Author Topic: Cold water flush  (Read 19581 times)

Offline smylee grouch

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Cold water flush
« on: March 20, 2010, 08:18:52 PM »
Just read post on gun building and cleaning was discused also. D Taylor Sapergia-used cold water to flush after cleaning. Could you eladorate on your whole cleaning process and why you do it that particular way. I have been using scalding hot water for 40+ years as a flush and was wondering why you use cold .  It might save me the work and time of boiling water.  Thanks in advance.  Gary Trapper

Offline SCLoyalist

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2010, 08:32:29 PM »
I've been using tap water from the 'cold' faucet for last couple of years on my flinters.  Remove lock for separate cleaning, shove paper towel into lock mortise to catch  drips.  Plug vent TIGHTLY with round toothpick.  Fill barrel with water and let set for 10 minutes, pour water out and start running cleaning patches down bore.   For me, getting the fouling off the face of the breech is the critical part - one rifle allows me to use a 'flush tube' to pump water in/out and that gets rid of the breech fouling.  On another rifle, I can't get the flush tube to seal adequately, so on that one sometimes I resort to a breech scraper.  On either rifle, it takes me about 10-15 patches and 10-20 minutes (not counting the 10 minute 'soak').  When patches come out clean and dry, lube the bore.   

roundball

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2010, 10:02:36 PM »

one rifle allows me to use a 'flush tube';

On another rifle, I can't get the flush tube to seal;  

You probably already know this, but if you happen use a removesble vent liner, there is a flush tube accessory with a brass fitting / O-ring assembly which screws into the vent liner seat

Daryl

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2010, 10:20:57 PM »
Gary, Taylor, LB and I clean with cold water only.  Sometimes we'll put a squirt of soap in the water, but it isn't necessary when using a water soluable patch lube, as in target shooting, trails, etc.  When using an oil for hunting, I put a bit more soap in the water - seems to work. Barrels cleaned this way are spottless inside.

I started using cold water after reading a letter from Holland & Holland to a friend on cleaning his black powder double rifles and shotguns.  They said cold water only.  Up until that time, I had gravitated from boiling hot water, which flash-rusted the bore (NP as it was a TC). When I started using custom amde barrels in the mid 70's and not wanting to flash rust them (it's accumulative, you know) I switched to warm water, maybe 85 degrees, not hot, from the warm tap.  As I indicated, I switched to cold after reading that letter in around 1978.

Taylor and I remove the barrels to clean and dunk the breech into a bucket of water, so we can flush water into and out of the barrel with force.   The water gets sucked in fast with the up-stroke of the rod, then forcing it hard to the breech plug blows it hard out the vent or niple seat. This helps blast the fouling out of the breech of the gun.  After a number of strokes - maybe 20 to 30- same patch, we dry the outside of the barrel with a towel, then dry patch it out. The bore will come out spottlessly clean and dry in about 4 or 5 patches and the cold water invokes NO rusting at all.  I then spray DW40 into the bore (pump bottle) until it runs out the vent or nipple seat, then patch that with a fresh dry patch, blasting the WD out the breech.

At Rondy, I plug the vent with a round pick, fill with cold water and let it sit for about 10 to 15 min, then let that run out.  I re-fill the bore with water again and let that sit again, muzzle up, for 10 to 15 min, then put a dry patch on the muzzle, then blast that down, which blows the pick out the vent and forces the water & breech fouling out with a blast. I then patch it dry, then WD 40 as before. LB uses this method for every cleaning.

We feel it is important to use a jag of such diameter that allows double patches for cleaning. The extra thickness goes to the bottom of the grooves, cleans and seals better for pumping the water into and out of the bore.

My nipply guns all have hooked breeches, so they always get taken apart and dunked in the bucket for flush cleaning.

I have one of the Track gizmo's with surgical tubing and used it a few times, but it's enough of a pain, I'd rather just take the gun apart. Yeah, I know they have pins. Doesn't matter - they come apart easily & don/t rust underneath where moisture collects if you don't remove it.
Our relative humidity is about 50% average - gets up to 90 at times and down to the teens.  It's usually around 10% in the house, so I usually clean the next day after shooting - never pitted or rusted one yet.  I buy WD40 in the gallon can - I'm still using the first gallon I bought a year ago - pretty cheap and it works here.  I like the water displacing feature as the flush with it seems to eliminate any residual moisture in the barrel. I use no other protector- not needed - here.

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2010, 10:24:26 PM »
Gary, although this has been discussed several times before, I think it's an important topic.  For one thing, I certainly don't have all the answers, but I have been shooting and necessarily cleaning muzzle loading guns for over forty years.  During that time, I have gone through various procedures and have watched others' efforts too.  I have had to replace barrels on other people's guns for lack of proper cleaning.  And I've made some observations that I hope will help others avoid oxidation inside and outside their rifles.
The following is my own opinion based not on any known scientific principles; just observation and common sense.  Water is all that is needed to dissolve black powder fouling.  The trouble with hot water, and especially boiling hot water, is the very reason it is used.  The steel being very hot, dries the water completely out of the steel instantly.  But it causes FLASH RUSTING!  Rust is cancer to iron and steel.  It does not go away with a wipe and a soak with oil.  And every time you repeat this cleaning method, you flash rust again and again.  This creates pits in the bore, and they eventually are noticeable when loading, and cleaning becomes more and more tedious and difficult.
Cold water flushes fouling as well or arguably better than hot water.  And running several flannelette patches one after the other down the bore with a faily tight jagged cleaning rod, dries the bore.  The first patch will come out grey/black and damp, in spite of there being no fouling remaining in the bore.  I suspect that this is steel and oxide on the patch.  The next patch also will come out greyish, but not nearly as dark and the first, and a lot drier.  Four patches later, the patches are becoming very difficult to withdraw as they fold back on themselves behind the jag, but they will come out dry and white.  
I use a stainless steel cleaning rod with a stout handle.  My jags I've reduced in diameter so I can use a doubled flannelette patch, which goes to the bottom of the grooves.  A single layer of cloth I find, does not.  And if I'm doing the cleaning in the shop, I put my barrel into my padded vise, so I can use both hands and some power to scrub it out thoroughly.  In hunting or rendezvous camp, though I still use a steel rod, I use thinner material, or a smaller jag, because I don't have the luxury of a vise.
So, once it's dry, I squirt about three shots of WD 40 into the muzzle, wet a dry patch, place a rag hanging over the vent to catch the spray, and shove the patch down to the breech.  Excess oil shoots out of the vent, hopefully taking with it any water left behind in the corners.  I oil the outside of the barrel with the same patch, and stand it on it's muzzle while I clean the lock.  
I do not usually disassemble the lock.  I dunk the whole lock into the same water I cleaned the barrel with, and with a toothbrush, clean away all the black fouling.  I have a compressor, which drives my dogs nuts for some reason, to blow the water off the lock.  I place the lock on a rag in my hand, squirt it in and out with WD 40, and repeat the blow job.  I phrased it thus to see who's reading this.  I notice that cleaning the lock in the same water increases the blackness of the water by perhaps four times that that was flushed out of the bore.  The water before cleaning the lock was just barely discoloured by the fouling, and now it is very much blacker.
I wipe down the wood with a wet patch around the lock, then dry it with a towel.  I reassemble the gun, and stand it on its muzzle in the gun room.  Over the years, a very small amount of oil has accumulated on the board on which the muzzles sit, but I'd rather it there that plugging the vent, or worse, running out onto and into the wood around the breech and lock.
This entire process takes me from 20 - 30 minutes, and I know when I'm finished, the rifle is every bit as clean as when I left for the trail.
All this having been said, I am willing to listen to what others experience may have taught them.  I love to learn new stuff...the fact that I used to use hot water is testimony to that.
A year or so ago, someone posted a method of using a garden hose to pressure wash the bore of his rifle without removing it from the stock.  I thought that was pretty ingenious.
D. Taylor Sapergia
www.sapergia.blogspot.com

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

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2010, 10:47:56 PM »
Thanks everyone for your imput. After 40+ years I am going to try your system out. Although I have never had any problems that I know of when using my old ways. That was how I was taught to clean by someone who at the time had alot more shots down range than me. You are never too old to learn, I am so glad my kids made me buy this contraption, otherwise I would never have found this info site. Making,shooting and talking about longrifles is my only diversion after my kids so when you find a gold mine you gotta dig.    Thanks again.   Gary

roundball

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2010, 10:54:12 PM »
Just another viewpoint...not 40 years but at least 18 years  ;D .....I don't use boiling water but I do and have always used hot tap water with a shot of dishwashing detergent.

After I encountered 'flash rust' the very first time back in the early 90's I learned I couldn't remove the barrel from a bucket of hot water and let it lay even for a few minutes...found I had to dry patch it immediately to avoid flash rust which I've done ever since and my bores are still fine today.

To make that even faster and more convenient, when I lift the barrel out of the hot water rinse bucket, I press the rubber cone shaped tip on my air compressor hose into the vent liner seat and blast 30 seconds of 120 PSI air through the breech and out through the muzzle...then also dry patch the bore for added insurance.

I then use a sloppy, dripping wet WD40 patch up and down bore several times, then dry patch it out, then plaster the bore heavily with natural lube 1000 smeared on a lubing patch with a putty knife...works fine for me.

The other DWS

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2010, 10:55:15 PM »
Gun cleaning is a fascinating and critical topic that gets a lot of comment/response on every shooting forum I participate in.
Would you expand further on the "flash rusting" idea.  I've always cleaned with water as hot as I can get it, specifically to heat the barrel up to evaporate any residual moisture.  Then I oil it while it is still warm.
  I know WD-40 is supposed to be a water displacing oil but I've been using a mil-spec product that was developed for the navy called CorrosionX--Marine Grade for all my corrosion-preventing needs for the past half dozen years.

Offline hanshi

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2010, 11:15:24 PM »
D. Taylor, this is a very important subject all right.  I would just like to clear up a few points if you don't mind to make sure I understand.  I know there are various methods of cleaning and I've altered my procedure more than once.

I use to remove barrel and vent from the flintlock and use the plunger method.  I discovered later that it was no faster than soak and patch.  I've always used "hot" water; that is water from the hot tap.  However by the time I put a wet patch down the bore the patch is certainly not hot.  So I guess very little hot water ever goes down my bore.  I've drifted away from removing the barrel and seldom remove the liner.

Okay: you remove the barrel and liner for each home cleaning?
          Do you perform the bore soak before or after barrel removal? for the WD40 blast?
          Do you ever lose a patch when double patching?
          Anything else you'd like to pass along?

Thanks for the info.
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Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2010, 03:00:52 AM »
Using hot water in a bucket, as it comes from the tap, may work if you are frantic about getting the bore dried as soon as it comes out of the pail.  If you allow the heat from the water, which has transferred to the steel, to dry the water out, you'll get rust for certain.  It's inevitable.  This frantic approach to cleaning is the only thing that has saved my guns all these years.  Now I use cold water, and a more leisurely approach, and I get no rusting...no brown on the first dry patch down the bore.

Hanshi...I never remove the vent liner of the flint guns ...they are White Lightning Liners and do not come out.  All that water is pumped hard in and out of the vent.  I DO remove the nipple on the three percussion guns I use, prior to cleaning the barrel.  And yes, I remove the barrel from the gun, even the pinned ones, prior to cleaning.  I have a block of walnut about 2 1/2" long drilled right through for the tang, and inlet for the tang lug, so that the tang is not pressing down on the bottom of the cleaning pail.  the end of the barrel is resting on the wood of the block, not the tang on the pail.
the only time I have lost a patch is when I pull the rod out too quickly, and the vacuum in the bore sucks the patch back into the bore.  Then I use a worm to fetch it out.
D. Taylor Sapergia
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Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

northmn

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2010, 04:22:21 PM »
I find the use of a double patch interesting.  I have used about every method of cleaning that you read about.  Cold water is as good as hot water, at least.  For a flintlock I plug the vent and let them stand a bit with the barrel full of water, pour it out and then lay the gun so that the spray from the vent blows downward and does not get into the wood (lock removed).  To me the most important aspect of cleaning is as Daryl says, to double check the next day.  In the early days the gurus of ML that wrote articles said to use hot water.  Some of those gurus had anatomical identity problems confused with ground excavations.  My best results used to be use of commerical solvents like Hoppes #9plus, but they have gotten darned expensive.  Water will clean.

DP

roundball

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2010, 05:38:06 PM »
I guess the reality of the sitution is there is no one single way things have to be done...I'm from the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" school.
If cold water works for people by all means they should keep right on doing what they're doing...for me, hot soapy water works perfectly and causes no problems so there's no need for me to even risk trying anything else.

NOTE:  One of the added benefits for me is that most of the time my lube is Natural Lube 1000...I believe hot water helps keep it from building up in the bores...one fella posted an analogy years ago that I never forgot:

"Bore butter is like sticky egg residue on a breakfast plate...hold that plate under a cold water faucet and nothing happens...but hold it under a hot water faucet and the sticky egg residue melts and slides right off the plate"
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 03:28:09 PM by roundball »

Daryl

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2010, 06:56:10 PM »
Which is only one of the reasons I don't use 1000, bore butter or other chap-stick lubes.  I find cold water and a bit of liquid soap removes all fouling, whether it's from an animal or vegetable oil or with windshielf washer fluid & soap.

As RB stated - if the method you are using is working and you get no flash rusting - by all means continue using your method.

Some time ago, Barbie's posted, along some with very graphic pictures a badly rusted barrel that had never been removed from the stock of cleaning.  It is wise, therefore, if using the on-the-gun cleaning regime, to once in a while removed the barrel, clean the bottom of it and re-grease before returning it to the stock.  I'd say once every 6 months for an oftused gun, is not too often.  Even if not used often, every 6months is probably a good idea - chekcing the inside as well as the outside.

Offline elk killer

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2010, 07:10:07 PM »
not to highjack the topic..
 in all the wars fought with black powder,,
seems there was a loading manual of some sort,,
so was there a cleaning manual as well?
and what did they use..??
only flintlocks remain interesting..

Daryl

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2010, 07:14:57 PM »
Good question, elk killer.  The answer might be interesting, but perhaps of little use, as-is their loading methods and materials used.

seesbirds

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2010, 08:41:42 PM »
I know you guys are going to be horrified and tell me I'm crazy but a friend of mine, a real WV ridgerunner who ONLY eats what meat he kills (and that's a whole bunch of deer) told me a couple of years ago that he uses coca cola to clean his guns and has been doing it for 30+ years. 

I tried it and it is amazing!  First I took off the lock for seperate cleaning.  Then I poured about 1/3 of a bottle down the bore and let it drain out the touchhole.  Then I poured cold water down the bore to make sure all the coke was gone. Then I ran a patch with CLP (also known as banana oil) down the barrel twice and it came out spotless.  Then I ran a dry patch and it was spotless too.  Finally I ran a patch with some gun oil on it.  It was quick, easy and my barrel is spotless inside and out.

Unless you can tell me some horror storyies about why I am a fool to do this I think I'm going to continue doing it.

Anyone?

roundball

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2010, 09:56:25 PM »

"...poured about 1/3 of a bottle (of Coke) down the bore and let it drain out the touchhole.
Then I poured cold water down the bore to make sure all the coke was gone.
Then I ran a patch with CLP (also known as banana oil) down the barrel twice and it came out spotless.
Then I ran a dry patch and it was spotless too.
Finally I ran a patch with some gun oil on it.
It was quick, easy and my barrel is spotless inside and out.

Unless you can tell me some horror storyies about why I am a fool to do this I think I'm going to continue doing it.


Don't have a clue and wouldn't suppose to suggest anything one way or another...these are the ingredients of coke if its of any interest.
I will say any time I see the word 'acid' my ears tend to perk up but if it works and causes no problems, sounds like you'd have 2/3rds can left over to drink while cleaning your ML  ;D 

Carbonated water
Sugar (sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup depending on country of origin)
Caffeine
Phosphoric acid v. Caramel (E150d)
Natural flavourings[38]

A can of Coke (12 fl ounces/355ml) has 39 grams of carbohydrates (all from sugar), 50 mg of sodium, 0 grams fat, 0 grams potassium, and 140 calories

Offline SCLoyalist

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2010, 10:09:16 PM »
Seesbirds, If you've not already seen it, the thread on using Coke to fix rusty files, over on the tools forum might be of interest.    
« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 10:14:15 PM by SCLoyalist »

Offline Dr. Tim-Boone

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2010, 10:33:59 PM »
Try Diet Coke, it won't be as sticky............ ::) ::) ::) ;D
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The other DWS

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2010, 10:44:14 PM »
I'd really really want to flush it clear,  sugar and combustion is BAD news,
  'member sugar in the gas tank? :o

northmn

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2010, 01:48:30 AM »
Cleans crud off of battery terminals and will make a coin shiny if left overnight.  Mike Venturino had a formula for vinegar based Windex cleaner that might work as well.  About the only critisism of anything that works is the cost but Coke can be had realtively cheap.  Isn't too bad mixed with rum.

DP

Offline Nate McKenzie

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2010, 03:33:41 AM »
I've used Simple Green cleaner and hot water for years. Never had rust and my oldest rifle (25 yrs) that I shoot the most looks like it has a brand new shiny bore. Before Simple Green came out I used Black Solve with the same results.

westerner

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2010, 03:50:21 AM »
Rum? Rum and Coke? Did somebody say Rum and Coke? I want one so bad!

Sometimes I use Windex. Sometimes Hydrogen Peroxide, sometimes some stuff thats purple colored and smells like that smell you smell at a hospital. The smell that makes you wished you wasnt there. It's a real strong disinfectant soapy stuff. I mix it with water 10-1.
Water works good too.

    Joe.

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2010, 03:57:54 AM »
I have used Mike Venturino's formula(one 26 fl oz of viniger windex mixed with enough water to fill a gallon milk jug) and it did a great job but the viniger made me nervous so i would allways use the boiling water after I got home from an event. But I will be trying the cold water flush and wd40 and see how it goes.    Gary

Offline TPH

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Re: Cold water flush
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2010, 04:30:14 AM »
not to highjack the topic..
 in all the wars fought with black powder,,
seems there was a loading manual of some sort,,
so was there a cleaning manual as well?
and what did they use..??



During the black powder period, many soldiers could not read so much of the information was passed on by the sergeant in training. There are probably many places where military procedures can be located for all nations, however the earliest manual that I am aware of for the soldier in training and printed by the US Army is "Rules for the Rifle Musket, Model 1863" and there may have been earlier versions. The rules of cleaning clearly stated that water was used and made no other recommendations other than water. The manual does recommend "... water, warm if it can be had..." but it does not recommend hot or boiling hot and it makes no recommendation of soap. The vent was to be plugged and the barrel was to be filled and allowed to stand for a few minutes, the the water was to be poured out. Repeat. The third application of water was to fill half of the barrel and the muzzle was to be plugged with the thumb and the water was to be sloshed back and forth then the water was to be poured out. Then the musket was to be stood on it's muzzle and excess water allowed to drain. when drained, the wiper (modern collectors and reenactors often call it a worm) screwed to the end of the ramrod and a cloth (patch) was to be used to dry the bore, paying especial attention to the breach. (The military worm does a good job of cleaning the face of the plug.) When dry, if the rifle was not to be fired soon, a light application of oil was to applied to the bore with a cloth on the wiper and the tampion inserted in the muzzle. Since the M1863 was percussion, it further recommends that the cone be removed and washed in water, dried and lightly oiled on the threads as well, taking especial care of the threads in the bolster but no oil was to applied to the passage in the cone or bolster.)

As I said above, there are probably other manuals for US soldiers and those of other nations. If I find any I will post them. At any rate, I have been using the above method for well over 20 years and have never had a problem with rust. If the gun is to be fired soon (within 24 hours), I use no oil. Oil is used when the gun is to be put up.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 04:32:08 AM by TPH »
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