Saturday, September 23, 2006

Basic Reenactors Craft - Cleaning your rifle

I've posted a similiar write-up on creating a cleaning kit, but not how to clean your rifle, which is very important not only to insuring your rifle functions properly, but to its safe operation also. This article describes how to really clean your rifle in order to store it for the winter. Great article by Bill Rodman from the Camp Chase Gazette forums.

Detail Cleaning Your Rifle Musket
By Bill Rodman

You have been a Reenactor for a year or two, and have finally figured out how to pass the daily weapons inspections. This means your “shooting iron” won’t blow up in your face, and the exterior looks pretty good. Well, the Season is almost over, and it’s time to give your weapon a real cleaning. A complete cleaning, and inspection, will protect your investment, and reduce the mechanical problems that can ruin a weekend. Next spring you might even get a smile from the Ordnance Sergeant

First, you will need the proper tools and equipment. The most important tools, you will need, are screwdrivers that fit the screws on your rifle. The blade of the screwdriver must exactly fit the slot in the screw. In some cases, you will have to file down a screwdriver to fit a specific screw on your rifle. Trust me, it is worth the trouble.

You will also need a nipple wrench, a cleaning rod (not the rod that comes with your rifle, that’s a ramrod), a bore brush, a cleaning jag, #0000 steel wool, 600 grit wet or dry sandpaper, a wood or plastic dowel and bore patches. You will also need cleaning products such as WD-40, gun grease, or the some of the non-petroleum products that are on the market. A bore light is also very helpful for inspecting the rifle’s bore.

Read the rest here, under Uniforms and Gear.


Spiff said...

Don't want to use steel wool to clean your musket. It will embed itself in the metal and then rust. This will cause small rust pitting.

mntineer said...

Spiff -

Can you suggest an alternative to using steel wool?

Spiff said...

I use scotch guard. It works well to take off the rust. That and a thick layer of oil get most of the new recruits sent to me to learn how to clean a musket. Don't know what I think of that. ;-) Very fine sandpaper would also work.