Cleaning a crusted & fouled gun barrel - help!!


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Tony Sopranno
September 7, 2008, 01:03 AM
I'm New to Black Powder:

Please any suggestions...

I need some pointers from anyone with good experience. Actually I've managed to figure out a lot by searching the web and googling around.

I have been given a Ruger Old Army, 7 1/2 inch .44 caliber black powder revolver by a close friend. The rust I see is minor, only on the frame surfaces, with some minor pitting.

When I got the revolver home I wiped in down with Ed's Red and wrapped it in a rag overnight. It looked sparkling new the next morning. That was only to clean it up just once.

I started to work on the bore which was crusted with fouling from the muzzle end down about 2 1/2 inches, all around, and over the rifling lands. I realized most of what I thought was rust (as told previously by last owner) turned out to be just heavy carbon/lead fouling. I tried Hoppes #9 with only a little success and quickly moved to Ballistrol and water; it seems to work better than the Hoppes #9.

Then I found out that 2 bucks worth of Murphy's Oil Soap, hydrogen peroxide, and isopropyl alcohol, in equal parts -- with a little bit of acetone thrown in -- is really getting under that build-up of crude on the rifling.

I'm down to only some fouling the left side of the barrel -- and now below the rifling lands.

Without much scrubbing (using a nylon brush) the Murphy's solution is really doing most of the work. It soaked all day yesterday and today in the stuff while heating it in the sun; more than half of the garbage is gone. As the solution leaked from the earplugs I stuck in both ends of the barrel, it left a trail of black/brown scuzzy stuff on the rag it was wrapped in.

I figure in a day or two I'll be down to the surface to see what it look's like. Judging from the one side that is now cleaned well enough, it should be good to go in a couple of days. I really scrubbed it a lot tonight with cotton t-shirt patches, using the nylon brush as an extra tight jag.

That Murphy's is pretty remarkable! Once the gun is clean enough to shoot I'll be lubing it I guess veggie oil, and Crisco -- only the moving parts getting some Militech 1 or PTFE oil, or another kind of regular gun oil.

All the other major surfaces are only going to get simply Crisco, Murphy's Oil Soap mix, Ballistrol, vegetable oil, or olive oil.

Please any suggestions... Thanks for any heads-ups anyone here can give me on getting this gun shooting again. I need some of the straight scoop on black powder shooting essentials.

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nicholst55
September 7, 2008, 05:01 AM
Try a COPPER (bring a magnet) Chore-Boy scrubber pad, as found in the kitchen cleaners area in your favorite grocery store. Some of them are copper and some are copper-colored (maybe coated) steel, which should be avoided.

If you want to spend more money, order some bronze wool from Brownells.

Lube the cylinder base pin with a vegetable oil, or Crisco. Black powder and petroleum-based lubes generally don't get along well.

Be certain to remove the nipples from the cylinder and clean the threads. Lube the nipple threads before you reinstall them.

Tony Sopranno
September 7, 2008, 03:12 PM
Be certain to remove the nipples from the cylinder and clean the threads. Lube the nipple threads before you reinstall them.
-nicholst55

I cleaned the cylinder really well.

I took the nipples out -- there was jet-black powdery carbon in all the threads, like the accumulated blow-by in a car's piston rings.

I cleaned them with a wire brush and Murphy's soap solution. Then I did the threaded part into the cylinder holes using a nylon oral hygiene brush. I reinstalled the nipples using Teflon tape as a lubricant/sealer.

That should be okay, right...?

mykeal
September 7, 2008, 09:33 PM
Teflon tape does not withstand the hot combustion gasses as well as anti-seize compound. It will suffice for keeping the threads from corroding together for a short period, but in the long run you should switch to the anti-seize.

Tony Sopranno
September 8, 2008, 02:34 AM
Teflon tape does not withstand the hot combustion gasses as well as anti-seize compound. It will suffice for keeping the threads from corroding together for a short period, but in the long run you should switch to the anti-seize.
-mykeal

Thanks for that info, mykeal ...will do soon..!


BTW - for anyone:

After some serious bronze wire brushing, tonight, I got about 98% of all the crap out of the bore!

I gave it a few new scratches though, by carelessly putting it down on a rough surface a few times. Now I'm gonna have to touch it up, or is that a waste of time for these guns?

Thanks...

mykeal
September 8, 2008, 09:11 AM
Touchups with Birchwood Casey PermaBlue are pretty common. It doesn't last forever and it's not as 'perfect' as an unblemished surface, but it does do a good job on small abrasions. You have to get a lot closer to see them.

sundance44s
September 8, 2008, 09:33 AM
Tony your murphys oil soap blend is what I use for a patch lube ...no wonder my bores stay so clean and shinny on my long rifles ..
I run into a old buck skinner years ago that was useing the blend ..and decided to give it a try , it`s cheap patch lube , and nothing store bought works any better I`ve used .

scrat
September 8, 2008, 11:11 AM
Chore Boy. You can find it at your local grocery store its a little box near the household cleaners. it will be a round pad. i usually take a piece and cut it with scissors. Then wrap it around your scrub brush in between the grooves. then go up and down the barrel. What i found is its best to do it with a dry barrel. A wet barrel with cleaners seems to just stay there. but a dry barrel and chore boy will work really good.

Tony Sopranno
September 8, 2008, 12:43 PM
Chore Boy. You can find it at your local grocery store its a little box near the household cleaners. it will be a round pad. i usually take a piece and cut it with scissors. Then wrap it around your scrub brush in between the grooves.
-scrat

I'm out today looking for Chore-Boy scrubber pads. Both you and "nicholst55" like them so I'll try it out. I used a bronze brush again this morning and got a lot more out. I tried a little old fashioned toothpaste too (the kind that polishes with plastic abrasives). That loosened up more of the smaller particulates still fused on the metal surfaces.

Anyway I would never abuse a smokeless powder rifle this way... I guess it says a lot for the fact that the soft pure lead balls and bullets are forced into the barrel and then they conform to the barrel's bore dimensions.

Thanks, everyone, for all the help and the moral support. It's much better than going it alone, wondering if you're really screwing the pooch this time...

mtngunr
September 9, 2008, 01:46 AM
Windex w/ Ammonia-D......strands of Chore Boy wrapped around a worn brush....strands of stainless-steel scouring pads on same worn brush are fine for limited use, sometimes needed on heavily leaded/fouled bore of even smokeless firearms...steel wool, too....gitter dun.....

Tony Sopranno
September 9, 2008, 03:25 PM
mtngunr,

Thanks... I went looking for Chore Girl copper pads and only found out no one here carries these except Ace Hardware. They have Chore Boy which seems like the same thing.

I saw woven stainless pads in a drugstore but I figured these would not be good, but per your advice, on limited use, I may try them. Thank you.

scrat
September 15, 2008, 02:15 PM
Tony how did the gun come out

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