Brand new to muzzleloading, need advice on cleaning


September 15, 2003, 07:39 PM
I am brand new to muzzleloading. I have a T/C Omega (.50) that I took out for the first time this past weekend. I was using Hodgdon Triple-7 and Hornady saboted bullets. On another website, I described my cleaning method in this way:

I took the gun back home and swabbed the barrel with patches soaked in Cabelas Citrus Black Powder cleaner and then I ran boiling water from breech to muzzle. Then I went in with the T/C No. 13 to make sure that everything was perfect and repeated the boiling water routine again. After the barrel was dry (but still quite hot) I took some Bore Butter that I had melted and soaked a patch with it. I passed that patch down the barrel twice and then put the gun away.

I was informed that this was wrong in the following terms:

a barrel is made of metal,the metal has microscopic holes.When you clean with water the water gets in the holes,even if you dry patch the patch cant get in the holes to get the water out.Putting bore butter over the holes filled with water will cause rust.

Now, I'm no scientist but isn't rust "iron-oxide"? If you coat a bore with liquified melted Bore Butter, aren't you basically putting a wax seal all the way down the barrel? Wouldn't that seal out the oxygen required to make "iron-oxide"?

I'm open to criticism and advice. That is how we improve ourselves. However, this sounds like urban legend or myth to me. Most people I know who shoot muzzleloaders describe this type of method almost religiously when it comes to cleaning their smoke poles. Someone straighten me out or tell me that I'm correct. I'd hate for this new gun to go to heck.

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4v50 Gary
September 16, 2003, 12:31 AM
I use more than boiling or hot water. I put a patch on a jag and run it in & out to flush out the barrel. The hot water is handy in that it heats up the barrel and promotes rapid drying of remaining water. Coat with a preservative and clean it again the next day (serious).

September 16, 2003, 01:52 PM
If you ask 10 knowledgable people how to clean an ML gun, you will get ten similar but slightly different answers and an agument will ensue (sounds like religion).

The method you used is one correct method, other methods will work too. The idea of teh hot water is that the water is hot enough to evaporate not stay in teh steel. But, I know folks who stick with cold water, because heat is part of the oxidation process.

Personally, I'd do what you did, but use a different product for the final lube. Maybe RIG or some other modern rust preventer (CLP or rem oil). That is what I do, because it is easier to get cleaned out before I shoot the next time. Regardless of what you use, clean it out before you shoot the next time as anything in the barrel will add to fouling once you burn powder.

Also - if you are shooting plastic sabots, you may need a solvent to disolve out traces of plastic. I have zero experience with this as I shoot round ball, but heard it from shooters at the range.

How long before you shoot it again? I check my bore weekly even if I don't shoot. Just in case.


September 17, 2003, 07:10 PM
Just curious, what kind of performance did you get out of your TC and how did you like the triple 7?

I'm getting ready to buy a can of the stuff, but it's relatively pricey compared to Pyrodex. I'm looking at $24.00 a can vs 15 for Pyro.

The relatively easy cleanup is the part that I really need.

Good Shooting

Smokey Joe
September 27, 2003, 01:57 AM
I just described my cleaning method in the thread above, "Bore Butter vs. conventional cleaners" and it is pretty similar to yours. For me, it works. Gotta agree with JPM, if you ask 12 ML shooters for THE WAY to clean your smokepole, you'll likely get 13 answers, all of which are correct.

BTW, you can get Bore Butter in 2 forms, a solid which is meant for lubing bullets, and a softer paste form that comes in a tube, meant for coating bbls. The second is what I usually use. Don't have to melt it, just apply it to the muzzle, then run a patch down the bore to coat the entire bore in one application.

The only rusty bbl. I ever encountered in BP shooting was caused by not cleaning the gun at all for 2 weeks after shooting. Family emergency, something about a new baby IIRC.

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