Questions for the guys that can "shoot all day" without swabbing

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I never swab with any of my rifles between shots. Gave that up a long time ago. It always created more fouling/misfire issues for me. I keep a squirt bottle full of winter blend windshield washer fluid with a tiny squirt of Dawn in it. Dampen the patch EVERY time I load. Cleans as I load. I shoot 25 round matches and never an issue. I foul my barrel before I shoot my first scoring shot at the match with a round into the backstop. Every shot after that loads and shoots the same. During hunting season I use mink oil. Load it clean and leave it until I need to shoot it. Days, weeks or months. I’ve found that spit works just as well as my squirt bottle mixture in a pinch. The squirt bottle doesn’t get the dry mouth though.
 

Jimi The Weed

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I stopped swabbing between shots after it caused my powder to not ignite. Now I use a preluded patch under the ball and after ramming the ball home I swab the barrel with a wet patch above the ball. 18 shots without a problem loading or fouled powder.
That's basically the way I do it. I load the gun, then seat the ball and short start. Then I use a spit patch on top when I ram the ball. Loads and cleans at the same time.
 

Khufu

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I never swab between shots, I use pillow ticking, no lube. I put the patch in my mouth while measuring my powder (only Black, and if not Goex, then homemade). My ball rams home easy, no fouling issues, probably because I blow down the barrel right after the shot to moisten the fouling and load right away. if I will have a long period between firing and loading, an hour or so, I use a bronze brush before loading to loosen the hard fouling as it sets up after a while.
 

hanshi

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Most times the holes in patches come from a still too sharp crown that work with thumb and sandpaper can Aleve. I have three flinters with radius groove rifling and three with square cut grooves. For both types I use a ball .010" to .005" smaller than bore dia. For example my .45s get loaded with either .440" or .445" ball, a canvas patch (.024") lubed with Hoppes BP Lube or TOW mink oil. I load with the underbarrel wood rod. The crowns are radiused and smoothed to a depth of about 1/8".

I don't swab between shots or series of shots because I don't have to and that's fine with me. I like the patches well lubed so that any excess is squeezed onto the crown when the prb is started. Accuracy has always remained the same because the tight loads remove so much of the fouling each time a prb is seated, in other words the bore condition remains constant through the day.
 
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All are good ideas. I use mutton tallow, beeswax and a drop of olive oil. I like them on the wet side.

Here it is very humid, never have to wipe between shots. We put water in the barrel to soften the crud so it would seem a dry environment would make it harder to load.

The barrel has a lot to do with it. My GRRW Hawken is a breeze to load no matter how many rounds fired, maybe 40-50 at a time. The Kibler 58 Colonial is a little more sensitive it seems, probably because it is new with not very many rounds down it yet. It should improve as it is fired more.

Don
 

Ben Meyer

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I swab between shots at the range, and whenever I can. But on woods walks, etc, where it's a hassle, I use patching prelubed with Mr Flintlocks patch lube. I can get off a bunch of shots using it, without swabbing. Maybe at shot 8-10, if that last 4 inches or so of barrel gets hard to load, I'll swab with it.
 

smoothshooter

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I didn't want to muck up Troopers thread in flintlock rifles, "swabbing between shots", so I thought I'd start a new thread here. What patch lube are you using? Bore and ball diameter, patch thickness?

Some may have seen my .40 build thread a couple months ago. The rifle is purpose built for 25 yard offhand matches. Rice barrel that measures .401 in the lands, haven't measured the grooves yet. I'm shooting a .395" ball, with patches that are .016 or .018 depending on the material I use. They are lubed with a 6-1 mix of water/ballistol and dried flat in the sun. The powder charge is 45gr of Schutzen 3F. I'm currently wiping between shots with one patch dampened with a 1-1-1/2 parts of peroxide, alcohol and Murphey's oil soap, followed by one dry patch. The damp patch comes out with what looks almost like tar, even the second patch comes out dirty.

I think I could get three or four shots without swabbing, but anything after that it would take a hammer to load it. I'd like to find a handful of .390" balls to try before I buy another mold.

Thanks guys.

Ditch the Murphy’s concoction.

I guess it works well enough, but there is a simpler way.
Use 70% (not 90%) Isopropyl Alcohol for cleaning. It’s all you need. It removes all or most of the lubricant too, so be sure to run an oily patch up and down the bore a few times after using the alcohol if you are done shooting for the day or longer.
Since the alcohol evaporates on it’s own in a couple of minutes, a drying patch down the bore is not usually necessary.
Let me know how it works for you.
 

smoothshooter

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I didn't want to muck up Troopers thread in flintlock rifles, "swabbing between shots", so I thought I'd start a new thread here. What patch lube are you using? Bore and ball diameter, patch thickness?

Some may have seen my .40 build thread a couple months ago. The rifle is purpose built for 25 yard offhand matches. Rice barrel that measures .401 in the lands, haven't measured the grooves yet. I'm shooting a .395" ball, with patches that are .016 or .018 depending on the material I use. They are lubed with a 6-1 mix of water/ballistol and dried flat in the sun. The powder charge is 45gr of Schutzen 3F. I'm currently wiping between shots with one patch dampened with a 1-1-1/2 parts of peroxide, alcohol and Murphey's oil soap, followed by one dry patch. The damp patch comes out with what looks almost like tar, even the second patch comes out dirty.

I think I could get three or four shots without swabbing, but anything after that it would take a hammer to load it. I'd like to find a handful of .390" balls to try before I buy another mold.

Thanks guys.

Smaller ball + thicker patch + more lube = 😁😁
Try beeswax melted and mixed with cooking oil. Experiment with the mix ratios to get the best compromise for being thin enough without being too runny.
 
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Schutzen was all I could find when I bought powder, I bought 10 pounds of it.
I ran into the same ran out of 3F Swiss the only powder I was able to get was Schutzen just like you. 10 pounds what a waste the dirtiest thickest fouling I’ve experienced. I’m wondering what I’m going to do with it. I may try it in metallic cartridges for my 44-40 now that I have a fat groove bullet mold. They hold a ton of lube and are supposed to keep the fouling soft. Dirty dirty stuff lol but it does ignite well.
 
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Schutzen was all I could find at the time and was happy to get it. It's dirty, but at least I'm making smoke. Hopefully this madness will lessen one of these days and more powders will be available.
 
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Schutzen was all I could find at the time and was happy to get it. It's dirty, but at least I'm making smoke. Hopefully this madness will lessen one of these days and more powders will be available.
Goex, Hopefully starts production spring/ summer of 23. Should be generally available in fall/ winter of 23. Swiss is available now at “Travelers Antiques and Trading”in Tx. My BP club just purchased a case of mixed with shipping and Hazmat came to $23.+ a lb.
Doc,
 
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Goex, Hopefully starts production spring/ summer of 23. Should be generally available in fall/ winter of 23. Swiss is available now at “Travelers Antiques and Trading”in Tx. My BP club just purchased a case of mixed with shipping and Hazmat came to $23.+ a lb.
Doc,
I called and Swiss 3F is $28 per pound and shipping is $70.
 
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Summertime in Texas it’s so dry you can only spit cotton so at the range I keep a small spray bottle of antifreeze and distilled water to wet patches. I try to use a thin enough cleaning patch that goes down easily and bunches up on the way out. The obvious problem is pushing fouling into the fire chamber. I’ve tried swabbing between every shot and only after 5 shots, can’t tell much difference.
Tenmile
 

Johnny Tremain

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Have 20 cans of Goex around at any given time so thats all we have used, ever.

Barrel: 42 inch Rice barrel, radius cut, swamped, and stress relieved.
Load: 54.5gr @1630fps, 54.5 @ 2033fps 440 ball, .15 patch

Before shooting barrel is swabbed with T/C Bore Butter 1000+
Patches are moistened with T/C No. 13 Bore cleaner.
Each patch cleans out the last ones mess.
We use pillow ticking from JoAnne's and a punch from Buffalo Arms Co.
 

45man

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With Young Country lube I have gone over 200 shots without clean patching. If a ball tightens I add more lube to the next patch. I was taking down 200 meter steel chickens like this without a miss.
 
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I stopped swabbing between shots on walk-abouts once I discovered Hoppe's #9 black powder solvent & patch lubes! This stuff is amazing, I just put enough patches in a pill container and just enough solvent so all are saturated. Then I'll take em out and squeeze all excess from them and place them in my tin for the next days shoot. Never been disappointed yet, give it a try and let me know how it turned out!
 

flntlokr

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I didn't want to muck up Troopers thread in flintlock rifles, "swabbing between shots", so I thought I'd start a new thread here. What patch lube are you using? Bore and ball diameter, patch thickness?

Some may have seen my .40 build thread a couple months ago. The rifle is purpose built for 25 yard offhand matches. Rice barrel that measures .401 in the lands, haven't measured the grooves yet. I'm shooting a .395" ball, with patches that are .016 or .018 depending on the material I use. They are lubed with a 6-1 mix of water/ballistol and dried flat in the sun. The powder charge is 45gr of Schutzen 3F. I'm currently wiping between shots with one patch dampened with a 1-1-1/2 parts of peroxide, alcohol and Murphey's oil soap, followed by one dry patch. The damp patch comes out with what looks almost like tar, even the second patch comes out dirty.

I think I could get three or four shots without swabbing, but anything after that it would take a hammer to load it. I'd like to find a handful of .390" balls to try before I buy another mold.

Thanks guys.
This has been massaged a thousand times. My 30 years' experience has taught me: use a water-based lube if doing a lot of shooting in a day. The bore gets swabbed clean with each new shot as it is loaded. I use just water with a good squirt of dish detergent added. I stack pre-cut patches into a pill bottle, and squirt detergent indown the gap at the side, then fill with water. I let it soak for a bit, then squish the stack to mix the soap and water and work it into the fabric. Then top it up with water again and let it soak until you need patches. When you need to take patches out, remove a portion of the stack, and squeeze as much water out as you can, and they are ready to go. I keep my 'ready' patches in a box so they stay moist until used. I never have to wipe between shots (calibres .36 to .75) in a match or trail. If I need to keep a gun loaded for a long while, and I know I might only take a few shots (hunting), I use something greasy. I have found that oily/greasy patches lead to rapid fouling in the area just above the load line, and require some effort to swab clean.
 
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