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#460895 11/01/16 03:53 PM
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gold40 Offline OP
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Like many of you, I enjoy hunting and shooting with 100 year old classic American SxS's, mostly 12 gauge.

For whatever reason, these barrels seem to require more cleaning efforts than modern shotguns, even when they appear to have bright shiny bores. It takes many more passes to get really clean barrels. Often it requires a wire brush, steel wool, and 30+ patches to finally run a clean patch out the muzzle. Hoppes #9 is my norm.

And then if I wait a day or two, another oiled patch will still show more dirt.

The first 4 or 5 patches after firing show the black, sooty, carbon that one expects. Sometimes also a few tiny lead flakes from the shot pellets. Then the next 10 to 20 patches display a brownish color. I'm not sure if that is from the recently fired gunpowder, or some minute unseen rust in the pores of the barrel interior.

Anyone else experiencing similar results? Any theories? Why would older barrels be different?

gold40

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I don't think older barrels are different at all unless there is pitting present in an old barrel or chrome lining in a newer one. My cleaning routine is to spray bore cleaner in the bores and on a copper brush and swab once or twice.

Then allow to dry and run a tight cleaner soaked swab through a few times and let dry again. The final swab is with Rem-oil and usually results in a little more color until it runs clean; then a dry patch. Nothing like 30 swabs though...Geo

on the other hnd you may have cleaner bores that I do?

Last edited by Geo. Newbern; 11/01/16 04:06 PM. Reason: added last sentence
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Different micro finish, or chrome plated, is all.

It's not a rifle.

I doubt you'll hurt it any, but that is a great deal of scrubbing. I mean, they did make it this long, Right?

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Seems to me a cheap say a 311 bores will not rust if never cleaned but find a high grade double and bores are pitted sometimes. Bobby

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100 year old guns do not have mirror smooth bores and tend to collect more minor crud like things in their bore surface. It does not matter. Clean it, dry it and use a good oil to cover the surface to protect the bores. That's all that is required. Working to remove 100% of everything is a lot of extra work. Look at it this way the gun lasted 100 years with that crud in/on the bores it should last another with it in there.

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All that crud is just seasoning. You know..like a good cast iron skillet. :-)

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Long version
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dnRLZgcuHfx7uFOHvHCUGnGFiLiset-DTTEK8OtPYVA/edit

Short version; turn-of-the-century barrels did not have the corrosion resistance of chrome moly 4140 which was developed in the 20s for automotive axles.
The vast majority of utility grade single and double barrels were likely Decarbonized Steel, possibly rephosphorized and “cold rolled” for greater strength. “Mild” Low Carbon and Low Alloy “Plain” Steels were in general industrial use by the 1870s. Barrels, and especially frames were also AISI 1018 or 1020, both of which are easily “Carburized” or Color Case Hardened.

Actual barrel analysis:
1. 1898 Hunter Arms “Armor Steel” was similar to AISI 1211 Rephosphorized Resulfurized Low Alloy Steel / 1045 Carbon Steel.
2. c. 1900 Crescent “Wilson’s Welded Steel” = Bessemer Rephosphorized Carbon Steel similar to AISI 1017
3. c. 1910 Meriden Fire Arms “Armory Steel” was Bessemer Rephosphorized Carbon Steel similar to AISI 1211 / 1016 Steel.
4. A pre - WWI Parker “Titanic” barrel (courtesy of Dave Suponski) was AISI 1030 with low concentrations of nickel and chromium.
5. A pre - WWI Parker “Trojan” barrel (courtesy of Dave Suponski) was AISI 1035.
6. A pre - WWI Parker “Vulcan” (courtesy of Ron Graham) was AISI 1015.
Higher grade guns had higher grade steel; AISI 1030 - 1045 (possibly rephosphorized), Nickel Steel, Vickers, Delcour-Dupont, Cockerill Acier Universel or Acier Special, Siemens-Martin, Krupp Fluss Stahl, Wittener Excelsior Stahl.

Immediately post-WWI “Fluid Steel” barrels appear to be primarily AISI 1030 or 1040 Carbon Steel, possibly rephosphorized, with alloy steels appearing on higher grade guns; Krupp and Winchester Nickel Steel, Poldi Antikorro, Böhler Antinit.


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After shooting black powder or sub;

Hot water, brush, paper kitchen towels, Thompson Bore Butter.

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Long ago I adopted a cleaning regime which require and exterior oil cloth wipe down in the field.

When home or to the hotel room Followed by scrubbing with a stiff bore brush with hoppes and then patching with hoppes until clean, lastly then patched with eesox and an exterior wipe down.

I then patch again with hoppes until clean then eesox for the next two days.

It is probably over kill but I am paranoid and most of my old guns have some pitting that sweats carbon.

I store all my guns barrels down because I am generous with oil coating the bore

I find that even after my cleaning is complete a month later there is often a little crud in the barrels under the oil.

Last edited by old colonel; 11/01/16 06:27 PM.

Michael Dittamo
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Barrel before



After scrubbing with a piece of Big 45 Frontier Metal Cleaner on the end of a cleaning rod chucked into a cordless drill, then soaked with KleenBore Formula 3 Gun Conditioner


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