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John E.B. Rawton

Even though ... I just don’t clean guns. (BP)

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Even though I was taught to clean my guns, and did as a youngster, I quit. 

When I started shooting cowboy, all but my shot gun got trailboss loads. I never once cleaned a revolver other than wipe it off. Never used oil just because I found no need for it. Rifles being a bit different in need for attention, I did some cleaning there. 

I regularly inspected the revolvers but that was it. Now I’m shooting real black powder and have to step up. I start cleaning the revolvers (X4) usually 2 days after the shoot. I know from discussions and reading that the way to deal with black powder is to soak the parts or run water through it but I have an aversion to guns and water. 

So far a couple of dry brushes and jag swabs down the barrel and I’m done. Wipe off the outside and in the case without oil. I don’t find it to be messy and kind of cathodic.

Post. Percussion cylinders are a bit more involved and yes, I find a quick soak and swab does the trick. 

Never have I seen a spot of rust and here in Pittsburgh the humidity runs high a good bit of the time. 

My point is so much of what we do is passed down as “that’s just the way we do it”

How many of us continue to look for ways to do things that is not “just the way we do it”?

It keeps things interesting and I tend to learn more about what I’m doing.

What have you learned or changed since you started this cowboy game. 

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I shoot black powder exclusively and have evolved my cleaning methods. Water and soap is still the best method hands down, and none of my guns have rust or any issues with water. I have dialed in my routine to where I can clean all of my guns and have them put away in under an hour.

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Some changes are based on some new good concepts.  Some traditions are based on time proven approaches.  The older I get, the more I value the traditional approaches which have been proven over time.

 

With Black Powder (the real stuff), water based solvents are about the ONLY way that works for me, even in a dry climate.  Whether it's hot soapy water, ballistol and water mix (aka moosemilk), or PAM (hydrogen peroxide in water solution, rubbing alcohol, and Murphys Oil Soap), it's the water that dissolves the potassium salts, sulfates and oxides that remain behind after firing a BP piece.   If you rinse with almost boiling water, the metal dries almost instantly, and then you apply a very light coat of oil.  I like the PAM mathod, because it leaves a oil soap coating and removes the need to re-oil the firearm in most weather conditions.

 

I'll stick with what works for me, having lost one muzzleloader barrel to not cleaning it well enough.       

 

Good luck, GJ                                

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You should continue to never clean or lubricate your guns. It’s been working. Why change?

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Posted (edited)

Did my two 1858s, rifle, and shotgun in 30 minutes. 

Only disassembly is to remove cylinders from the pistols. 

Moose Milk to get everything soft. Then quick scrub with a tooth brush. Rinse with hot water and wipe down with a oiled cloth (Ballistol)

 

Once every 6 months firearms get stripped down completely.

 

BTW do not clean guns with water 'softened" via a water softener. the salts used to soften the water can cause flash rusting.

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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Of the black powder guns, 2 have had all the internals greased with bearing grease and 2 are greased with home made lube. I am curious as to what condition they will be in after a few more matches and if there will be a noticeable difference in the actions. 

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Best BP cleaner made is Windex multi-surface with vinegar.

I then use Eezox for lube and such.

OLG

 

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51 minutes ago, Lead Monger said:

You should continue to never clean or lubricate your guns. It’s been working. Why change?

 

Hard to pick up on your meaning Lead. 

Are you being serious or just sarcastic?

I honestly would like to hear how people change what they did and what they settled on. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Lead Monger said:

You should continue to never clean or lubricate your guns. It’s been working. Why change?

Agree.  See you and your malfunctioning guns at EOT:D

 

Seriously, I've seen cases in which lead built up and prevented revolver or rifle rounds from chambering properly, causing jambs, or where rifle carriers became so clogged on the sides from powder residue that they didn't slide freely.  I've also seen extractors that had so much accumulated hardened crud under them as to function unreliably. 

 

 Simple fact is, guns are made to function under less than optimum conditions, so we get some leeway.  But dirty guns will never work as smoothly/quickly-- or as reliably as clean ones. 

Everybody gets to make their own choises.  As for me, I take the little bit of time/trouble to clean mine.  I couldn't imagine not at least running a cleaning brush and solvent into the barrel and chamber.  Fifteen minutes spent cleaning guns can save a match. - - - - And who among us doesn't have fifteen minutes between matches? 

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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Posted (edited)

{sarcasm}

Odd, I thought everyone was like me and got it right the first time, every time.

{/sarcasm}

Edited by Tyrel Cody
Forgot the sarcasm tags ;)
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Yeah. I get sarcasm real quick being a sarcastic person myself. I am not saying that I don’t inspect my revolvers for issues but what I was saying was that for 10 years of shooting a dirty smokeless propellant like trailboss I found that I had no leading or any real need to even brush, swab or oil. The guns just ran smooth. Rifle being the exception. It needs attention to run. 

That being said now that I’ve entered the black powder cap gun arena I look at the revolvers in completely different light ... or cloud if you like. I’ve spent a lot of time setting them up to run an entire six stage match without fault, cap jams being the exception. 

Spending time cleaning is not a problem and I will find what works for me. It is interesting how we start by spending a lot of time in the beginning and then find ways to shave time and still be satisfied in the end. 

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Windex...

 

And I never use grease. Grease turns into gunk that really likes to collect other forms of gunk.

 

But...the old ways are hard to break for some.

 

Phantom

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1 hour ago, John E.B. Rawton said:

Yeah. I get sarcasm real quick being a sarcastic person myself. I am not saying that I don’t inspect my revolvers for issues but what I was saying was that for 10 years of shooting a dirty smokeless propellant like trailboss I found that I had no leading or any real need to even brush, swab or oil. The guns just ran smooth. Rifle being the exception. It needs attention to run. 

That being said now that I’ve entered the black powder cap gun arena I look at the revolvers in completely different light ... or cloud if you like. I’ve spent a lot of time setting them up to run an entire six stage match without fault, cap jams being the exception. 

Spending time cleaning is not a problem and I will find what works for me. It is interesting how we start by spending a lot of time in the beginning and then find ways to shave time and still be satisfied in the end. 

The selling point to me is to briskly brush out the barrel, using solvent, then run a cloth cleaning swab down it and look at the numerous lead shards on the cloth.  Then repeat the process until the swabs come clean of lead.  It will usually take a few cycles.  

If uncleaned, Tha lead builds up until a chambered round won't go completely in, or if you apply force, the bullet can be jambed further back into the case.  How that affects ballistics I do not know, but it goes against everything I was taught about striving for load consistency. 

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I shoot smokey stuff.  A Sub if you will.  The only recommended cleaning agent is ..... water.  With APP I have found water does it.  Except for the fouling that comes off the caps.  I do use Break Free for that.  Drop the cylinders inna sink, Toothbrush to the nipples, and Cylinder Face and a Swab into the chambers, rinse in the hot water, dry, dry patch, oily patch and done.  Easy Peasy.  I do use a little grease on parts that "slide."  My grease of preference is Mobil 1.  Synthetic, plays well with BP and Subs.  Since I now shoot .45 cartridges that don't blow-by I don't bother to open the action.  Wet patch down the bore. Dry patch, Oily patch .... DONE.

 

Shotgun, I squirt window cleaner (from the local auto glass shop) down the barrels, wad of paper towel to push out the snake skin, Oily patch .. Done.  Super Easy.  I do wipe averything down with an oily (lightly oily residue).  The only oil I use is Mobil 1.  Synthetic, plays well with BP and Subs.

 

Cleanup after BP and Subs is easy.  Much easier than with Smokeless.  Trust me.  the big difference is you MUST cleanup.  Can't just let 'em sit all season.  Bad Joss.  I do, however, tote a small spray bottle of PAM around should something need a touch-up and I do wipe down the Cylinder Face between stages (Part of the reload) and PAM is perfect for this.

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ya - you will now need to clean regularly , but its just a chore to go through to enjoy the game as you choose to shoot it , i shoot smokeless to avoid some of this , but its my choice , i would love to enjoy the smoke some too - just do it vicariously 

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Baby wipes on BP and subs.  Don’t need water and don’t have the time to mix up some bizarre concoction.  I can clean everything at the range or campsite without needing water.  Easy and super fast. This leaves me more time to drink scotch with my heathen smokeless shooting pards. 

 

As always, do what makes you happy 

Gringo

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Sarcasm ! You are one lucky guy to be able to run a revolver for 10 years and never have to clean or lubricate it. 

You can see bp shooters have more than one way to prep, clean and maintain their firearms. Some products are hundreds of years old and a few are the latest and greatest. Here is what I have found. 

The only thing that cuts bp fouling faster than water is hot water. Running hot tap water and a bore mop on a cleaning rod will clean the barrel and cylinder of an 1860 revolver in seconds. Now use patches or paper towels to dry while warm and oil with olive oil or balistol. The frame gets wiped clean with a balistol dampened rag. I use pipe cleaners and picks to clean the cones. Every few hundred rounds I clean and inspect everything inside the frame and lube with olive oil. I like to use white lithium grease on the hammer cam. 

This same basic treatment works on my cartridge guns as well. I have had the carrier on my 66 and 73 get sticky after 4 or 5 stages so I have a spray bottle of moose milk for that.

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If I could cut my stage times as much as I have cut my cleaning times I would have a BIG belt buckle. Ballistol and bore snakes for me.

 

Imis

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Interesting find find for me. I had cleaned the barrels of my revolvers with brushes and swabs until they looked clean and polished. Swabs were coming out clean. 

A few days later I was doing some more cleaning on the cylinders and inspected the barrels. Each one looked as if it was growing fuzz. Another quick swab and it was gone. 

I keep learning more about how to and not how to clean up my toys. 

 

Thanks for all the input 

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Other than cleaning the barrels and cylinders/pin, I haven't disassembled or cleaned the innards of either my Henry, Remington 1858 Factory conversions or 1887 going on 4 years now...I do plan to get to it this winter 1f609.png

 

I've been shooting BP in 45 Colt for 9 years. I use only Winchester brass because it is supposed to be the thinnest.I started out downloading with cream of wheat and the guns were in need of attention after about every stage so I tried full loads. Guess what, even worse because there was more fouling with the heavier load. Tighter crimp....never noticed any change. I went to .454 and I did not notice any change. Then I started annealing my 45-70 and thought I'd try the 45 colt. What a huge difference it makes. I shoot full load 45 colt under a Big Lube J/P200 bullet (.452) through my '60 Henry and I get virtually no blow back. With un-annealed cases I would have to spray the carrier with Ballistol after every stage. Now I never spray it and my maintenance after a match is to wipe out the carrier area with a patch wet with Eezox....that's it, it's clean! I shoot about 30lbs of Black a year in all my SASS guns so I do run plenty through them. I upgraded to an Annealeez 2 years ago and haven't looked back. Annealing does help with the pistols as well. Without annealing I would quickly get fowling in the head space area of the frame which would make cocking difficult. I still get some fouling but I can make it through a match where before it needed attention every stage or two.

 

So that's how I control fouling during a match.  As for cleaning, the pistols get the cylinders removed and just get how water in the sink being careful not to get a lot of water into the internals. Barrels get a few swipes from a nylon bore brush, a mop then jag patched with Eezox.  Cylinder/pin gets greased with Mobil One red grease and assembled.  A squirt of Ballistol through the cocked hammer area to lube the innards and then the whole gun wiped down with an Eezox patch and then a clean cloth.  The '87 gets a rubber stopper pushed into the breech and the  Windex squirted down the barrel before filling it with hot water.  That sits while I clean the barrel of my Henry with a slotted jag carrying squares of Windex wetted paper towels.  Usually one paper towel ripped into 4 squares is enough.  Then the barrel and carrier area are wiped with an Eezox soaked patch.  By now the '87 is ready, the water dumped and up to 4 of those same sized paper towel patched rammed through the barrel with the last one soaked in Eezox.  The receiver section get's a squirt of aerosol Ballistol.  That's it, 30-40 minutes tops.

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