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Musket cleaning

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  • Edward Otte
    Dear Liste: If I may be so bold, I have some questions on general cleaning and rust-proofing of a Charleville musket. To be sure, I know how to take it
    Message 1 of 36 , Sep 3, 2003
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      Dear Liste:

      If I may be so bold, I have some questions on general cleaning
      and "rust-proofing" of a Charleville musket. To be sure, I know how
      to take it apart, and I have a way of cleaning it (using a green
      scrub pad, a little Zud cleaner, and coating it with a gun grease
      spray for rust prevention) but I notice there are very many
      different methods and styles employed by many. I guess my question
      is, what is the best way of cleaning and is there some substance
      that will retard the rusting?

      Edward Otte
      3rd Pa. Lights
    • illinewek@aol.com
      ... Oxidizer + accelerant = rocket fuel. ... They discourage it because there was an incident where this solution exploded on the loading table. It was in a
      Message 36 of 36 , Jul 8, 2005
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        > 2 parts Hydrogen peroxide.
        > 2 parts Rubbing alcohol

        Oxidizer + accelerant = rocket fuel.

        >All the serious shooters of muzzle loaders that I know avoid this
        >solution like the plague and the NMLRA officially discourages it.

        They discourage it because there was an incident where this solution
        exploded on the loading table. It was in a bottle and sitting in the hot sun. When
        speaking of these solutions, the concentration is always left out. Normal
        solutions of both peroxide and alcohol available to the consumer are usually
        very low. It's the unknowing nimrod who has access to full strength solutions
        that cause the problem. A little knowledge is a terrible thing.

        >It is extremely caustic and can eat up your barrel unless thoroughly
        >removed after use. Why use a cleaning solution you have to clean out
        >after using? Plain water works just fine

        Black powder residue is composed of mainly potassium carbonate and potassium
        sulfate. Roughly three to four parts of potassium carbonate for every part
        of potassium sulfate.
        99.9% of the solid particulate matter that makes up bp fouling is soluble in
        water. Adding a little soap as a surfactant will make your water wetter,
        but is not necessary. Likewise, hot water will hold more fouling in solution,
        but the amount is minimal. Hot water also accelerates the rusting of bare
        steel.

        Powder is glazed with graphite during its manufacture to control the burn
        rate. Most of the black color you get in your fouling is graphite. It is
        inert as far as the gun is concerned. It is not necessary to keep cleaning until
        the black disappears. All the soluble compounds in fouling go into your
        water solution. Once dried and oiled, your bore is protected.

        Alcohol absorbs water on a 1 to 1 basis, and evaporates quickly. Used after
        the water, it will absorb any that is remaining. That's why it is used as a
        gas line deicer. However, this is only of value if your breechplug,
        touch-hole, or drum allows water to seep into the threads.

        People are always trying to reinvent the wheel, but it is still round after
        all these centuries.

        Dave Kanger
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