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Apply wax in barrel channel?

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Xenophon

32 Cal
Joined
Dec 9, 2022
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Location
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I’m in the process of staining my Woodsrunner stock. I understand that no iron nitrates no stain, etc goes in the barrel channel, but what about my last step, being the wax?

I am following Mitch Yates recorded lecture on YouTube. In it he states that nothing goes in the barrel channel except seedlac (varnish). Plain enough. The only reason I ask is that I’ve read elsewhere about applying wax or oil to the underside of the barrel itself essentially for rust protection. So maybe just wax in the channel?

Thoughts? Quit overthinking and just do what Mr. Yates tells me to do?
 
FWIW definitely overkill … my method … but I’ve never had an issue and these guns hunt in the rain, in the snow, and in the freezing sleet, etc. Also note that wax on wood is in fact ‘semi-permeable’ … read water resistant at best.

The barrel channel is well varnished or finished with whatever finish you used on the rest of the arm. It must be sealed well, but I don’t wax it.

The barrel itself is cleaned on the outside/underneath, then hit with Birchwood Casey’s ‘Barricade’, a liquid wax protectant. The barrel is waxed afterwards, with wax of your choice. The portion of the barrel in the wood stock is then hit w/ a waterproof synthetic grease, to prevent any rusting from any water that does get between the wood and barrel.

Others will have different recipes and if you ask 3 people … you will get 5 different methods.

On my non-hunting guns, the channel is finished, the barrel OD is cleaned/waxed/Barricaded, but only the first 8” of the barrel gets the additional grease treatment, as for protection from whilst pouring water down the muzzle to clean it.
 
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FWIW definitely overkill … my method … but I’ve never had an issue and these guns hunt in the rain, in the snow, and in the freezing sleet, etc. Also note that wax on wood is in fact ‘semi-permeable’ … read water resistant at best.

The barrel channel is well varnished or finished with whatever finish you used on the rest of the arm. It must be sealed well, but I don’t wax it.

The barrel itself is cleaned on the outside/underneath, then hit with Birchwood Casey’s ‘Barricade’, a liquid wax protectant. The barrel is waxed afterwards, with wax of your choice. The portion of the barrel in the wood stock is then hit w/ a waterproof synthetic grease, to prevent any rusting from any water that does get between the wood and barrel.

Others will have different recipes and if you ask 3 people … you will get 5 different methods.

On my non-hunting guns, the channel is finished, the barrel OD is cleaned/waxed/Barricaded, but only the first 8” of the barrel gets the additional grease treatment, as for protection from whilst pouring water down the muzzle to clean it.
I agree with this method - I use a soft beeswax mixture and smear it around the muzzle between the barrel and nosecap and down each side of the barrel/stock gap for 3-4" to keep overruns when cleaning from seeping between the barrel and stock. I also smear the same mixture around the back and top edge of the lock and around the breech and front of the tang where they touch the stock. Helps keep the fouling and cleaning residue from seeping down into the wood. Beeswax doesn't hurt the wood and is easily refreshed if needed.
 
Mr. Comfortably Numb (who is an accomplished builder!) is correct. However for MY piece of mind with pinned barrels, I coat the underside of the barrel and the barrel channel in the stock with wax. That way hopefully any moisture from cleaning or hunting is kept from harming the steel.
 
I'm no expert on ML's, but I live on the coast and everything rusts. On all my guns I rely on layers of protection. The only time It's not waxed, greased, finished or painted is if it's stainless steel.
My ML's get finish in all areas on the wood and several coats of wax on the steel. They get checked at least twice a month, which includes a clean, oiled patch run down the barrel. Excessive? More than likely, but I've never had a rust issue with my ML's.
I read about gun safes from china having chemicals in the lining materials which actually encourage rust. I've fought that problem with one of my safes. Any metal part which touched the bottom of the safe would grow rust in short order.
 
I like wax but as said old guns don’t seem to have got that.
Middlesex gun company has an old officers fusil pretty abused over the years. They pulled the barrel and found it pretty clean, with all the old blue.
Now I’m not saying anything about Middlesex but only the quality of how safe the barrel channel is
 
Stainless steel varies in the alloys. Some will rust along with
ordinance steel. When I bring in my rifle unfired but wet, I
will dry it by the fire for awhile and revolvers dry with a
hair dryer on low. Men who handle their guns more, have
fewer problems, all the way around. This wax protecting
the barrel from wood is new to me but I will add that to
my routine. These discussions are helpful.
 
Guns can get moisture below the stock line and damage the underside of the barrel. Rain, sweat, blood, and condensation from extreme temperature shifts all contribute to this issue. If your gun never leaves the house or you live near Arizona then none of this will keep you up at night. An old trick from the M1 Garand/M14 days was to generously coat the barrel channel and underside of the action with boiled linseed oil and it when it would dry it would basically glue everything together. This was used as a poor mans glass bedding back then. A lot of WW2 Garands have extensive pitting below the stock line probably from rear echelon soldiers who were only wiping off the outside of the weapons since they were not shooting them. If you have seen this you realize how much damage can occur out of sight. I have adopted this technique for my rifles and muskets and use a thick coat of linseed oil in the barrel channel and on the back side of all the metal before installing anything in the stock. I even fill any gaps in the stock with wax. This has worked well for me to keep moisture out and add some protection to the metal for condensation. I do this type of preventative maintenance for a gun that is used for hunting, camping, or trekking in snow or rain.
 
All the guns I’ve built and own, have several heavy coats of stock finish in the barrel channel and under the but piece. The lock mortise gets its share too. The barrel at final assembly gets a healthy film of RIG grease. All over. I’m wary of the over greasing thing as oils and grease can and do soak into wood causing troubles of it own. Like heaven forbid complicating future repairs. And wood damage due to oil soaking. I never had any rusting issues even with guns 20 plus years old doing this. Or oil soaked wood. BJH
 
I use my regular varnish finish inside and out. Be careful not to goop up the inlets to much.

Grease or wax is not for me. I have spent too much time getting grease and out of stocks to apply it on purpose. Oil or grease soaked wood get weak an punkie over time. Wax does nothing that varnish will not.

Absolutely wax the barrel. I would not argue with putting varnish or lacquer on the barrel under the wood line. The Hall Rifles had the metal parts coated with a tinted varnish. I have seen an example of a Hall flintlock that was in mint condition. You would never guess the metal parts were vanished. I have not been able to determine what the varnish or coating was.

Just brain storming here.... IF preventing rust on the underside of the barrel is a concern there are modern catalyzed clear coatings that would work very well. I never heard of it being done but I bet it would work great. If applied carefully The whole barrel could be coated and nobody needs to know.
 
I’m in the process of staining my Woodsrunner stock. I understand that no iron nitrates no stain, etc goes in the barrel channel, but what about my last step, being the wax?

I am following Mitch Yates recorded lecture on YouTube. In it he states that nothing goes in the barrel channel except seedlac (varnish). Plain enough. The only reason I ask is that I’ve read elsewhere about applying wax or oil to the underside of the barrel itself essentially for rust protection. So maybe just wax in the channel?

Thoughts? Quit overthinking and just do what Mr. Yates tells me to do?

A lot of people do like to finish or bed the barrel channel and inlets.

I do wax the barrel channel in my guns with a mixture of bees wax and Rosen, i heat the barrel with a heat gun and press it into place, then card off the excess, this is not needed though, its just style, the worthy for many is that Moises will never the barrel, cause rust and dry rot the forearm, that can be solved rather easily by cleaning the gun and drying it all over.

Original guns likely were just unfinished, or coated with a small amount of linseed oil.
 
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