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Thread: Cleaning out an 1800s BP barrel??

  1. #1
    Gunco Member Mule's Avatar
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    Default Cleaning out an 1800s BP barrel??

    I have some 1850s-1906 BP rifles that have what looks like dirt and oxidation of some kind stuck in the barrels. I would like to clean them out as best as I can to help preserve them better. What would you guys recommend?

    This isn't rust. It looks like there was something poured or sprayed into them before storage and it turned a tan color with a dirt/mud consistency.
    I was thinking about a brass cleaning brush on a shotgun cleaning rod chucked into a drill.

  2. #2
    Damn contrarian mauser1959's Avatar
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    Make an electronic cleaner first, might save you hours of work and maybe restore your barrels.


    Making the Surplus: Homade Electronic Bore Cleaner


    A cheap power supply from a phone charger or such can replace the batteries; just make sure to get the polarity right.


    Mauser Central your Restoring and Sporterizing Resource
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  3. #3
    Gunco Member Mule's Avatar
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    That's better than I had imagined for an idea! Thanks!
    I really need to sit down and look at that two CD set I bought from him one day. I wonder what other ideas are on there that I have missed.

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    Gunco Regular Braddog's Avatar
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    What Mauser said.
    If you want more gun control, use both hands.

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    Gunco Member Mule's Avatar
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    Now, assuming I want to pull out rust, I need to use a Sodium Carbonate/water mixture - correct?
    I have many plans for electrolysis setups, but never put two and two together on this one.....
    Here's some really good links for one.
    Electrolysis
    Electrolytic Rust Removal
    Rust Removal Using Electrolysis

  6. #6
    Gunco Rookie Thunderbird's Avatar
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    I may be late on this reply as you last posted a couple weeks ago, but try some Naval Jelly. You can get it at most hardware stores. I havent tried the electrolysis route so I cant vouch for it.

    WARNINGS!:
    #1- This stuff is VERY caustic. I would recommend gloves and goggles.

    #2- It will remove bluing and may affect other surfaces as well, so be very careful and deliberate if you try this.

    -Since this goop is hard to pour accurately, I use one of those nose bulbs that you use on a babies nose (dont use it on the baby again). A dropper or baster should also do the trick.
    -You can just suck some up then squeeze it into the barrel Come through the chamber if you can but dont allow it to flow through the other side.
    -Then I will SLOWLY run a patch or brush through the barrel.
    - Be careful at the end so that none of the jelly touches the crown. If it does, wipe it immediately.
    - Then I let it sit for about 5 minutes.
    - Then I run patches soaked with denatured alcohol until the jelly is all out of the barrel.
    - Inspect and repeat if necessary.
    - Once I am satisfied with the results, I clean and oil the firearm as I normally would.

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    Gunco Rookie Thunderbird's Avatar
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    I also should mention that rust that is in the corners of the grooves can be hard to get out with this method and I wouldnt recommend a lot of scrubbing with a brush.

  8. #8
    Gunco Regular resting's Avatar
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    Reading your question again, if the bores contain some type of old grease, you might try soaking them for a while with kerosene and see what comes loose. If there is a heavy coat of grease, I doubt if the electronic cleaner will work until it is removed.

  9. #9
    Gunco Regular yarro's Avatar
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    A brush and a good solvent will remove the dried grease and rust. I don't like naval jelly as it is acidic and can etch your bore as there generally is more impurities in the old steels. Never use anything other than a nylon or bronze brush in your bore. The old steels are much softer than modern steels and a stainless steel brush will further erode your bore. Wrapping copper pot scrubber material around an old brush helps as well. I use Hoppes #9 for bore cleaning. Depending on what the grease is made of Balistol sometimes desolves the old organic based greases quite well.

    -Yarro

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