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Cleaning a flintlock

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Livbucks

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I take my truck and have it sprayed underneath and inside the body with Fluid Film. It smells like a manure truck but at least it doesnt rust.
 

Flinty Scot

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oh i do, but on some things it makes more sense to me to do things the way i think is better. like ridding in a vehicle instead of ridding a horse or walking, or cleaning your gun with modern chemicals and not water. and if i get sick enough i go to a modern doctor instead of putting leaches on my body. LOL ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Let them do it. (Medical use of leeches is coming back, in a limited way.)
 

oldhunter1954

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I never remove a pinned barrel for cleaning. Even if the gun gets wet I don't worry too much. The bottom of the barrels are waxed - wax renewed every year or two - and never had problems.
Just curious about the bottom of the barrels are waxed? I have my very 1st flintlock. How do I wax the bottom of the barrel ?
 

Cpt Flint

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Walmart has bamboo skewers in the cookout department that make the worlds best toothpick to plug the vent.
 

Flintlock

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Old Hunter, You will need to take your pins out the first time, I use Tru-Oil or other outdoor varnish to seal the barrel channel then when completely dried brush on channel and barrel some heated beeswax or beeswax tallow mix. Whenever going out hunting or a trek I rub the seems on all surfaces with this mix or paste wax to help keep water and moisture out. I never pour water in my barrels and just use damp patches or damp tow for cleaning. 27 years of using my longrifles several times a week and still nary a problem.
 

Flinty Scot

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Old Hunter, it will depend on how the barrel is held in the stock. The barrel is usually held in the stock by the tang and either pins or keys, which cross the stock, under the barrel, through tabs on the underside of the barrel. Usually, it will also be held by the bolt holding the lock in.

Loosen the lock screw, then use it to gently work the lock free of it's inlet. It's essential to use a screwdriver (tip) which matches the screw slot; just wide enough to fill it w/out overhanging. If you don't have a proper, parallel-sided blade, be very careful or you'll tear up the screw head. (Do some research - here-if you need to learn the difference, then get dedicated screwdrivers or file some to fit.
You'll only need to remove the rear lock screw to free the barrel, but may need to remove both to remove the lock.

If there are "keys" ( 1 or 2 small flat blades of iron or brass, usually w/ a small metal trim plate inlaid at both ends to reinforce the wood, you need to gently push them out, far enough to release a thin metal tab, which runs down from the underside of the barrel into the stock - or a bit over 1/2 way out.

If held by pins, you need to figure which pins hold the barrel and which hold the ramrod thimbles (or nose cap. (Mine is held this way; those pinholes are slightly higher.) Removing the pins is a bit trickier. Find something slightly smaller than the hole to push the pin out. (Usually even thin pin punches are too big- I use a tiny Allen wrench as a drift, but a fully straightened thin paperclip may be small enough.) Be careful not to force it in and enlarge the hole. If it doesn't come easily, try pushing from the other side; they tend to be directional.

You will also need to free the breech, either by removing the tang screw(s), or by unhooking the breech hook from the tang plate, if it's a patent breech (common on modern replicas, especially of Hawken rifles.

Gently lift the barrel from the stock. Once the barrel is out, the stock is much easier to damage.

Clean the concealed sides/bottom of the barrel and wax it well. I use either a high grade car wax or Rennaisance Wax. (Museum grade microcrystalline wax; expensive but great stuff to protect your investment.)
While the barrel's out, I put several coats of wax the stock channel.

Go slowly and carefully. Get to know your rifle. The more you understand about it and exactly what's going on "under the hood", the less likely you are to have a problem you can't figure out - or explain clearly here when you ask for help.

Have fun!
 

wb78963

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I may get some beef for saying:

Disassemble the gun. Dunk lock and barrel in hot water and pump it. Take compressor blow gun and dry it up. Spray Brakleen in touch hole and over the lock. spray Ballistol in TH and all over the lock. Run a few ballistol patches and wipe barrel with a Rem oil cloth. Reassemble. Then wipe entire gun with presoaked Rem cloths. Sounds involved but it takes me 8 minutes in the garage.
then stand it muzzle down in the rack with a white paper towel under the muzzle. Leave it like that for a week or so to let the excess oil migrate out and away from the breech.
Bunk
 

Hawken

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Put your chemistry caps on boys, it's important to first understand that the residue from blackpowder is corrosive, it is a completely different animal than most are accustomed compared with modern cartridge firearms. The residue that remains after firing is actually a type of salt, it isn't the kind of table salt you put on your food, but it is a salt just the same.

And chemically speaking, salts as a class do not dissolve in oil nor are they neutralized or inactivated if an oiled patch is run down the bore. Salts only dissolve in water (or water based cleaners). It is not practical to try and completely remove the residue mechanically, because microscopic particles become deeply embedded in the pores of the steel. They will be perfectly happy to corrode and rust underneath a layer of oil or grease no matter how thick. This is why so many used blackpowder firearms are commonly found with corroded bores - the user thought they were like modern guns, and a few passes with an oiled patch they would be GTG.

Now you know why soapy water has been recommended for cleaning muzzleloaders, it is not because rendezvousers are just cheap bastard polecats (well ... some of 'em are ha ha) there simply isn't anything better from a technical standpoint. When black powder and/or corrosive primer cartridge firearms were still in common use the Marine Corps would line the boots up after a day at the range with their rifles and wash them in open troughs.
 

Art Caputo

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Put your chemistry caps on boys, it's important to first understand that the residue from blackpowder is corrosive, it is a completely different animal than most are accustomed compared with modern cartridge firearms. The residue that remains after firing is actually a type of salt, it isn't the kind of table salt you put on your food, but it is a salt just the same...............


Agreed!
For the last 20 years or so I have used MAP(4parts Murphy’s Oil Soap, 6parts Isopropyl alcohol, 6parts 3% Peroxide). I don’t claim this to be the best cleaning method, and have used most all the methods described in this thread for my first 20 years of shooting. They worked fine but I can’t say they weren’t messy, cumbersome, and the results often less then desired.. First, to debunk a myth. The very low peroxide concentration(<.01%) in THIS {water-alcohol-soap solution}, will not corrode or damage the barrel(inside or out) when exposed for the short cleaning period described. The acidity is very low at this concentration. Putting that chemistry cap on........While the residual salts in the barrel will be dissolved in water, or soap and water, the carbon residues are NOT water/soap soluble. You may physically lift the carbon with scrubbing and/or hot water , but more often then not carbon(graphite) residue will remain in varying degrees, subject to build up, particularly in the breach/seams....The residual carbon residue can retain 5-15% water. The effects of this are certainly debatable, but my personal preference is to remove all carbon when cleaning. The peroxide component of the mixture, even at such a low concentration, combined with approximately 5 minutes exposure time, will chemically COVERT the carbon to carbon dioxide(CO2) gas, leaving no carbon residue. You can many times feel the CO2 gas release as you remove your thumbs after inverting the barrel. The water/soap/and alcohol components of the MAP solution accelerate the dissolving of the greasy salt residues. After 5 minutes and inserting the barrel a few times filled with a few ounces of MAP, you can simply pour out the solution, rinse once with an ounce or two of alcohol(or water), wipe dry, and lube the barrel. During that 5 minutes I’ll clean the lock/barrel area. After 20 years the barrel/breach areas of my rifles still appear as new when bore-scoped.. Surely this method is not HC/PC, but then again neither are the contemporary steels, lubricants, black powders, etc. many of us use............
 

hanshi

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Just curious about the bottom of the barrels are waxed? I have my very 1st flintlock. How do I wax the bottom of the barrel ?


I use a tiny punch to remove the pins; always remove & reinstall them exactly the same direction. I use a piece of masking tape to hold each pin in the order of removal since they are usually not all the same exact length. After I remove the barrel (carefully) I will use paste wax or something similar on the bottom. If you get it all over the barrel that is fine and in fact isn't a bad idea. Johnson's Paste Wax will make a good barrel protectant. I also seal the inlets and barrel channel with true oil as an added precaution when I first receive the gun.
 

bones92

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I often spray a line of Ballistol along the barrel on each side and let it run down under the barrel. Ballistol won't darken or deteriorate the wood, and it dries with a bit of film.
 
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