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Is That Seasoning or Fouling On My Patch?

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Cheney3

32 Cal
Joined
Dec 1, 2023
Messages
4
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Location
Chester County PA
Hello!

I know the ideas of cleaning a black power flintlock have been beat to death but one question I have goes unanswered and I hope I can get some validation from you here :)

No matter how meticulous I clean the gun, I continue to get patches that are "dark" in nature. For example ... I can clean the barrel using water and Dawn until the water is clear. But I also will use several T/C #13 saturated patches until they come out clean. Follow this up with dry patches, which are clean. Then, run a saturated patch with T/C bore butter a few times and there it is, dark gray coloring on the patch (but not black like a first wipe after shooting)

I know BP is big time dirty, but this dirty? I can run through 30+ patches, easily, and still find a way darken those patches.

Maybe, at this point, is this the "seasoning" in the barrel I am removing or is this still fouling?

Thank you in advance :)
-Cheney
 
It is a T/C 50-cal and is about 20 years old. I'll check to see if that information about the steel is available. Thank you!

I have always had this and not worried about it... until just about 3 years ago, I noticed some light rust in only a few grooves. I did a scrubbing, have been using RIG for storage, and it is no worse now. So I worry that maybe this grayness is still fouling; with the way I clean by the book, why else would I have rust, unless it is "flash" rust.
 
If anything was going to remove the seasoning from your bore it would be the Dawn. Same as it removes seasoning from cast iron pots and pans. The bore butter is grabbing or reacting to something the other things aren't. Maybe grabbing graphite from the powder impregnated into the pores of the metal, that's my wild guess.
I think ZUG's a machinist or something and knows his stuff but enough lead in the alloy to come out on a cleaning patch might be disconcerting for a gun barrel.
 
Barrels don't season. They aren't cast iron. (And Dawn- and other detergents- don't remove cast iron seasoning. True soap does, due to its chemical composition, but detergents don't.)
Given that seasoning is built up cooking oils pretty much any soap capable of dealing with grease will strip the season off of any seasoned pan whether it be cast iron or hammered steel. I have and use both nearly daily. Dawn dish soap will ruin the seasoning on a pan right now.
As far as a barrel not seasoning. I won't argue that but I am curious what others on here say on the subject.
 
As @hanshi said, Bore Butter is not the best choice for treating your barrel after cleaning. I’ll let the experts debate the topic of bore seasoning, but I can tell you, Bore Butter exposed to air changes and probably oxidizes. It turns reddish brown after a little time and looks exactly like rust on a patch. People use it successfully as a patch and bullet lube, but there are better surface protectants.

I can’t explain the gray deposit, although @ZUG ’s explanation sounds plausible.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
 
Given that seasoning is built up cooking oils pretty much any soap capable of dealing with grease will strip the season off of any seasoned pan whether it be cast iron or hammered steel. I have and use both nearly daily. Dawn dish soap will ruin the seasoning on a pan right now.
As far as a barrel not seasoning. I won't argue that but I am curious what others on here say on the subject.
Seasoning on cast iron is a carbonized layer, not just built up oils. If Dawn is stripping it off, you either haven't seasoned it right or scrubbed it too hard. I never have a problem using dish soap in washing my cast iron.
 
50 + yrs. shooting m/lers , i 've never knowingly used soap of any kind in a steel gunbarrel to clean it. Warm , or fawcet hot water and WD 40 to prevent tight cleaning patch from sticking. Warm cleaning water also heats the barrel and aids in drying the bore after the water. Using WD 40 also causes a brown looking patch , as that's the color of it. The phosphorous in soap is corrosive to ferous metal.
 
Seasoning on cast iron is a carbonized layer, not just built up oils. If Dawn is stripping it off, you either haven't seasoned it right or scrubbed it too hard. I never have a problem using dish soap in washing my cast iron.
I don't use soaps or detergents to clean my cast iron. Wipe them out, re-oil, re-heat, wipe off any excess then back to storage location.
 
Barrels don't season. They aren't cast iron. (And Dawn- and other detergents- don't remove cast iron seasoning. True soap does, due to its chemical composition, but detergents don't.)
I'm not a chemist, but I've been told that of all the soaps on the market, the only true soap is Ivory. All the rest are detergent bar products.
 
I use , and believe in Ballistol.
MANY times, I've cleaned/ dried a rifles bore to shoot.
And had a touch of very light rust on the patch.( Not rough, flakey rust, but discoloration).
It has NEVER affected accuracy, for better or worse.
YMMV
 
As @hanshi said, Bore Butter is not the best choice for treating your barrel after cleaning. I’ll let the experts debate the topic of bore seasoning, but I can tell you, Bore Butter exposed to air changes and probably oxidizes. It turns reddish brown after a little time and looks exactly like rust on a patch. People use it successfully as a patch and bullet lube, but there are better surface protectants.

I can’t explain the gray deposit, although @ZUG ’s explanation sounds plausible.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
Bore Butter, is not the best patch and bullet lube either.

I do not know why people keep using an inferior product when there are so much better ones available.

I am also in the camp that says a pure white cleaning patch ran down the barrel will never come out pure white no matter how clean it is if any good antirust product is left in the barrel for any length of time. The antirust product it self is not pure white.

AND! I know the secret to cleaning cast iron pans and nothing ever sticks to them so there.
 
I started shooting my TC Hawkin Christmas 1988. Between then and now I have learned: Bore Butter is the end all and you must “season“ your barrel. Never use Bore Butter. WD40 is some good stuff. Never leave home without it. WD40 is the devils spawn never let it touch your firearms. WD40 is a good barrel protecter.

Now thirty plus years later I clean with MAP. Lube clean barrel with Bore Butter and outside with WD40.
 
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