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Thread: What do these dirty patches mean?

  1. #11
    Don Dixon is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maillemaker View Post
    I've gone back and looked at my videos and while I can see some dark splotches that might be lead I'm really not sure what I'm looking at.
    Look at the grey lines at the edges of the grooves just before and after about one minute into your video. That's lead fouling which is particularly evident at that point in the video. As you can see, it gets worse as you get closer to the muzzle. Out of curiosity, what are you using for lube?
    Last edited by Don Dixon; 02-01-2022 at 11:46 AM.

  2. #12
    Jim_Burgess_2078V is offline
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    Dirty Patches

    Don may be right about the leading issue which can be addressed by the application of JB compound. There is probably a rust issue as well. Even if the active rust is removed, pitting will remain and trap fouling, contributing to more dirty patches. Joe's use of cold water is interesting. I normally pump hot water (with a little Lestoil & ammonia mixed in) through my barrels. The wet patch is followed by several dry patches which always come out clean and can be reused. After the bore is dry, I run a WD-40 soaked patch down the bore (mitigates any residual moisture) and follow that with a patch soaked with regular gun oil. The gun is put away until the next skirmish. Before shooting again I always run a dry patch down the bore to remove the oil. That patch may come out a bit oily but it is otherwise clean. If you clean your guns religiously as I do and don't let any rust/pitting get started, the temperature of the water should not matter.

    Jim Burgess, 15th CVI

  3. #13
    Carolina Reb is offline
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    I use the same procedure as Jim and it has worked well. A couple shots of Windex or similar cleaner along with the water really helps. It's essentially detergent with some ammonia mixed in. Shooters Choice Lead Remover works great and it's not abrasive. If patches come out black, you have lead in there. When they come out honey/cinnamon colored, your bore is clean.

  4. #14
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    Look at the grey lines at the edges of the grooves just before and after about one minute into your video. That's lead fouling which is particularly evident at that point in the video. As you can see, it gets worse as you get closer to the muzzle. Out of curiosity, what are you using for lube?
    Thanks, Don. This is a Whitacre barrel so I believe it has progressive-depth rifling that gets shallower towards the muzzle, also.

    I am using homemade lube of 50/50 Beeswax/Crisco, plus a little vegetable oil.

    Don may be right about the leading issue which can be addressed by the application of JB compound. There is probably a rust issue as well. Even if the active rust is removed, pitting will remain and trap fouling, contributing to more dirty patches. Joe's use of cold water is interesting. I normally pump hot water (with a little Lestoil & ammonia mixed in) through my barrels. The wet patch is followed by several dry patches which always come out clean and can be reused. After the bore is dry, I run a WD-40 soaked patch down the bore (mitigates any residual moisture) and follow that with a patch soaked with regular gun oil. The gun is put away until the next skirmish. Before shooting again I always run a dry patch down the bore to remove the oil. That patch may come out a bit oily but it is otherwise clean. If you clean your guns religiously as I do and don't let any rust/pitting get started, the temperature of the water should not matter.
    I always thought I was pretty meticulous about cleaning. I usually unship my barrels and put them breech-first in a utility sink full of water, and I go at them with a brass bristle brush, breech face scraper, and patches until the patches come out clean.

    Today I took down my smoothbore musket (brand new, less than 100 rounds through it so no pitting) that I had cleaned yesterday, ran a dry patch down it today, and it came out dirty again. I usually finish oil the bore with Ballistol. I had cleaned this gun with hot water yesterday.

    Steve
    Steve Sheldon
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    4th Louisiana Delta Rifles
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  5. #15
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    what do these dirty patches mean?

    Many years ago I also used hot water to clean my musket. A fellow team member asked me to run a dry patch down it the next day after I cleaned the bore. to my amazement I had a dirty patch. He then told me the next time I shot the gun to clean my bore with "cold" water. I uses cold soapy water. The next day I ran a patch down & it came up clean. My team mate told me when you use hot water it causes the pores in the metal to trap dirt. When the barrel cools dirt is squeezed out. Now I use cold soapy water check the next day with a patch & it is clean. Right or wrong for over 50 years it works for me.

    The two things I forgot to mentions about my team mates suggestion was he bet me a case of beer that I would find a clean patch if I used soapy "cold water", and if someone suggests something and when you hear it you don't laugh and double up try it - IF IT DOES NOT WORK NEVER DO IT AGAIN! And yes it cost me a case of beer.

    As for someone saying use Windex - A chemist that I gave fowling to, said straight ammonia would be the best, but the smell might be bad, I tried Windex it works, but I still use cold soapy water. By the way IF you use Windex I'll bet you use it COLD!!!!! Here is a question for you reinactors & history buffs - back in the civil war did they use hot water or cold water to clean their guns?????? I bet it was cold water!

    When I am done shooting my musket, I take a rubber stopper & put it on the nipple. Then I put cold soapy water in the barrel, put a rubber cork in the muzzle. When I get home, I dump the dirty black soapy water & clean with cold soapy water. Like I said before, for over 50 years it works for me!

    I used to use Blue Ointment to get out the leading. It worked great BUT you can not get that any more at the drugstore. I made my own with mercury and Vaseline. Don't get it on gold or the gold is trash. I wear rubber gloves when I use it.

    Joe Plakis Jr
    Hampton Legion
    00302V

  6. #16
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    I'm skeptical of the whole "porosity" thing with rifle barrels.

    My suspicion is a hot barrel just rusts faster. I used to work a lot with "chainmail" armour. After washing them I would hang them on a rod and blow dry them with a leaf blower. Worked great. Once I was taking a contract job and was staying in a rental place. I had washed a maille shirt and decided to try and dry it in the oven. It came out bright orange with rust.

    Heat accelerates most chemical reactions and iron oxidation is no exception.

    I am surprised though to see this the next day after the barrel had been wiped with oil, which should prevent any oxidation.

    Next time I shoot, I'm going to experiment with cleaning with cold water, and see if it makes a difference.

    I'm also going to go pull my smoothbore and run a patch today on day 3 and see what I get.
    Steve Sheldon
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    4th Louisiana Delta Rifles
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  7. #17
    Carolina Reb is offline
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    "Management and Cleaning of the Rifle Musket, Model 1863" states "...pour a gill of water (warm if it can be had) into the muzzle..." I too would be willing to bet that in most cases they used cold water.

  8. #18
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    I suspect the heat helps rust form as well. I sandblasted a car fender in a humid south Georgia summer and it would rust almost as fast as I could get the paint blasted off of it. Other bare metal did not rust instantaneously, but that fender hot from the sand impact sure did.

  9. #19
    Jim_Burgess_2078V is offline
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    Dirty Patches 2

    I would agree that cold water was more often used to clean muskets during the Civil War. I've used cold water on occasion when hot was unavailable. The only advantage to hot water is it heats the metal and it takes fewer patches to dry the bore. My immediate application of WD-40 afterwards probably prevents the rust that others have encountered. One thing you definitely don't want to use is hydrogen peroxide. It cleans fouling very nicely but it will also rust metal instantly.

    I never use a brush in a muzzleloader as the bristles will not reach the bottom of the bore. Bullets with adequate lube on them should negate the need to brush between relays during a match. Even if a scraper is used to clean the face of the breech screw, there's a good chance fouling can be missed around the sides of the breech. A good fitting patch on a cleaning rod jag is still the best tool to clean the breech area.

    Jim Burgess, 15th CVI

  10. #20
    Bob Lintner is offline
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    Hot water leads to flash rusting. Try it for yourself and see. Sweets 7.62 is a good cleaner, follow directions and don't leave it in the barrel too long and don't use it a lot! I use water from the tap and don't have any problems. A squirt of Ivory dish soap in a bucket of cold water works good too. I use an air hose to dry metal parts, you can use canned air from Staples or some other office supply shop to get in the nooks and cranies followed by a rust preventer. I use Ballistol for short term storage and a gun oil for long term storage. Wash all traces of the gun oil out before shooting black powder. It works for me.
    Last edited by Bob Lintner; 02-02-2022 at 02:47 PM. Reason: more info

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