muzzleloader barrel all rusted up...


November 18, 2007, 09:22 AM
I have one of the old Thompson Center Hawkins muzzleloaders which I had given to on of my boys to use a few yrs back. I thought I would try using it for deer hunting, but when I took it out of the case the inside of the barrel was all rusted out as well as what looked like rust all inside of the nipple. I guess it was never cleaned after the last use. Is there any conceivable way to get this guns barrel in good enough condition to shoot half way decent again? What is the best way to remove the rust? I know there will be some pitting left, but I'm concerned more about just getting the rust out and "defining" what rifleing is left. This rifle was built by me in the early 70's from a kit, and believe me it took a lot of work such as draw filing the barrel and major stock inletting, etc. to get to a finished product. Up until yesterday it was the only gun I ever used for deer hunting.

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November 18, 2007, 11:46 AM
Coarse steel wool on the jag with a bit of oil (3 in 1 is good). Work down to a finer steel wool and then shoot it.

November 18, 2007, 01:02 PM
You may end up devoting more time and energy to that barrel than it warrants. By all means, try scrubbing the rust out, and buy one of the ML borelights that drops down the bore so you can see what's left. You may end up needing to lap the bore, or even have it rebored.

Personally, I believe I'd seriously consider replacing the barrel about that time. You can get one from T/C, or you can get a longer barrel from Green Mountain, either a fast-twist (for sabots) or a slow-twist (for round balls).

November 18, 2007, 01:07 PM
I would let it soak overnight with a very wet coat of penetrating oil, then follow with a stainless steel bore brush and solvent.

After you get the worst out, continue with a brass bore brush & solvent.

Then wrap a patch around the bore brush and lap about an hour with JB Bore Paste. Continue lapping until the patches stop turning black every few strokes.

It will not remove deep pits, but will clean it up as good as you are going to get it.

I have used this method on several old Winchesters that looked like the inside of a stove-pipe, and they all came out looking kind of sad, but shooting pretty darn good!

Marlin 45 carbine
November 19, 2007, 07:46 AM
if there is much pitting in the bore it wil catch fouling and you will have to clean the bore (wet patch) after every shot in order to load again. it may shoot OK but lot of trouble. best rebore even if to a smoothbore.

November 19, 2007, 07:47 PM
I'd have to wonder if a replacement barrel would be more expensive than a new rifle. Looks like a good winter project doing a little barrel scrubbing!

Rex B
November 19, 2007, 10:57 PM
There's a product called Evaporust carried by some hardware and machine supply stores, maybe AutoZone. Pretty darned good stuff. I'd stand that barrel on end, plug the nippel tightly, and fill the bore with Evaporust. It will remove blue so be careful. Let it sit a few days or a week, rinse, inspect, repeat as necessary. I have recovered machine tool parts that I should have trashed. It will not hurt good steel, paint, or anything but rust. And you can pour it down the drain when done if you like.
then bore-brush and oil and see what you've got left.

November 20, 2007, 12:57 AM
Well if it was never cleanned and now is rust then you first have to go after the carbon not the rust. OILS will set the carbon and make it harder. GET some simple green and a ss bore brush. Soak the bbl with simple green and scrub, REPEAT many times clranning out the dirty gunk. When the soap stops bringing out dirt and rust clean the bbl in VERY hot water. I am talking a pot holder to hold the bbl hot. when patches are clean and bbl is still hot ,DRY it out and season it well with Thompson bore butter. This will fill any pitting and not let the fouling get a hold . Shoot it but clean it after every shot with simple green and then bore butter till bbl is re-broke in. It should be fine after that. Use simple green straight to clean , Use bore butter to swab and lube patches. J.Michael

Joe Demko
November 20, 2007, 11:02 AM
I have a T/C flintlock that my dad loaned to a fool who didn't clean it after firing it. Worse yet, he stuck it in a closet and forgot about it for a couple years. How expensive would getting the barrel bored out to smoothbore be?

Jim K
November 20, 2007, 07:05 PM
If it has been out of your possession, better check first to be sure it is not loaded. How you handle it will be based on that.


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