How long without cleaning?

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ADK Bigfoot

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For years, I cleaned after every shooting session. Not between AM and PM, but certainly between today and tomorrow. Where I live is not as humid as down south. One exception to my daily cleaning rule happened after a two-day match at Fort Shenandoah, Va. I cleaned between Saturday and Sunday, but was really tired after three days of shooting and wiped down my musket, put it in the truck, and drove 14 hours home. Went to work and cleaned the gun Monday evening. Surface rust everywhere there was fouling, and the musket, which had been "like new" for ten years, was never the same. Surface pits and even some in the first two inches of the bore.

Shoot it, clean it, and keep it forever.

ADK Bigfoot
 

Leadball loader

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I have to add that I re oil my barrels every few weeks if not used to make sure there is oil coating them. the canola tends to drain to the breech.
LBL
 

Carbon 6

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For years, I cleaned after every shooting session. Not between AM and PM, but certainly between today and tomorrow. Where I live is not as humid as down south. One exception to my daily cleaning rule happened after a two-day match at Fort Shenandoah, Va. I cleaned between Saturday and Sunday, but was really tired after three days of shooting and wiped down my musket, put it in the truck, and drove 14 hours home. Went to work and cleaned the gun Monday evening. Surface rust everywhere there was fouling, and the musket, which had been "like new" for ten years, was never the same. Surface pits and even some in the first two inches of the bore.

Shoot it, clean it, and keep it forever.

ADK Bigfoot
That's the thing about not cleaning right away, a person is lulled into a false sense of security. Eventually it bites you.
 

Grenadier1758

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Neither the alcohol nor MAP will remove the oil that has gelled in the flash channel. Popping a percussion cap can clear the touch hole or a vent pick for the flint vent.

However I agree that a wipe with a solvent such as alcohol id a good suggestion. Must be good, that's what I do.
 

Greg Blackburn

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Target shooting, I swab between shots and then hit the bore with 2 dry patches. That night, I do a full cleaning.

Hunting, I leave the weapon loaded, in my car trunk, the entire hunt. If I have to shoot, I clean that night. That's why my 25 year old CVA Bobcat looks practically "new" while a friend's CVA Hawken looked like death warmed over.

*I borrowed it once and was appalled by how bad the rust was.
 

Flinty Scot

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Jake, my current use rifle was a major expense (even though I think i got a great bargain) which I'm unlikely to ever replace, so I re-clean & natter over it un-repentantly. If I can't get out to shoot, I get my guns out and go through them, tuning, checking that they are clean, re-oiling, & polishing. They are my treasured tools, toys and friends. (Probably one reason I have fewer animate friends...) After shooting, I never go to sleep w/out tending to whichever friend(s) I've had out.
 

Bob McBride

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Been hanging around my family's farm in South Carolina, and have been shooting off and on with my fowler throughout the day. Is this ok? If it goes several hours between shots/cleanings? I always clean the night after use of course. I am worried about rust and such. -Larry
Sounds like you’re doing it right. If I’m shooting all day with more than a few hour gap in the middle Ill give it a quick 5 minute water/dry/oil clean and set it aside. In any case it gets full cleaned same day. To me the most important thing is same day cleaning and what you put in the bore after so in a few weeks when you shoot it again you don’t have brown on your patch.
 

MtnMan

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I keep it simple. After cleaning I don't use oil in the bore. I use my patch lube which is bear tallow. That way there's nothing to leak into the breech channel and nothing to clean out before shooting.

Only the lock gets bear oil. The barrel gets bear tallow in bore and outside of the barrel. The stock gets it too. Nothing modern needed. No secret formulas. No chemicals. A dead bear supplies it all. Well, a little tow too.
 

Pukka Bundook

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Going back to Col Peter Hawker, in his book "Instructions", he reckoned that if a gun had been used a little , it should be cleaned after a week.
Yes I know, we don't do that do we?
But using occasionally over a day will do no harm.
 

Carbon 6

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Going back to Col Peter Hawker, in his book "Instructions", he reckoned that if a gun had been used a little , it should be cleaned after a week.
Yes I know, we don't do that do we?
But using occasionally over a day will do no harm.
Was he referring to a weapon that had been fired or simply one that was loaded for a week ?
 

SDSmlf

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For years, I cleaned after every shooting session. Not between AM and PM, but certainly between today and tomorrow. Where I live is not as humid as down south. One exception to my daily cleaning rule happened after a two-day match at Fort Shenandoah, Va. I cleaned between Saturday and Sunday, but was really tired after three days of shooting and wiped down my musket, put it in the truck, and drove 14 hours home. Went to work and cleaned the gun Monday evening. Surface rust everywhere there was fouling, and the musket, which had been "like new" for ten years, was never the same. Surface pits and even some in the first two inches of the bore.

Shoot it, clean it, and keep it forever.

ADK Bigfoot
So you got a taste of the humidity that can be seen as you head south.... Fort Shenandoah is around 400 miles north of where I am, but you get the idea. Cool here right now, only about 80° this morning, but the humidity is hanging around 90%. When I take a shot hunting in weather like this and I immediately reload without cleaning (not very often) so I can quickly follow up on the animal, I will shoot out or pull the load after no more than a couple of hours and clean the gun. Rust and pitting are one thing, but that powder residue attracts enough moisture as it’s turning to goo that there is a good chance the powder charge will get fouled to the point where it won’t ignite when I want it to.
 

lenl349

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New to muzzleloading. Always use Hoppes #9 cleaner for my rifles and handguns. Is this bad for cap and ball?
 

SDSmlf

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New to muzzleloading. Always use Hoppes #9 cleaner for my rifles and handguns. Is this bad for cap and ball?
Regular Hoppes #9 is good for smokeless powder, but pretty useless with black powder. They do have a formula for black powder called Hoppes #9 Plus you may want to try if you like the aroma of Hoppes. Soap and water, even plain water, is all you really need for cleaning black powder residue.
 

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