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Thread: Are we making a mistake starting new Skirmishers with musket?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Are we making a mistake starting new Skirmishers with musket?

    I was scrubbing out my musket after Nationals, when a thought occurred to me...this is not the gun you want to start a new shooter with. Because it's such a long, miserable job to clean.

    A breechloading carbine can be cleaned in 10-15 minutes. A revolver can be cleaned in 15-20 minutes. But a musket? You're looking at a minimum half-hour of pumping water and patches. Not to mention the need for a pulling rope on the ramrod when that drying patch gets stuck. It's a thoroughly off-putting affair.

    I'm thinking that we might do better to get new shooters hooked on Skirmishing with something easier and faster to clean, and put a musket in their hands later. Given our recruiting issues, every little bit helps.
    Support the USIMLT! Help your fellow Skirmishers go for the gold! www.usimlt.com

  2. #2
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    I've thought about that too. The organization was built around muskets, then came carbines etc. Some folks can't come on a Sunday.
    It's smart to enlist them into what they want to do, not otherwise.
    N-SSA Member since 1974

  3. #3
    PapaRob is online now
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    Wow really? I think a musket is so much easier to clean than a revolver and since I shoot a front stuffer carbine it's pretty much the same as a musket to me. Takes about 15 minutes total.

  4. #4
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    I think they all take about the same amount of time to clean. My Sharps is probably the easiest to clean after Larry Flees did his gas check plate rework on it - all the smoke now goes out the barrel instead of into the action! But realistically I spend about 30 minutes per gun cleaning them up. BP is just kind of a messy animal and it's just the nature of the beast.

    I do think that people should be able to start with any kind of approved arm. You've probably got a lot more folks who happen to have an approved revolver sitting unused in their closet than an approved musket.

    I'm just pleased we only require one to get started.

    Steve

  5. #5
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    I'll concede that there are some tricks of the trade to cleaning a revolver (Hint: Remove the cylinder, run a patch down the chambers, and set it to soak while you clean the barrel and frame), but musket is a time-consuming beast. I can have both revolver and carbine cleaned in the time it takes to scrub out my Enfield.
    Support the USIMLT! Help your fellow Skirmishers go for the gold! www.usimlt.com

  6. #6
    PapaRob is online now
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    Mike, I suppose our cleaning methods differ. I use the Murphy's Oil, Alcohol, peroxide mix to clean my musket and carbine and it's easy peasy.

    When it comes to revolver I take it completely apart all the way down and soak each metal part. Time consuming.

    Steve is right though no matter which weapon it is BP is just messy any way you cut it.

  7. #7
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    Unless it's within your teams by-laws, nowhere does it state a member has to shoot musket.
    Bobby Hannula

  8. #8
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    Opinions differ, but I use Swiss powder and find that in my opinion, the extra cost is more than offset by the ease of cleaning. The combination of Swiss powder and lube made of 50/50 beeswax and olive oil makes for a real easy cleaning. There is practically NO hard fouling. Using a bore brush is a mistake with this combination, as it comes out a gooey mess rather than knocking loose a bunch of powdery mess to fall out the barrel. After shooting one event, I bet I don't use more than 3-4 wet patches (alcohol/peroxide/oil soap mixture) before they start coming out grey rather than black. No more Goex for me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Short answer - "no".

    Musket is the hallmark firearm of the N-SSA. It's the catalyst which lead to the creation of our organization!


    As for cleaning - I'd MUCH prefer to clean my beloved Fayetteville ANY DAY as compared to an M-4!!!

    Post individual/"field" cleaning, i.e. pulling the barrel and nipple and patch with hot water, Dawn and then oiled patches - 15 - 20 minutes.

    Post skirmish/"detailed" cleaning, i.e. same as above, but also cleaning stock, hammer, outside lock, peep sights, etc - 40 - 45 minutes.

    That's for a muzzle stuffer. A breach loader = MUCH less time (carbine). Heck I clean my single shot and lever action on the line after each match, so they don't count to me.


    I know I'm comparing Apples to Oranges, but bottom line it doesn't that THAT much time to properly care for your piece(s). Key to it all is to have a dedicated "area" in which to operate. Access to hot water, the outdoors and lights. All you need is a flat surface to work and you're ready to rock an roll. I work in my basement, next to the door that leads to our patio, and off of an old antique dresser where I stow all my patches, brushes, rags, etc. Once the "infrastructure" is in place then its all a matter of developing your "technique" in getting the job done!

    One final note - Mike - DO NOT/NOT punch any pieces with DRY patches - esp. if their fouled (unless you like to wrestle with you barrel and cleaning rod!!). Always ensure they're soaked with water for the "outside" cleaning with hot water, and after that damp with oil. - I know I'm preaching to the choir Brother, but I couldn't resist the set up... Great seeing you at the National!
    Semper Fi,
    Rob Freeman
    WBR
    Col, USMC (Ret.) '87 - '19

    The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor. - Vince Lombardi

  10. #10
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    Cleaning is not what they think about most, they just want to have lots of F U N shooting. What ever they shoot needs to be cleaned. Dah
    N-SSA Member since 1974

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