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Percussion barrel cleaning.

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DUNKS

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This has got to have been asked a thousand times but here goes again. I usually shoot black powder 12g cartridges and am ok with barrel cleaning. But, how the heck do I clean the crud from the "nipple chamber" on my new percussion 16 muzzle loader? do I remove the nipples when cleaning the bores? Thanks.
 

Feltwad

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You will get many answers to this but for me I never remove the nipples it is the first thing to damage the threads. I use a bristle brush on the ramrod the breech is placed in a half bucket of boiling water a few drops of black powder solvent is placed in the bores .Using the cleaning rod with the brush pump it up and down in the bores this draws the water in through the nipples and out and cleans out the nipples and nipple chambers and also the breech plug chamber. flush out the barrels with hot water ,dry using a jag and paper towelling ,finish with a oil rag to the bores .. It has always worked for me and can fire many shots without a miss fire .
Feltwad
 

JB67

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Just what type of gun is it?

If it has an easily removed barrel, like a Hawken, pull the barrel and stand it breech end in a bucket of hot water with a bit of dish soap. As you clean the barrel, the water will pump in and out thru the nipple. Repeat with plain water to rinse.

Or you can fit a piece of tubing over the nipple and run the other end into a bucket for the same effect if the stock is pinned.
 

eggwelder

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I do much as JB67 does, but i will remove the nipples at least once a year, and run a soapy pipe cleaner thru the channels, rinse and dry them after. Then i`ll WD40 while i clean the rest of the gun. After that, pipe cleaner thru the channel, Oil on another pipe cleaner thru them. anti seize on the nipple threads, And replace. Day before a planned shoot, i`ll dump a bit of 97% alcohol thru the barrel, give it a wipe to clean out the oil.
 

DUNKS

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Thank you all. I can see the wisdom of not removing the nipples. Was just not sure that the prescribed pumping action would put enough water through the tiny nipple holes.
 

Feltwad

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I do much as JB67 does, but i will remove the nipples at least once a year, and run a soapy pipe cleaner thru the channels, rinse and dry them after. Then i`ll WD40 while i clean the rest of the gun. After that, pipe cleaner thru the channel, Oil on another pipe cleaner thru them. anti seize on the nipple threads, And replace. Day before a planned shoot, i`ll dump a bit of 97% alcohol thru the barrel, give it a wipe to clean out the oil.
You mention WD40 I am speaking through experience but care need to be taken when using it .OK for loosing and clean gung screws but keep away from barrels because if the ribs are soldered with constant use the ribs will part company with the barrels.
Feltwad
 

DUNKS

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You live and learn! I have never before heard that WD is corrosive on solder and I have been using it on my English side by sides for years. You say you have practical experience of this?
 

Okie Hog

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OK for loosing and clean gung screws but keep away from barrels because if the ribs are soldered with constant use the ribs will part company with the barrels.
Show me.
 

FishDFly

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You live and learn! I have never before heard that WD is corrosive on solder and I have been using it on my English side by sides for years. You say you have practical experience of this?

I have been using WD-40 on my barrels for a long time and never have heard nor experienced the mentioned problems.

I remove the nipple for every cleaning, never had damage to the threads. When the nipple goes back, it gets a touch of anti-seize and just snug tightness. Get a ratcheting nipple wrench from Tedd Cash, it's the best on the market.

Place the nipple in a small magnetic bowl when removing. Put some water in the bowl, the nipple can soak while you cleaning the barrel. The magnetic bowl keeps it from getting lost on the floor or thrown out with cleaning water. Small wire brush/tooth brush and pipe cleaner will get the nipple clean.

Using a bore brush is the cause of many posts here, "how do I get the stuck brush out of my bore". Proper size cleaning jag is the better way. The cleaning patch and water pumping will remove all BP residue.

Hot water is the cause of flash rust, tepid water cleans as well. Dawn dish washing soap is fine also. A lot of line shooters clean their rifle at the range after shooting and do not have access to hot water. Their rifles are clean and ready to put away when they get home.

If your barrel is pinned, you can remove the nipple and attach a fitting to which you can attach plastic tubing to put in a bucket of water and pump the water in and out of the barrel. Put a small fishing weight on the end of the tubing to keep it at the bottom of the bucket. The tubing likes to curl up and stick out in the air.

Many ways to clean.
 
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Grenadier1758

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As @FishDFly states, the key to preserving the threads in the nipple seat is to only tighten the nipple to snug. The nipple will not back out and there is no excessive stress on the threads to wear the threads out. By removing the nipple, especially on a hooked breech firearm, you get a much stronger flush of water through the flash channel and powder chamber. Do use a grease on the threads. Anti-seize grease is good for long term storage, or short term storage as well, but an application of a grease such as RIG is also good for short term storage. You are only tightening the nipple to the nipple seat to a snug torque so removal is easy or installing a flush nipple opened up with a tube attached to flush the cleaning solution is simple and does no harm to the threads. The nipple has a hole through it so there is no need to tighten the nipple so the threads seal. Let the grease do its job to seal the threads.
 

mooman76

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I remove the nipple also, no problems. It needs to be removed at least occasionally or eventually when you need to replace it you will have a heck of a time removing it. I've also used WD40 for years without a problem. Sounds like a myth to me.
 

Feltwad

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To those that use WD40 on there barrels keep using it and in time you will see the solder ribs leave the barrel especially on originals, The many pairs of barrels over many decades that i have soldered for the owners who have consistently used WD40 I have lost count not only muzzle loaders but also breech loading sxs
even to a expensive Browning over and under
Has for the nipples constantly taken them in and out it is quite easy too cross thread which cause a lot of damage to the breech plug threads. while on the subject of nipples always load with the hammer on the nipple loading at half cock only makes constant miss fires, In answer to Okie Hog question it all comes down to experience.
Feltwad
 

hanshi

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I always remove the guns nipples when cleaning. Whether this is good or not is clearly open to debate.
 

DUNKS

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Feltwad. Is WD actually corrosive to solder or is it some other action that makes the solder let go. Thanks.
 

Stony Broke

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To those that use WD40 on there barrels keep using it and in time you will see the solder ribs leave the barrel especially on originals, The many pairs of barrels over many decades that i have soldered for the owners who have consistently used WD40 I have lost count not only muzzle loaders but also breech loading sxs
even to a expensive Browning over and under
Has for the nipples constantly taken them in and out it is quite easy too cross thread which cause a lot of damage to the breech plug threads. while on the subject of nipples always load with the hammer on the nipple loading at half cock only makes constant miss fires, In answer to Okie Hog question it all comes down to experience.
Feltwad
I sure don't understand your advice about loading with the hammer down to avoid miss fires?? I have always loaded with the hammer off of the nipple to avoid a pressure buildup problem when seating the ball. As far as cross threading the nipples, if a guy simply threads it in with his fingers and then gives it a simple bump with the nipple wrench there would be no real way to cross thread it.
 

Feltwad

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I sure don't understand your advice about loading with the hammer down to avoid miss fires?? I have always loaded with the hammer off of the nipple to avoid a pressure buildup problem when seating the ball. As far as cross threading the nipples, if a guy simply threads it in with his fingers and then gives it a simple bump with the nipple wrench there would be no real way to cross thread it.
Only quoting from many decades of experience try it and you will see what I mean after a constancy of 50 to 100 shots in a outing .
Feltwad
 

TomV

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Buy a Bissell Steam Shot , remove the nipple put the tip in the hole and pull the trigger with the muzzle in a pail and watch all the crap from the fire channel and barrel flow out. Swab it
I sure don't understand your advice about loading with the hammer down to avoid miss fires?? I have always loaded with the hammer off of the nipple to avoid a pressure buildup problem when seating the ball. As far as cross threading the nipples, if a guy simply threads it in with his fingers and then gives it a simple bump with the nipple wrench there would be no real way to cross thread it.
Same here, the pressure always makes me think I am double loading. Half cocked no cap no misfire possibility.
 

DUNKS

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Thanks. Cant see me doing the steam cleaning bit but it sounds a jolly good idea. New to this but just cant see why you would want to block the only exit for air with a tight wad!!!
 

TomV

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Steamer is $39 and on TC patent breaches it is the best way to remove all carbon and anything else. Post shoot cleaning takes minutes. Then 2-3 patches and clean. Anti rust and she is good for storage. Got the idea from Pedersoli and their $800 steamer. $39 is a better price. 🙂
 
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