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#1 Jeremiah

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 03:43 PM

I know I've touched on this in the past, but as we draw near the end of PA archery season, my mind turns toward flintlocks. (PA flintlock deer season opener coming December 26th. :D ) So, with that in mind...

Why is it that no matter how I clean my 50 caliber T/C Hawken Replica the breech always has rust in it just a day or two later?

Plunging the bore in near boiling water and "seasoning" with Bore Butter, using Number 13 "Natural" Cleaner for field swabs, or any other "natural" cleaners/solvents were all a total pain. Aside from the fact that they were labor intensive, they were an absolute nightmare for this rust problem. It all just seemed like a huge waste of time. There I was picking down in the breech with pipe cleaners - you name it - and the breech would still be corroded with rust the next day.

I did everything as instructed. (I probably went a little overboard, if anything.) I highly doubt I'm alone here, but I finally gave in. I threw all of the Bore Butter, moose milk, naval lint, ear wax, toe jam bologna grease treatments/solvents/cleaners in the trash and started cleaning the bore of the rifle with Hoppe's Nitro Solvent and coating with a thin layer of gun oil afterward. I even use a small 22 caliber patch holder to clean clear down into the breech with this solvent and oil. NO MORE RUST!!! :bigthumb: :notalk: :yes: :lol: :clap: :cool:

Unfortunately, such solvents don't play well with Goex black powder AT ALL. So, I also had to switch to American Pioneer Powder (Yeah, everyone's favorite. <_< LOL) to keep my sanity. Honestly, I've had no real problems with it other than one slight hang fire a couple seasons ago. I need 100 grains of it to my 80 grains of Goex, but I've found accuracy and performance are just fine. Needless to say, I still need to use 4F Goex in the pan and I usually sneak a little into the touch hole as well. (Likely why I don't have hang/misfires.) If I'm at the range shooting a lot, I still run into the crud issues of the Goex interacting with a bore/gun cleaned with petroleum-based solvents. :doh:

Does anyone here have the real scoop?
Why was my gun rusting?
What is the BEST way to handle all of this mess?

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#2 cayugad

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 05:08 PM

Your bore will rust because it is not protected with something that stops the natural corrosion of metal that takes place in the bore. Normally an accelerant to the rusting process is humidity or moisture. Which is why many gun owners take such special care to insure that their rifles are stored in such a way that the humidity can be controlled. This is often done through a chemical process that is meant to remove moisture from the air. I do not store my rifles in that manner yet I have no problem with barrels rusting. Bore butter has a tendency to trap water under the wax against the metal and you then get rust. Many people are positive they have all the water out, but are you really sure? Did you use a water displacer like alcohol, or WD 40 to drive the water out of any hiding spots?

You were wise in my opinion to remove the bore butter. When I clean my traditional rifles, I give them a water bath. I use hot water with car wash soap in it. (its cheap and leave no film). After the water bath they get a water rinse. Many people will stop right there because they see their patches basically clean. Well if they go one more step they will learn the real truth. I then put a bore cleaner on a patch. Some of my favorites are; Birchwood Casey #77, Simple Green mixed 1/3 strong, #409, Butch's Bore Shine FOR BLACK POWDER (there are two kinds, one is for black powder), Windex, or isopropyl alcohol. I use strong solvents only when I want to scrub the bore with a brush. This is to remove lead and plastic. I have found that if you use a strong solvent you can get dark black and gray patches for some time, until you have all of that wiped out of the bore.

After the water bath, I do a few bore patches with a cleaner. When they come out wet, but clean, I like to run an alcohol patch or two down the bore. This is to remove the cleaner mostly. Then I like to run dry patches through that bore until they patches come up clean and dry. After that I use Birchwood Casey Sheath a.k.a. Barricade, Rem Oil with Teflon, BreakFree CLP, or WD-40 and swab the bore with a good patch of that. Now the barrel is protected.

Before I shoot or do anything ... I take a patch and get it damp with isopropyl alcohol. This will remove the oil from the bore that was protecting it. After swabbing with both sides of the alcohol patch, I then run a dry patch down the bore, both side. I then run another dry patch down the bore and now I like to pop a #11 cap through the rifle. This does a couple things.. it will clean the bolster channel and open the nipple to the chamber, and I can check the cap and see how much fire is getting through. Pull the patch and look. It is is not black, put another clean dry patch on the jag, push that to the bottom of the breech and pop another cap. Pull that and it should show burn marks.. Now I pop one more cap with nothing in the barrel. This last one burns off any trace of alcohol.

After doing that, I can use Goex all day long with no ill effects.
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#3 Jeremiah

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 05:48 PM

My old routine was very similar except I used denatured alcohol. From what I know of metal - just how surprisingly porous it is under a microscope - I definitely was not convinced that all of the water was gone. (The rust proved it.) Of course, with Bore Butter you were never supposed to do any harsh cleaning beyond the hot water for fear you would ruin your "seasoning". But, that just didn't seem right.

All told, I just can't bring myself to clean a bore with water anymore. I think I'm seeing here that I am okay to stick with the Nitro Solvent (or insert your "harsh" bore cleaner of choice here) "standard rifle cleaning method", but if I'm wrong please advise.

I can say that all I do when I hit the range is dry patch to knock down the Rem Oil. It never dawned on me to swab with alcohol. I know with the Bore Butter that loading was easy with Goex even when using heavy pillow tick patches and only swabbing the bore after every few shots. I don't necessarily need results that good, but as long as the Goex won't cake up in the bore with each shot thanks to the pre-shot alcohol ritual I'll give it a try. :)

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#4 Spirithawk

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 05:50 PM

I've had rust problems, in the past, using about every oil you can name. It gets mighty humid here in Missouri. What I now use is something Jason gave me when he got into tactical training for his certification as a bodygaurd. It's called MCM Synthetic Blended Metal Conditioner. The Company that makes it is called Molecular Metal Conditioners. It molecularly bonds to the metal. I have not had one speck of rust since using it. It is a blend of cleaner, protectants, and lubricants. It's heat and friction activated. Does not gum up in the cold and in our muzzleloaders it actualy helps prevent powder residue buildup. Gotta love a product that does all that. I would run a patch or two down the barrel, before you load, to remove any oil. With us cap lock guys, it's wise to fire a cap before loading. As Cayugad said, that clears the nipple and also burns any oil in the breach. I've never had a misfire after doing that.

#5 Jeremiah

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 05:54 PM

I've never heard of it, but is it advised for us flinters to flash off a pan of 4F before loading?

=======

Norm,

I have used MMC's red lightning gun grease before. I never knew they made anything else. I was able to find this stuff at Midway... I'm excited!!!

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#6 Spirithawk

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 06:53 PM

I've never heard of it, but is it advised for us flinters to flash off a pan of 4F before loading?

=======

Norm,

I have used MMC's red lightning gun grease before. I never knew they made anything else. I was able to find this stuff at Midway... I'm excited!!!



Yep, that's the stuff. Didn't know they made it for black powder though. Good to know. The stuff I have is in the same bottle but is red. Will have to order me some for my muzzleloaders.
As to flashing the pan before loading, I don't know that it would be very benificial. With a cap-lock, all the blast is forced through the nipple into the breech. With a flintlock, there's no real blast and nothing to direct much of the flash into the breech. I'd simply run an alcohol soaked patch down the barrel then a dry patch. I'd also then run a pick through the flash hole to insure it is clear. Do that and I doubt you'll have any missfires. Gee, me giving you advice. Usualy it's the other way around. :lol: Good luck hunting buddy. Hope you score bigtime.

#7 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 07:54 PM

Jeremiah I am surprised that you do not have problems with ignition using APP powder in your flintlock. APP, Pyrodex and 777 are designed to be fired in a shotgun 209 primer ignition firearm. When I tried the APP I was getting hangfires in my percussion rifle. I know I read it somewhere but can't put my fingers on it at the moment but as I recall, real black powder has the lowest ignition temp at around 460 degrees. The others start at around 650 for ignition temps and go up to over 700 degrees. Hodgdon who makes both pyrodex and 777 recommends a duplex load for pyrodex or 777. That is putting 5 grains of 4f black powder down the barrel first and then the amount of pyrodex or 777 reduced by 5 grains GRANULATED powder on top of that. DO NOT TRY TO USE THEIR PELLETS IN A FLINTLOCK ( yes I know I am yelling).

As for shooting my flintlock I use good old gooex in either 2f or 3f. Infact I use gooex in all my muzzleloaders. I have a specific ritual at the bench and use it also in the field if time permits. I use an alcohol patch to clean the oil out of the barrel followed by two dry ones. After the shot I do the same thing with an alcohol patch and two dry ones. I then let it sit empty and go check the target and load the rifle again upon returning.

For cleaning all my muzzleloaders I use hot water and liquid dish soap. I wet the patch and scrub thoroughly till the patches look clean. I then use a plastic bristle brush and scrub thoroughly with it and go back to patches till they are clean. I then use a HOT water rinse and rinse till the barrel is almost too hot to touch but hot enough to dry the water on the outside of the barrel. I then sit the barrel muzzle down to dry and tackle the other parts of the rifle in hot soapy water using a variety of tooth brushes, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners and then rinse and dry with a rag. I then take the barrel and have at it with any of a number of modern solvents. I use Hoppes #9, Hoppes elite foam, NAPA brake cleaner, G96, breakfree clp or a couple of others. I then dry patch till they come out clean. I then use Remoil on a patch and run it through once and do the same for the small parts and once reassembled it is ready to store.

I store in a gun safe with a product called damp rid and have yet to get any rust. You may ask how long it takes me to clean this way. Well about 1 1/2 cups of coffee.
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#8 Spirithawk

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 08:38 PM

Paul gave me his APP powder and I use it in my Knight MK-85 .54 . Been using it since he gave it to me and my Knight seems to really like it. No problem with accuracy and yet to have a hangfire. I'm kinda partial to my Knight and give it what it wants. Muzzleloaders are notorious for being finicky. You can have two identical rifles and what one likes the other will hate. As to cleaning, Jason uses Pyrodex Pellets in his Optima .50. I usualy end up cleaning his rifle as well as mine after hunting. ( He's not lazy just usualy short on time) His takes up to 20 patches or more to get the job done on his, after running a brass brush down the bore with cleaning solvent. I can get mine sparkling clean with just 4.

#9 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 10:02 PM

Jere I absolutely do not recommend firing off a pan of 4f before loading. All you will do is gum up the pan, flash hole, and dirty up your flint. Just get a touch hole pick and after you load push that in the flash hole, and put your powder in the pan and you are ready to go. I have no aversion to using water to clean my muzzleloaders but do have an aversion to using bore butter in the bore.
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#10 cayugad

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 09:32 PM

A little trick I use.. I put a fuzzy pipe cleaner into the vent hole and hold it there with the frizzen closed. Then I load the flinter. Open the flinter and slowly pull that pipe cleaner out. Now you have powder pulled up right behind the vent hole, it is clean, and dry and is all set to go...
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#11 Jeremiah

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 08:02 PM

My mission today was to find a gun cleaner and rust protector. Unfortunately, I couldn't find MMC anywhere! I ended up settling on Hoppe's Elite Black Powder Solvent and Hoppe's Elite Gun Oil. They're odorless, petroleum distillate free, and bond to the metal at the molecular level. (So, they're sorta like the MMC themselves from what I've read.)

All I know at this point is that the gun shot patched round ball for me today as well as ever, loaded quite easily, and I was able to clean it thoroughly after shooting without a bit of hot water or soap. (I didn't even have to struggle to get the touch hole liner out.) In a few days I'll check the bore and breech for rust. That will obviously be the true test for me. I hope not to find any.

Oh, by the way, the first cleaning with the Elite stuff was interesting. I swear I was pulling yellow out of the bore which I assume would be old Bore Butter still in there! Mind you, I've used everything from Number 9 to Break-Free CLP on this bore before and nothing ever pulled that much crud out. Impressed so far.

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#12 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 08:31 PM

Jere the Hoppes elite I have as I recall is not specifically for black powder. I must look for that. I am always amazed when using my elite how much stuff was left in the barrel after a hot water bath and swabbing/brushing. I only used bore butter a few times and got what looked like rust when I swabbed before shooting that cured me from that stuff. Plus I seemed to get more bore butter after several cleanings. That was before the foaming cleaners. Foaming cleaners ROCK.
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#13 Jeremiah

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 04:02 PM

Jere the Hoppes elite I have as I recall is not specifically for black powder. I must look for that. I am always amazed when using my elite how much stuff was left in the barrel after a hot water bath and swabbing/brushing. I only used bore butter a few times and got what looked like rust when I swabbed before shooting that cured me from that stuff. Plus I seemed to get more bore butter after several cleanings. That was before the foaming cleaners. Foaming cleaners ROCK.


I'm learning it can be hard to find in stores, Paul. (I found the solvent at Dunham's, but had to buy the gun oil at Wal-Mart. <_< ) If you're not averse to ordering online, you can get it from Cabela's, R&R Arms, J&M Hunting Supplies, or directly from Hoppe's.

I'll let everyone know about the rust, or lack thereof, in a few days. :unsure:

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#14 cayugad

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:31 PM

To really remove bore butter from your barrel once and for all, remove the barrel from the stock. You will need some strong solvent, a bore brush, and leather gloves. Plug the nipple or vent touch hole with an cap, or with a wooden match. Or you can leave it open in the case of a flintlock. Then get some water boiling in a tea kettle. Pour some dish soap down the bore and then fill it with boiling water. Be sure to wear your leather gloves.

If you have the barrel plugged, using a bore brush, scrub the bore. Now add more hot water. Take the nipple out or the wooden match out, and pour more boiling water through it. The boiling water will melt the old bore butter that the brush knocked loose, and float it out the barrel.

With the gloves still on, now run some solvent patches through the bore. They might come up gray in color. Not to panic. Finally some dry patches and with a hot barrel the bore will dry fast. After that swab the bore of the rifle with a good quality gun oil.
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#15 Larry $

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 08:18 AM

So why do petroleum based cleaning and lubricating products react adversly with black powder? How about with synthetic powder?
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