How Clean is Clean?

Items of primary interest to the new BPCR shooter. Loading, BP SAFETY, sources of materials, rifles, etc.
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JoinedCOLON Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:08 pm

How Clean is Clean?

Post by THBailey » Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:53 pm

Can't seem to get a clean patch from my Swedish roller. It is a 12.17x44, we whipped up some loads based on .348 Win cases and shot it for the first time yesterday. I used some old GOEX CTG powder. The gun shot fine. I used Windex soaked patches for a quick cleaning at the range, then when I got home I poured some hot water down the bore, a few more patches, and then Moose Milk (Ballistol and water) soaked patches. I have brass brushed and run 30 or so patches through the barrel and they are still coming out somewhat dark. Do they ever come out clean?

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Re: How Clean is Clean?

Post by Premod70 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:32 pm

Was the barrel producing clean patches before the last shooting event. If yes then continue cleaning, if not then a examination with a bore scope may be necessary to see the condition of the bore. Pits and machining marks can hold a bunch of fouling.

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Re: How Clean is Clean?

Post by THBailey » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:35 pm

The barrel is the original dating back to he 1800's. It was far from shiny when I got it and the patches came out with a light rusty crusty, but no black fouling, before taking it to the range. But otherwise the bore seems in amazingly good shape for its age. The rifling is very pronounced. Tall square lands and deep grooves. I am sure there must be some pitting, but nothing I can readily see with my naked eye. A couple of more days of brushing and soaking with the moose milk and the patches still come out with black fouling. I would hope I at least neutralized the rust creating properties?

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Re: How Clean is Clean?

Post by Kurt » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:35 pm

When the bore is clean pushing a dry tight patch down the bore it will come out just as white as it went in.
If the patch comes out with gray streaks it is most likely lead smear.
Lead will clean out using a tight patch with a good penetrating oil like Kroil or pure turpentine not a synthetic type.
Give it some time and shoot some paper patch through and it will come around in fine shape.
"Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining."
Teddy Roosevelt.

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LocationCOLON British Columbia

Re: How Clean is Clean?

Post by gunlaker » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:32 pm

You shouldn't need to pour hot water down the bore or do anything really extreme.

Like Kurt says if it's lead it'll be harder to remove. I use Kroil in bad cases, but normally just a few patches with Eezox will do the trick if there is only a tiny amount.

For regular cleaning you have a lot of choices from diluted Windex with vinegar to Butches Black Powder Bore Shine which is what I normally use. Some people just use patches with soapy water.

My rifles will generally be clean after maybe 5-10 patches with Butches Black Powder Bore Shine. If I've let the barrel get too hot and fouled and it's got some baked on fouling it sometimes takes a little more work.


Old Soldier
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LocationCOLON North Pole, Alaska

Re: How Clean is Clean?

Post by Old Soldier » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:35 pm

Sometimes the old barrels take a long time to get a clean patch put of it. I have an old Marlin me in 1891. I've never gotten a CLEAN patch out of it. 100 plus years of stuff imbedded into the pours. I clean it as good as it will get, and oil it up. I don't get rust, so I don't worry. Good luck.
"I wish it to be remembered that I was the last of my tribe to surrender my rifle" Geronimo