rusty barrel

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#13fred posted this 01 September 2020

 I've had a Lyman Great Plains, left hand, 54 caliber round baller for about 20 years. I shot it in June and recently put a cloth patch down the bore. It came back very rusty! Now when I put a patch down slowly, there seems to be a rough spot about 2/3 of the way down. I usually clean on returning home after shooting at the range. My routine is remove barrel, remove nipple and clean out screw, put barrel end in a coffee can, pour boiling water through muzzle and by hydraulic action run a patch through the bore several times, change water and repeat. run a small amount of compressed air through nipple opening, when barrel is dry, then bore buttered patch is rammed down the bore. This routine has worked for me since buying the rifle. My questions are: 1. Any way of removing the rust?

                                                        2. Is the barrel ruined?    

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RicinYakima posted this 01 September 2020

1: You can remove the rust, but it will just leave pits. Oxalic Acid, wood bleach, is very toxic but works well. It will also remove blue, so be careful.

2: You will not know until you shoot it. My believe is that if it doesn't tear the patch it should be alright.

Never used compressed air without an excellent working moisture trap on the discharge side. IMHO

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Maven posted this 01 September 2020

Hard to say whether the bbl. is ruined or not, but here are some things to do and/or avoid.  First, you don't need boiling water to dissolve BP or even Pyrodex fouling:  warm water with or without a few drops of dish soap will do nicely.  Second, when you're done with that step, dry out the bore and liberally spray it with WD-40 or something similar, then follow up with a patch or two soaked with WD-40.  On the second day, use your favorite oil, not Bore Butter, on a patch (or two) to coat the bore and outside of the bbl.  (I use clean ATF, btw.)  I live in the often humid Hudson Valley and follow my own advice and get no rust.

As for the rough spot in the bore, get a range rod + muzzle protector and cut a piece of gray ScotchBrite that's large enough to fit on your jag (You may need to use a smaller jag), wet it with WD-40, Ed's Red, etc, and scrub the bore in that area for maybe 25 strokes or until it's smooth.  Range test the gun with your favorite powder, patch and ball combination:  I'm betting it will be fine.

Just for sh.ts & giggles, check the barrel's crown for dings.  If present, a piece of 320 grit sandpaper on the ball of your thumb (oil it if you want to) + rotating the bbl. every so often will correct minor dings.

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M3 Mitch posted this 01 September 2020

If this gun is still in production, you might consider just buying a new barrel, given how easy it is to R&R.  Assuming it is ruined. 

 

I have always heard to use rather hot water and make sure you get the barrel good and hot, so as to make it dry from the heat.  WD 40 is a good water displacer (that's what the "WD" stands for) and is excellent for following up on water based cleaning, which is also needed for regular centerfires if one uses corrosive primers. 

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Little Debbie posted this 02 September 2020

Occasionally I’ve been lucky with internal and external rust issues by boiling the part involved for 45 minutes to 1 hour. This will converts the red rust to black and “carding” the converted rust can leave a very smooth and beautiful “rust blue” surface. Carding can be done with a wire carding wheel on a buffer/grinder or degreased 00 or finer steel wool. Don’t use a standard wire brush on a grinder! These actually remove metal. Recently I “rescued” a sporterized ‘03 Springfield with rusty bore, red and scaly. Boiled it in my rain gutter boiling tank and carded with steel wool gave me a relatively bright bore with no rough spots felt with a tight patch. Rifle shoots about 2 MOA with jacketed and under 3 (just) with cast so far. A friend brought me his S&W M28 that had been forgotten in a drawer. Mice built a nest in the drawer and the rust caused by several years of mouse urine was incredible, inside and out. Disassembled completely and boiled it for an hour and then carded with steel wool. No evidence of rust was left and a rusty urine trail on the holster worn trigger guard was a beautiful blue that looked factory. Use a non detergent oil to help “set” the blue. Some recommend kerosene or diesel but I can’t stand the smell. “Gun” oils will lighten the finish if you don’t use something non detergent first. Also tried it recently with a 7mm Rolling block with a sewer pipe bore. It improved it (some rifling now visible) but it was too far gone. Works great with rusty Lyman 310 dies and other blued stuff. Most stuff comes out like new.

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Eutectic posted this 02 September 2020

I went to school in Miami. We shot a lot of cheap military surplus corrosive stuff and old 43 Spanish and 11 mm black powder. Miami is hot and humid, we found if we waited to clean till we got home the first patch had fine rust. Corrosive smokeless was the worst! We poured water down the barrels followed by a dry patch then oil. This did just fine so we could drive home, then we cleaned again.

Water displacing oils like WD-40 or Balisastol  Did Not provide long term protection in Miami. I suspect Bore Butter is in the same category. You need to finish with a product which is specifically rust preventative.  We used RIG, Rust Inhibiting Grease, probably overkill except in the humid South. 

I have used Birchwood Casey Barricade, but there are other good ones. Ed's Red works nicely if you make it with lanolin so it leaves a thicker film.

 Steve

PS Rick is correct about the compressed air! You might as well just spray the gun down with a hose.

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alphabrass posted this 02 September 2020

A sure way to start a heated argument among muzzleloaders is to make a claim for the best way to clean!

A ML with the rust removed from the bore can still shoot just fine with patched round ball.  I have a couple of rifles I purchased used with rusty bores and after cleaning they shoot well.  The rougher surface can increase the force required to seat the ball.  Using a good range rod eases this.  A little experimentation with patch material, thickness, and lube can help.  I use a new tight fitting bronze brush with soapy water to clean the rust, followed by JB or Remington bore cleaner on a tight patch.

Cleaning to prevent rust can be accomplished many ways.  BP residue leaves sulfur compounds, among others, that will turn to acid when exposed to moisture.  The residue is water soluble so water makes a good solvent for it.  Just need to make sure the steel is thoroughly dried after cleaning.  All methods will work if that is done.  The threads for the nipple and cleanout plug need to be cleaned as well.

I have seen bores rust when coated with bore butter.  I use Break-free CLP after cleaning and drying and never had a problem.  I patch it out before loading and firing.  For a quick clean at the range I have found Butch's Black Powder Bore Shine to work really well.

Cleaning muzzleloaders is therapeutic for me, and a few others I know.  The change from black patches to squeaky clean is satisfying.

 

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#13fred posted this 03 September 2020

Thanks to all who wrote in with advise, 

Maven, I took your advise and used the scotch brite patch method. I did 20 strokes then changed patches, did 20 strokes, on and on until I did 200 strokes. used my method of cleaning except used break free instead of bore butter for the final clean. This morning I shot 21 times at approx 50 yards, about as good accuracy as ever. Will keep checking the bore as time goes on.

Again thanks to everyone.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 03 September 2020

... nothing worse than a guy with a rusty pipe ...

 ----  old Chinese proverb ...

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Maven posted this 03 September 2020

That's great news, 13fred!

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Wheel Weights posted this 03 September 2020

Buy a NECO fire lapping kit from Brownells. Use Maxi balls and RTFI. I have saved dozens if rifles with my kit.

before:

 

after

 

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