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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I just bought my first muzzle-loading rifle a Pedersoli Hawken Traditional Hunter with a 50 cal 1:24 inch twist 28 inch barrel. I bought it to use heavy projectiles like 320gr REALs and 500gr target long bullets. I'm just learning how to use the rifle, but already I'm very happy with its performance.

However, I have a bit of a problem with it when it comes to cleaning. I know there are many people who are of the opinion that there is no need to remove the barrel of a sidelock muzzleloader for cleaning, but I prefer to remove it.

The problem however is that the fitting between the barrel and the stock is extremely tight. The first time I tried it took me over an hour to remove the barrel. After removing the wedge and the rear sight I could swear there must be another screw somewhere as the barrel wouldn't move in the slightest even when quite a bit of force was applied.

Then I found a webpage which recommended "If the clearances are tight, you might have to tap the bottom of the barrel on a surface to loosen it". Eventually I had to bang the barrel on a flat (soft wood) surface while holding the rifle upside down and while paying attention not to bang with the part of the barrel that has the front sight, not to damage the lock etc. I've used much more force in this process than I'm normally comfortable with when dealing with my guns. Also when the barrel became a bit loose I tried to lift it off the stock by pulling the front of the barrel up while the breech end was still int he stock. This caused two small chips on top of surface of the stock to fall off(right at breech end). This damage is what it took for me to learn to always remove the barrel while holding it perfectly parallel with the stock. The barrel has to be basically lifted up at both ends at the same rate. If the front is lifted higher further damage to the stock might happen.

So I've removed the barrel, I cleaned it, protected it from rust and I installed it in the gun. I was expecting that only the first time was going to be so difficult and now that I've managed to loosen it up it will be possible to remove this barrel in few minutes at most. I also applied quite a bit of natural grease into what looked like the most tight fitting places.

Well, next day after shooting about 40 rounds when I set to clean the barrel I discovered the fit is still extremely tight. This time I managed to remove the barrel in about 30 minutes after removing the wedge. I ended up gently tapping (through a block of softwood) on the cylinder drum (after removing the nipple and the drum cleaning screw) until the barrel lifted up a tiny bit, then I managed to lift it the rest of the way by banging it gently on the flat softwood surface.

Thankfully no new damage resulted, but this risky and difficult process is not what I would like to be doing every time I need to flush the barrel.

Therefore, please, can anyone suggest anything other than building a desk-size jig to help me remove this barrel in future? Is it supposed to be so tight fitting? If not, is removing some material from the stock with some sand paper a good idea?

The rifle shoots great, but is a serious pain to clean properly. I could probably make a hose fitting that could screw into the nipple hole and the barrel could be flushed this way, but if it is at all possible to make the barrel removal process easier I would much prefer this way.

Thanks for reading this rather long first post.

F
 

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Plug a length of plastic tubing over the nipple and run the tube to a bucket of hot soapy water. Draw the water into the bore with a tight fitting patch and use the patch as a piston to wash the bore.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I found some sort of an answer to this question...

Apparently barrels are to be removed for cleaning only in so called breach hook muzzleloaders. My Pedersoli Hawken Hunter does not have a breach hook, but a longish insert that fits into the stock tightly. Allegedly it has been designed for the barrel not to be removed routinely... that's a surprise.

I wish Pedersoli would supply some useful information with this rifle (for example a booklet mentioning how to clean it properly as 99% of the info on the Internet seems to not apply to this model). Instead they include a tiny booklet with some safe shooting tips and a DVD, but what modern computing device these days has a DVD reader?... Anyway, it seems I've wasted some time, but at least I didn't damage the rifle in the process.
 

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Tale a nipple for the rifle to a pet shop. In the plastic tubes for fish tanks, find one that fits nice and tight over the cap end of the nipple. Get about eight feet of that tube. Take it home and epoxy one end over the nipple end, being careful to not block the nipple opening with epoxy.

Come cleaning time, remove the nipple used and screw in the "cleaning nipple tube." Put the one end in a coffee can full of dish soap water. Dip a patch in the water and then squirt some water down the bore. Now start to slowly work that patch down the bore of your rifle. Slowly you can pump water through the tube from the coffee can up, through your rifle barrel. When you get nice clean patches, remove the tube and then run solvent patches and finally dry patches. That will be the easy way to clean the rifle.

Funny you ask that, I have a nipple in my pocket and went to the store to get the tubing. But they did not have the right size. I was going to make a second tube cleaner with a longer tube.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your suggestions. I've ordered few extra nipples so I'll be able to do that. For now I found a method of removing the barrel that does not involve that much of force so I'll keep removing it until the nipple arrives.
 

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Another way, but be careful how you position the rifle. Take a standard round tooth pick and jam it in the nipple hole. It should be tight enough. Then I take the rifle and lean it, lock side down, in a place that can get messy if necessary... then with some dishwater and a funnel, fill the barrel with soapy water. Still leaning that way, let it sit for a couple minutes. Give the water a chance to soften the powder and fouling.

Then I pour a little water out of the barrel (or in some cases a small amount has leaked out of the tooth pick nipple AWAY FROM THE WOOD STOCK ... Then put your thumb over the muzzle and tilt the rifle back and fourth so that water has a chance to slosh around. Then dump the water out somewhere (out doors is best). I have tilted the rifle drastically and let the water drain out the nipple after I pull the tooth pick. I am just careful about the stock. And that's another reason I use dishwater instead of any solvent. Water will not kill the finish on the stock and can be wiped off.

Now take wet dishwater patches and swab the bore of the rifle. When they come out clean, then swab with isopropyl alcohol or a good solvent.When those are clean, begin to use dry patches and swab that bore dry. When your positive the patches are bone dry, swab with a quality gun oil. Pull the nipple. Wipe that down. And with Q tips, dipped in isopropyl alcohol carefully clean the nipple port in the bolster/drum. Push the Q tip in, turn it around, and be careful not to loose the end. If you do, an air compressor will blow that back out.
 

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All good advice here. I've gotten away from heavy fouling powders and use Alliant Black MZ so a couple solvent patches, dry patch then alcohol and oil and I'm done. If I use 777 I use the tubing and pump method, dry, alcohol and oil. I'm not a black powder purist. I'm a rebel! And lazy too!:D
 

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My Pedersoli Hawken Hunter does not have a breach hook, but a longish insert that fits into the stock tightly.


The proper name of "longish insert" is "rear tang".


Allegedly it has been designed for the barrel not to be removed routinely... that's a surprise.

Surprising, but true - why removal isn't covered in the owner's manual.

Welcome to the forum !


FYI: There's no need to remove a sight for routine cleaning.


Since the barrel/tang were designed to be tight-fitting, continued removal & replacement (R&R) of the barrel/tang/etc from the stock for routine cleaning (which should be done at the end of every day's shooting) will quickly lead to stock damage (which you've already found out) and eventual wear to the tight inletting (which can result in a less accurate rifle).

I would respectfully advise you to switch to the tubed extra nipple cleaning process.


.
 
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Tight inletting is scarce as bat tracks in guns with octagon barrels. Pedersoli is known for good workmanship and I fully agree with Rangr44, it should NOT be taken apart.

There are MANY museum pieces, even from the Revolutionary War that still haven't been disassembled.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thank you for this information.

It is doubly annoying that there was nothing at all about cleaning in the manual. Just the usual safety stuff...

Based on what you all said the message is clear... do not remove the barrel routinely (for every clean) or the fitting will become loose and the accuracy will suffer. However in the meantime I received what I perceive to be conflicting info from Pedersoli. Please have a look below and let me know, am I interpreting their answer incorrectly, or did they misunderstand my question? It seems they skipped the whole "should I remove the barrel for cleaning" question and went straight to "how to remove the barrel".

This is what I wrote to Pedersoli(the bits in Italian were added by their contact form):
Arma: Traditional Hunter
Calibro: .50
Armeria: military-zone.sklep.pl
Nazione: Poland
Data Acquisto: 31/03/2017
Oggetto: Difficulty removing barrel - very tight fit.
Hi,

Please provide some advice on what is the proper way a barrel should be removed from my rifle. Following the cleaning instructions provided at one of your pages here https://www.davide-pedersoli.com/rivista-dettaglio.asp/l_en/idne_73/cleaning-single-shot-muzzleloading-guns.html I've attempted to remove the barrel from the rifle. I have removed the rear sight (including two screws holding it). Then I removed the wedge, but the fit of the barrel in the stock is so tight the barrel would not move in the slightest. I guess this is very good for accuracy and I'm very happy with this rifle's accuracy, but the process of removing the barrel took me over an hour. I tried gently tapping it from various angles, applying some force. Eventually it became slightly loose after banging the whole rifle upside down on a softwood surface. I thought that after the first removal the problem would go away, but after the second day of shooting the barrel was equally difficult to remove. Therefore, please let me know, what is the correct way to remove the barrel of my gun and can I do anything about making the fitting less tight. (...)

And now the Pedersoli reply (they also attached the exploded diagram of all parts in the rifle):

Dear Mr. X,

Thank you for your email and for the preference you had choosing one of our rifles.

A tight fit ensures good accuracy, as you rightly stated.

To disassemble the barrel, first remove the wedge no.24 on the exploded view and second the tang screw no.4.
Keeping the rifle turned, tap the barrel the side of the front sight on the bench covered with a towel, this movement will free the barrel from the tang.

Please let us know.

(end of reply)

And my reply to their email:

Thank you for your answer. After doing this removal procedure few more times I feel more comfortable doing it.
(I wrote this before I read all your replies on this forum)

I think I'll be writing to them again for confirmation what is the correct cleaning procedure they recommend - and hopefully if enough people start pestering them like this they will start selling a nipple with a pipe fitting for cleaning :)

Before I read all your replies I had to remove the barrel few times to clean it (I'm still waiting for that nipple to arrive). Since then I found a less forceful way to remove the barrel which I think is close to the "correct one".

The exploded view of the rifle is helpful while reading the description. The manufacturer's product page has a download link https://www.davide-pedersoli.com/uploads/prodotti/S664-665.pdf

In case anyone needs to remove a barrel in this type of the rifle I'll describe my method. It is to:
1-remove the tang screw (no 4 in the exploded view)
2 - remove the rear ghost sight screw (its front screw is the tang screw) and remove the sight - it is true there is no real need to remove the ghost sight as it is attached to the stock with the remaining screw, but I find it safer to have it on my table than dangling from the stock while the rest of this procedure takes place.
3 - put the hammer in half cock and remove the lock by removing screws no.5 then pulling on the lock gently
4 - remove the wedge (I used a piece of copper flat and tapped it with a small hammer)
5 - put a flat screwdriver under the barrel through an opening made when you removed the lock and lift the barrel by no more than a quarter of an inch
6 - put the rifle upside down (I put the barrel on my lap with the stock extending towards the right) and gently tap at the very end of the stock (opposite the part attached to the barrel) with your hand. After few gentle taps the barrel should be released from the front of the stock. There is no need to use any tools for this part. Don't bang it too hard...
7 - Once the barrel slips out a bit put the rifle the correct way up, then lift the barrel up from the stock the rest of the way while paying attention not to put any stress on the wood around the tang.

To put the barrel back in properly I use the following method.

1. Put the lock in first. You will need it as a reference to see if the barrel is seated correctly.
2. Put the tang in first, but don't seat it fully, just let is fit a tiny bit.
3. While applying pressure to the front of the barrel push the barrel into the narrow (front part of the stock) - now you will have the barrel almost seated in the middle, but still only resting on the stock where the tang is.
4. Squeeze the barrel and the stock with your hands (no vice necessary - a vice could probably split the stock at this point) - be gentle with it so the tang is seated half way in.
5. Tap the whole gun on a wooden desk while holding it vertically with the stock down. (The gun has a factory fitted rubber recoil absorber so as long as the tapping is gentle there is no danger). The purpose of this tapping is to move the barrel back by up to a millimetre. Let the cut in the sidelock into which the drum goes in be your guide if the barrel is "far enough" to the rear. I like the centre of this cut and the drum's centre to be as close to each other as possible, but that is just an aesthetic preference. I think there is nothing wrong with the gap between the drum and the sidelock to be a bit uneven - this is how my rifle was put together when I bought it new.
6. Then once the correct front-back position is achieved squeeze the barrel and the stock with your hands and the whole things should become seated with the gap between the drum and the side lock a bit under a millimetre.

The whole removal procedure takes me 5 minutes now, same for reinsertion after cleaning, but I'll not be doing it routinely once I get my spare nipple (hopefully in next 2-3 days). I don't recommend doing this procedure unless you absolutely positively need to remove the barrel.
 

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flynth--
No disrespect intended but you DID go off 'half-cocked' and immediately went to FORCE instead of THOUGHT when it came to your new (now well used) rifle.

You bought one of the finest muzzle loaders available and then abused it trying to keep it nice. There is irony there somewhere.

I can't help but marvel at someone that just keeps pulling and hammering..... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
flynth--
No disrespect intended but you DID go off 'half-cocked' and immediately went to FORCE instead of THOUGHT when it came to your new (now well used) rifle.
Well, I don't think this is an exactly accurate description... I spent weeks prior to getting the rifle reading all I could find (again I'll mention the booklet included with the rifle had nothing whatsoever about cleaning) about how to care for it properly. Even an article by the man who owns the company makes no mention of muzzleloaders which are supposed to be cleaned with their barrel in in his article about cleaning muzzleloading rifles. So it is not like I went to force straight away.

Also I would slightly disagree the rifle now is "well used"... I guess it was a bit" tongue in cheek", but the fit is as good as new, yes, there are two tiny chips at the front top of the tang slot on the stock, but it is only a cosmetic defect and I'll be fixing it with a special wax-like product soon...

JBelk; said:
You bought one of the finest muzzle loaders available and then abused it trying to keep it nice. There is irony there somewhere.
Yes, it is ironic. I guess I was used to that when I buy a product and the manufacturer provides generic cleaning instructions for the whole class of such products on their website (in absence of type-specific instructions) said instructions will be correct, but obviously that approach does not apply. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy everything about this rifle, even this slight issue.

Also, out from the factory the barrel was not aligned properly in the back resulting in the uneven gap between the drum and the lock cutout. It is also only a cosmetic issue, but my actions corrected this... So one cosmetic issue resolved, one caused... No loss no gain :)

JBelk; said:
I can't help but marvel at someone that just keeps pulling and hammering..... :)]
Well, other than this rifle I own a 12ga by the same company and a. 45 revolver by Uberti. All my guns are clean, well protected from rust etc. I guess I could say that I enjoy cleaning almost as much as I do shooting them... A dirty bore is the last thing I want in my new rifle. Only the first removal resulted in some slight cosmetic damage, subsequent ones allwere done with very little force, no hammering and (strong) pulling.
 

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flynth, that sounds like a pain in the butt! I would get some tight fitting vinyl tubing ( take nipple with you) and put it in a bucket of hot water with a little dish soap . Put a wet patch on your jag and start pumping it up and down the barrel, drawing it out of small bucket . Then , as Cayugad suggests, clean boiling water. Dry patch, alcohol patch then oil. I've used this method for a few years with good results. Better yet, Alliant Black MZ, if available. Cleans up with solvent very well!:)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
flynth, that sounds like a pain in the butt! I would get some tight fitting vinyl tubing ( take nipple with you) and put it in a bucket of hot water with a little dish soap . Put a wet patch on your jag and start pumping it up and down the barrel, drawing it out of small bucket . Then , as Cayugad suggests, clean boiling water. Dry patch, alcohol patch then oil. I've used this method for a few years with good results. Better yet, Alliant Black MZ, if available. Cleans up with solvent very well!:)
I already did today :) so hopefully no more removing the barrel on this gun.

One thing I would like to add for anyone who finds this thread searching for this info like I did is that if you need to remove the barrel in a Pedersoli Hawken Hunter, loosen two screws that hold the lock (number 5 on the exploded view). This way the stock is not compressed by their tension and almost no force is required to lift the barrel...
 

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It would seem to me a rifle should be dismantled from time to time, and that it should be separated from any kind of moisture, but then Im not particularly a muzzle loader fan, other than I have one for primitive rut hunts...I know this to be true with modern day guns, keep all moisture away therefore I take the barrel out of my muzzle loader stick it in a can of boiling water and sump pump it clean, it dries fast as the water is scalding, but I blow dry it and wipe it down and oil the outside and gease the inside...no water on my stock...No argument here just asking..
 

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I was shooting my Lyman Great Plains Rifle the other day. After the shoot, I decided to clean it with the tooth pick method. I wanted to see how easy it was. The barrel is wedged and comes off easy. But hey! What fun is that.

Put a tooth pick in the nipple. Then I filled the barrel with dish soap water. Set it in the corner and let it basically soak. While this was going on I cut a large number of patches out of an old white (clean) cotton sock. Then I took the rifle outside and pulled the pick. The water of course came out like a good fine stream. I then blew into the barrel and forced the water out at a higher pressure. You could see the fouling coming out.

Now with no water in the barrel, I began to swab the bore with dish water patches until they came out clean. Then after that I took isopropyl alcohol and swabbed the bore until I got a clean bore. Then some dry patches. But out of curiosity I pulled the nipple and wiped the threads off. After that I used Q Tips into the nipple port. I was surprised how dirty the cone of the rifle was. So I did that until the Q Tips were clean.

I dry patched the rifle then and finally swabbed the barrel with Birchwood Casey Barricade. After that I put the nipple back in the rifle. I should mention this Lyman Great Plains was a percussion rifle. And be sure to use Q Tips and scrub the nose on the hammer out clean. Also wipe it down good.
 
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