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I hope I have not ruined my muzzloader?Help!!

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John V.

40 Cal.
Aug 12, 2014
Reaction score
I bought a new Traditions .50 cal Pennsylvania Long rifle. I bought it NIB. Took it out on Sunday two weeks ago and she shot flawlessly.I really enjoyed shooting her and I am "hooked"...again.Shooting 3F black-powder. Anyway I knew enough that I had to clean her right away, so I swabbed the bore with "Moose Milk" from Dixie Gun-works while at the range. Then I got her home and ran Moose Milk soaked patches down her bore until they came out clean (or so I thought)then I hung her on her hooks in my den. Life is good, happy as a lark. Until today. I got to looking at her and noticed a white "fungus" forming around the nipple area, so I took her down and ran another "Moose Milk" soaked patch down her. OMG! I could barley get the patch down her and when I pulled the patch out it was DARK brown. I panicked and started soaking patches with Moose Milk and running them through her. The first 4-5 patches were very brown then they started to lighted in color some. All in all I ran at least 20 patches down her and they came out what looks clean in the end. I had since bought some T/C Bore Butter and I ran a few dry patches down her bore, then I saturated a clean patch with the T/C Bore Butter and ran that in and out a few times. My question is. Do you think I have ruined my bore? The thought of this almost makes me sick.I love this muzzle loader. Please advise. Thanks. :doh:
You shouldn't have ruined it in just 2 weeks but it's not something you want to do all the time or again for that matter. Bore Butter isn't the best either but should be better than Moose milk. You need a good gun oil after it is cleaned or even Barricade which I have never used but here allot of good things about it.
I have heard of people cleaning bores several months old that weren't cleaned or cleaned properly and weren't ruined.
I think your fine but need to get the rust killed. Navel Jelly will kill the rust but it is hell on bluing.
I have used JB's bore paste to polish bores many times. I am sure it will work fine for you. It will easily take it out of the bore but the bottom end where the breach plug is will need more attention. The best way to clean is warm soapy water. It kills the salts in the powder.
I guess what I was originally trying for is "seasoning" the bore ergo the Moose Milk (for cleaning) and the T/C Bore butter for rust preventive. At this point would soap and water do any good? Or make it worse?
First off I would get rid of the TC Bore butter. If it was me I would reclean barrel with warm water with a little Dawn dish soap in it. Then I would run dry patches in it to get most of the moisture out. Then I would run a couple of Alcohol soaked patches followed by a dry patch. Then I would run a patch with WD-40 in it to displace any moisture left in the barrel. Finally I would run a patch with BC Barricade in it, and then it is ready to be stored away. I would recheck the barrel in a couple of days to be sure that all is well. This is pretty much what I do when when I clean my bore before storage. I personally am not a big fan of Borebutter. Their claims of seasoning your barrel are not true. You can not season a barrel. Barricade will seal the barrel with a dry protective film. The key is to be sure you have all the moisture out of the barrel prior to using the Barricade. It does work well. Respectfully, cowboys1062.
Did you pump water through it? If not you cleaned the bore real good and left the breech and nipple filthy! Not sure if its pinned or wedged But I would make sure I pumped warm soapy water through it till clean then patched till dry then spray a LIBERAL amount of WD-40 and then wipe that out and then a good gun oil. 3-1, rem oil, barricade etc.. I just use WD-40 but we have no humidity here. Get ya some pipe cleaners for the breech area. Take the nipple out and clean it by itself.

You should be good to go.
I failed to mention. When I cleaned her two weeks ago. I did remove the nipple and cleaned it as well,and the part where the nipple screws in.Guess I just got to reading to much about the whole "seasoning" thing? No I did not pump water through it.
Bravo 4-4 said:
I guess what I was originally trying for is "seasoning" the bore ergo the Moose Milk (for cleaning) and the T/C Bore butter for rust preventive. At this point would soap and water do any good? Or make it worse?

Another "Seasoning" victim ..... :shake:

"Cleaning" is something you do to your rifle....Not something you use on it. :doh:

Did you make your own "Moose milk" or is it some kind of store bought manure?
Starting to see a common theme here called...warm soap and water.Sounds like the whole seasoning thing is maybe a myth or something?
On the bottle of Moose Milk it states" An unexcelled solvent for the removal of black powder, nitro and cordite residue and cake from firearms, an excellent patch lubricant" The bottle states this product was made by The Winchester Sutler, Inc. company? On the back it instructs to "swab bore thoroughly with saturated patches until clean, dry and oil"

The T/C Bore Butter it states. " An all-natural gun care product that seasons. An all purpose firearm protectant that inhibits rust"
As others pointed out, you never mentioned water which is, far and away, the best cleaner for black powder.

Re "seasoning" - go to the "Forum Index", go down to Charts-References, and click on "Sub forums:Articles and How-to".

Then go to the bottom of the list of threads, and click on "Why We Don't Season Barrels". It was written by Paul Vallandigham, a now deceased member of the Forum, who taught a lot to a lot of us. Thanks to this Forum, he can now impart his experience to you.

Your bore should be all right.

Take it out, shoot it, clean it up - starting with water,( hot tap water is fine, cold will do). Then your patches, and WD-40, (to remove any trace of water), and Barricade or Ballistol, Whale Oil, or whatever suits your fancy. :hatsoff:
Great article. Makes sense. I had no idea that muzzle loading had changed so much in 20 years? Back in the late 80's & early 90's seasoning was all the rage, but my take away from this article is that it was all proven to be a bunch of nonsense.
Bravo 4-4 said:
Starting to see a common theme here called...warm soap and water.Sounds like the whole seasoning thing is maybe a myth or something?

The piece by Paul is honest and it is true. Is your barrel made of cast Iron? NO! Not just no but HE11 no! Like in the story by Paul barrels are not pouris like a Dutch oven they are smooth STEEL not IRON.

You have fell victim to the old seasoning myth. You need to clean it and again I would use JB bore paste. I bought a Stainless barrel that was used. It looked toast. I made 700 passes through the bore with JB. Then I took it out and shot 20 rounds of paper patched bullets with JB covering the paper. It is now polished like a mirror and accurate.
You gun needs to be cleaned. Like I said before water kills the salts. Scrub the rust out. And use a good oil for keeping it from rusting.

Again Seasoning is a MYTH!
Another thing. Hot water will cause flash rust. All you need is water cold or warm and dish soap.

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