How long does it take for corrosion to set in


Rogue Coder
September 19, 2011, 12:29 PM
Okay I am VERY paranoid. I spent nearly 35 minutes at the range Saturday cleaning my revolver after breaking it in. I used the solvent and scrubbed out the cylinder and the barrel and any place that did not shine. I wiped it down with gun oil and went home. Now I am paranoid, thinking that I missed some fouling and am worried about rust. How long does it take for that to happen?


If you enjoyed reading about "How long does it take for corrosion to set in" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
September 19, 2011, 02:22 PM
Probably depends on the climate where you live. I usually swab the bore after shooting...thorough cleaning with soap and water within 24hrs, here in the soggy, humid midwest.

September 19, 2011, 03:09 PM
A couple of years ago I shot percussion revolvers with Goex powder at a Cowboy Action shoot in Alabama. I cleaned guns that night, went home to Oklahoma the next day. Three months later I dig out my revolver case and guess what? I forgot to clean my Walker. "Oh crap", says I, "this is gonna be bad."

It wasn't. There was no rust or corrosion anywhere. Was I lucky? Yes, I'd say there was some luck involved, but I sorta think using Ballistol and Bore Butter where also major factors.

Read this:

Rogue Coder
September 19, 2011, 03:31 PM
I used Wonder Lube and after shooting I used Traditions solvent and MANY patches to clean it. Afterwards, I oiled it down with a can of gun oil, inside and out. I know I am paranoid and there is probably nothing wrong, but this is the first gun I ever bought and want to make sure that it can outlast me. :)

September 19, 2011, 04:43 PM
Take it easy. Pulp's experience is identical to mine. I've left black powder guns uncleaned for as long as three months with no damage.
No it was not intentional.

Fingers McGee
September 19, 2011, 05:02 PM
+1 to what Pulp and Noz said. I usually spray mine down after a match with Balistol and let them sit for a week before even starting to clean them. I left an L&R loaded for a month and had no trouble cleaning it when I emptied it. No rust or corrosion anywhere.

Disclaimer: I only use real gunpowder in my C&Bs; bore butter on the arbors, and Balistol to clean and lube them.

Cult of 1858
September 19, 2011, 05:21 PM
+1 on Fingers, Pulp and Noz

Ballistol, bore butter, etc are crucial items to everyday shooting. It is the residue that starts the corrosion process, if you use bore butter over the loads, or a lube pill, etc, then that residue will already be mixed with a compound that will inhibit its action on the metal.
Add to that a liberal spray down with Ballistol after your shoot and you shouldnt have to worry.
Make sure that the Ballistol gets down between the frame and the hammer, into all cylinders, down the bore, etc etc, anywhere that powder gets.

I recently came back to Black Powder after nearly 4 years. Occasionally I have been getting one out and putting a cylinder through, then Ballistol and back in the holster. The only 'rust' that i noticed was that the Ballistol oil had turned a dark 'rust' color.
This last weekend, I processed all the revolvers through warm water, full strip and clean, and bake. Checked them afterwards, there is a little frosting in the barrel, and some over the face of the cylinder. Thats nothing thats going to affect me.

I also believe that no matter how anal a person is with a BLACK POWDER firearm, you are going to get some rust at some time.

September 19, 2011, 10:07 PM
When I am feeling a little worried, I just inspect the gun. Simple.

September 19, 2011, 10:58 PM
Rogue, you didn't say what kind of gun oil your wiping them down with. Most petroleum based oils are not good friends with BP fouling. The fouling will form a hard tar like substance that is very difficult to remove. Ballistol is an exception, SweetShooter is another exception. If you can't find Ballistol, then wipe down with a vegetable based shortening or olive oil. Note: shortening or olive oil will eventually harden, so don't use it for long term storage.

Acorn Mush
September 19, 2011, 11:47 PM
I'll add my plus to +1 to what Pulp and Noz said and Fingers McGee and Cult of 1858, as long as the powder you are using is REAL black powder and NOT one of the subs, especially Pyrodex:barf:. Pyrodex residue itself is corrosive. I know from bitter experience. Don't know how corrosive the residues left by the other subs are compared to Pyrodex. Perhaps someone with greater knowledge than I on the subject can enlighten us all.

Cult of 1858
September 20, 2011, 02:14 AM
Pyrodex is (IMHO) the WORST out there when it comes to corrosion. I try to avoid Pyrodex whenever I can. 777 is a lot nicer, I have shot loads of the stuff recently and not had a problem. I think of 777 as the 'smokeless' Black Powder

Rogue Coder
September 20, 2011, 08:30 AM

This is the gun oil that I use. Yes I know I should relax. My wife tells me the same thing. Anyway, I took apart the gun again. This time, I took out the nipples and did an inspection. What I found was that one of the nipples had some brown gunk in the threads and on the edge where the nipple screws into the cylinder. There was also a tiny bit of the same brown gunk in the crevice of the loading rod. I spent an hour scrubbing out the brown gunk and recleaning the gun. Now, whether the brown stuff was rust or Traditions solvent residue or Outer's bore cleaner residue IDK. All I know is the next time I go and shoot the gun, when I get home the gun is getting a hot soapy bath.

September 20, 2011, 08:56 PM
I recently went through a fair amount of discussion on here about rust and BP, plus I have some experience with shooting/cleaning these guns. You can get flash rust with hot soapy water cleaning, but apparently that is not too bad a thing. Still, I don't like the idea of it much. And it can happen pretty quickly, hence the name.
I was advised that this does not happen with cooler water and maybe the soap is not necessary. So, I will try that next. Also good is to clean completely, dry with patches and then douse right away with a water displacer like Barricade-- one thing at a time, like cylinder, then barrel/frame etc. This does not give rust time to start and with as much Barricade as I apply, rust does not have a chance. Sometimes I get lazy and don't put the gun together until the next day, and that also lets me see there is no problem. I take the whole gun apart after a day of shooting. I am retired and don't have anything better to do than putter around with it anyway, maybe while watching TV or listening to the radio. So, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it (at least for now).

Rogue Coder
September 20, 2011, 09:44 PM
Everyone thanks for the info! My guess is what I saw was more gunk residue than "flash rust". The gun is clean now. What this has taught me is the importance of cleaning the gun PROPERLY. I will now take out the cylinder pin and loading rod, in addition to the cylinder and all the nipples and clean everything.

September 20, 2011, 10:41 PM
Hi Rogue Coder,

You mentioned using 'Solvent' to clean your Revolver after shooting Black Powder?

Solvent is not an appropriate way to clean Black Powder residu...( even it is may be appropriate for some kinds of Smokeless Powder residu ).

Hot Soapy Water is what one would use for cleaning Black Powder Arms after shooting...along with a Nylon or Brass Bore Brush, Wads of Paper Towel, etc.

Blot dry, then finish drying using heat form a Hair drier, setting in the Sun or whatever, so a drop of Water smeared on it is seen to evaporate in a few seconds.

Then Oil it up and stow away till next time.

September 23, 2011, 10:20 AM
I used Traditions solvent and MANY patches to clean it.

Solvent is not an appropriate way to clean Black Powder residu...( even it is may be appropriate for some kinds of Smokeless Powder residu ).

The Traditions solvent is an appropriate black powder solvent. There's also many other black powder solvents, some requiring more elbow grease than others. It's a good idea to have more than one cleaning product on hand to help remove stubborn deposits caused by using the various powders, especially at the range.

Here's some others:

September 24, 2011, 12:03 AM
I would not want to tempt fate. And even less so if I lived in a humid environment. But I have a story of neglect that turned out OK as well.

I shot my smokeless cartridge guns in a CAS meet but due to running out of shot shells my last two rounds of shotgun were done with some BP rounds. Of course this means NO lube of any sort. I came home and being tired I forgot that I had a gun that needed cleaning. A week later I moved the shotgun aside in the cabinet and something tweaked in my head. I had a heart sinking moment but I went ahead and cleaned up the barrel. My worries were unfounded as it cleaned up just fine and is as shiney now as it ever was.

If you enjoyed reading about "How long does it take for corrosion to set in" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!