Cleaning revolvers

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wb78963

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You have to admit Bunk, that’s a bit sparse on details. Shoot, the average post on a board such as this probably runs 500 words on the topic. Colt probably paid his printer by the letter, hence the brevity.

For my part each of us throwbacks still using these old timey firearms is going to incorporate various modern procedures, tools or chemicals. Or not. As the case may be… So. Disgusted? Why?

I have only been greasing the interior for a few years but I feel like I should send one of mine to you so you can examine it for any hint of corrosion… even Sam Colt would likely approve. In fact, the old chilly hearted military capitalist would probably wonder why Bunk and Woodnbow are even screwing around with his old Army model of 1860, let alone discussing how to keep them running for another few generations.

Have yourself a calm weekend Bunk… make it smoky!
Woody, that was just the Reader's Digest version of the Colt instructions.
Water will dissolve the corrosive salts in the barrel. Here is the test of your favorite concoction, In a class pour in some of the cleaner and drop in a little table salt.. if the salt dissolves great. if it does not dissolve you are not getting the salts that cause corrosion out. Simple as that. But it is your gun and you are free to muck it up however you want. Just don't come crying to me.
Not AR, Woodie, and not a drama queen just trying to share some years of experience shooting and cleaning..
Yr' Obt' Svt'
Bunk
P. S. Very smokey thank you with 15 rounds through the Sharps rifle.
 

Craig "Wildcat" Wilcox

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For me, cleaning black powder firearms is easy.
Now, back 50-60 years ago, after a shooting match at Camp A.P. Hill, others in the vicinity, we would all gather back at the boss's house. We would dismount the barrels of our .58 cal Springfields while the boss got the bathtub full of the hottest water he could get. Barrels would all go in the tub, usually at least a dozen of them. He would pour a liberal amount of hair shampoo into the water, and the youngest guy (usually me) would start scrubbing the barrels with a brass brush on the end of a cleaning rod. I doubt that the rod came from the Springfields, as I cannot recall seeing a threaded end on their rods. I would scrub the inside of all the barrels while the bath water would turn black. The tub was then emptied, refilled with warm water, and the barrels scrubbed again. Meanwhile, the rest of the guys would be cleaning the actions and stocks, and give all a good waxing. After the barrels had been scrubbed in the warm water, they were rinsed in cold water, then hung upside down. Apparently, later that night, or the next day, the barrels got a good oil coating, then re-assembled, and the guns put into the rack.
Now, I do not use hot water. Cold water, some Dawn dish detergent, and a bunch of cleaning patches, do the trick. I plug the touchhole with a toothpick, fill the barrels with the water and soap, let it sit for ten minutes or so, pour it out. Refill with more cold water/soap, and scrub with patches until they come out fairly clean. Spray a bunch of WD-40, as it displaces water, and stand the rifle or smoothbore upside down in a corner, with old rags beneath the barrel. The lock get removed, cleaned with soapy water, then air-blast dried and re-lubed. The whole stock is wiped down, might be re-waxed. All metal fittings are cleaned and wiped. Takes about 10-15 minutes for each firearm. Except revolvers, who get their cylinders cleaned and dried. Others may do it differently than me.
 

Bad Karma

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Woody, that was just the Reader's Digest version of the Colt instructions.
Water will dissolve the corrosive salts in the barrel. Here is the test of your favorite concoction, In a class pour in some of the cleaner and drop in a little table salt.. if the salt dissolves great. if it does not dissolve you are not getting the salts that cause corrosion out. Simple as that. But it is your gun and you are free to muck it up however you want. Just don't come crying to me.
Not AR, Woodie, and not a drama queen just trying to share some years of experience shooting and cleaning..
Yr' Obt' Svt'
Bunk
P. S. Very smokey thank you with 15 rounds through the Sharps rifle.
No worries Bunk, as I’ve said repeatedly in the thread, I use plain old water 90% of the time. (A friend gave me some CVA solvent which works well but no better than water.) Then dry and protect with Eezox or Frog Lube. The fouling in the grease goes nowhere. Does not affect anything inside the action. I’m sure I don’t understand the chemistry involved but I’m going on 4 or 5 years grease packing with zero corrosion and normal wear. I’m a fan. There are indeed, more ways than one to skin cats.


I spent a pleasant hour shooting the .40-70-285 this afternoon. Most days I don’t eat lunch really, just pop a few caps. Today this was done with a purpose. My great granddaughter Taylor wants to use it for deer later this season so I’m working up the dope on this rifle for her. Well, for me too. I like this gun, so versatile. It’s a keeper!
 
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TrapperDude

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I used to shoot a 50-70 at the local gun club and it never failed to draw a crowd… which is fine but kind of a pain too. There’s nothing in the gun world like that big boom.
The first time I shot steel at the range with my R.1858, I had a lot of people at one of the sporting clays stations walk over to ask about it. Everyone was pretty intrigued by the unique boom and cloud of smoke from it. Moreover, they were surprised by its accuracy. Until you actually shoot one, you never fully appreciate how accurate black powder firearms are. The standard lore out there (of which I was guilty until I witnessed a guy training for a match with a flintlock rifle) is that black powder firearms are inconsistent. That just isn't the case, and it amazes people when they learn what those pieces can do (just as it did me).
 

Bad Karma

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The first time I shot steel at the range with my R.1858, I had a lot of people at one of the sporting clays stations walk over to ask about it. Everyone was pretty intrigued by the unique boom and cloud of smoke from it. Moreover, they were surprised by its accuracy. Until you actually shoot one, you never fully appreciate how accurate black powder firearms are. The standard lore out there (of which I was guilty until I witnessed a guy training for a match with a flintlock rifle) is that black powder firearms are inconsistent. That just isn't the case, and it amazes people when they learn what those pieces can do (just as it did me).
It’s the soft prejudice of low expectations. Until they’ve seen a sporting weight blackpowder rifle shooting into sub MOA with iron sights, people just accept Minute of Pie Plate as the norm. Obviously, not every shooter has the patience or eyesight to pull it off but I wish I had a dollar for every modern rifle that’s advertised as sub MOA but the shooters aren’t up to the job… even with the telescopic sight and all the other advantages.
 

Woody Morgan

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Cleaned the ROA just now. 15 minutes start to finish. Took the grip panels off, dismounted the cylinder and threw everything in the deep sink with warm water and Dawn. A quick scrubbing with toothbrush and patches through the chambers and bore then dry off with compressed air, relube everything, panels back on and done.
Phht. It took more time to type this post.

wm
 

45D

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Cleaned the ROA just now. 15 minutes start to finish. Took the grip panels off, dismounted the cylinder and threw everything in the deep sink with warm water and Dawn. A quick scrubbing with toothbrush and patches through the chambers and bore then dry off with compressed air, relube everything, panels back on and done.
Phht. It took more time to type this post.

wm

The problem with that is the stuff you left in the hammer plunger and the the trigger spring and plunger. Dunking it in water helps get fouling/dirt where it already isn't. Eventually the springs will rust, corrosion will foul the plunger bore, function will degrade . . . it goes downhill from there.
Better to take it apart and detail clean every other time and forget the "dunking ". The "dunking" is what today would be called a "super spreader" event!! Lol
(Or, you could pack the frame with Mobil1 grease and clean the barrel and cylinder with wet patches, wipe down the frame with your favorite lubed patch and be done! Probably shave 5 mins off your cleaning time !!!)

Mike
 

nkbj

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Picked up one of those beautifully engraved 1851's that Pietta has produced. The case colored iron frame is pretty. The engraving is pretty. The ivory colored grips are even pretty. It's almost too pretty to shoot. Would a set of stag grips be appropriate? Stag grips sure would go with my thirty dollar Kentucky Stetson but this piece almost demands a vest and watch chain.
Stetson.jpg
Already have a mold to fit Pietta's.
mold design.JPG

Perhaps this '51 should also get the full deluxe Mike treatment as I'm sure I know which kin will end up with it and he deserves the best. Extra care in cleaning to avoid any rust bloom getting a toe hold in the engraving is going to be a must.
 
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nkbj

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It's a .375 round ball mold given an adjustable length rear end that slips into the Pietta .36 chambers.
The round ball up front shears on the chamber mouth and the small hollow base helps seal off the bore.
.36 mold test.JPG
 

nkbj

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It's a Lyman mold modified by Erik at hollowpointmold.com.
Been tempted to get one for .44 but I just use a sizer instead to make off the shelf .45 revolver molds fit the chambers.
 

Whughett

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The problem with that is the stuff you left in the hammer plunger and the the trigger spring and plunger. Dunking it in water helps get fouling/dirt where it already isn't. Eventually the springs will rust, corrosion will foul the plunger bore, function will degrade . . . it goes downhill from there.
Better to take it apart and detail clean every other time and forget the "dunking ". The "dunking" is what today would be called a "super spreader" event!! Lol
(Or, you could pack the frame with Mobil1 grease and clean the barrel and cylinder with wet patches, wipe down the frame with your favorite lubed patch and be done! Probably shave 5 mins off your cleaning time !!!)

Mike
Horse Crap. I’ve been cleaning my “Black Powder” revolvers for ten + years now, hot running water, Dawn Dish soap followed by a t blow down with compressed air. Aerosol Ballistol in all the frame openings with another light blow with compressed air to distribute the oil and remove excess. I shoot “Black Powder” twice a week, thousands of rounds a year. I’m cleaning revolvers several days a week. No rust no degraded performance.
I seem to recall a post made by you where it’s actually illegal to fire black powder in your county which is why all of your revolvers sport Conversion cylinders and all you shoot is smokeless. Just saying.
 

bigstick6017555

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For me guns are a hobby, that means I enjoy shooting them, cleaning them (fully striping them) and tinkering( observing how things work and possible spot a problem that is forth coming and be able to fix it), I like show and tell articles with technical ways to fix a problem. When all that becomes a problem I will be done with that as a hobby.
When it comes to what is THE BEST cleaner or rust preventative, there is no such thing. It is only in the eye of the user, or what he was taught to believe. I am always open about somebody's new mixture or product, There are thousands of good products and concoctions that work well for cleaning Black Powder fire arms. Some may work a slight faster, but as one standing tall above all others, it is just a figure of our imagination to be used as converstions around a camp fire, or an argument never to be won.
 

45D

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Horse Crap. I’ve been cleaning my “Black Powder” revolvers for ten + years now, hot running water, Dawn Dish soap followed by a t blow down with compressed air. Aerosol Ballistol in all the frame openings with another light blow with compressed air to distribute the oil and remove excess. I shoot “Black Powder” twice a week, thousands of rounds a year. I’m cleaning revolvers several days a week. No rust no degraded performance.
I seem to recall a post made by you where it’s actually illegal to fire black powder in your county which is why all of your revolvers sport Conversion cylinders and all you shoot is smokeless. Just saying.
Too funny!!
The revolver Woody was posting about is a ROA (Ruger Old Army). They have a spring and plunger in 3 places. The hammer, the grip frame and the frame proper. They actuate the bolt (cyl latch), trigger return, and the hand (pawl). There is no provision that keeps dirty water out of these places which is probably why I've had to dig out corroded springs from these areas. Therefore, I'll stay with my Horse Crap statement. And by the way, you can't shoot out doors period in my county (not just bp) and the ranges won't allow bp inside. Just because I haven't shot bp in about 20 years doesn't mean I don't know what happens when you do (and I see the effects of it pretty often). Just saying.

Mike

In fact, that (corrosion) is one of the main reasons I moved the trigger spring up inside the frame . . . for protection. The other reason is because you can feel the plunger on the backside of the trigger when you pull the trigger (it sucks!). With it inside the frame and directly acting on the trigger, it is the smoothest trigger a Ruger S.A. has ever had!
 
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nkbj

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Always thought it was a joy to disassemble and clean parts in detail. But you know, packing with the synthetic grease is a really great idea that works. When I was younger and hitting the woods for days at a time that would have been the cats meow.

I'm gonna help out quilting today (three by Christmas!!!) and pull kitchen duty so see yall later.
 

William Lincoln

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Let's face it, no one wants to lean over a revolver at days end and strip and clean.
The grease packing idea is being tried. It cannot hurt really and reduces work.
Grease and oil has been used for many decades to protect metal from rust by
a protective coating.
 

Whughett

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Too funny!!
The revolver Woody was posting about is a ROA (Ruger Old Army). They have a spring and plunger in 3 places. The hammer, the grip frame and the frame proper. They actuate the bolt (cyl latch), trigger return, and the hand (pawl). There is no provision that keeps dirty water out of these places which is probably why I've had to dig out corroded springs from these areas. Therefore, I'll stay with my Horse Crap statement. And by the way, you can't shoot out doors period in my county (not just bp) and the ranges won't allow bp inside. Just because I haven't shot bp in about 20 years doesn't mean I don't know what happens when you do (and I see the effects of it pretty often). Just saying.

Mike

In fact, that (corrosion) is one of the main reasons I moved the trigger spring up inside the frame . . . for protection. The other reason is because you can feel the plunger on the backside of the trigger when you pull the trigger (it sucks!). With it inside the frame and directly acting on the trigger, it is the smoothest trigger a Ruger S.A. has ever had!
Well I own 4 ROA’s three stainless one blue. And they get cleaned the same way as the Colts , Remingtons and Rogers and Spencer’s. They also get disassembled and cleaned once a season.(If they were used in that season). But I’ll keep your sage advice in mind.
 

Whughett

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For me guns are a hobby, that means I enjoy shooting them, cleaning them (fully striping them) and tinkering( observing how things work and possible spot a problem that is forth coming and be able to fix it), I like show and tell articles with technical ways to fix a problem. When all that becomes a problem I will be done with that as a hobby.
When it comes to what is THE BEST cleaner or rust preventative, there is no such thing. It is only in the eye of the user, or what he was taught to believe. I am always open about somebody's new mixture or product, There are thousands of good products and concoctions that work well for cleaning Black Powder fire arms. Some may work a slight faster, but as one standing tall above all others, it is just a figure of our imagination to be used as converstions around a camp fire, or an argument never to be won.
Lord ain’t that the truth.
 

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