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I just purchased a Winchester 32-40 1885. Overall it is nice shape and words fine.
I spent the better part of 3 hours yesterday cleaning the bbl. I still get every cleaning patch looking like it was the first, totally black! I am using Hoppi's #9, and even tried making cleaning patches from lead removal cloth, still completely black just as if It was the first patch I ran through it.
What am I doing wrong, what solvent would be better?
Thanks
 

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I set my rifles barrel down in a small padded vice with a wast can underneath. . Go grab a bottle of Hoppies foming bore cleaner. . Open the breach and sqezzz the chamber full and as it eases down the barrel add more till its dripping out the muzzle keep this up for a day or two .. pull a tight fitting bronze brush through the bore after about 10 hrs. And add more foming bore cleaner soak longer if needed..
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Hoppe's isn't even a very good solvent for smokeless anymore, compared to what's on the market. For black powder, heed the advice of those who shoot it! I'd start with either a specialty cleaner for black powder, or at least something water based. Warm soapy water has been used to clean up after black powder for a long, long time.

If you bought a used gun with an unknown history, would suggest a can of Wipe-Out Bore Foam. I'm sure that other products of a similar fashion will work also, but that's what I've used.

Best of luck.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Hoppe's #9 Black powder solvent has work for me for going on 50 years. I used to get it by the quart.

A 32 Special from the 40's likely never saw black powder but very well could have seen mercuric primers. The black on the lead cleaning patches is likely steel. The fine abrasive embedded in the cloth will remove metal so one has to be careful using it.

RJ
 
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There are NO black powder cleaning solvents better than water with a splash of dishwater soap. Hoppe's #9 made for smokeless powder is the worst choice you could have made to clean BP fouling. All you did was make gunk inside your barrel. Mixing petroleum based cleaning products with black powder has been known to be a disaster for a couple hundred years.
 

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Hoppe's #9 Black powder solvent has work for me for going on 50 years. I used to get it by the quart.

A 32 Special from the 40's likely never saw black powder but very well could have seen mercuric primers. The black on the lead cleaning patches is likely steel. The fine abrasive embedded in the cloth will remove metal so one has to be careful using it.

RJ
I have also used Hoppe's #9 for over 50 years along with hot soapy water with good success . I do remember however reading that they had changed the formula a few years back and I have not bought any in the last ten years . They have a nasty habit of improving the usefulness out of most things sooner or later. Hoppe's #9 may be in that class now.

Not sure what a " .32 Special from the 40's " has to do with an 1885 32-40 . They quit making the 1885 in 1918 so it very likely used both black powder and mercuric priming as both were in use and common during that period . Also many 1885's are still being used on a regular basis with black powder. I somehow am missing the point of that portion of your post.
 

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Thanks for education guys, soap and water it will be. I hope it will clean up the gunk I made!
Try some Simple Green if the water & dish soap doesn't cut the gunk. I've never had to clean BP gunk like what you have but I got a feeling Simple Green may be very helpful. I use it at the range after a shooting session, then follow up with the soapy water when I get home.
 

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A few thoughts.

1) warm soapy water is hard to beat, followed by a hot as you can get it tap water rinse long enough to heat the barrel up enough to quickly dry. I then follow that up with a “normal“ clean with a few patches of regular solvent to displace any remaining water, a few dry patches and then an oiled patch To coat the bore with a preservative oil.

2) if you are going to store it for any length of time you need to reclean it after 2-3 days as the salts in black powder combustion products will keep leaching out of the steel. That second cleaning is where the black powder solvents like those sold by Hoppe’s Birchwood Casey, Thompson Center, etc work well. You are just cleaning the leached salts so you don’t need the quantity of fluid like you do the first round, and it’s a lot less mess.

However you still want to finish with a normal cleaning to displace the water based solvent and then coat the surface with a preservative oil.

3) Black powder solvents also work great to clean firearms after shooting corrosive primed ammo, as those water based solvents breakdown those corrosive compounds as well.
 

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Hawkeye Hunter, thanks for the Simple Green suggestion. I will try that.
Simple Green is an alkaline based cleaner. They work well to degrease metals, but they are not really designed to cut salt or mineral deposits. You need a more acidic cleaner to do that and with its lower Ph of 7 plain old water works just as well. If you use Simple green 30-1 will work better than 10-1, but either way it’s going to be sucking any oil out of the steel.

If you use simple green be sure to rinse it out thoroughly - to the point you can’t smell it anymore and then be sure to coat the bore with one of the heavier gun oils that will stay around and provide rust protection.
 

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Simple Green is an alkaline based cleaner. They work well to degrease metals, but they are not really designed to cut salt or mineral deposits. You need a more acidic cleaner to do that and with its lower Ph of 7 plain old water works just as well. If you use Simple green 30-1 will work better than 10-1, but either way it’s going to be sucking any oil out of the steel.

If you use simple green be sure to rinse it out thoroughly - to the point you can’t smell it anymore and then be sure to coat the bore with one of the heavier gun oils that will stay around and provide rust protection.
I was just suggesting that the Simple Green may help cut the oil based gunk in the barrel. So, if it is good at "sucking any oil out of the steel", it might help. We are not talking about removing regular BP fouling, but rather "gunk" created by using a petroleum based solvent to clean BP fouling. Following up with a soapy water flushing & oiling of the barrel would negate any of your concerns. Heck, I know guys that use Simple Green as a patch lube for shooting round balls, so what's the big danger??
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I don't think it's a "danger," just not optimal from a chemistry standpoint. Any water-based cleaner is going to be better at getting rid of black-powder fouling, and corrosive priming residue, than petrolelum based. Cheap, grocery store brand glass cleaner is step one when I clean after shooting corrosive primed ammo. A few cycles of that, and the "regular" cleaning solvents over a period of several days, gets the job done with little work and no stress.......

"Warm" usually speeds chemical reactions, so helps get the 'gunk' dissolved so it can be flushed away. Cold water will work, and plain water withoug soap will work, but both will take longer, and require more effort. Up to the individual.
 

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When hot water and soap is best, it's hard to think something is 'better'. Be satisfied with CHEAP!
 
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