Black powder cleaning - your wisdom is solicited!

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by Hawke, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. Hawke

    Hawke New Member

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    Greetings again, all! I'm smack in the middle of cleaning my Knight KRB-7. I'm now about two hours into it, and I'm wondering if there is a better / more efficient way to clean it than what I'm doing. Here's the usual drill:

    1. Remove trigger assembly and breech plug, place in warm soapy water.
    2. Pour warm soapy water (the soap is liquid dawn) down muzzle, with butt of gun in 5-gallon bucket.
    3. Thoroughly scrub barrel with wet .50 cal cleaning brush.
    4. Run extremely tight-fitting patch down bore, marvel at amount of gunk on patch.
    5. Repeat steps 2-4 five million times while developing theories as to why there is just as much gunk on the patches as when you started, being especially careful to slam the handle of the cleaning rod down on the bit of your finger that's resting atop the barrel on the 4,976,234th attempt at step 3.
    6. Give up in exasperation and consult friends on thefirearmsforum.com.

    Thanks in advance!
    Hawke
  2. Hawke

    Hawke New Member

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    PS - I shoot Pyrodex in this particular gun, usually 110 grains behind a patched round ball.
  3. flintlock

    flintlock Active Member

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    Try turning the rifle around, muzzle down in the soapy water, and use the ramrod with jag and tight fitting patch from the breech end to draw/pump the water up and back out of the barrel. Just don't pull the jag and patch out of the barrel until you have given it 10 or 12 cycles down and back. I'm am not to familiar with your model of rifle, but this works well for me with percussion guns where I can remove the barrel from the stock, and my flints when I break them down & unpinn them from the stock
  4. Hawke

    Hawke New Member

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    Five hundred or so patches later and I'm down to a bit of brown gunk, which, unless I am wrong is carbon fouling...

    I share your enthusiasm for the method you mentioned above, flint, for use with my own percussion and flinters. The only reason I was trying to avoid it is that no matter how hard I try, I invariably drag some of the breech plug's anti-seize compound into the barrel, even after substantial efforts to clean it all off before patching. Thank you for your reply!
  5. Twicepop

    Twicepop Member

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    The black powder club that I used to belong to, these were flinters and percussion cap guns, the solvent of choice there was Windex and distilled water. Buy a gallon of distilled water, pour out enough of it to put the entire bottle of Windex in to replace the water lost and this is what most of the members used to swab and clean their bores with. My percussion rifle I boil water, remove the barrel from the stock, place the breech end of the barrel into the boiled water with the nipple submerged and use a tight fighting patch on the jag, then pump this back and forth untill the worst of the gunk stops flowing out of the nipple. Then follow up clean with the aforementioned solution until your satisfied it's clean enough, and then oil the metal parts liberally afterwards. Oh yeah... use leather glove when holding the barrel, it'll get hotternhell.


    those who beat their guns into plowshares, will plow for those who didn't
  6. Little Rooster

    Little Rooster New Member

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    Little over kill on the powder don't you think?

    I stay away from Pyrodex and 777 and the other subs. I use true BP It sometimes takes me longer to disassemble the weapon than it does to clean it. In your case you might try some Hydrogen Peroxcide. (spel?) It may loosen some of the fouling. I use to boil water and spen a hour cleaning them. I use Ballistol and water mix now. With a muzzel loader a bronze brush followed by 3 or 4 patches then a light coat of straight Ballistol to coat the barrel. If your concerned about ignigtion on the next load. Cap a couple off before loading.
    This is just what works for me.
  7. jpg5324

    jpg5324 Member

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    Have you tried Hoppe's #9.......works really well for me.
  8. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    My first thought is how good are your groups with a round ball and a 1:28 rifling twist? My second thought is what kind of lube are you using? I use Pyrodex in my Hawken and it takes five minutes to clean with soapy water. BP and most subs do not work well with petroleum based lubes.
  9. mogunner

    mogunner Active Member

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    I thought that I understood that the round ball's shouldn't be used in the faster twist rate ML's, that only conical's or sabots should be shot in them. Could your problem cleaning it be leading? Are you using any sort of lubricated patches on the bore between shots? I'd think that at 110 grs behind a ball would be creating a lot of deformation and lead to some pretty severe barrel leading
  10. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    1:28 is usually way to fast to spin a patched round ball and most guns won't group well with them at that fast a twist. A round ball is patched. The ball doesn't touch the rifling, the patch does. 110 grains is not too much for a 50 cal round ball altho they usually do well with less. I use 90 with my .54
  11. Hawke

    Hawke New Member

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    For deeper cleaning and to remove fouling, I use a product called Wipe-Out. It got out a lot of lead the first time I used it on this gun. I don't use it for every cleaning, and this was the first time shooting this gun after just such a cleaning, so I stuck with warm, soapy water. I did resort to windex toward the end, and that seemed to really accelerate things. (I also did not use Wipe-Out here because I had been using patched round balls and did not anticipate that much, if any, lead had been able to build up in the grooves.

    Hawg - my accuracy isn't too bad. I shoot about a 2-1/2 to 3" grouping at 100 yards (iron sights.) Where I hunt with this rifle, that's a pretty long shot.

    Rooster - I have a few guns which I reserve for use with actual BP (not the least of which is that 1870 Enfield in .69 cal that caused a bit of confusion here a year and a half ago.) But since the gun in question is a modern, in-line rifle, I use Pyrodex. My main reason for this is that Pyrodex is easier for me to come by where I live - you'd think actual BP wouldn't be that hard to find here in Montana, but that's not the case.

    As far as lube goes, I just use whatever it is that's on the T/C patches I buy for this gun. For my older guns and flinters - larger bores - I use Mink Oil from Track of the Wolf. The patches I use do go completely around the ball (big shock, I know) when they're tapped in, so fouling ought to be minimal.

    The reason for the 110 grain load is that I used to shoot Hornady Great Plains bullets with this rifle, and at 100 grains I was all over the vertical axis of the target - holes from top to bottom, but all on the center line. I figured a but more oomph was needed, so I got in the habit of shooting 110 grains behind those bullets. I just carried on with the habit when I switched to round balls. I may very well go back to those bullets when deer season starts up again.

    I will eat up whatever advice you fine gentlemen care to provide on muzzleloaders and BP shooting. What I know I learned from reading, mainly here in these forums. I began shooting BP out of desperation - I did NOT want to eat my deer tag, and the only place I knew to go around here was restricted to muzzleloaders, shotguns, and handguns - and I fell instantly in love with it. So, again, what I know is self-taught and has been gained through reading, trial, and error. Fortunately no error has yet maimed me.
  12. Hawke

    Hawke New Member

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    P.S. - I've only been at it about a year and a half now, so I'm about as green as they come.
  13. packetsplace

    packetsplace New Member

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    For my .58 musketoon I remove the barrel, partially fill the bathtub with hot water and let the barrel soak while I do other things. Come back later with a bronze brush and a tight fitting patch. Pump water through the bore and finish with a clean dry patch. Easy to do and doesnt take long.
  14. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    i use 90-110 for mine as well.
  15. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    I don't remove the barrel from my P53 Enfield. I use aquarium tubing on the nipple with a five gallon bucket. I don't use patches or brushes on my .54 or .58. I use 20 gauge bore mops.
  16. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    I use the same method as Twicepop with hot tapwater; another idea for overal care of the bore is to stay with natural lubes and stay away from hoppes and other bore solvents; the idea is to create a 'season' in the bore similar to an iron skillet.

    Even with pyrodex, water will work great and super fast, just make sure to use hot water so the heat will help dry it. make sure to lube the whole barrel lightly after that. Course, all mine are flint/percussion and blued octogon barrels, I know a lot of the inlines are SS and whatnot.

    110 grains is a lot for sure. 70-75 for plinkin' practice, 90 for hunting has done me well for both accuracy and energy
  17. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    Seasoning a barrel is an old wives tale. The idea of staying away from petro lubes is because petro lubes and bp fouling don't mix. They leave a tarry residue that's hard to remove. Water won't remove petro lubes and smokeless solvents wont remove bp fouling.
  18. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    sounds good to me! it's always worked, whatever the reason is.
  19. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Member

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    I find most of the fouling is in the breech area of my T/C Hawken and since the inch or two of rifling down there doesn't matter, occasionally I'll poor some liquid detergent down the barrel, put a bronze brush on the end of a steel ramrod, stick it in a drill and spin the hell out of it--that knocks the crud right out.Then I'll use a bore swab to pump boiling soapy water through the nipple while it sit in a couple gallons of hot water. Once it it clean, I'll stick the breech in the kitchen drain and pour a tea-kettle of boiling water down the barrel. Then I'll lean it barrel down against a wall and let it sit till it cools off. Oil it good and I'm done.
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