"Curing" a black powder barrel?

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Overdue Bill

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Apr 8, 2018
Messages
84
Another question for you knowledgeable and helpful people. I read some time ago that a black powder barrel should be cured on the inside kind of like curing a new frying pan. Is this true? If so, How do you do it?
 

drax05

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FML Supporter
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Messages
188
Location
Lower Left Alabama, or Alaska
Seasoning or Break in? The NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation have a procedure to break in modern rifle barrels, look it up. I used it to break in my Savage 10, 6.5 C, and my F class AR match bbl. There are some folks that have commented to me that modern rifle steel requires no break in. Well the Army Marksmanship Unit does it. Don't ever remember using a "set" procedure on my ML barrels, just shot, and shot, and.....cleaned and cleaned and.....Anyhow, I would imagine how well polished the ML barrel is to start with will have something to do with it also. I guess one can experiment on his own, can't hurt anything unless you "don't" clean it.
 
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Overdue Bill

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
84
Seasoning or Break in? The NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation have a procedure to break in modern rifle barrels, look it up. I used it to break in my Savage 10, 6.5 C, and my F class AR match bbl. There are some folks that have commented to me that modern rifle steel requires no break in. Well the Army Marksmanship Unit does it. Don't ever remember using a "set" procedure on my ML barrels, just shot, and shot, and.....cleaned and cleaned and.....Anyhow, I would imagine how well polished the ML barrel is to start with will have something to do with it also. I guess one can experiment on his own, can't hurt anything unless you "don't" clean it.
Thanks Drax05
 

Winter Hawk

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Joined
Dec 26, 2015
Messages
150
I was recently thinking about this very subject. If I clean the bores of my ML rifles with boiling hot water, they flash rust. The same for others who I have communicated with. The bores have supposedly been "seasoned". If they are, there should be NO rust. My cast iron frying pans which I use daily and often clean by filling with water and putting them on the stove to boil, NEVER flash rust. Once the water is boiling I scrape any crud that was on them off with a spatula, then scrub them out and finally rinse them clean. I've even been known to clean them with dish detergent (oh horrors!). They then go on the stove to heat up until all they are dry after which I grease the hot pans before putting them away. Again, NO flash rust. So obviously the barrels are not really seasoned, or the seasoning gets scrubbed out with regular cleaning.

~WH~
 

N.Y. Yankee

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Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
67
You can't "season" a modern-steel muzzleloader barrel and I don't really believe they ever did really season them, even back in the old days. The best thing that can happen to a bore is what I call "conditioning" which is just smoothing the inside of the barrel. One way that is accomplished is by shooting and cleaning. The more, the better.
 

BP Addict

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Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
60
I heard when I started this hobby in the mid-80s that one should “Season” the barrel much like a Cast Iron Skillet. This was back when things like Lube 103 first came out followed by T/C’s Bore Butter.

I like the “Soft Iron vs Hard Steel ‘theory as previously stated. Even if you could “Season” the barrel, cleaning with hot water would most likely wash it out. I had a club member tell me that he doesn’t use water as he doesn’t want to clean the “Seasoning” out of his barrel. The only thing I know of that may have a similar effect on steel is Teflon. It’s used in engine additives to impregnate the metal parts so they move more freely and with less friction.

I read somewhere that when you use boiling water, it opens the pores in the steel and as a result you get “Flash Rust”. Water is needed to neutralize the Black Powder residue. Hot water, even boiling, has been recommended as it heats the metal up making it dry faster. However, “Flash Rusting” generally occurs. If you want to use really hot water, then add Borax (Laundry Additive). It’s used in Water Pump Lubricant and Anti Rust formulas to help prevent rust.

Warm and even cold water will still clean your Muzzle Loader with out “Flash Rusting” the barrel. I use hot tap water with a little Borax added. After the final rinse, I blow the barrel out with my air compressor. I then run patches soaked in Alcohol to remove any remaining water followed by dry patches. Needless to say, I don’t have any Orange colored patches showing up during my cleaning process
.
 

tbvaughan53@gmail.com

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FML Supporter
Joined
Sep 30, 2018
Messages
173
Location
Buffalo NY
I coat my barrel after cleaning and steaming the TC breech with Frontier's patch lube and anti rust. Since started that no orange patches ether. 🙂
 

goodshot

Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2018
Messages
16
Borax, really good info, thank you.
My father was an automotive machinist, he showed me a block that had just come out of the boiling tank and air hosed off till 'dry", then he sprayed a silicone spray on it (CRC brand?) and we watched the moisture leach out of the pores of the metal, form droplets and drip down out of the cylinders.
We know from history some of the American fighter aircraft had their engine blocks dipped in Tung oil as it would get in the pores making a smoother surface and resulted in increased horse power. I wonder if it might also be a help.
 

Silent Walker

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Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
126
Location
Montana
The term "Seasoning" applied like a cast iron skillet..... while your barrel is hot, apply bore butter as it were back then to a hot clean barrel. Then use a clean patch to swab back and forth, once done hang your muzzleloader on the wall with the barrel canted down, so the bore butter (or non-petroleum based grease) wouldn't pond in the breach plug area. This process isn't done to just a new barrel, but done every time you clean your muzzleloader. The ones who usually have a problem understanding this, are new muzzleloaders coming over from centerfire rifle cartridge shooting. Nothings changed for me in the process since I started shooting them in the early 70's....
 

Overdue Bill

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
84
I was recently thinking about this very subject. If I clean the bores of my ML rifles with boiling hot water, they flash rust. The same for others who I have communicated with. The bores have supposedly been "seasoned". If they are, there should be NO rust. My cast iron frying pans which I use daily and often clean by filling with water and putting them on the stove to boil, NEVER flash rust. Once the water is boiling I scrape any crud that was on them off with a spatula, then scrub them out and finally rinse them clean. I've even been known to clean them with dish detergent (oh horrors!). They then go on the stove to heat up until all they are dry after which I grease the hot pans before putting them away. Again, NO flash rust. So obviously the barrels are not really seasoned, or the seasoning gets scrubbed out with regular cleaning.

~WH~
Good thinking, Winter Hawk
 

CVA Enthusiast

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2018
Messages
114
MAN!!!! Whooooo the difference of opinion is strong on this one I use the close to boiling water, I add ballistol to mine, once dry I think the ballistol remains as "Seasoning"once dry bore butter is applied to inside of barrel and anti seize to threads of breech plugs and/or nipples, to each his/her preference of terminology the process is the same.
 

goodshot

Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2018
Messages
16
Tells me there is a lot of good stuff out there for us to take care of our equipment. I thought their experience with Flax seed oil and how it contributed to forming a protective layer on the cast iron was interesting.
 

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