow
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2020, 05:44:24 PM »
I clean my barrels with the breech submerged in a stainless steel bucket of tepid water.
I use patches on jags, usually 2 layers of flannelette (jag turned to fit that) and water is drawn into the bore
and pumped back out through the vent of nipple seat.
I do not think the tow would cause the low pressure to draw in the water, nor the high pressure to pump the water
and fouling out of the bore and flush/clean the breech face - thus, no breech scraper need be used.
So - tow or not, depends on the way you clean, I guess.

Having only used tow since I learned to use tow, I'm almost certain that tow would work for you Daryl.  You'll have to run a snug wad.  If you try one and it doesn't "pump", just add more tow until it does.  Once you get the right size wad worked up, just clean/dry and re-use the same ball of tow with same bore sizes.  Easy peasy. 
Hold to the Wind

Online Daryl

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Re: Reusing Tow
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2020, 09:19:13 PM »
Thanks Wade - I do have some tow I could try, but no tow worms. ;)
Using patches, it only takes 4 for the .69, sometimes 5. All reusable a couple times.
Daryl

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