How do you clean a single shot?


February 24, 2010, 12:42 AM
Hey hey. I've heard all about the trials and woes of trying to clean cap and ball revolvers and what happens if you don't.

Is it the same with single shot pistols? Are they difficult and time consuming to clean like revolvers and is any disassembling required?

Much thanks :)

If you enjoyed reading about "How do you clean a single shot?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
February 24, 2010, 12:45 AM
depends on how much you want to clean and what type of revolver. On the colt style you want to remove the wedge. Hot soapy water and regular cleaning brush and or patches work good. same with the cylinder. As for the internals you should look at the black powder essentials thread. its not too difficult. Just you need to make sure you have the correct size screw drivers.

February 24, 2010, 12:48 AM
Thanks scrat for the reply! But I've read ALL about how to clean revolvers

I'm asking how you clean a plain ol' single shot wood-stock percussion pistol. I just havent seen anyone describe how to do that. It's probably so simple it doesn't even get discussed but I don't know it, so if you could explain that I would appreciate it a lot :)

February 24, 2010, 01:01 AM

Single shots hot soapy water. If you use a cleaning brush you will almost have to cut the nipple of the front of it. As it will hit the back before the bristles hit the back. keep adding hot soapy water. Some even plug up the nipple to make sure the water stays in as it will help break down the fouling. You usually do not have to take off the lock its pretty much a wipe down. you may want to remove it to clean any residue from the wood. Just make sure the wood is dry when done and try to avoid getting any oil or anything on it. Once your done treat it like the others. i usually put a light coat of bore butter down the barrel and thats it. as long as its dry should be good.

February 24, 2010, 01:53 AM
Single shot pistols are cleaned the same way as longarms.

You can take the barrel off the stock (or not) and plug the flashhole of the nipple some way. I use a small piece of craft foam stuck between the hammer and the nipple. It blocks it watertight. Then you pour boiling water down the bore up to the muzzle and let it sit until it's cool enough to hold the barrel, then pull back the hammer to let the water run out. Repeat as necessary until no more black gunk comes out. Then take the nipple out and do it one more time to make sure the drum is clear of debris.

Run a pipe cleaner through the drum and then run a dry patch through the bore to get any excess water. Repeat until the patches come out dry. You can use a dilution of Ballistol and water in various ratios to knock free the grunge and do that until the patch comes out clean. Ballistol is supposed to be able to knock free leading with a brush if you have any deposits, or you can use a patch soaked with Hoppe's #9 ona jag left in there overnight and then run it with a brush and then run a dry patch until the barrel is dry and free of Hoppe's #9. Then run a wet patch through to make sure the barrel is coated with straight Ballistol for rust protection. Put some anti-sieze compound on the threads of the nipple and re-install it.

Store the pistol inverted, so any oil doesn't collect in the drum. Before you fire the pistol after an oiling, run a dry patch through to get out any excess Ballisol. Some people like to run a cap of rubbing alcohol through the barrel to flush out any oil that collected in the drum. Fire a cap on the nipple with the muzzle close to a blade of grass and see if it moves the grass to make sure it's clear. Run a nipple pick in the flashhole. It should be good to go.

February 24, 2010, 05:08 AM
You might want to check at any automotive or hardware store and get some of that clear plastic tubing, well any color will work it's just that the clear is a little stiffer than most of the black rubber tubing, anyway get the size that will just squeeze fit down over the nipple, stick the other end in a pan or bowl of hot soapy water, poor some soapy water down the barrel, don't fill it clear up not necessary, then using a tight patched cleaning jag get a pumping action going inside the barrel. The water will be pushed out on the down stroke and into your holding dish, then if the patch fits the bore tight enough it will draw water back into and up the barrel on the up stroke, just keep it up, change your water as you need. If you get any water down around the lock then you will want to pull it out of it's mortise, be careful and slow or you can chip the wood, they can be in there tight, anyway clean and dry the inside of the lock. Good luck.

February 24, 2010, 10:16 AM
get a small bucket of very hot soapy water about half full.

Remove the barrel from the stock and remove the nipple.

Place the nipple end of barrell in the hot soapy water.

place your cleaning jag with cloth in your barrel and start to prime (in-out-in-out) multiple times.

I do this for about 3mins. then switch to clean hot water and repeat.

wipe down with your favourite BP rust preventative, clean nipple and reinstall with grease so that it doesn't rust in.

reinstall the stock. put away,

and now the hardest part, grab a beer and relax.

February 24, 2010, 01:37 PM
Depending on the type of powder, there's also the waterless cleaning method that might require a little more elbow grease to be meticulous but which allows one to forgo using a bucket of soapy water.
It requires using a large number of very tight patches on an appropriate size jag that are laden with any one of a number of black powder solvents. Then alternate swabbing using equally tight dry patches.
Depending on the stubborness of the residue, several different solvents can be used to attack the baked on deposits that accumulate on the exterior like around the nipple, barrel breach and lock plate due to blowback.
Then after it's squeaky clean and lubed, go back and check it after a short time by running a clean tight patch with some more Bore Butter or solvent on it to see if any residue shows on the patch. Applying Bore Butter as a last step has a tendency to dissolve any residue that's left in the rifling grooves if given a chance because of the mineral oil that it contains.
And the flash channel of some guns can be cleaned using the right implements like small brushes, cotton swabs, pipe cleaners, wire or small pieces of dowel wrapped with patch material. The nipples can be soaked in solvent or alcohol and then brushed and scrubbed. Folks improvise by using what they have.
There's also breech plug scrapers that can reach down into the powder chamber in the interior of the breech plug to remove residue. Or a small caliber cleaning rod with a patch or brush and some solvent can reach down in there too.
Cotton swabs with solvent and then oil can sometimes be inserted behind the lockplate to clean out the accessible part of the lockworks.
I generally apply masking tape to any opening under the barrel that allows fouling to get behind it because I don't like removing the lock unnecessarily and tape works great to help accomplish that.
One just needs to be sure that they do more than an adequate job of removing residue from the threads and wherever else it can be hiding and then lubing it.
Whenever a cleaning rod is inserted into the muzzle it's a good idea to use muzzle protection or a muzzle guard to protect the rifling at the crown which may be brass, plastic or even homemade.
Some powders are more stubborn than others and leaving residue or water in the barrel is not desirable. Each method has trade offs. People use the method that they find to be the most comfortable and convenient for them. IMO the most important factor with either cleaning method is to use very tight patches or brushes to physically remove as much residue as possible.

February 24, 2010, 02:01 PM
I've seen people's pics where they used Glad Press 'N' Seal and wrapped it around the front of the stock so they didn't have to take the barrel off.
If you use a hose to suck the water into the barrel, you don't have to take the stock off, either.
I tried a no heat cleaning solution that I've found on a bunch of web sites. Equal amounts of rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and Murphy Oil Soap. They all come in 32 oz bottles, so you can pour them into an empty gallon sized container and shake it up. Seal off the nipple, fill the barrel and let it sit for an hour. It works, but boiling water is faster for me.I've got a length of hose so I don't have to use my kitchen sink for rifles, which is impossible for my Springfield, I have to use a step stool with my Mississippi rifle, but for the two pistols, the kitchen sink works well. Thanks to the Internet and all of you and your experience, I'm having more and more fun and enjoyment with my blackpowder guns. I thought BP would be a pain, but it's easier and more fun than regular firearms. They are now boring, in fact. BP slows you down so you can enjoy shooting more.

If you enjoyed reading about "How do you clean a single shot?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!