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I say DON"T loan your muzzle loader to a friend

plains scoutplains scout Member Posts: 4,563
Well, my own stupidity.

I have a friend that has helped me with many many projects. So when he drew a muzzle loader tag, and asked if he could borrow my muzzle loader I could not really say no.

Well my friend, and he is a friend who has been there, even when I needed an emergency ride 185 miles to a hospital, knew nothing about black powder.

I stressed the importance of cleaning each day, and explained in detail HOW to clean a muzzle loader. So today when my son wanted to go shoot 50 cal round balls he grabbed his muzzle loader and I mine.

He was shooting like Davy Crockett or Dan Boone, I was shooting like a drunk standing on one foot and cross eyed. My trusty muzzle loader was not shooting consistent nor on target like it always has.

Finally after sticking two balls while loading and having to use my home made screw extractor, I realized what was wrong. I am sure that the rifle was not cleaned properly when he returned it and has corroded and the end 1/3 of the barrel is fouled badly.

Broke my ram rod trying to set a ball.

I brought it home and did what you are never suppose to do -- dumped solvent down the barrel (Shooters Choice) and let it sit for about 10 minutes and then hot water flushed many many times and swabbed with with a cotton patch.

The barrel eventually cleaned up and the last 1/3 of the barrel near the muzzle seems to "loosened" so that the swab went in and out better as I finished cleaning.

Thinking I may need a new T/C barrel for the muzzle loader. Ideas?

I know some of you might be thinking that I was a smuck for loaning the rifle to this guy, but he has been better to me than most family.

Ideas as to whether the barrel is shot or how to cure would be very much appreciated. I have never had anything like this happen before!!!


  • DEG305DEG305 Member Posts: 469 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I had the same situation and found that a lot of shooting and cleaning after each shot at the range will bring them back. T C cleaning products work well[:)]
  • surbat6surbat6 Member Posts: 485 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You might consider simply getting another rifle and saving the messed-up one to loan to your friend the next time he wants to shoot BP.
    Lapping the barrel may help bring it back though you may need a thicker patch or slightly larger ball in the lapped barrel.
    Actually, it's possible that a larger ball (such as a .495 instead of a .490 for a .50 cal.) might solve your problems, as long as the patches aren't tearing when you push the ball past the rough section.
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,886 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    "I say DON"T loan your muzzle loader to a friend"


    I HAD a friend who was as good of a friend as the one you describe. When he needed help with a wounded hog, it was I who was in the swamp with him at midnight, crawling on my hands and knees following the blood trail. Bud had the flashlight, I had the .45
    We had been through thick and thin together, and I trusted Bud with my life.
    I lent him a TC Hawken, he had drawn a blackpowder tag.
    I told him all about cleaning.
    It took me two years to get the gun back. When I got the gun, the barrel was ruined. He had not cleaned it properly.
    I got a machinist to drill it out to make a 43 gauge shotgun.
    That isn't worth a damn, either. I am going to get one of those Green River replacement barrels, the short one with the fast twist from Cabelas, and shoot slugs in the damn gun.
    That used to be my favorite gun.
    ps Don't lend out your chain saw, either.

    As Shakespeare said in Hamlet:
    "Neither a borrower or a lender be, for a loan often loses both itself and friend."
  • plains scoutplains scout Member Posts: 4,563
    edited November -1
    Man Allen ain't it the truth.

    As I started this thread out "My own stupidity"

    Non black powder shooters just don't get the importance of cleaning. Ouch.
  • 555JM555JM Member Posts: 1 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    A better title for this thread may have been "Don't trust anyone else to clean your Muzzleloader".

    In both cases if the ML had been returned to the lender immediately after the hunt for cleaning, there probably would've been no damage. People's eyes glaze over when the details of cleaning a ML are explained to them...they don't remember much of anything and then are afraid to tackle the job for fear of doing something wrong. Might just as well accept the fact that you'll have to do it yourself if you want it done right.

    But beyond cleaning, you have to wonder if they have enough understanding of handling a ML to make sure the ball gets seated firmly on the powder. No amount of ramrod work will bring back a bulged barrel. So that's another reason for not lending...or keeping a loaner around that you don't care so much about.
  • Mr.PissyPantsMr.PissyPants Member Posts: 3,575
    edited November -1
    In situations like that where a friend wants to borrow a gun, I usually find a way to help them get their own. People seem to take care of what they own better anyways. [:)]
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