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crowley_greene
06-19-2006, 11:41 AM
I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago that I was finally beginning to get back into reenacting and living history after nearly three years away. Over those years, some things have slipped my mind -- like finer points of cleaning my 1842 ArmiSport Springfield.

This wasn't an event, but I fired some nine volleys through my weapon at three different SCV memorial ceremonies on Saturday (I had cleaned the musket when I put it away a few years ago). When I got home, I used the .69 bore brush and the .69 swab saturated with gun oil. I didn't use the hot water for this cleaning.

Is there a site out there that gives good instructions for musket cleaning? I'm mostly bothered about not being able to get all the fouling out of the bottom of the bore -- I don't know if I like the idea of a bore scraper so much or not. But if I *lightly* drop the rammer in, I'd rather hear a pleasant "tink" than "thuck".

Also, my barrel is still really shiny, with just a few small spots of discoloration. I think I would prefer a nice oxidized dull patina to it. Is there a way to help that process along?

Murray Therrell

Bill_Cross
06-19-2006, 12:36 PM
When I got home, I used the .69 bore brush and the .69 swab saturated with gun oil. I didn't use the hot water for this cleaning.
I'm mostly bothered about not being able to get all the fouling out of the bottom of the bore -- I don't know if I like the idea of a bore scraper so much or not. But if I *lightly* drop the rammer in, I'd rather hear a pleasant "tink" than "thuck".
Hopefully Curt-Heinrich Schmidt will show up with good answers, but until he does....

A brush will not clean the very bottom of the barrel, for that you do need a bore scraper. It scours the bottom of any build-up, and is invaluable for use AFTER an event. Depending on what type of cleaning rod you use, several companies have these devices (mine is from Dixie Gun Works).

I lean away from gun oil and prefer Bore Butter. It protects the barrel and doesn't risk gunking it up. Petroleum products dry out and oxidize over time, often leaving behind a residue that does more harm than the protection and lubrication you're looking for.

Also, my barrel is still really shiny, with just a few small spots of discoloration. I think I would prefer a nice oxidized dull patina to it. Is there a way to help that process along?
Mmmm, I'm not sure an orderly Sgt. back then would like a nice oxidized patina, otherwise known as rust. Not exactly correct. If the gun looks too new, you have 3 period-correct choices for giving it a less-new look (other than just waiting for the barrel to "age" over time:

1.) emory cloth: I don't remember the number of grit, but soldiers often kept a small piece to handle cleaning the barrel of their weapon;

2.) wood ash and a cloth. You make a paste of slurry with the ash, which becomes a slightly abrasive reagent that both shines up any rust or discoloration and leaves behind a gentle patina;

3.) rottenstone: a soft powder that, when wet, behaves like #2. You can purchase it from several sources (I believe I got mine from a leather maker, but can't put my finger on which one right this minute).

Allowing your barrel to get a brown patina on it is totally incorrect. Soldiers either kept their weapons "bright" or blued.

tenfed1861
06-19-2006, 01:30 PM
I found that Windex and Mineral soap works perfect for me.I just run water through the barrel to clean out the big junk.After the water comes out clear,I use my Windex/Mineral spao method.I jag a rag,and dip the rag into windex.After werds,I dip it into the mineral soap,and run it down the barrel.Then I do just windex.Then Windex/Mineral soap.After doing this several times,the rifle is clean and ready for inspection.Although each person has their own prefered method.
Cullen Smith

crowley_greene
06-19-2006, 01:31 PM
Allowing your barrel to get a brown patina on it is totally incorrect. Soldiers either kept their weapons "bright" or blued.

Maybe I misused the terms "oxidation" and/or "patina". What my barrel has in a few places are small flecks of a darker gray in the shinier steel. Not rust. I take rust off immediately.


rottenstone: a soft powder that, when wet, behaves like #2. You can purchase it from several sources (I believe I got mine from a leather maker, but can't put my finger on which one right this minute).

Yes, I'm familiar with rottenstone. I use it in woodworking, for a brighter sheen on the finish. On wood finishes, it gets very nice results when rubbed in with a felt cloth soaked in corn oil.

In my wood finishing, I use rottenstone after pumice, which is a little coarser. Any thoughts on using pumice instead of rottenstone on the steel parts?

Jim Mayo
06-19-2006, 04:34 PM
I clean my 42 barrel after events with hot water, a 69 cal. cleaning rod and a bore brush. Usually takes about 10 patches until I get one clean enough which is usually pretty clean. I then give it a of final light wipe with Hoppes Black Powder solvent and that is it. You can shine a light down the barrel and see the breech plug shine. Under normal circumstances you should not need a bore scraper.

I wouldn't use anything courser than Crocus cloth on your barrel. Emery cloth is not fine enough to prevent scratching. Crocus was a period musket brightening compound. Now days it comes on a piece of fabric impregnated paper. It will dull the finish somewhat without leaving scratch marks. As usually, practice on something like the trigger guard or butt plate before going to the barrel.

crowley_greene
06-19-2006, 04:39 PM
I wouldn't use anything courser than Crocus cloth on your barrel. Emery cloth is not fine enough to prevent scratching. Crocus was a period musket brightening compound. Now days it comes on a piece of fabric impregnated paper.
I appreciate that tip, Jim. I have a box of about 25 sheets of Crocus cloth that I got from Grainger (industrial supplies) a couple of years ago. That could be worth trying.

Murray

JBW
06-19-2006, 09:22 PM
Murray,
I've had very good results from a product called RB-17. Cleans very fast with just a wet bore mop. I have no connection with this other than a satisfied user.

http://www.rb-17.com/what.html

bob 125th nysvi
06-20-2006, 09:27 PM
have lossened up everything on the bottom. But Kurt is right a good bore scraper will do the job (got mine at Dixie too).

As to patina on the barrel, just get back into the field a couple of more times and use a little less elbow grease when you get home.

It should take care of itself.

Besides SOMEBODY should be portraying the guy who lost his rifle at the last engagement and has a new one issued to him.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

Cpt_Invictus
06-21-2006, 02:37 PM
That guy is me! My armi Enfield looks brand new and thus it shall remain. =P