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Re: [Revlist] Musket cleaning

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  • Todd Post
    List, ... The period way...elbow grease followed by a light coating of oil. Per Cuthbertson: It should be insisted on, that a Soldier at all times keeps his
    Message 1 of 36 , Sep 3, 2003
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      List,

      > is, what is the best way of cleaning and is there some substance
      > that will retard the rusting?

      The period way...elbow grease followed by a light coating of oil. Per Cuthbertson:

      "It should be insisted on, that a Soldier at all times keeps his arms in such a state of perfection, as never to be ashamed to shew them; by having the inside of the lock well oiled, the outside of it
      (even to the smallest screw pin) with the barrel, brasses and bayonet, not only clean and bright, but highly polished; the ramrod also must feel the attention of the Soldier, as the smoother and
      more polished it is kept, the easier will it return through the pipes, in the performance of the firings: the inside of the barrel, though not expected to be absolutely polished, should yet be
      bright, as must the inside of the socket of the bayonet, else it will be impossible either to fix or unfix it with the necessary quickness: to complete the whole, the stock (after scraping it
      extremely smooth) must be brought to as clear polish, as the nature of the wood will possibly allow; a little bee’s wax, joined to the labour of the Soldier to rub it on, will soon accomplish a point, which, if executed with due attention through the whole, will produce a most pleasing effect, in the appearance of the battalion under arms: habituation Soldiers to such remarkable neatness about every part of their appointments, not only gives employment for many of those idle hours they otherwise must have (a circumstance I itself alone quite worthy of consideration) but beyond all doubt, encourages in them a kind of liking for those arms &c. which they are taught to take such care of.

      The flints should always be screwed in firm, between a thin piece of lead, it having a more certain hold, than leather, or any other contrivance: besides a good one in his piece, a Soldier ought to have another in his pouch, and a small bit of wood, shaped like a flint, to use at exercise, in practicing the firing motions, as the frequent striking up the hammers, must unavoidably break
      and spoil flints, without answering any useful end.

      It is absolutely necessary, that every Soldier should be furnished with a Worm and Turn-key, else it will be impossible for him to clean the inside of the Barrel of his Firelock, in the manner which
      ought to be expected; or to manage the Screws about the Lock, without having recourse to his Bayonet: a practice which must be forbidden, otherwise, the edges will be always full of notches,
      and by that means, have a most unsightly appearance: and to render matters ready and convenient to the Soldier, in the cleaning of his Firelock, Screws should be made to the points of all the Ramrods, to fix the Worms on.

      On Service, leather Hammer-stalls are undoubtedly an advantage to a Battalion, when loaded, and resting on their Arms, as accidents may be prevented, by having them then fixed upon the hammers of the Firelocks; but at other times then can certainly be of little use.

      Was every Soldier to have a painted linen case, to fit exactly upon the Lock of his Piece, and to be fastened by two small buttons, it would be of the utmost use and consequence, upon a march, in damp and rainy weather, and might in an instant (if occasion required it) be taken off, and carried in his Pouch"

      Todd Post
      2d Virgina Regiment
      www.secondvirginia.org
    • 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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