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Anyway to fix these muzzleloaders that don't shoot accurately anymore?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Aim1, Nov 29, 2019.

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  1. Aim1

    Aim1 Member

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    So, I always used fancy CVA foaming cleaner and then Bore Butter in my muzzleloaders for the first 6 years. Then last year I used plain hot water for my muzzle loaders and then some clean patches and then patches with Bore Butter for storage.

    Well, after 7 years of no problems took them out last year and all 3 of the guns wouldn't even hit paper at 25 yards. I couldn't figure out what happened. Perhaps the bores got corroded somehow?

    Is there a way to fix to clean these barrels out 100% and try again or are the barrels most likely ruined?

    What happened?


    They are all Thompson Bone Collectors that I got at a sale price so probably not worth buying a new barrel for.
     
  2. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    Your conclusion is that the cleaning affected the accuracy. Use a bore scope to see it there is corrosion or rifling damage, if not the problem may be loads and/or powder.
     
  3. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    If there is light surface rust, JB paste on a tight patch might lap the bores enough to help. I personally don't believe in buttering anything but toast or baked potatoes. Clean, dry bore, lured bullet or oiled patched round ball for shooting and when done clean with boiling water, dry, and use a rust inhibiting grease to store. Clean out grease thoroughly before shooting. I have guns I've been treating that way since 67 and they are still accurate after hundreds to a thousand rounds. Thompson, Tingle, Numrich and Douglass barrels.
     
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  4. Fyrstyk

    Fyrstyk Member

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    You need to ditch the Bore Butter. That stuff hardens up in the grooves and is a bear to get out. I will almost bet that is the cause for the inaccuracy. Use some really hot water to heat up the barrel to melt the hardened Bore Butter. Scrub the bore with a bristle brush several times. Let the barrel cool and run a patch with WD-40 to remove any moisture that remains. Dry patch, then use a good bore preservative/rust prevent er like Barricade. Your accuracy should be restored.
     
  5. Aim1

    Aim1 Member

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    Thanks guys. Will try.
     
  6. #1buck

    #1buck Member

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    Scrub it out real good. Have you changed bullets or powder? Are you using real black powder or some substitute? Is there a chance your powder has degraded?
     
  7. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Member

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    I've had no issues with Bore Butter personally although it does build up over time and boiling water will loosen it up. At least it's just never been an accuracy issue with the PRBs I always shoot. I've also had a couple of fairly corroded barrels (bought used) and they still fired surprisingly accurately they are just a PITA to keep clean. You should be able to feel it on a patch if there is significant corrosion, it feels rough and will wear through the patch after just a few strokes. I would try a fresh can of powder of you haven't yet.
     
  8. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    Check the muzzle crown as well, a pitted bore is not a big deal but if the crown is damaged accuracy will be affected.
     
  9. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I recently gave away a knight mk85 that a buddy bought for 20 bucks, and gave to me after getting a newer inline. That things bore was horrible, but it still shot really well. Honestly id be looking at ignition, old powder, wrong bullet for sabot, or damage at the crown.
     
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  10. Aim1

    Aim1 Member

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    Always used Triple Seven pellets. Fresh and Power Belts.
     
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  11. Fyrstyk

    Fyrstyk Member

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    Jackrabbit1957 makes a good point about the crown of the muzzle. If it is damaged it will definitely affect your accuracy. I still think it is the bore butter. I have helped several members in my club that use bore butter get better accuracy by cleaning out the stuff and using a good rust preventer instead. I find that as a patch lube it is OK, as long as it is cleaned out at the end of the day. I do not think it makes a good bore preservative as it tends to harden over time.
     
  12. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I also had a 54 cal that had a bore like a sewer pipe when I got it. Figured it was already toast so I built a bore brush out of an old 1/2 inch SS copper fitting brush and a dowel. I cleaned rust for about half an hour before it stopped showing on the patches. Now using Swiss black powder and Powerbelt bullets it is as accurate as my 50 cal with a good bore is. For all three of yours to be bad all of a sudden there has to be a common issue I would think. FWIW I always snap three or four caps into the empty rifle before I load it the first time to assure the nipple is free of buildup.or fouling.
     
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  13. #1buck

    #1buck Member

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    There are a lot of people having problems with powerbelts. I'd try a different bullet and see how that goes. I seriously doubt all 3 guns developed bad bores at the same time.
     
  14. Aim1

    Aim1 Member

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    Sorry I forgot to respond to this thread when these posts were made.

    I just can't see all 3 getting crown damage at the same time. All 3 crowns seem fine.


    We'll see, gonna get one cleaned up and try different powder and bullet.
     
  15. Snidely70431

    Snidely70431 Member

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    Several decades ago a friend used to lube his bullets with Ultrabrite toothpaste to polish the bore. He claimed it did a better job with almost no work than hand lapping.
     
  16. Bill M.

    Bill M. Member

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    I think if you get the barrels clean they will shoot okay. And different bullets.
     
  17. Snidely70431

    Snidely70431 Member

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    Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
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