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Help! with cleaning my musket

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Joined
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Hi all

Every single time I shoot and clean my charleville musket I always get rust in the bore a few days later and it's very annoying and also worrying. I suspect it's something to do with my cleaning procedure but I'm not sure what to change.
Here is how I clean the bore

I get a ball of tow made from some sisal rope I cut up, and put it on my musket worm, then wet the tow with warm water and run the tow through the bore, wetting it again after each pass to give it some fresh clean water. I continue this till the tow comes out not black anymore, then I run dry tow till the bore is dry. Finally I run a ball of tow soaked in remoil a few times and put the gun up.

What am I doing wrong?
 
You are just going by sight.
You are not flushing the salts away completely.
To do that use boiled water .
The hot water will dissolve the salts, then it will dry your barrel with some help from cotton patches.
Then while still warm you add your homemade animal or vegetable fat/grease.

Now you'll get all sorts of elaborate methods thrown at you and why not, after all I've only been doing this....stuff for 30years now and never ruined a barrel, including using pyrodex!
 
Ya, gotta use boiling water. That's the only thing you're doing wrong.

I start by putting a pot of water on the stove to boil. Then stick a round toothpick into the touch hole and then pour the boiling water straight out of the pot into a funnel stuck in the muzzle. Let it sit for several minutes. Run a poly brush up and down the bore a dozen times or so. A towel on the floor to catch the displaced water. Then point the muzzle into the sink and pour out the remaining black water. And it is black.

Then I proceed with the jag, patches and moose milk until no more wipes out ..... and finish up with gun oil.

Takes about 20 minutes start to finish.
 
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We had a good discussion of “flash rust” a little while back. From this was developed a hypothesis that minerals or chemicals in your water, whether added by the local Water Works or naturally occurring, contributed to the rust in some geographical locations.

I use distilled water, still 89 cents a gallon for the house brand from the local Publix supermarket. I heat it in my Mr. Coffee. Not quite boiling, but pretty dadgum hot, the coffeemaker keeps it that way until I’m ready for it, and the coffee pot makes a handy dispenser. No rust with distilled water.

Tow is authentic and cool and everything, but in the comfort of your home with no thread-counting reenactors observing, I really think you are better off swabbing and drying your bore with a properly fitted jag and patch. I suspect your wad of tow may not be getting it as clean as you think, nor may the dry tow wad get it completely dry. That’s another reason for really hot water… the heat helps with drying.

I know, old timers used tow. They also got their rifles freshed out periodically, and sometimes re-breeched.

Forum members may weigh in and report using tow with no problems. That’s great, and there is no reason for them to change what they are doing. You, however, are reporting a problem. Time to try something different.

1. Hot, distilled water.
2. Snug-fitting jag and patch.

Good luck to you, Bud.

Notchy Bob
 
Warm or hot water is definitely NOT needed to clean any BP arm ... but has been proven to be the cause of flash rusting. I also agree your tow method might not be 'ideal'. Ideal yes, if you carried and used that fire lock every day ... but that's not most of us.

Here's my routine, but what do I know ... I only burn through 10-12 pounds of powdah or more per year. Tepid or room temperature water will dissolve/neutralize any salts, plus clean it - fact! Patch to dry, then some jag patched Ballistol and store it muzzle down for a day. Next day, another Ballistol patch or 2. Lastly, coating the bore with Birchwood Casey's 'Barricade', a liquid wax protectant.

Zero issues, works for me! But like many things ... your method and/or mileage may vary ...
 
We had a good discussion of “flash rust” a little while back. From this was developed a hypothesis that minerals or chemicals in your water, whether added by the local Water Works or naturally occurring, contributed to the rust in some geographical locations.

I use distilled water, still 89 cents a gallon for the house brand from the local Publix supermarket. I heat it in my Mr. Coffee. Not quite boiling, but pretty dadgum hot, the coffeemaker keeps it that way until I’m ready for it, and the coffee pot makes a handy dispenser. No rust with distilled water.

Tow is authentic and cool and everything, but in the comfort of your home with no thread-counting reenactors observing, I really think you are better off swabbing and drying your bore with a properly fitted jag and patch. I suspect your wad of tow may not be getting it as clean as you think, nor may the dry tow wad get it completely dry. That’s another reason for really hot water… the heat helps with drying.

I know, old timers used tow. They also got their rifles freshed out periodically, and sometimes re-breeched.

Forum members may weigh in and report using tow with no problems. That’s great, and there is no reason for them to change what they are doing. You, however, are reporting a problem. Time to try something different.

1. Hot, distilled water.
2. Snug-fitting jag and patch.

Good luck to you, Bud.

Notchy Bob
now that you mention it I believe my household adds some sort of salt to our tap water to soften it as tap water is very hard here in Florida. When our tap water dries it leaves behind a sort of white coating of minerals or something. Thats probally the culprit.

As for tow I simply use it because it is more economical for me as a high school student since I have to buy patches and they are single use, whereas tow can be reused and is pretty cheap. I use a few cottonballs occasionally to dry out the bore if I feel its not dry enough.

thanks for all the insight, will try distilled water next time!
 
You are just going by sight.
You are not flushing the salts away completely.
To do that use boiled water .
The hot water will dissolve the salts, then it will dry your barrel with some help from cotton patches.
Then while still warm you add your homemade animal or vegetable fat/grease.

Now you'll get all sorts of elaborate methods thrown at you and why not, after all I've only been doing this....stuff for 30years now and never ruined a barrel, including using pyrodex!
Cold water will clean the barrel also. The advantage of hot water is that it heats up the barrel which helps some in drying out the bore.
I would ditch the tow and use 100% cotton material. I have used well-washed white 100 cotton tee shirt material on all of my guns (modern and BP) for 40 years with complete satisfaction.
If you use hot or cold water you must be sure it is completely dried out before finishing out with your protective lubricant of choice.
I personally never use water cleaning BP guns myself, finding 70% (must not be more than 70%) isopropyl alcohol works better because it evaporates from the bore within about 5 minutes so that I don’t have to dry the bore out with yet another patch before oiling. Use trial and error. The alcohol also helps remove any accumulation of patch or bullet lube that may have accumulated in the breech plug area.
A patch soaked with saliva works remarkably well when cleaning in the field, BTW.
 
Hi all

Every single time I shoot and clean my charleville musket I always get rust in the bore a few days later and it's very annoying and also worrying. I suspect it's something to do with my cleaning procedure but I'm not sure what to change.
Here is how I clean the bore

I get a ball of tow made from some sisal rope I cut up, and put it on my musket worm, then wet the tow with warm water and run the tow through the bore, wetting it again after each pass to give it some fresh clean water. I continue this till the tow comes out not black anymore, then I run dry tow till the bore is dry. Finally I run a ball of tow soaked in remoil a few times and put the gun up.

What am I doing wrong?
You ain't doing anything wrong bud . Its pretty typical., and I tell folks to run an oil patch down their tube the next day for just that reason .... If you switch to motor oil 20 or 30 weight for your oil patch it will work much better or even eliminate the rust the next day thing completely like it has done for me . Our modern thin oil is not made for blackpowder and the old stuff back in the day was thicker , worked better than the thin stuff made for smokeless powder guns . Still ...out of habit , the next day I'll run a dry then an oil patch down the tube ...most the time now just an oil.patch but ive never had the rusty patch since changing to.motor oil . Probably any thicker oil will do but motor oil is just easy pickins . My cleaning technique , cold water till no black goo on.patch , dry patches , then oil patch down , leave down , tooth brush diped in water to clean pan and area , dry area , pull patch , wipe pan and area then barrel and ramrod . 7-12 minutes and I have no rust issues ...to each their own but some folks , the way they clean their B.P. firearms , Lordy !! to each their own though ..... Take care bud
 
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Points of interest.
Isopropyl alcohol contains water.
Flash rust is just a tarnish and nothing to worry about.
Heat is your friend with muzzloaders.

Ever wondered;
Why were muzzloaders kept over the fireplace?
How would a mountain man clean his gun with below freezing temperatures and with cold water?

It's not rocket science and you don't need to do any fancy dance or start going into a semi conscious trance like state and offer blood sacrifices to the rust god!
Just promise me just one thing and one thing only....don't use engine oil, please 🙏
 
Add a little ballistol to the water. That way as it dries it will have a protective coat against flash rust. Set that barrel out in the Florida sun after cleaning to heat up and get good and dry. IMO remoil dries up pretty fast and is not the best coating for storage of a barrel. Almost anything is better. I use breakfree and run some patches with denatured alcohol before shooting.
 
Ballistol has gotten expensive. I quit using it for that reason. I just use transmission fluid. I’ve read from restoration guys that too much slop from natural fats on the stock will cause it to rot over time. Something about bacteria eating the stock wood. Don’t know how true that is, but I’ve seen a few old old guns with rotten wood around the nipple/ touchhole.
 
You are just going by sight.
You are not flushing the salts away completely.
To do that use boiled water .
The hot water will dissolve the salts, then it will dry your barrel with some help from cotton patches.
Then while still warm you add your homemade animal or vegetable fat/grease.

Now you'll get all sorts of elaborate methods thrown at you and why not, after all I've only been doing this....stuff for 30years now and never ruined a barrel, including using pyrodex!
Yeah the common-est oil was whale oil for guns, back in the 18th century. Can't be using that today here in The States, so a lot of the guys use the cheapest olive oil on the grocery store shelves since that really isn't good to consume.

I also have found that I need to Dry-swab with a paper towel, then oil for two days after cleaning to get a completely stable interior to my barrels. Some folks like to make the olive oil into a grease by heating it and adding melted beeswax, and while that's a great lube, and a good shoe dressing, I found that I once trapped a bit of moisture in a barrel doing that, so went back to swab-n-oil for the next two days. So that means I clean, dry, and oil the barrel, say Sunday night. I get up on Monday morning, run a ramrod with a dry paper towel down to the breech and back, and the paper towel will have a little "orange" showing so I swab the bore with more oil. I repeat on Tuesday morning and no worries.

LD
 
My cleaning routine/regimen has changed a few times since I started shooting, to try different things. Do this enough and you'll sort through what does work and what doesn't work for you. After a while you'll create your own thing. I have used boiling water and I have used nondiscriminate temperature water. Both have worked well for me.

Of all the things that change, for me, these are the ones that have remained the same:

Water (use distilled if your tap is chemically treated)
Cotton patches
Mr. Flintlocks cleaner/lube
99% Isopropyl alcohol
rust preventative (your choice)
 
Hi all

Every single time I shoot and clean my charleville musket I always get rust in the bore a few days later and it's very annoying and also worrying. I suspect it's something to do with my cleaning procedure but I'm not sure what to change.
Here is how I clean the bore

I get a ball of tow made from some sisal rope I cut up, and put it on my musket worm, then wet the tow with warm water and run the tow through the bore, wetting it again after each pass to give it some fresh clean water. I continue this till the tow comes out not black anymore, then I run dry tow till the bore is dry. Finally I run a ball of tow soaked in remoil a few times and put the gun up.

What am I doing wrong?

What kind of charleville ?

You my want to burnish the bore, sounds like you’ve got some residue that didn’t clean out too well.

What i do.

First I mop out the bore with hot water and steel wool soap pads on a worm. This gets teh heavy stuff out.

I jag it out until the patches are clean, then i hit with some oil, barricade, then I snake it let it sit for a day.

Jag it out again, if the patches are rusty then I’ve got left over residue that is absorbing moisture.

I burnish the bore with a dowel and a mild abrasive like scotch brite, then i jag it out, oil and wait a day.

Once the patch is spotless, then i coat the bore with blue marine grease, buy a tube of it, it can prevent rust through harsh conditions.
 
What kind of charleville ?

You my want to burnish the bore, sounds like you’ve got some residue that didn’t clean out too well.

What i do.

First I mop out the bore with hot water and steel wool soap pads on a worm. This gets teh heavy stuff out.

I jag it out until the patches are clean, then i hit with some oil, barricade, then I snake it let it sit for a day.

Jag it out again, if the patches are rusty then I’ve got left over residue that is absorbing moisture.

I burnish the bore with a dowel and a mild abrasive like scotch brite, then i jag it out, oil and wait a day.

Once the patch is spotless, then i coat the bore with blue marine grease, buy a tube of it, it can prevent rust through harsh conditions.
It's an indian made charleville that's pretty well built, although I probably should polish and burnish the bore.
 

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