Muzzle loading lubes

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by Drlligaf, Nov 25, 2008.

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  1. For many years I used Hoppes 9 Plus as a patch lube for my pistol, but when the bottle was empty I was unable to get any more of the stuff, so I tried a number of other substances, Hogdon Spit Patch is a waxy substance and not easy to apply, Ox Yokes Wonder Lube is easier to apply. Then I decided to use what the locals use, a 5 to 1 ratio water/oil mix, easy to apply and dirt cheap. I have never been able to determine if any one of these lubes brings more accuracy than the others. Do any Arrsers have any ideas on good lubes for muzzle loaders.
    PS The locals stuff all manner of substances as fillers and lubes into their revolvers, the resulting stench is unbelievable.
  2. Tallow or beeswax would be traditional I suppose....
  3. In my remmington .44 i use beeswax/beef dripping mix 50 /50 so its soft and can be put into a large syringe and squeezed onto the top of the ball, to seal and lube, I do top of the powder charge with semolina powder to bring the ball forward so it is just flush to the front of the cylinder when rammed. I ve seen a dramatic tightening of my group size. I belive the reason is the reduced "jump" distance from inside the cylinder to the commencement of rifleing of the barrel. I know the smell is foul , but the end may justify the means. If you dont use the filler the smell is better but you feel like you want a beef sandwich every time you fire a shot. bearing in mind that the lube is to act an extra gas seal to help prevent chain fires, a small amount of the lube also helps to prevent lead buildup in the barrel and if you are useing BLACK POWDER /PYRODEXT it helps to keep the residue / cakeing soft for next shot to blow /scrape the residue out of the barrel
  4. I use Wonderlube or BoreButter both of which give good results without the chipshop pong...
    They both seem to be based on an Olive oil/ wintergreen mixture, which has good covering properties, but which cleans off easily with Birchwood Casey BP solvent (which IS the key to the easy care of BP weapons...)

    Wonderlube is a bit harder so I use this for lubing Snider bullets and for lubing the paper patches on Martini Henry rounds. Bore Butter is softer and comes in a big tube so I tend to use this for muzzle loading my P53 and the Bess..

    A little goes a long way and the stuff is (relatively) clean...
  5. Thanks for that info HE117, the smell of wonderlube has puzzled me for ages, it seemed familiar but I couldn't place it. As for care of BP weapons, I dump the barrel of my pistol in an ultrasonic bath with cold water, turn on and leave for about 3 mins, change the water and repeat, then dry and run a patch with WD 40 down the bore. Works a treat. Makes cleaning a BP revolver almost a pleasure no more fiddling with all the nipples and cleaning each part individually.
  6. Yup...

    That would work - pity they don't make Brown Bess size ultrasonic tanks, though you (apparantly) have to watch putting wooden stocks into ultrasonic cleaners.

    I think using tallow/suet/bear grease etc you would really need to use a hot detergent to shift the muck. The problem with "recovered" fat is that you can get acid damage if food particles are allowed to go rancid.

    The reason why they used to boil out guns in the old days was mainly to get rid of the mercuric contamination from the caps. Nowadays using lead styphnate based primers this is not really a problem. There is a remaining hazard from BP powder residue, partiularly from the sulphur, however this is mild compared with what you used to get from mercury. Provided you slosh WD40 around after you are fired, you are usually OK for a week or so before cleaning. It is only when you get moisure combining with the powder residues that you can start to get corrosion.

    I would be careful in relying on WD40 for storage - it does not have a good track record here. WD40 is really designed as a water dispersant not a rustproofing agent and does not have residual vapour characteristics. I use Birchwood Casey "Barricade" which is the new version of "Sheath" - this is also a water dispersant, but it has a long term rust inhibitor component which is what you are looking for.

    Actually the new issued gun oil is very impressive. It has both detergent and rust inhibiting properties and actually does the business (for a change...) worth "aquisition" IMHO!
  7. As I no longer wear the Queens uniform I shall have to talk to/bribe my contacts in the Reserves. :)

    As for a six foot ultrasonic bath, should be no problem, would merely cost an arm and a leg.
  8. 50/50 Bees wax and Duck or Goose fat (smells luuurvly), ratio adjusted to influence solidity depending on the the application.
  9. Is this so you shoot in the "spirit of the original" or is it a good recipe?

    I have only just got my Snider up and running and bought some Lee lube which you squirt over the bullets in a plastic pudding bowl and then agitate the bowl in a circular motion to coat them.
    I am also using carded wool as wadding below the bullet so I suppose I amclose to loading in the spirit of the original.

  10. Ditto on the Wonderlube - much less fuss and bother than the usual greases. I use an old metal cake icer bought off ebay to apply it to the front of the cylinder. Much easier than trying to scrape some in with a spatula or lollypop stick.

    My particular recipe is Pyrodex P from a small flask spout, semolina filler using a 9mm case as a measure (with a homemade handle), ball and then a blob of the Wonderlube to keep the fouling soft. Shoots very tight groups from my Pietta competition Remington if I do my stuff.

    Forget the usual old wives tale of needing to fill the whole front of the cylinder with grease to prevent chain fires. If the ball diameter is chosen correctly to be a tight fit in the cylinder throat, then chain fires cannot occur.

    I can also reccomend the Wonderlube ball and patch lube (when you can find it). This works superbly when used as a lubricant on the arbour and lockwork of a BP revolver. The synthetic oils and greases all seem to gum up when used with BP or Pyrodex. The Wonderlube stuff keeps everything turning smoothly for much longer.
  11. Well, to be honest I just tried it and it works as an all rounder. This is from lubing patches for my muzzle stuffers to lubing grooves for all my BP rifle bullets.

    I'm still using .600" round ball in my Snider, works great!