Jump to content


Photo

Why?


  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#16 Jeremiah

Jeremiah

    Hunting Resource

  • Owner/Admin
  • 3,087 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Western Pennsylvania
  • Interests:God, Family, Hunting, Archery, Outdoors, Computers, Website Development...

Posted 19 November 2008 - 09:13 AM

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


I'm sure Dave can best answer this and if I'm wrong in anything I trust he will correct me. But, it's my understanding that it's simply the chemicals involved. Mixing sulfur-based authentic black powder (like Goex) with a petroleum-based solvent/lube produces a thick, tar-like carbon deposit in the breech and bore of a firearm that makes it nearly impossible to load a second shot unless you swab the barrel quickly between each shot.

As I've found, swabbing with alcohol patches before shot number one does help. However, with my flintlock there is always still some oil I just can't get out of the breech/touch hole area. This causes the dreaded, tarry fowling down deep where my between shot swabbing has no effect. (I actually can see my ramrod not quite making it to my load mark though I'm practically standing on the thing jumping up and down on it. :curse: ) I then either have to go in with a breech scraper (which are hard accessories to find anymore for some reason) or my handy-dandy .270 patch holder and thread adapter to try to clear up the breech some.

Obviously, petroleum-based solvents/lubes were not used when muzzle-stuffers like Jeremiah Johnson were roaming the mountains. They would have used rendered animal fat and oil. Interestingly, the main ingredient in "Bore Butter" is vegetable oil. So, one of todays solutions is still to mimmick the old methods. Unfortunately, as has been mentioned, these products leave a lot to be desired in the protection of metal. So then enters "black powder substitutes". Someone sits down and says, "Let's make something that goes boom similar to black powder that isn't so corrosive and doesn't have a lot of trouble with petroleum-based cleaning products." Unfortunately, there still does not exist any substitute that has truly worked out all of the benefits of real black powder without any of the draw-backs that I've found; especially for the flinter! :(

I'm hoping that a newer breed of cleaning/lubing products will be answer.

PA IHEA & NBEF/IBEP Instructor

sig_admin.png


#17 Leo

Leo

    Hunting Resource

  • Administrators
  • 3,155 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Carolina

Posted 19 November 2008 - 03:36 PM

I'm not a BP guy but I don't get this Bore Butter stuff you guys are talking about. As far as I know you can only "season" cast iron. I might be wrong but I doubt your barrel is cast iron. It might provide some protection from rust but I sure would question if it's even possible to season steel with it. Sure doesn't sound like it does a darn thing from what I'm reading here and from what my experience with metals tells me, I'm not surprised.

Now if I wanted to be absolutely sure I got every spec of petroleum distillate off of any metal, I'd go with the old tried and true standby--BRAKE CLEANER. Petroleum Distillates cause major problems with brake parts which is why brake cleaner was designed to begin with. Seems like it to me brake cleaner should be a muzzle loaders best friend. Run a mop soaked in brake cleaner in the bore and let it work a few minutes. Soak some patches with brake cleaner and see what those pull out. (Wear rubber gloves and do this outside brake cleaner is toxic stuff) Then run dry patches until they come clean. This is the first thing I do to new centerfire barrels. When you want every spec of grease and oil out of the barrel this is the way to go in my experience. Also as a side note, if you use ammonia based bore cleaners to remove metal fouling. You absolutely must run a patch soaked with brake cleaner or gun scrubber through the bore to stop the cleaner from eating at the bore itself! Otherwise the ammonia just keeps eating away!

In short, the way I would be tempted to attack this problem is this. I'd protect the gun parts with whatever I fancied (except WD40 which leaves a shellac type residue that can be really really tough). Personally I'd probably stick with Breakfree CLP. Then right before I got ready to hunt I'd totally degrease and clean everything. Go out hunt. Clean and protect. Repeat as necessary.

Not a whole lot different than Cayugads alcohol suggestion, so I think it's got a shot at working.

Don't know for sure if that would work but that's what I'd try.

Edited by Leo, 19 November 2008 - 03:42 PM.

Posted Image

#18 Jeremiah

Jeremiah

    Hunting Resource

  • Owner/Admin
  • 3,087 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Western Pennsylvania
  • Interests:God, Family, Hunting, Archery, Outdoors, Computers, Website Development...

Posted 19 November 2008 - 05:12 PM

I'm not a BP guy but I don't get this Bore Butter stuff you guys are talking about. As far as I know you can only "season" cast iron. I might be wrong but I doubt your barrel is cast iron. It might provide some protection from rust but I sure would question if it's even possible to season steel with it. Sure doesn't sound like it does a darn thing from what I'm reading here and from what my experience with metals tells me, I'm not surprised.


LOL That's about the sum of it. They claim it really does season your bore just like a cast iron skillet. Problem is, as you point out, we're dealing with modern steel, not the old iron barrels of yester-year. (Now, if you actually had an authentic Hawken or something, you might be on to something! But, I sure don't.) Yet, most small mom and pop shops still sell it as their main, if not only, blackpowder bore treatment. :wacko:
I will say that Bore Butter does seem to make a great patch lube as long as you don't use it below freezing (when it tends to turn to glue). It really is good and greasy and makes loading easier. (I even like the spearmint smell. :lol: ) It also does a good job of protecting patches from scorching. Outside of that, it's poop. There are a lot of other products that can do what it does well and go far beyond.

As to ammonia... I was always under the impression that ammonia-based cleaners (old school Hoppe's No. 9, for example) were relatively harmless on steel. I always thought it was copper, brass, and the like that you had to worry about. (Of course, this would also include nickel plated metal since there's usually copper plating under it which will disolve and ruin the entire finish if there is any small flaw in the nickel that allows the solvent to soak in.) Am I wrong there? (Not that I just leave ammonia based solvents in my bores anyway, but still.) Also, does anyone know if the new Hoppe's Elite cleaners contain ammonia? (It's odorless, so I can't see how it could. But, there's no mention of it on the website or label.)

PA IHEA & NBEF/IBEP Instructor

sig_admin.png


#19 cayugad

cayugad

    Hunting Resource

  • Moderators
  • 881 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 November 2008 - 05:31 PM

Even though I use petroleum based products I make sure they are out of the bore before I load. I think it is a chemical reaction between the petroleum base and that of the powder. I never noticed a problem because like I said, I do not allow them in the bore when I load. Also some of the new synthetic oils do not seem to effect black powder or substitutes at all. One of them is Birchwood Casey Sheath. But I still remove that from the bore with a simple isopropyl alcohol swab before I load. Pop off a primer and it burns any trace of the alcohol off so you start with a clean bore.
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."

#20 Leo

Leo

    Hunting Resource

  • Administrators
  • 3,155 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Carolina

Posted 19 November 2008 - 06:22 PM

What happens with the plating is if ammonia gets under it, it breaks the bond between base metal and plating. Plating happens at a molecular level so it should be very strong but this means it is also a very thin bond. As a result it's vulnerable to being weakened. There's no copper there as far as I know.

Ammonia in it's natural state has a pretty high PH. That means it is corrosive. Even water which is pretty neutral is corrosive to steel as we all know. It just takes time. Exposed to the environment it is possible for Ammonia to become Nitric Acid. Nitric Acid viciously attacks steel. Safest bet is to neutralize it and get it out of there.
Posted Image

#21 PA RIDGE RUNNER

PA RIDGE RUNNER

    Life Member

  • Authors
  • 5,702 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 November 2008 - 08:06 PM

I bought a can of I believe it was called CVA Bore Blaster which worked very well but I thought it smelled, looked and otherwise was the same as brake cleaner. I believe it was Larry $ that suggested to use NAPA brake and electric motor cleaner in the blue can. Sure enough it smelled, looked and worked as well as the CVA stuff at a fraction of the cost. Not only was the NAPA cleaner about 1/3 the cost it came in a much larger quantity than CVA. It works great on trigger mechanisms also to blast out dirt and gum. I usually use an air hose to blow out the mechanism after using brake cleaner. On most modern flintlocks there is a restriction in the barrel just infront of the flash hole. This means there is a small chamber at the bottom that you cannot reach with a patch. To find out if your flinter is like mine remove the flash hole liner and put the ramrod down the barrel. You will find out soon enough either you will see the end of the ramrod or you wont when it reaches bottom. That little chamber is a bear to get really clean but brake cleaner does a good job in there. I also use a pipe cleaner to finish up.
If God had a refrigerator would your picture be on it.
Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals.

#22 Larry $

Larry $

    Totally Addicted

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,449 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 20 November 2008 - 07:09 AM

Which brinbs me to my next question. For parts cleaning I always buy the Brake Clean marked "Not For Sale in California" or something to that effect. California does not allow the sale of the original brake cleaner with chlorine. The chlorinated stuff just plain works better on cleaning greasy/oily/skungy auto parts. But on guns, does the chlorine hurt anything?
Elk: it's what's for dinner!

#23 Leo

Leo

    Hunting Resource

  • Administrators
  • 3,155 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Carolina

Posted 20 November 2008 - 09:36 AM

Which brinbs me to my next question. For parts cleaning I always buy the Brake Clean marked "Not For Sale in California" or something to that effect. California does not allow the sale of the original brake cleaner with chlorine. The chlorinated stuff just plain works better on cleaning greasy/oily/skungy auto parts. But on guns, does the chlorine hurt anything?


Keep it absolutely away from anything synthetic on the weapon. IE. Stocks, Recoil Pads, Fiber optics, Glass Bedding...

Chlorine does eat metal. It reacts most furiously with Titanium so if you have a gun with titanium in it, don't use it on that. On steels in Brake Cleaner form it out gasses very quickly.

Chlorine is toxic stuff. So avoid getting it on skin or breathing it.

If it didn't outgas so rapidly there would be a chance it becomes Hydrochloric Acid by reacting with moisture in the air.

Still patch it dry when using it to clean a bore.
Posted Image

#24 cayugad

cayugad

    Hunting Resource

  • Moderators
  • 881 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 20 November 2008 - 10:44 AM

This might sound silly, but I went to NAPA and told the guy what I wanted to use the brake cleaner for. He was pretty cool actually he listened and kind of laughed about it. He then suggested that I use #091343 Clean-R-Carb spray carburetor cleaner instead of brake cleaner. He then explained that carb cleaner leaves no film on the metal, removes gunk, and will not harm plastic (plastic hose lines, etc get hit with it). Brake cleaner he said can really do a number on plastic, etc.. So I started using Carb Cleaner and it works great. With the spray attachment I can clean triggers (outside, wear glasses) spotless. Some triggers mechanisms have "plastic" triggers and internal parts.

Just thought I would throw this up here.... :boone:
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."

#25 Leo

Leo

    Hunting Resource

  • Administrators
  • 3,155 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Carolina

Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:35 PM

Odd.

I always thought it was the other way around. Carb Cleaners leave a residue and brake cleaners don't.

It may be that the NAPA product you mentioned does not leave any residue. I honestly do not know for sure. If it is not supposed to eat plastic then I'd be almost positive it's not Chlorinated. It's the Chlorine that makes brake cleaners attack plastic so viciously. But as Larry pointed out the Chlorinated stuff really drives out grease and oil.

I'm sure you'll let us know if there are any drawbacks to that product. Sounds like you like it so far.
Posted Image

#26 PA RIDGE RUNNER

PA RIDGE RUNNER

    Life Member

  • Authors
  • 5,702 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 20 November 2008 - 04:13 PM

For the most part the rifle is near totally disassembled when cleaning so unless the rifle uses plastic for internal parts, which I have not seen in any of mine I am not too worried about this trait. I have the can in my hand and it does say it affects certain plastics and rubber material. It does say that it contains Tetrachloroethylene and carbon dioxide which I presume to be the propellant. Those are the only Contents.
If God had a refrigerator would your picture be on it.
Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals.

#27 Jeremiah

Jeremiah

    Hunting Resource

  • Owner/Admin
  • 3,087 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Western Pennsylvania
  • Interests:God, Family, Hunting, Archery, Outdoors, Computers, Website Development...

Posted 22 November 2008 - 02:31 PM

Just thought I would give what is hopefully my last reply to this topic. :D

So far, so good. The bore has nothing more inside than some light oil. (No rust!)

From the under-label on the bottle of Hoppe's Elite Black Powder Solvent:

Stop dreading the tedious mess of black powder cleaning - try the new Hoppe's Elite Black Powder Solvent. It quickly and easily blasts through powder fowling so you are left with a perfectly clean bore surface. A microscopic layer of rust inhibitor and dry lube remain which is an extremely efficient bore conditioner. When combined with Hoppe's Elite Gun Oil, it helps to protect your firearm from rust and corrosion. This bore conditioning replaces traditional barrel seasoning and not only improves accuracy, but also cuts future cleaning time in half. Powder, lead and plastic residue cannot penetrate into the steel as before.


The stuff also removes copper, so I feel confident if I ever shoot Power Belts again.

As best I can tell, the dry lube barrier really makes it similar to CLP. Unlike CLP though, it's scent free!

I'm going to try it as a patch lube and see how that goes. There is much joy thus far. :D

PA IHEA & NBEF/IBEP Instructor

sig_admin.png


#28 Larry $

Larry $

    Totally Addicted

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,449 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 22 November 2008 - 03:15 PM

He then explained that carb cleaner leaves no film on the metal, removes gunk, and will not harm plastic (plastic hose lines, etc get hit with it). Brake cleaner he said can really do a number on plastic, etc..



That makes sense. The biggest enemy to proper carburetor efficiency is any sort of film gunk, goo, etc. And so many internal and external parts of a carb contain plastic, nylon, silcon, bakealite, etc. Think I'll give the carb cleaner a try and see how it goes.

I remember one time many moons ago when I was managing a Honda motorcycle shop out in Pasadena. The service writer's phone was getting pretty grungy so I thought I'd do him a favor and clean it for him. I sprayed some brake clean on it and began to wipe it off. The rag almost instantly stuck to the surface of the phone and the plastic frame around the number buttons melted into a big solid blob. Needless to say I was more than a little :blush:
Elk: it's what's for dinner!

#29 Jeremiah

Jeremiah

    Hunting Resource

  • Owner/Admin
  • 3,087 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Western Pennsylvania
  • Interests:God, Family, Hunting, Archery, Outdoors, Computers, Website Development...

Posted 03 January 2009 - 10:04 PM

Just to follow up as I said I would...

My Hawken sat for probably a month before season opener. (Of course I shot it well in advance of that in preparation for the season.) When I took it out the night before my first hunt to swab the bore with alcohol ("just in case") I was pleasantly surprised to have a patch as clean coming out of the bore as it was going in. (That includes the one on the small .22 jag I run all the way down into the breech plug itself which is where most of my rust problems always were in the past.)

I am totally sold on the Hoppe's Elite BP Solvent. I also use the Elite gun oil as a patch lube as it doesn't seem to freeze or sludge up in cold weather the way the paste-like lubes (including Crisco) do. I wouldn't mind finding something better, perhaps Teflon based, that won't freeze or gum up. I have a few leads. I've even read some recipes for a combo of Murphy's Oil Soap and beeswax, but I don't know.

PA IHEA & NBEF/IBEP Instructor

sig_admin.png





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users