Author Topic: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866  (Read 40055 times)

Offline kcub

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 144
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« on: April 18, 2010, 06:35:11 AM »
what steps do you take

how lazy can you be with black powder without causing damage or functional problems?

does caliber enter into the answer
(straight v. bottleneck)
(shorter alternatives such as .44 Russian or.45 Schofield)

Offline Coffinmaker

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 6663
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 76
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2010, 08:59:11 AM »

Black Powder in and of itself isn't very corrosive.  the residue is hydroscopic though, and will attract and trap moisture.  The BP Subs are more corrosive chemically and must be removed toot sweet.
With straight wall cases, BP fouling will cause the rifle to get stiff and begin to cause the Carrier Block to hang up fairly quickly.  Any straight wall case.  You'll have to clean every match.
Bottle neck cases don't have the "blow by" problems the straight wall cases do.  They seal much better.  A Caveat though,
the residue from BP Subs must be removed from brass rifles immediately.  The residue from the Subs will also attack steel very quickly.
Hot soapy water for clean-up has been the favorite for ever.  If you must use a custom mix, equal parts of Murphy's oil Soap, Hydrogen peroxide and Alcohol is simple and very effective.

Coffinmaker

Offline Will Ketchum

  • Chief of Detectives
  • Deputy Marshal
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 2794
  • Pete Ersland
  • SASS #: 4222
  • NCOWS #: 133
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2010, 11:33:14 AM »
Personally I have had problems with Hydrogen peroxide.  It is an oxidizer and can cause nearly immediate rust if not oiled right away.  I once was using a mix with it and was interrupted by a family emergency by the time I got back, just a couple of hours I had rust growing out of my Henry.  Cleaned up fairly well but have never used it since.

I use some type of plug in the chamber (usually just a spent cartridge case) while cleaning the bore to keep the gunk out of the receiver area.  Montana Slim is the expert on cleaning BP guns.  I hope he joins in.

Will Ketchum
Will Ketchum's Rules of W&CAS: 1 Be Safe. 2 Have Fun. 3  Look Good Doin It!
F&AM, NRA Endowment Life, SASS Life 4222, NCOWS Life 133.  USMC for ever.
Madison, WI

Offline Dusty Morningwood

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 695
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2010, 12:23:35 PM »
Since I started shooting CAS I use Moose Milk (1 part Ballistol 7parts water) to clean and lube revolvers and lever guns.  Keeps them running and rust-free, along with some heavy grease on the cylinder pins, between shoots.  But for my single shot cartridge rifles I have been using patches soaked in windshield washer fluid (pre-diluted).  Cleans out the bores nice and shiney and then a little Bore Butter to lube.

Offline Grizzly Adams

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1308
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 4
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2010, 07:28:47 PM »
Ask this question of 100 BP shooters and you will get 125 answers, and a crash course in chemical engineering! ;D

Here's mine!  The method I  use is pretty quick and simple, and I have never had one speck of rust or failure of any kind.  Open the action, push carrier to the bottom.  Place rifle upside down in a vise or across the arms of a chair.  Saturate a patch with Windex with vinegar (not ammonia.)  Use a good stainless steel rod with a proper size jag, and run the wet patch through the bore.  The dirty patches and any moisture drops down and out of the action.  Usually takes only 3 or 4 to do the job.  Dry the bore with a couple of patches and then lube same with ballistol.  Turn rifle up right and wipe down the carrier with a moist cloth and Windex.  (If you have a 45LC your going to spend more time on this part! :-\

Put rifle away, grab a cold one, and pick a few tunes on your banjo! ;D  You do have a banjo don't you? ;)

Now if you can't find the Windex with vinegar, tap water will do!

 
If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a Veteran!
COMNAVFORV, NRA life, SASS Life, TG, STORM Rider #36.
GAF

Advertisers

  • Guest
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #5 on: Today at 04:16:23 PM »

Offline Montana Slim

  • NCOWS Member
  • Top Active Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 1888
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 9
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2010, 10:05:54 PM »
Personally I have had problems with Hydrogen peroxide.  It is an oxidizer and can cause nearly immediate rust if not oiled right away.  I once was using a mix with it and was interrupted by a family emergency by the time I got back, just a couple of hours I had rust growing out of my Henry.  Cleaned up fairly well but have never used it since.

I use some type of plug in the chamber (usually just a spent cartridge case) while cleaning the bore to keep the gunk out of the receiver area.  Montana Slim is the expert on cleaning BP guns.  I hope he joins in.

Will Ketchum

That about explains it..... briefly, here is what I do:

At the end of the day, I insert an empty case from the day's shooting. Then run 3-5 damp patches (I use windshield solvent) down the bore. I use a rod with  a muzzle protector and a .44 jag on the nd (44-40 rifles/carbines). The case captures most, if not all, of any liquid that would otherwise run into the action. You'll need to verify that your jag and patch thickness allows you to NOT stick your jag in the case....and/or you'll need to develop a "feel" for how far to run it down the bore. I've never had a big issue with this..maybe I'm just lucky. When the patches look reasonably clean, eject the case (carefully, in case it's retaining liquid)...then close the action and run a dry patch down the bore. Follow with your favorite lube. I use the lube patch to wipe the breech & bolt-face, too...done.
Takes longer to describe than to "do".

I used the same technique years ago when I shot a Rossi 1892, .38 spl & BP loads. Cleaning method worked well on it, too.

Regards,
Slim
Western Reenacting                 Dark Lord of Soot
Live Action Shooting                 Pistoleer Extrordinaire
Firearms Consultant                  Gun Cleaning Specialist
NCOWS Life Member                 NRA Life Member

Offline Driftwood Johnson

  • Driftwood Johnson
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1882
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2010, 05:41:50 PM »
Quote
Personally I have had problems with Hydrogen peroxide.  It is an oxidizer and can cause nearly immediate rust if not oiled right away.  I once was using a mix with it and was interrupted by a family emergency by the time I got back, just a couple of hours I had rust growing out of my Henry.  Cleaned up fairly well but have never used it since.

Howdy

I suspect something other than the Hydrogen Per Oxide caused your rust problem. Drugstore H2O2 is only about 3% H2O2, the rest is water. When you mix it up in equal parts with oil soap and alcohol, the concentration goes down to 1%. Hardly enough oxidizer to rust anything. As a test, a few years ago I took a piece of low carbon steel and painted it with Murphy's Mix, and let it sit in my basement until the Murphy's Mix completely evaporated. Took a couple of days. When the Mix had totally evaporated only an oily film was left. There was no rust. H2O2 gets a bad name because in highly concentrated form it can be used as rocket fuel. But the drugstore variety is pretty harmless.

As far as cleaning is concerned, I use the same method that Montana Slim does, with an empty case in the chamber to keep the gucky fouling out of the action. The only difference is I use the slotted end of my cleaning rod, to hold a patch, not a jag. The slotted end is narrow enough that I can run it all the way into an empty 44-40 case and it will not jam as a jag might. Makes it simpler, no need to carefully keep track of how deep I have gone.
That’s bad business! How long do you think I’d stay in operation if it cost me money every time I pulled a job? If he’d pay me that much to stop robbing him, I’d stop robbing him.

Ya probably inherited every penny ya got!

Offline Buck Stinson

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 751
    • Old West Reproductions, Inc.
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2010, 07:42:56 PM »
I use the same method as Grizzly Adams except for the Windex.  I use mild detergent in warm water.  I use white vinegar to clean BP cases.  If you turn the gun upside down in a gun cradle, with the action open and the lever pointing to the sky, you won't find in necessary to use the empty case in the chamber.

Offline Montana Slim

  • NCOWS Member
  • Top Active Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 1888
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 9
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2010, 08:39:38 PM »
Well, I will add back in the "day" we didn't have easy chairs or gun cradles...least out in the field  ;D

The ups/down method works "ok" most of the time....been there & done that...anything less than complete attention will result in a splash to the innards or at least the carrier...which can run into the action or elsewhere once the piece is "righted".

"gun cleaning specialist" - I came by this title honestly...by making lots of mistakes :D


Jest funin' ya,
Slim
Western Reenacting                 Dark Lord of Soot
Live Action Shooting                 Pistoleer Extrordinaire
Firearms Consultant                  Gun Cleaning Specialist
NCOWS Life Member                 NRA Life Member

Offline Buck Stinson

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 751
    • Old West Reproductions, Inc.
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2010, 09:28:57 AM »
When I started cleaning black powder out of Winchesters 45 years ago, I never thought about using an easy chair.  Learn something new everyday.   I agree that in the field on day shoots, the cradle isn't the most practical tool to carry along.  However, even 32 years ago, when we started shooting long range BP cartridge here in Montana, many of these shoots would last a full week and everyone took a cleaning cradle along as standard equipment.    We shot every type of vintage single shot rifle and big bore Winchester you could think of.  You don't have to clean BP rifles many times, before you find easier, cleaner ways to do it.  I also learned that when cleaning a lever action in the upside down position, you clean and wipe the bore first.  This way, it is impossible to get any liquid residue in the action once the gun is righted.  Then once the gun is righted, it's easy to clean out what little fowling is in the action.  If you have fairly tight headspace on any rifle, there should be very minimal cleaning necessary in the action.  JMHO

Advertisers

  • Guest
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #10 on: Today at 04:16:23 PM »

Offline Driftwood Johnson

  • Driftwood Johnson
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1882
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2010, 02:15:23 PM »
Quote
If you turn the gun upside down in a gun cradle, with the action open and the lever pointing to the sky, you won't find in necessary to use the empty case in the chamber.

If you use the empty case in the chamber you don't need the cradle. One less thing to drag along to a match, and we all have empty cases at the end of a match. Just stand it up in your cart. Or lean it against your car. What ever works.
That’s bad business! How long do you think I’d stay in operation if it cost me money every time I pulled a job? If he’d pay me that much to stop robbing him, I’d stop robbing him.

Ya probably inherited every penny ya got!

Offline kcub

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 144
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2010, 09:19:05 AM »
On another forum I heard about a guy who swabs his revolver barrel and cylinder with plain old baby wipes after black powder which sounds very convenient.

Offline Montana Slim

  • NCOWS Member
  • Top Active Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 1888
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 9
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2010, 10:07:25 PM »
On another forum I heard about a guy who swabs his revolver barrel and cylinder with plain old baby wipes after black powder which sounds very convenient.

I use baby wipes for cleaning the frame, hammer, etc of my percussian revolvers....& Toilettee-paper for my shotgun  ;D

Use what works for you!
Slim
Western Reenacting                 Dark Lord of Soot
Live Action Shooting                 Pistoleer Extrordinaire
Firearms Consultant                  Gun Cleaning Specialist
NCOWS Life Member                 NRA Life Member

Offline Fingers McGee

  • American Plainsmen Society
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1390
  • Smoke & Fire
  • SASS #: R28654
  • NCOWS #: 3638
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2010, 10:39:32 PM »
I had the same problem that Will Ketchum had, only with a batch of Murphy mix and some revolver nipples.  2 hours soak turned them into little balls of rust.  Have never used Hydrogen peroxide or Murphy's mix on anything since.

Ask this question of 100 BP shooters and you will get 125 answers, and a crash course in chemical engineering! ;D

Here's mine!  The method I  use is pretty quick and simple, and I have never had one speck of rust or failure of any kind.  Open the action, push carrier to the bottom.  Place rifle upside down in a vise or across the arms of a chair.  Saturate a patch with Windex with vinegar (not ammonia.)  Use a good stainless steel rod with a proper size jag, and run the wet patch through the bore.  The dirty patches and any moisture drops down and out of the action.  Usually takes only 3 or 4 to do the job.  Dry the bore with a couple of patches and then lube same with ballistol.  Turn rifle up right and wipe down the carrier with a moist cloth and Windex.  (If you have a 45LC your going to spend more time on this part! :-\)  

Put rifle away, grab a cold one, and pick a few tunes on your banjo! ;D  You do have a banjo don't you? ;)

Now if you can't find the Windex with vinegar, tap water will do!
+1 to Grizzley Adams procedure with the exception that I use Birchwood Casey No. 77 Muzzle Magic BP cleaner.   Have used it ever since the H202 debacle.  After cleaning out all of the fouling, lubing with straight Balsiton finishes the job.

FM
Fingers (Show Me MO smoke) McGee;
SASS Regulator 28654 - L - TG; NCOWS 3638
AKA Man of many Colts; Diabolical Ken's alter ego; stage writer extraordinaire; Frontiersman/Pistoleer; Rangemaster
Founding Member - Central Ozarks Western Shooters
Member - Southern Missouri Rangers;
NRA Patron Life: GOA; CCRKBA; SAF; SV-114 (CWO4 ret); STORM 327

"Cynic:  A blackguard whose faulty vision sees thing as they are, not as they should be"  Ambrose Bierce

Offline Drydock

  • MA1 USN ret. GAF #19, Colonel, Chief of Staff. BC, CC, SoM. SASS 1248 Life
  • American Plainsmen Society
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 4373
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 9
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2010, 11:10:54 AM »
With my Henry, .44-40, Goex 3f, Lee 2 groove bullet, 50/50 Crisco/beeswax lube:

-wipe it off and take it home.  Have a beer, go to bed.  Got to work the next day.  After work, get the Henry out to be cleaned.
Letting it set overnight lets the fouling absorb just enough moisture to be nice and soft.  With a well shot in rifle you can wait several days if you want.  Just me, but I don't like the case in the chamber method.  I want the chamber to get the same treatment as the rest of the barrel.

-With the rifle upside down over the sink, action open but elevator still down, soak a patch in tap water and run thru the bore.  Flip the patch and run it thru again.  Repeat with a dry patch.  Repeat with a patch soaked in Ballistol.

(The patch does not need to come out white .  That would be removing the nice oily grease.  Yer not trying to remove copper fouling here)

-Soak a few q-tips with Ballistol and work around the elevator.  Dribble a few drops into the action  here and there.  Dribble a few drops into the magazine slot and work the follower up and down a few times to spread it around.  Wipe the whole thing down again with an old greasy rag and put away.

-Every couple of years or so, take it apart and inspect.  No rust yet after nearly 15 years.  Do the revolvers much the same.  Shotgun is a hose down the barrels, paper towel wads, and a shot of spray Ballistol.
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline Montana Slim

  • NCOWS Member
  • Top Active Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 1888
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 9
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2010, 08:58:14 AM »
I used to use the same Lee bullet.....unless you have 100% humidity or wet-swab the bore every other stage, it will foul-out and cause accuracy issues....been there myself  ;)

After I remove the case, the chamber is fully cleaned with a dry patch, then an oiled patch (action closed). With MY 44-40 loads, the carrier and areas other than the bore need nothing more than an oily patch wipe-down. My rifle & shotgun cleanup is completed while loading gear back into the car & takes an extra 10-15 minutes total  ;D

Pushing a wet, sloppy-dirty patch down the barrel and out the chamber....whether it is right-side, down-side or ups-down or backwards will slop something into the receiver/carrrier or worse....guaranteed.......and, cleaning my rifle over a sink (at my home) would be a great way to get Mrs. Slim excited...but not in a good way  :o

I have to say this has been an interesting thread  :D

Regards,
Slim
Western Reenacting                 Dark Lord of Soot
Live Action Shooting                 Pistoleer Extrordinaire
Firearms Consultant                  Gun Cleaning Specialist
NCOWS Life Member                 NRA Life Member

Offline Drydock

  • MA1 USN ret. GAF #19, Colonel, Chief of Staff. BC, CC, SoM. SASS 1248 Life
  • American Plainsmen Society
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 4373
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 9
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2010, 05:59:39 PM »
Never had a fouling problem with that bullet.  Shoot all weekend without cleaning, nothing more than a breath now and then down the barrel, no fall off in accuracy.  Course, after 15 years of nothing but BP, that barrel's pretty slick.   ;D
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline Montana Slim

  • NCOWS Member
  • Top Active Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 1888
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 9
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2010, 05:33:43 PM »
Never had a fouling problem with that bullet.  Shoot all weekend without cleaning, nothing more than a breath now and then down the barrel, no fall off in accuracy.  Course, after 15 years of nothing but BP, that barrel's pretty slick.   ;D

I've only pumped about 20,000 rounds (Nearly all BP as well) through my 1866 rifle....smoothness of the bore won't help BP fouling...and at a point, decreases accuracy (starting with clean barrel, of course). A carbine (19-20") will have fewer issues with foul-out than a rifle (24") and a longer (30") barrel will be more prone to foul-out. Less powder = less fouling as well. It is possible that breathing through the bore would add moisture & help, but would take a LOT of puffing to negate the fouling of typical 10-shot stages.

My only major problem with the Lee Bullet was one year at the NCOWS National match....I skipped swapping the bore (rod was in the car)...my posse was surprised that I missed ALL the rifle targets (I'm often "clean")...more test firing revealed more of a "pattern" rather than a group. BTW, Our rifle targets were/are generally up to twice as far as you see in a typical SASS match and usually not as big...so, YMMV.

Oh, I switched to the big-lube bullet & no difficulties since....carrying the rod is now for convenient cleanup after the shooting is done.

Best,
Slim
Western Reenacting                 Dark Lord of Soot
Live Action Shooting                 Pistoleer Extrordinaire
Firearms Consultant                  Gun Cleaning Specialist
NCOWS Life Member                 NRA Life Member

Offline Will Ketchum

  • Chief of Detectives
  • Deputy Marshal
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 2794
  • Pete Ersland
  • SASS #: 4222
  • NCOWS #: 133
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2010, 05:56:28 PM »
I've only pumped about 20,000 rounds (Nearly all BP as well) through my 1866 rifle....smoothness of the bore won't help BP fouling...and at a point, decreases accuracy (starting with clean barrel, of course). A carbine (19-20") will have fewer issues with foul-out than a rifle (24") and a longer (30") barrel will be more prone to foul-out. Less powder = less fouling as well. It is possible that breathing through the bore would add moisture & help, but would take a LOT of puffing to negate the fouling of typical 10-shot stages.

My only major problem with the Lee Bullet was one year at the NCOWS National match....I skipped swapping the bore (rod was in the car)...my posse was surprised that I missed ALL the rifle targets (I'm often "clean")...more test firing revealed more of a "pattern" rather than a group. BTW, Our rifle targets were/are generally up to twice as far as you see in a typical SASS match and usually not as big...so, YMMV.

Oh, I switched to the big-lube bullet & no difficulties since....carrying the rod is now for convenient cleanup after the shooting is done.

Best,
Slim

I remember that well.  I think I was scoring for you.  I remember when we checked out your "group"  It couldn't have been covered by a pie plate :o.  I often think about that time when ever people talk about bores getting fouled out.

Will Ketchum
Will Ketchum's Rules of W&CAS: 1 Be Safe. 2 Have Fun. 3  Look Good Doin It!
F&AM, NRA Endowment Life, SASS Life 4222, NCOWS Life 133.  USMC for ever.
Madison, WI

Offline Drydock

  • MA1 USN ret. GAF #19, Colonel, Chief of Staff. BC, CC, SoM. SASS 1248 Life
  • American Plainsmen Society
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 4373
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 9
Re: black powder cleanup for the 1860 and the 1866
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2010, 11:31:43 AM »
It all works, and we take ourselves entirely too seriously.  Just have fun folks, and find out what works for you!
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk

© 1995 - 2020 CAScity.com