Muzzle loader gun cleaning advice needed

HerschelHerschel Member Posts: 2,035 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 2015 in Ask the Experts
I have been asked to teach a class youths about proper gun cleaning.

I am aware of what is needed for all but the black powder replacements such as Pyrodex. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,230 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Pyrodex is hydroscopic, clean it like black powder, with hot soapy water. It leaves a residue worse, than BP though. Be sure to use a bore brush with the water. Dry it good, than use gun oil to prevent rusting.
  • mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 22,335 ******
    edited November -1
    The guys I know all swear by a small amount of Murphy's Oil Soap mixed into some VERY hot water.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,351 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Moose Milk - water soluble oil used in machining metal, in warm water. A pint of mix in a quart container, stick barrel nipple/flash hole down in container (I take the nipple out and clean separately, its easier that way). Use tight fitting patch on jag. Scrub bore to hearts content with ramrod. Allow solution to catch up to the patch by pulling ramrod out the barrel slowly if nipple is installed. Use a old toothbrush wet with cleaning solution to clean outside of barrel.

    When you no longer feel crud in the bore with the tight patch. Get second container (3# coffee can is nice) nearly full of boiling hot water. Put gloves on hands, insert barrel into hot water nipple immersed as before. Use tight patch on jag. Work the bore until the barrel is hot to the touch. Remove barrel, quickly run several clean dry patches down the bore. Residual heat in the barrel will finish drying it. When barrel cools, an oiled patch is run several through the bore. Inspect patch to make sure it is still clean. Put anti-seize compound on nipple threads and reinstall

    Or you could use the Spit Patch - Bore Butter and their cleaning solutions if you like the seasoned bore theory like cast iron cookware.
  • 11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,725
    edited November -1
    Agree with above. I remove the nipple, put breech end of rifle in container of HOT water, use Dawn dish detergent on the bore brush, scrub away. Remove from container, pour clean HOT water down bore, dry patch, wait 5 minutes, lightly oiled patch.
  • tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682
    edited November -1
    Pyrodex is different than most of the other black powder substitutes, as it still has some sulpher and salt pieter in it. The hot soapy water is slightly alkaline, and neutralizes the acids that result as byproducts of combustion.

    Most of the others, which have no corrosive ingredients, say they are water soluble, which means to me, the same thing. Most of the factory BP/substitute cleaner's are nothing but soapy water. Keep in mind, that anything in preformed charges, also has a binder in it, to form it into the pellet shape, and keep it there. They are usually molded in the wet form, and dried in a low temperature vacuum oven, to extract the water from them. That binder is usually deposited in the form of a ring, just in front of the chamber area of the rifle. Usually a pre moistened patch on the jag takes care of that.

    This is my procedure and materials...

    For hunting season

    Jar of Thompson Center pre moistened patches

    Ample amount of dry patches

    the correct size drill bit for cleaning carbon out of the flash hole...to be used in the fingers...never by drill motor.

    Pipe cleaners

    Bronze brush

    take pre moistened patch on jag run it thru the bore, scrubbing it vigorously.

    Take a dry patch, and use the same procedure. Repeat this process, until the dry patch comes out clean.

    Use pipe cleaner to clean flash hole channel. If carbon appears to be built up from numerous firings, use the drill bit...it makes short work of it. Be careful not to enlarge the flash hole itself.

    If your rifle has a removable breech plug, use the bronze tooth brush to clean the face, and threads. Submerging this in hot soapy water helps this process. Dry off breech plug, and grease it for reassembly. Before re assembling, make sure the threads in the barrel are clean, also.

    After season for storage, I use boiling hot soapy water to clean everything, then put a patch loaded with T/C Bore Butter thru the barrel, while still hot...this lets it sink into the open pores, and helps season the barrel.

  • hillbillehillbille Member Posts: 10,686 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    dawn and boiling water when all is said and done, if just a quick cleaning between shots, rubbing alchohol works good as if any is left in barrell it will evaporate in a few seconds.
  • toad67toad67 Member Posts: 9,592 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    409 right out of the spray bottle always worked well for me on patches and basic clean up.
  • firstharmonicfirstharmonic Member Posts: 883 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Been shooting black powder frontstuffers for over forty years; used both pyro and black. Over the years I've been tempted into using all sorts of cleaners based on advertising hype but I've always came back to warm water with a bit of some kind of soap in it - Dawn, Murphy's, it really doesn't matter. It's the cheapest cleaner available and does the best job in my experience. KISS whenever possible.
  • paperpaper Member Posts: 21 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I treat any gun I shoot with corrosive ammo the same way.. Hot, soapy water, rinse with HOT water, and lightly oil.
  • HerschelHerschel Member Posts: 2,035 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks to all who replied for the information. It provided what I needed to know for the class.
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