Black Powder clean up ??

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RodneyA

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I am use to shooting blackhorn 209 in a 209 rifle

I am going out to shoot the Hawken 50 for the first time this weekend

I will be using black powder not a substitute and #11 caps. Round ball.

What should I clean the barrel with and how often. I am use to running a couple cleaning patches between shots on the 209 rifle

all help is appreciated
 

CTShooter

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The most loaded question on the forum.

I pour boiling water down the barrel when I get home, couple of wet patches, couple of dry patches, couple oil patches
 

Britsmoothy

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What CTShooter said except for the oil. I use homemade grease. It dont run where the sun dont shine!
 

TreeMan

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Patches using water until your patches are clean, a few dry patches until dry, and a few oiled patches. Oil can be WD 40, ballistol, break free or whatever. A few days later run another oily patch down the bore to make sure you cleaned it well enough and no rust is forming. Some will say don’t use petroleum products. I call BS. Been using them for years. When you go to shoot again degrease the barrel with brake cleaner or rubbing alcohol. Let evaporate and go shooting. Easy peasy
 

deermanok

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The old way of cleaning up is to remove the barrel and unscrew the nipple. Place the unscrewed nipple end in a bucket of warm soapy water. Dish detergent, any kind will do but many prefer Dawn. Then take your cleaning rod with a patch on the end, insert into the barrel and pump up and down until you draw water up from the bucket. It will come out of the barrel all black at first but will start to come out clean after a few pumps. The next step is to remove the barrel from the bucket and start running dry patches in the barrel. Repeat until the patches come out clean. Next step is to clean the nipple. I usually drop it into my soapy water bucket at the start. Once finished with that, a little grease of some kind on the threads and reinstall the nipple. I then use a little light weight gun oiled patch for the barrel to finish up. Reinstall the barrel and your done. I always recheck my gun a day or two after cleaning to inspect for any rust that might be present. Generally, it doesn't but if so, an oily rag will clean it up.
If I'm in a hurry, I will use good old windex to clean my guns. It works great and it's a little quicker.
 

Grenadier1758

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I am use to shooting blackhorn 209 in a 209 rifle

I am going out to shoot the Hawken 50 for the first time this weekend

I will be using black powder not a substitute and #11 caps. Round ball.

What should I clean the barrel with and how often. I am use to running a couple cleaning patches between shots on the 209 rifle

all help is appreciated
So far there are four answers and four similar but varying responses to cleaning the Hawken. All of them will clean your rifle. Windex is a good cleaner, but the version with ammonia can harm the finish on your rifle. Black powder fouling is super easy to clean as all you really need is water if you use a water soluble lubricant. In any event a grease cutting dish soap will do the job. Boiling the water isn't really necessary except it will boil the chlorine and may prevent rust.

I am assuming that your question on cleaning is the cleaning between shots. Once again there are a lot of good answers and all of them are variations on a process to keep the fouling in the barrel consistent from shot to shot. You will find the black powder fouling to be quite sooty. Wiping with a tight patch and jag between shots can push that sooty fouling into the flash channel. We want to be sure that you avoid that. Use a thin t-shirt so the jag and patch will slide over the fouling, then bunch up on the jag to pull the fouling out. I use rubbing alcohol to wipe between shots. The 70% does a good job. Others will tell you to use Moose Milk. There are more formulas for Moose Milk and the advocates for their version can fill pages of responses. All work. To keep it simple, just use a small spray bottle of water with a small squirt of you dish washing liquid soap. This will be satisfactory for your first shooting experience. The cleaning patch should be just damp. Too much water can wet the powder and then its a failure to fire and another topic that will take pages to resolve.

You didn't say what lubricant you are using for patch lube. Only makes a difference with respect to wiping the bore between shots. An oil based patch lubricant will need a solvent that cuts the oil/fouling crud. Use a wiping solvent of either water with some dish soap or rubbing alcohol.

A disciplined approach to getting the best from your Hawken can be found in Dutch Schoultz's Black Powder Accuracy System. Its well woth the cost to buy the system for its 94 (at least) pages of information.

Black powder rifle accuracy system -
 

ohio ramrod

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I clean with warm to hot water, with a little soap, rinse with hot water, dry with patches, and alcohol. Then oil soaked patches, store with breech above the muzzle so oil does not run into the breech
 

wb78963

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Water dissolves black Gunpowder fouling salts. Smokeless solvents will NOT dissolve fouling salts. Warm water will work just fine. Use wet patches or a mop and scrub until they come out clean. Then dry the bore and oil with your favorite gun oil and store it muzzle down in a gun rack so the oil will migrate away from the breech.
That will reduce the chance of contamination of the powder the next time you load.
Yr' Obt' Svt'
Bunk
 

RodneyA

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Thank everyone for the information. Looking forward to giving the old gun a try
 

Eutycus

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The old way of cleaning up is to remove the barrel and unscrew the nipple. Place the unscrewed nipple end in a bucket of warm soapy water. Dish detergent, any kind will do but many prefer Dawn. Then take your cleaning rod with a patch on the end, insert into the barrel and pump up and down until you draw water up from the bucket. It will come out of the barrel all black at first but will start to come out clean after a few pumps. The next step is to remove the barrel from the bucket and start running dry patches in the barrel. Repeat until the patches come out clean. Next step is to clean the nipple. I usually drop it into my soapy water bucket at the start. Once finished with that, a little grease of some kind on the threads and reinstall the nipple. I then use a little light weight gun oiled patch for the barrel to finish up. Reinstall the barrel and your done. I always recheck my gun a day or two after cleaning to inspect for any rust that might be present. Generally, it doesn't but if so, an oily rag will clean it up.
If I'm in a hurry, I will use good old windex to clean my guns. It works great and it's a little quicker.
Oops , I accidently hit the quote button, so instead of erase everythimg I'll just ask a guestion. When you say "light weight gun oiled patch" are you talking about regular old gun oil like Rem oil?
 

Banjoman

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Welcome. If you search this site you’ll find there are almost as many cleaning methods as there are shooters. Don’t be overwhelmed though. Always clean after shooting . Water dissolves black powder crud. Use whatever rust preventative you feel comfortable with. Good shooting and have fun!
 

S.Kenton

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I clean with warm to hot water, with a little soap, rinse with hot water, dry with patches, and alcohol. Then oil soaked patches, store with breech above the muzzle so oil does not run into the breech
I do the same cleaning method,I don’t boil the water and rarely use It more than room temperature. I dry the bore with a dry cleaning patch and scrub with WD-40, then squirt a dab of Fluid Film in the bore followed by a another dry patch for long term bore preservation. If I’m going to shoot the next week or two I skip the fluid film. Like Ohio Ramrod, I store with barrel lower than the breech.
When I want to shoot I again, I clean the bore with brake clean, being careful not to get it on my finish. Then pop off a couple caps to clear the channel and load.
 

deermanok

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Oops , I accidently hit the quote button, so instead of erase everythimg I'll just ask a guestion. When you say "light weight gun oiled patch" are you talking about regular old gun oil like Rem oil?
Hoppe's actually. I have used it for decades. I dampen my patch with it. Just enough to leave a film on the metal.
 

JCKelly

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Cool water dissolves black powder residue. Grampa and my chemistry class both said so.
Hot water more likely to leave a little film of rust. Doesn't dissolve powder residue any better. Yeah, I know that HOT water usually dissolves stuff better thn does cold, but that is NOT the case with black power residue. It's a chemistry thing.
"Soap", for the last half century, contains a little bit of salt. Kinda rusts steel (or wrought iron).
(Honest to gosh hand-made soap could be another matter)
 

tenngun

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I like water, I don’t use soap, but I have. I don’t know that the salt in the soap makes much difference.
I swab with a damp patch between shots. But my cleaning isn’t seemingly easier if I have run a string with out swabbing. I use a gun oil, but I can’t say it works better then olive oil or mink oil and even lard.
 

Hawken

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Black Powder residues are extremely corrosive, because of the salts left behind after firing. Salts don't dissolve in oil or petroleum products, salts (from a chemical standpoint) can only be dissolved in water (or water based bore cleaners).

Just a small amount of detergent mixed in the water is enough because it reduces the "surface tension" of the water and makes it stick to the crud and cuts through grease that most likely remains due to patch or bullet lubes like tallow or crisco &c. The idea is to get down to a clean metal surface of the bore by dissolving corrosive residues and flushing them away. It would be impossible to mechanically scrub them away.

Once it is clean and dry, the bore can be treated with whatever your favorite potion or treatment might be. For my part oil causes WAY more problems than it solves. If you keep your gun in a modern climate controlled home there is no need to douse the thing in oil. I've seen an awful lot of people over the years miss their shots because they damped their powder with oil residue. They "thought" it was clean and dry. Or maybe they thought dousing it in oil would neutralize blackpowder residue. Hint: it don't.
 

hanshi

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If it's a hooked breech I stand the breech in a bucket of tap water adding maybe a drop of Dawn and pump it clean. If the barrel is pinned or banded I clean the same way I clean flintlocks. Alcohol and WD40 are used in the cleaning process to help dry the bore, but all that is removed and Barricade protects the bore for storage.
 

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