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Croc Holiday

Tips for first match using black powder...

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I’m all loaded and ready for my first match shooting BP this weekend.  At least I think I’m ready...  Being a noob, I’m sure there’s something I need but don’t know I need it yet.  I’m hoping some of the experienced BP folks can spare some wisdom.  Are there things I may need to have on hand that a smokeless shooter wouldn’t have to consider?  I’m shooting Vaqueros, a Uberti 73’ and a Stoeger SxS.  Anything I need to watch for using BP with any of these?  Like parts that bind up and need to be kept clean?  Will One Shot still be a good go to for quick oiling / cleaning?  

 

I’m also wondering what folks are using for cleaning.  There was a BP post that drifted off the original topic and touched on it but I can’t seem to find it now.  I know some / most use Balistol and water mixed.  One talked about using Windex (was that you OLG?).  What else works well and is worth a try?

 

Any other info / tips would be appreciated.  

 

Been obsessing for a while now.  Can’t wait till Sat to finally give it a go! 

:D

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Welcome to the BP side of SASS. I only shoot C&B now but when I did shoot Vaqueros they were in 45 Colt and I used ballistol to wipe down the front of the cylinders after three stages. I also shot 45 colt in my 73 and I also sprayed ballistol on the carrier when it started to stick just a little, stage number varied. I used plastic shotshells at first but now shoot only brass shotshells. Bring along a wire shotgun brush and swap out the shotgun after three stages and the shells will not stick. For cleaning the shotgun I bought a tornado wire brush and soak the barrels with windex, with vinegar, to get out the plactic snot and run a couple of patches and it was clean. I used the  windex on the rifle and revolvers and used ballistol on all guns to finish them up. Hot water and soap works but I don't have a sink in my loading shed  so the windex works out fine. If the wind is blowing  not much different than smokeless but no wind and humidity are a challenge seeing the next target. Have fun and enjoy your day. The boom and flames make shooting black powder worth it! DC

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If you get Windex make sure it's the kind with VINEGAR.

 

I can't believe one of these threads drifted off topic.

 

During the match use either Ballistol, Ballistol/water, or Murphy's mix(Murphy's oil soap/Alchohol/Hydrogen Peroxide) to keep everything freed up. I find spraying a little and wiping off the excess works great.

 

After the match spray em down with Ballistol and clean up at home within a week. Clean up with Windex w/Vinegar or just HOT soapy water and wipe down with BP friendly oil of your choice.

 

Welcome to the dark side, YOU WILLBE ASSIMILATED. :ph34r:

 

There is no turning back now :D

 

 

 

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Oh and get some UNSCENTED Baby Wipes; yes, you read that right. Very handy for in match maintenance is wet wipes/baby wipes. I get the unscented kind just in case the scented has something that wouldn't agree with the guns;probably just me worrying:

 

13053516278475p?$478$&f=1

 

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31 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

Oh and get some UNSCENTED Baby Wipes; yes, you read that right. Very handy for in match maintenance is wet wipes/baby wipes. I get the unscented kind just in case the scented has something that wouldn't agree with the guns;probably just me worrying:

 

13053516278475p?$478$&f=1

 

 

I've never heard of that!  Is that for you or the guns?

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Tequila Chase said:

 

I've never heard of that!  Is that for you or the guns?

 

Yes :P

 

 

 

They're for both. They have enough moisture to get rid of the residue off the guns AND keep your hands pretty clean as well.  You can tear off a corner, roll it up and swab your bore(s). Many uses for wet wipes.

 

Sorry for being a smart alec, couldn't resist ;)

 

Edited by Tyrel Cody
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Forgive me I forgot Croc Holiday... Good luck this Saturday!  Won't be long and it'll be my turn.

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Howdy Croc,

don’t shoot your eye out.   Lol, have fun and hit the targets

 

Gringo

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You will wonder why you waited so long!

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Thanks Tyrell!  I think we have the adult version floating around the homestead for hiking / backpacking.  I'll throw some in my box.  Thinking on it...  I may even have them in there already for clean up.

 

 

57 minutes ago, Tequila Chase said:

Forgive me I forgot Croc Holiday... Good luck this Saturday!  Won't be long and it'll be my turn.

 

Thanks!  I'll let you know if I have any "dang, if only I had ....." moments :D

 

Really, I'm sure I've overthought it to death.  That's how I roll though.  Overthink then still have a piece missing haha. 

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Your Stoeger should not give you any trouble.  If the lifter on your rifle gets sticky lube it promptly.  Also clean the face of your revolver cylinders at the first sign of the cylinders dragging. 

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When I had a C&B gun a few decades ago I used dawn and hot water, tore the whole gun down soaked it, clean it, and re oiled it. I would need to test the use of Windex with vinegar, as vinegar is known to removing bluing. but how long a soak would it take for that to happen?? IDK. Spraying it on and wiping it out can't hurt though. 

Be advised petroleum based anything is not good with black powder. at least for cleaning and bullet lube. soot turns to road tar and is nasty so stick with water based to clean with then reoil when done. 

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6 minutes ago, Son of the Midnight Star said:

Windex with vinegar, as vinegar is known to removing bluing.
 

 

Good to know.  My pistols and rifle are blued.  Can anyone confirm this?

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17 minutes ago, Son of the Midnight Star said:

When I had a C&B gun a few decades ago I used dawn and hot water, tore the whole gun down soaked it, clean it, and re oiled it. I would need to test the use of Windex with vinegar, as vinegar is known to removing bluing. but how long a soak would it take for that to happen?? IDK. Spraying it on and wiping it out can't hurt though. 

Be advised petroleum based anything is not good with black powder. at least for cleaning and bullet lube. soot turns to road tar and is nasty so stick with water based to clean with then reoil when done. 

 

Do you honestly think we'd suggest using Windex w/Vinegar if it were going to harm your guns? I'm fairly confident there isn't enough vinegar present to harm the blue on guns.

 

9 minutes ago, Croc Holiday said:

 

Good to know.  My pistols and rifle are blued.  Can anyone confirm this?

 

I've left it on revolvers accidentally overnight with no bad results.  Just wipe it off with Ballistol,Eezox, Frog Lube or similar after cleaning and you'll be fine.

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47 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

 

 

Do you honestly think we'd suggest using Windex w/Vinegar if it were going to harm your guns?

 

You might if you knew me better haha :blink:.    It was the first I'd heard that and was tripple checking before hitting the store on the way home.  

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Most important thing is to not panic or get flustrated when things go wrong. The Dark side is a lot of fun but every once in a while it lets you know whose boss.  Just smile and carry on.

 

There is nothing more satisifying than shooting a clean I mean no miss match on a windless day. :) 

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To add on to what @Sedalia Dave said, don't force anything, especially your rifle. If you have a gun lock up and you can't free it pretty easily and quickly, then stage it and declare "Bad Gun"; fix the problems at the unloading table.

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1 hour ago, Son of the Midnight Star said:

 I would need to test the use of Windex with vinegar, as vinegar is known to removing bluing. but how long a soak would it take for that to happen??

 

1 hour ago, Croc Holiday said:

 

Good to know.  My pistols and rifle are blued.  Can anyone confirm this?

 

1 hour ago, Tyrel Cody said:

 

 

Do you honestly think we'd suggest using Windex w/Vinegar if it were going to harm your guns? I'm fairly confident there isn't enough vinegar present to harm the blue on guns.

 

 

I've left it on revolvers accidentally overnight with no bad results.  Just wipe it off with Ballistol,Eezox, Frog Lube or similar after cleaning and you'll be fine.

 

I CAN confirm this with personal experience.  Years ago I used the Windex with vinegar to clean my shotgun barrels.  A lot of folks spoke of the wonders of the Windex at the time.  It cleaned them up very well, BUT, while spraying it inside the barrels I got a few drops on the outside of the barrels.  When I was done I noticed a few spots on the barrels where the bluing was faded.  They were beautifully blued when I started.

 

I have heard many people tout the benefits of Windex with vinegar for cleaning BP fouled guns with no harm to the bluing.  I'm just saying it CAN happen.

FWIW the shotgun in question was a Beretta Grade 3(?) SxS.  It's possible the bluing on Berettas is more susceptible to harm from vinegar than the bluing on other guns.  I'm not willing to test the bluing on my other guns to find out.

 

I thought you should hear the other side of the story so you can make a properly informed choice.

 

Angus

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Posted (edited)

The following product works well on black powder fouling.  A bottle costs only $2.

 

 

GV_Cleaner_with_vinegar.JPG

Edited by Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971

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During the match-Have a can of WD-40 and a roll of paper towels with you.

BAMcP--Are you sure you didn't have the Ammonia, Windex?:huh:

I have never had that happen to mine using the Vinegar version.

OLG

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Don't forget the jug of water with a squirt of Dawn to put your fired brass in.

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4 hours ago, Tyrel Cody said:

 

 

Do you honestly think we'd suggest using Windex w/Vinegar if it were going to harm your guns? I'm fairly confident there isn't enough vinegar present to harm the blue on guns.

 

 

I've left it on revolvers accidentally overnight with no bad results.  Just wipe it off with Ballistol,Eezox, Frog Lube or similar after cleaning and you'll be fine.

Like I said, If you spray it on wipe it off followed by a wipe down of oil it would probably be fine. But vinegar will remove bluing. 

I've never needed anything more than WD40, hot water and dawn soap. what ever works for you. 

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1 hour ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

During the match-Have a can of WD-40 and a roll of paper towels with you.

BAMcP--Are you sure you didn't have the Ammonia, Windex?:huh:

I have never had that happen to mine using the Vinegar version.

OLG

 

Could be legit.  I Googled and vinegar is what some folks use to remove blueing on their guns.  I wouldn't think there'd be enough concentrated in Windex but maybe not all blueing is created equal?  Interesting.

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18 minutes ago, Croc Holiday said:

 

Could be legit.  I Googled and vinegar is what some folks use to remove blueing on their guns.  I wouldn't think there'd be enough concentrated in Windex but maybe not all blueing is created equal?  Interesting.

Generally speaking, you have to soak the parts in pure vinegar to remove bluing, it doesn't come off right away.  Thin bluing might be affected with diluted vinegar but has not been the case in my experience.  

 

As far as a day of shooting, carry WD-40 or BreakFree to give the lifter a little squirt if it gets sticky.  BreakFree or a bit of Bore Butter on the cylinder face helps keep the fouling soft, especially if you aren't using Big Lube bullets.  A bore mop from time to time doesn't hurt either.

 

Most importantly, have fun.

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I have used vinegar many times to remove blueing from parts, especially when sending them out to be CCH. Completely removed all the blue from a big loop lever I did for my 92. Vinegar will indeed remove blueing and do it quite fast. The real question is if there is enough vinegar in the windex and/or if the other ingredients make the blueing removal inert. I'm not a scientist, but it would seem that the anecdotal evidence all points to it being safe. Personally, I don't see a need when there are other options. Soapy water works wonders as does murhpy's mix

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44 minutes ago, Croc Holiday said:

 

Could be legit.  I Googled and vinegar is what some folks use to remove blueing on their guns.  I wouldn't think there'd be enough concentrated in Windex but maybe not all bluing is created equal?  Interesting.


There are three types of bluing. 
Slow rust browning/bluing only one additional step to get bluing instead of browning.
Hot caustic salts bluing with formulas for steal, cast iron and stainless Yes you can blue stainless just a lot of shops choose not to.
Belgian Bluing. kinda like slow rust bluing but with different chemicals.

Niter bluing is not really bluing in the sense of a protective layer.  It's just a color change due to heat and creates a very thin oxide layer on steel. 
Cold bluing is crap
 

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6 minutes ago, El Hombre Sin Nombre said:

... as does murhpy's mix

 

Murphy's mix?  Like with Murphy's oil soap? 

 

 

Sounds like just about anything works as long as it's a liquid and some liquids may work better than others.  Well, except strait vinegar. 

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Posted (edited)

Gun preparation before shooting a black powder match:

 

Shotgun: start clean and dry, otherwise nothing special.  I do not clean chambers or bores during a match.  I will put a dab of Ballistol aerosol on a rag and wipe the plastic end of the hull and crimp with the barest amount of lube before placing the shells in my belt.  Do not overdo this.  You do not want a goopy chamber.  Hulls shuck out easily from first to last stage.

 

Revolvers: apply a very thin schmear of Bore Butter inside the frame (surrounding the cylinder) with your fingertip.  It allows you to wipe off 99% of the  fouling inside the frame with a paper towel after the match.  Put a dab of Bore Butter on the front hole (muzzle end) of the cylinder before replacing it in the frame; this will coat the base pin sufficiently to avoid binding during the match.  If your barrel/cylinder gap is very narrow, like 0.002", you may have to wipe off the face of the cylinder between stages.  Mine run about 0.006", and do not need any attention during the match.

 

Rifle:  I like to run my rifle wet.  Other shooters like to run as dry as possible.  You pays your money and you takes your chance.  Before the match I will coat the carrier and the channel in which it rides with a thin layer of grease, applied with a Q-Tip.  I also apply a dab of grease to the sides of the bolt and to the extractor with the same Q-Tip.  During the match I spritz a bit of Ballistol aerosol on those parts after every third stage, wiping off any that gets on the outside of the gun.  My guns never bind during the match,  the metal is protected from blowback so I don't worry about corrosion if they are not cleaned quickly.  If you wait until the action starts to bind before lubricating, you are waiting too long.  Very little if any blowback gets into the toggles.  Most of it stays on the carrier and in its vertical channel.  Clean the toggles once a year when you need something to do on a cold winter day.

 

Brass stays dry in a bag until I get home to clean the guns.  Dirty brass soaks about an hour in hot water with dish detergent, then gets thoroughly rinsed and allowed to dry before polishing the next day.

Edited by J-BAR #18287

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1 minute ago, Croc Holiday said:

 

Murphy's mix?  Like with Murphy's oil soap? 

 

 

Sounds like just about anything works as long as it's a liquid and some liquids may work better than others.  Well, except strait vinegar. 

Murphy's mix is equal parts murhpy's oil soap, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Croc Holiday said:

 

Murphy's mix?  Like with Murphy's oil soap? 

 

 

Sounds like just about anything works as long as it's a liquid and some liquids may work better than others.  Well, except strait vinegar. 

 

Murphy's Mix

 

1 part Murphy's Oil Soap

1 part Hydrogen Peroxide 

1 part Rubbing Alchohol

 

Straight vinegar will work too, but it will definitely remove blueing.

 

Civil War soldiers reportedly used urine.

Edited by Tyrel Cody

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Posted (edited)

This

Murphy's Mix

 

1 part Murphy's Oil Soap

1 part Hydrogen Peroxide 

1 part Rubbing Alcohol

Edited by John Barleycorn, SASS #76982

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5 hours ago, Croc Holiday said:

 

Could be legit.  I Googled and vinegar is what some folks use to remove blueing on their guns.  I wouldn't think there'd be enough concentrated in Windex but maybe not all blueing is created equal?  Interesting.

I have used it for many yrs and never-ever had that happen.

I use it as a BP bore cleaner......

OLG

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4 hours ago, El Hombre Sin Nombre said:

Murphy's mix is equal parts murhpy's oil soap, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide

Murphy's Mix is Grrrrrrrrreat;):ph34r:

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straight vinegar will remove blueing. windex with vinegar hasnt ever removed blueing on any of my guns. Make sure it's the ammonia free kind. The windex that is not ammonia free with vinegar has left slight discoloration on a couple of my guns when I grabbed the wrong stuff. Everyone has their preference on how to do this or that. I use a 16oz spray bottle with approx. 2 oz of apple cider vinegar, tablespoon of dawn and fill with hot water. But I have a utility sink with a hose also. I rinse everything down with hot water, spray down with my mix, scrub it up, rinse it off, dry it off, spray it all down with wd-40, wipe off excess and reassemble. lube with rem oil and return to safe.

as for stuff that I make sure to have a rag for the guns, a rag for my hands and face, bit and driver set (my bp guns are old and stuff only breaks when it matters), a travel size can of wd-40, and if it's a long ride home a plastic quart jar with water, a squirt of dawn, and a pinch of citric acid. I'll drop all my brass in it. it really helps clean up your brass before tumbling. 

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Posted (edited)

Vinegar is acidic and when used at the strength sold in stores (0.5%) it will remove bluing from a firearm it left on for longer than 10 minutes or so at room temperature. This process can be accelerated considerably if you heat the solution.

 

Any Acid will remove bluing. Vinegar is an acid and is commonly used because it is not too acidic and is easy to acquire.

Bases like Ammonia will also remove bluing. 

Acids and Bases react with different metals differently.

 

A 0.5% vinegar solution has a PH of 2.4. According to the SDS Windex with Vinegar has a Ph of about 3.3.

You can draw your own conclusions about how safe Windex with Vinegar is. But remember that heat accelerates the process.

Edited by Sedalia Dave

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