July 7, 2008, 11:31 AM
I've been lurkinging for a while and trying to educate myself about cap-n-ball revolvers. This weekend I went the Cabella's and picked one up. A real beauty. 1860 Army. I asked as many questions as I could. One piece of info, I had not read anything about here, so thought I would query the group. This guy told me me he was a black powder shooter. He, of course, told me of the importance of cleaning as soon after shooting as possible. Now here's the part I'm asking about. He said between shooting and cleaning, I could spray the pistol down with Windex. The amonia, he indicated, would counter act the sulpher and such and retard the corrosion process until I could get home and properly clean the gun. Anyone hear of this? :uhoh:

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July 7, 2008, 11:34 AM
It's not the ammonia.

It's the water.

Most of the old hands wash their BP guns with hot soapy water.

Not sure what brand of powder you're using, for it to corrode before you get home ( unless you live on the other end of the country ).

Mike 56
July 7, 2008, 12:45 PM
Yep it's the water. I clean my black Powder pistols with Windex then rinse them off with hot water. While at the range when done shooting i give the barrel and cylinder a quick cleaning then wipe off exterior and hose it down good with W-D40 for the ride home. This presoak softens the fouling and makes cleaning easy. Soap and water also works good.


July 7, 2008, 01:39 PM
Bad advice.

Many people do in fact use Windex as a solvent at the range to remove fouling during a range session. Some even use it after the session to clean the gun. It is effective, although hot soapy water is cheaper and works just as well if not better.

The problem with the advice is the word ammonia. Ammonia will attack the gun's finish. If you want to use Windex as a range solvent be sure to buy the version that has vinegar in it. However, be aware that, while safe in the Windex solution, vinegar itself is highly damaging to bluing; in fact, many use it to completely remove bluing prior to refinishing or to get an antiqued finish.

Bad Flynch
July 7, 2008, 02:14 PM
Here's the skinny: Black powder residue is alkaline (basic) and ammonia is basic. You cnnot neutralize a base with a base. What is at work is the water, as previously stated, and it is the volume that counts in this case.

However, there is another chemistry available: Windex with Vinegar. Vinegar is a mild acid and will neutralize the basic fouling to an extent, depending on how much fouling is present and how much Windex + Vinegar is used. That makes pretty good sense. However, it is still pretty much the volume of water that is a work here, so do yourself a favor and use water with a little vinegar in it, instead of paying for Windex. Refill your spray bottle cheaply.

July 7, 2008, 03:28 PM
I`ve found nothing works better than hot water for cleaning ....but at the range for lack the hotwater I spray a little windex on a patch ,for a quick bore swab . I don`t buy the windex brand ...I get brand X at the dollar store for a buck a half gallon, and just refill an old sprayer.

July 7, 2008, 06:12 PM
Try this,

1 part hydrogen peroxide, 1 part rubbing alcohol, and 1 part murphys oil soap....mixed together they make a great cleaning solution for BP...


July 7, 2008, 07:57 PM
there are only 2 things i useany more after 20 years of shooting BP. competativly between matchs or relays. Its either rusty duck black out or cabelas black powder solvent. they both work great. and i have tried everything outthere and what ever i could make up from others fourmulas.
when done for the weekend it hot soapy water for final cleaning before storage.:banghead:

July 7, 2008, 08:07 PM
I used Windex to clean a gun once. On my next range trip birds kept running into it.


Dave Markowitz
July 7, 2008, 08:09 PM
I like Windex as a BP solvent. It's very effective IME and comes in a handy spray bottle. The combination of the water and the surfactants in Windex remove BP fouling extremely well.

July 7, 2008, 08:24 PM
Not me warm water works best. i did not know anything about water when i started shooting. Then one time at the range my revolver was fouling up. the range officer poured some water on a patch told me to run it through. So i did. after that i started taking a spray water bottle with me. So now i after a few rounds i remove the cylinder give it a good spray. then wipe them down and load them up.

July 10, 2008, 09:37 PM
I keep a baby's sipper bottle in the range bag and another in the possibles bag. I take the straw out and fill them with 50/50 Ballistol and water. The nozzle seals tightly when closed. Works great, and is relatively cheap.


Grey Wolf
July 11, 2008, 12:21 AM
Some shooters use windshield washer solution.

I put 1/4 cup of dishwashing liquid (some use Murphy's Oil Soap), 1 cup of household ammonia and 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol in a gallon milk jug and fill it with water. The soap and ammonia cut the crud and the alcohol helps speed the drying of the barrel. I clean my long guns at the range. Since I shoot Wonder Lubed patches it takes about 10 patches. A dampened toothbrush cleans around the nipple. I Wonder Lube the barrel inside and out.

A little plastic bottle with a capped opening lives in my shooting box.

After every third or so shooting session I put DW liquid in water in a bucket, put one end of a 24" long rubber or vinyl tube over the nipple and the other in the bucket (with a stainless steel nut sinker wired to it) and pump water in and out of the barrel with a cloth patch on my range rod. That cleans out the counter bore in the breech plug (it has a proper name that I can't remember) and the ignition path that a jag can't get into.

I clean my fusil by putting a toothpick or feather in the touch hole, holding the butt up in the air to keep it dry and squirting a jet of water from the garden hose in the muzzle. Then I use a couple of wet cloth patches, then an alcohol patch, let it dry a while and a Wonder Lube patch.

I've been known to clean my .58 caliber Hawken the same way.

I got in the habit of cleaning at the range when I lived in Houston. It was so humid if I didn't clean my guns at the range they would be rusty when I got home.

I wonder if anybody else has heard that Wonder Lube and Bore Butter are a beeswax and olive oil mixture? I know it's good for chapped lips.

Sorry about the diarrhea of the keyboard.

July 11, 2008, 04:25 AM
I heard that it was made from mineral oil, micronized paraffin wax and tincture of wintergreen.
If it was made with olive oil and beeswax it would be even more expensive. ;)

Mike 56
July 11, 2008, 09:15 AM
Here's my Windex bottle i keep in my range box but you could use it for any cleaner.

Mikehttp:// spray bottle.jpg (657.5 KB)

July 11, 2008, 05:13 PM
Mike Venturino, blackpowder editor and long time blackpowder shooter uses Windex with vinegar to clean his guns. That is the clear windex. Windex with vinegar is not strong enough to hurt steel. It is about 5 percent vinegar.

Been using Windex with vinegar since I read the article by Venturino about nine years ago. Nothing cleans up blackpowder and Pyrodex crud as well. I use the stuff in a small spray pump bottle.

Mike 56
July 11, 2008, 07:27 PM
Dollar store Windex is not Sweets 7.62 their is not enough ammonia in it to hurt the bluing. I shoot these guns at least three times a month and as many as eight times and they are holding up fine.


http:// C&Bs.jpg (795.0 KB)

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