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Cleaning 1851 Navy

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by TxBlackPowder, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. TxBlackPowder

    TxBlackPowder New Member

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    I get the impression that Pyrodex is much easier to clean than BP. Thoughts?
  2. rdstrain49

    rdstrain49 New Member

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    Easier, no way. Both clean up in no time with hot, very hot soapy water. I can clean my Hawken in about 1/4 the time it takes to properly clean a center fire. Granted, it takes longer to clean a revolver ( cylinder, 6 nipples, etc. ) but it is still no big deal. Shoot which ever you like. They are both a snap to clean. Don't worry, go shoot:)
  3. TxBlackPowder

    TxBlackPowder New Member

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    :) Good to hear. Is there a difference in the shooting experience with pyrodex vs BP. Amount of smoke...sound...accuracy..ect.

    I've also been looking for the thread "So You Want a Cap and Ball Revolver?" and I can't find it. I've read that its a good place to start for "newbie" questions and such. I'm so eager to go shooting, but I don't want to blow my hand off by making a rookie mistake.
  4. ofitg

    ofitg New Member

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    Just make sure there is no residual oil in the chambers before loading - clean it out with alcohol, or pop some caps on the empty chambers.
    Load each chamber with 25 grains of 3F blackpowder - or an equal volume of Pyrodex - and make sure the lead balls are seated firmly down on top of the powder charges. Air spaces are bad.
    You should shave a lead ring off each lead ball when you seat it - that is your best insurance against chainfires - for extra insurance, you can top off each chamber with thick grease (some people use Crisco).
    Put the caps on the nipples - if they don't fit tightly, you can pinch the caps' skirts out-of-round so they grab hold.

    That's about it. Observe basic gun safety rules. Enjoy.
  5. TxBlackPowder

    TxBlackPowder New Member

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    Its really that easy?

    How easy is it to mess it up? I've watched a video on Cabella's website showing how to load it, and it seems pretty straight forward. I would think that if you mess it up, the consequences are pretty instant and drastic.
  6. TxBlackPowder

    TxBlackPowder New Member

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    Also, under the barrel...on the ram rod, if it were a rifle (not sure what its called on a pistol)..there is a fair amount of oil, and some on the body of the gun. Should I clean it off as well, or is it a good thing?
  7. ofitg

    ofitg New Member

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    Yes, it's fairly simple. The "instant and drastic" results might occur if you leave an airspace between the powder and ball.... or if you have a chainfire.

    Regarding the oil on external surfaces, I'd probably wipe it off - shooting blackpowder creates a lot of soot, and the oiled surfaces would soak it up.

    If you want to lube moving parts, it's probably best to avoid petroleum-based oils - they react badly with BP residue, forming waxy "sludge" deposits - natural oils based upon animal fats are what the old-timers used, and they're still the best.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  8. TxBlackPowder

    TxBlackPowder New Member

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    So, as long as I lock the ramrod all the way down (to eliminate air spaces) and use crisco (or something similiar) to prevent chain fires, I should be fine. Cool. Makes me feel better.

    As far as using oils based on animal fats...are those available at most sporting stores? (Cabella's is right up the road)
  9. ofitg

    ofitg New Member

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    The rammer may not go all the way down, depending on the amount of powder that you use. You should feel the resistance when the ball hits the powder.

    I'm not really sure what's available at Cabela's. I mail-ordered a product called Bore Butter, and one of the guys on this forum - username Jack404 - is distributing a product called Silver Bullet Gun Oil, which incorporates pig grease. I imagine there are several other suitable oils available on the market.
    Petroleum-based oils can be used, but they will make cleaning a bit more difficult - the animal-based oils remain softer when mixed with soot.
  10. TxBlackPowder

    TxBlackPowder New Member

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    Excellent! Thanks for all the good info. :)
  11. redwing carson

    redwing carson Former Guest

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    Chain fires are caused more often by caps that do not fit the nipples or nipples that are damaged. The chain fire is a result of the flame from a cap crossing the vent or nipple. This is the same way a flint lock fires. If you want to lube the ball in the chamber mouth try Mobile One. This is a very good non-petro base gear lube. Pick it up at Auto Zone stores. I don't like cooking oils such as Crisco they tend to run on hot days. Your holster will smell like french fries. I wipe the chambers with a Q tip and 90% alchohol and pick the the vents. This will save you wasting caps to clear the vents. I choose to use B/P it just works better and cost less. THe above Info on cleaning is very good follow it. Using a Colt style revolver with the wedge pin can take a little learning. The Colts tend to bind on the cylinder pin after shooting a number of rounds. They are great fun, good luck.

    RC
  12. ofitg

    ofitg New Member

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    RC, I have heard this theory before, that chainfires occur at the rear of the cylinder.... it might be true, I don't know.

    It should be possible to test the idea - load all six chambers, but only put a cap on one, leaving the other nipples open.

    It might be possible to test the "undersized ball" hypothesis too - completely seal off the nipple wells on five chambers, and see what happens when all six chambers are loaded with loosely-fitting projectiles.

    The big problem is, can we find somebody who is crazy enough to conduct the testing?
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