Special Interests - Groups & Societies > 1860 Henry

Normal cleaning routine?

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USCG Flyer:
Now that I have the scoop on taking the sideplates off courtesy of Slim, I need the forums knowledge of the "normal" cleaning of this rifle. So far all I have done is swab out the barrel and wiped around the carrier. Shot a little oil in the and called it good. How often do the sideplates need to come off? I also have the intent of loading some BP/ APP loads to see what it does. I picked up the APP in the hopes that it would be a bit less fuss for loading (due to lubes and such), but I hear it is kinda hard on brass. So how should I clean it with the BP/APP load? For the moment I'm sticking to smokless, but I do love the noise and stink of GOEX and Swiss...should I just flush out the action with Ballistol and forget removing the sides? I do know of the blowback problems with 45 colt, so I'm kinda wary of shooting BP.

James Hunt:
I only make several shoots a year but when I do I put 50 - 100 rds, thru the gun, all Goex 2f. Cleaning for me is simply H2O although sometimes I put a small amount of windex with viniger in the stuff I use, seems to help cut the bp fouling a little bit, maybe saving about two patches. I do this immediatly following the shoot and then smear a 50-50 mix of tallow and beeswax down the bore, over the external area including the wood (this product is available commercially and known as "old zip" when purchased from dixie gun works). This mixture works well on anything BP. I use nothing else and have never ever seen a spec of rust on anything I own, and that includes all generations of Colts and longrifles. It is $2 a can, will last you a year. and is as good as any new wiz bang formula birchwood casy or anybody else is selling.

About once a year I will take the side plates off and clean all the internals using a "polish to take everything to mirror bright" cover with Type F transmission fluid (paraffen based and works well with BP unlike petrolium based stuff) and let it go. I do not use any polish on the external components of the gun as I enjoy the patina that the BP gives the brass frame externally. I suppose taking the side plate off and cleaning internally is a function of how much you use the gun. But for me once a year is more often than I probably need. The idea that you got to get in there and get all that BP out is nonsense. I have never seen any ill effect from my once a year protocol. Also, I don't know if the screws on the gun can handle being used more than once a year. The Italians must have not yet figured out the hardening process cause these screws are the softest known to man. I bugger them up every time I take them out, and eventually order new ones (also from DGW) cheap but it irritates me.

Regards, Jim

Dakota Widowmaker:
Well, "normal' after match cleaning is a squirt or two fo SageBrush solution or (now) Ballistol down the bore, followed up with a patch or two.

then, a patch soaked in Kroil.

The action only gets a light cleaning with some starter fluid or MAYBE some Hoppe's spray, then a quick lube with RemOil or CLP.

I have been using RemOil more lately, as its not as tough to clean up afterwards with.

As far as keeping the brass frame nice and shiny...FLITZ!!! A Flitz cloth and some flitz paste is all that is needed.

I like to make the frame sparkle. Its one of the joys of shooting the darn thing. Even my wife comments on how nice it looks. (and she is not a fan of guns at all)


Montana Slim:
My 1866 is about 8 yrs old & estimate 2000+ (average) BP rounds through the gun each year.
My SOP for cleaning is to place a previously fired cartridge in the breech & clean from the muzzle, using a bore guide, jag and wet patches (windshileld washer solvent). Follow with dry patches and the (evil) WD-40 {gasp}.

I happen to dismount the sideplates a couple years ago for inspection and a thorough cleaning/lube & found it didn't really need any maintenance / cleaning at that time. I simply smeared some fresh grease on the links and reassembled.
I'm not planning to take it down until parts repair/replacement is needed or trouble signs appear. BTW, mine is a 44-40.


Major 2:
Frankly in 6 years, of ownership of the 45LC ( and ealier the 44/40 and the "66" in 38 ) I never pulled the sides.
In fact is was not until about 4 or 5 days ago, I recieved the tutorial on how it's done properly from Silver Creek Slim.

Cleaning has been, a good flushing and swabing.


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