How to cleanup your caplock after a rainy hunt?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Darth-Vang, Jun 26, 2021.

  1. Darth-Vang

    Darth-Vang Member

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    What do you do to your rifles after a rainy hunt?
     
  2. shootstraight57

    shootstraight57 Member

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    Any time I shoot my Black Powder rifle I clean it with hot soapy water then run a few patches down the barrel till clean and dry then run Bore Butter in it!
     
  3. dave951

    dave951 Member

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    Make sure it's empty, clean and oil as normal. If you leave the barrel separate from the stock it could warp if it got seriously wet, better to leave the barrel in to keep the stock straight, but it will need to be oiled heavily.
     
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  4. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I treat the metal parts not much differently than usual, its the wood and its finish that seem to suffer most for me.

    I dismantle the gun and try to dry the wood thoroughly. Even to the point of laying the stock out and getting air flow to help dry it.

    I use true oil finish and rub it in the barrel channel and under the lock plate etc to protect those hidden areas.

    My old Hawken has been out in the woods on many a rainy day. It shows it too. I kinda like it. Character. 20171210_153611.jpg
    If you look closely at the lock screw. A nasty crack developed after a rainy-day hunt.
     
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  5. Fyrstyk

    Fyrstyk Member

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    Before a hunt I wax (butchers wax) all the metal and wood parts, in particular the barrel channel. Unless my rifle takes a swim, normal rainfall and a light soaking don't seem to affect it. Of course, I dry, clean, and re-lube all parts after a wet hunt just to ward off any possible rust and to dry the wood.
     
  6. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Don't forget blow dryers! I used to take a blow dryer with me to Camp Perry. After a monsoon match, I would be in the hut blow drying the metal parts and the stock channel and recesses. And my gear, everything got wet, and it had to be dried before next morning.
     
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  7. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    If I have taken my TC Hawken hunting it will be cleaned when I get home because I always discharge it at the end of the day. I will not take a loaded muzzleloader loader home, even if I expect to hunt again soon. Too much stuff can happen to interrupt plans, so I prefer to put in fresh powder the day I hunt.

    So my usual cleaning routine works whether the rifle got wet or stayed dry. Remove the barrel and lock from the stock and clean them with soapy water, finish with a scant wipe of CLP on the outside metal surface. Towel dry any moisture off the stock. If it looked like water soaked into the wood (it never has), I might wait until the next day for reassembly, but not longer than that.
     
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  8. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    Hmmm....I often leave my rifle(s) loaded during the whole season. I might shoot it mid-season, clean and reload if it's been out in the rain. I have had my rifles go the whole season, never got a shot, then sat for three or four months, and fired perfectly normal and reliably when I did get around to emptying the gun. Why will you not take a loaded muzzle loader home?

    However...after a hunt in the rain I might pull the barrel and lock off. What I like about my flintlocks is that there is no question if moisture has got into the flash hole and main charge. It's right there to see. It's much more difficult to remove the barrel as it is pinned to the stock, so my barrel channel is well sealed and the barrel greased, as I rarely remove the barrel from the stock. I will also put some wonder lube or some waxy lube along the barrel where it meets the stock. But we ain't talking about rock-locks.

    If it's really raining hard, I'll take a tarp and sit under that all day, or stay in camp.

    Now my cap-guns, I can usually be sure/make sure that the cap is well sealed to the nipple, so it's pretty safe. If I know it's going to be really wet when I go out, I can put a SMALL amount of bee's wax on the nipple to really seal it well. My cap guns are actually my rainy day guns, not because I can't keep my flintlocks running in the rain, but because I'm too lazy. And the percussion guns are easy to remove the barrels, being a 1861 Springfield and a TC Hawken. On the Springfield, I can get right to the main charge, poke it, and decide it is wet or dry. The TC has that weird flash channel, no good way to check the main charge that I know of. But having said that, I usually avoid firing the gun, cleaning, and reloading after a wet hunt, unless it was REALLY wet. Drying, cleaning the outside, removing the lock and barrel is normally as far as I would go. Oh and I will remove the nipple, make sure it's clear, and check the area under the nipple.
     
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  9. SixteenGauge

    SixteenGauge Member

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    I have found that a "balloon" over the muzzle of a muzzleloader and some wax on the nipple usually prevents any moisture related issues from taking place. If its a sidelock muzzleloader I discharge it before I leave. As far as cleaning, it gets cleaned like normal. I don't worry about it getting wet during a hunt, After all the gun gets much wetter being cleaned than it ever would out in the rain. And it always gets dried off and oiled well before going into the safe
     
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  10. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    I never leave a muzzleloader loaded on the trip home, then clean it as usual. But I use Renaissance Wax on the stock, including the barrel channel and lock area, and exterior metal. That has worked fine. I imagine any other good wax, like Butcher's Wax Fyrstyk mentioned, would do as well.

    Jeff
     
  11. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Before you go out, treat the stock with pure bee's wax. Rub it on and buff it. Do this for the stock and inisde the barrel channel, etc. You can even apply it to the metal. When you're in the field, remember what Ned Roberts wrote in The Muzzle Loading Cap Lock Rifle? Take care of your horse. Take care of your rifle. Then take care of yourself (eat).
     
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  12. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Member

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    Why would you leave it loaded? Do you know when you are going to take your next shot? If you are a serious hunter, got caught in a rainstorm, but plan to return to the hunt the next weekend, would you trust that load to be reliable? What does the powder and ball cost balanced against a possible trophy buck? To me it is just an indication of bad judgement - kind of like getting your nose or eyebrow pierced......
     
  13. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    No, if I got caught in a rain-storm, I would empty the load, (either pull it or fire it) and put in a fresh one.
     
  14. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    Try not to get it wet in the first place. Wipe the outside of the gun down with water repellent like Gun Slick or silicone. Use a "cow's knee" over the nipple and trigger area and a latex glove finger or balloon over the muzzle. There is even a plastic nipple guard that keeps moisture out. Afterward heat barrel with hot water, clean, and rinse with isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol will disperse the water and the alcohol will evaporate from a warm barrel. Be sure to "season" the barrel after using alcohol.
     
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  15. frontiergander

    frontiergander Member

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    Alcohol swabs are great for wiping down all the metal parts, oil them well afterward. I started making these for when my rifles is unloaded and uncapped during over night storage or travel while hunting. Keeps moisture from seeping in through the biggest weak spot.
    100_1984.jpg
     
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  16. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    I like to use denatured alcohol, isopropyl can have a very high water content.
     
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  17. robhof

    robhof Member

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    I 2nd the wax, although I use carnuba auto wax as that's what I had the 1st time I was taking my smoke pole out in bad weather, rubbed under barrel and lock and all over parts then reassembled and wiped off, been doing that ever since over 15 yrs and no rust or warping, I do dry carefully if they get soaked.
     
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