Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Muzzleloader Blues, Part 2

Last week I fixed the rust damage on my poor muzzleloader. Today, I'm  going to clean and protect the bore, since I'm sure it's rusty as well.

For most muzzleloaders, your ramrod will also serve as a cleaning rod. If not, locate an appropriate cleaning rod and patch holder or jag, as well as a bore brush sized for your rifle. An item called a bore mop is incredibly handy, but if you don't have one, patches can do its job as well.

I'm proceeding directly from the rust cleanup, so my barrel has been removed from the stock, and the nipple is also removed. If your gun is not to this point, do so before continuing.

(Editors Note: We apologize for the lack of pictures in this post. They were intended but there was a technical issue which prevented their inclusion.) 
  1. First, rinse the bore with hot water and a bit of dish soap, and by hot, I mean just shy of boiling. 
  2. Put the breech into a bucket or the bathtub and carefully pour the water down the muzzle until clean water comes out the nipple hole.
  3. Once the water flows clean, rinse the bore with water that doesn't have soap in it. 
  4. Dry the bore with cleaning patches.
  5. Swab the barrel with a black-powder-specific bore cleaner, such as Thompson-Center #13. Regular gun oils and solvents can cause problems with black powder, so use the purpose-made products. 
  6. Follow the wet patches with dry patches until they come out dry. 
  7. Use either a bore mop or patch to lube the bore with a black-powder-specific lube. My preference is Bore Butter, because it is useful for almost any muzzeloading lubrication needs.

It's a bit different process than cleaning a cartridge firearm, but just as simple, and probably more important. Take care of your gun and it will take care of you for many years.


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