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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    7

    Default Cleaning of Remington 1858

    Hello all as you read my posts it wont take you long to figure out I am new to black powder. Today I am looking for cleaning tips on cleaning my Remington 1858. I understand I soak it in warm soapy water but am a little unclear after that. Do I still run a brush and cleaning patch through it like I do my XD? Do I let the parts air dry or do I hand dry them? Some tell me to use WD40 on the parts to help prevent rust. I am definitely open to any advise. I have been shooting my entire life but never black powder what I have found out is I cant take my knowledge of modern firearms and transfer it over to black powder they are just two different worlds. I am definably the new kid on the block right now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2,357

    Default

    It is kind of counter-intuitive isn't it?
    OK here's what I do & it seems to work. I find B/P easier to clean than smokeless & have yet to use or need any bore brushes.

    Take a plastic bucket big enough to hold the whole pistol. (this is to stop small parts going down the drain.)

    Drop into the empty bucket a cake of regular old soap, the same stuff you wash your hands with. (Personally I use Ivory because it floats & is easy to retrieve).
    Fill the bucket with HOT water, as hot as you can stand putting your hand into. (This will dissolve plenty of soap making hot soapy water.)
    Remove the wooden grips & set them aside.
    Remove the cylinder from the frame.
    Remove the nipples from the cylinder.
    Throw the whole mess into the bucket of hot soapy water (except the wood grips).

    Get your tools while the gun soaks for a few minutes.

    Old toothbrush.
    toothpicks.
    Cleaning rod, & loop type tip.
    Patches.
    Paper towels.
    Super cheap hair dryer ($10.00 from wally-world.)
    Your preferred preservative, oil grease or whatever.

    Take a patch & soap it with the now soft block of soap.
    Run the patch through the bore 5~6 times with the pistol mostly submerged still.
    Fish out the cylinder & do the same to each chamber.
    Find the nipples , stick the toothpick in the hole, & scrub them with the toothbrush.
    Use the toothbrush with more soap on it to scrub everything on the pistol. (make sure you get the loading rammer & it's links in both the OPEN & CLOSED positions.)

    Lay out 3~4 layers of paper towels, or an old towel.
    Fish out everything & sit it on the towels, make sure to count all the nipples.
    AFTER checking you have everything dump the hot dirty soapy water.

    Refill the bucket with fresh hot water, no soap this time.

    Soak swish & dunk everything to remove traces of soap.

    Retrieve, count & check as before & fling dirty rinse water. (use fresh, dry towel or paper towels.)

    Shake, blow wipe & generally remove as much water as possible from everything.

    Put on an insulated glove (clean oven mitt is fine but anything to protect your hand will do.)

    Set the hair dryer to "LOW & HOT", or HOT. You need heat for this next bit.

    Blow the living daylights out of all the parts. The cylinder, frame & nipples, Remove the toothpicks from the nipples so the hot air gets up inside. Keep going till all the metal is soaked with heat & uncomfortably hot to touch. Remember to cock the hammer & blow down inside the frame, blow up through the trigger guard & into the rear of the frame from the pistol grip.

    lubricate everything with your favorite oil, be generous,not shy. Don't forget the bore & chambers.

    Grease, not oil is used on the axis pin, the hole in the cylinder for the axis pin & the sliding piston of the rammer. Put a little on the threads of the nipples. (Another toothpick helps as a holder here too.)

    Let everything sit till it is cool & reassemble.

    You'll hear about how bad petroleum-based lube is for the B/P guns but this only aplies to those areas where there is direct contact with hot powder gas. (bore, chamber & inside of frame). Use of a synthetic oil/grease will solve the problem, or you can use regular old "oil" & remove it with an alcohol wet patch just before firing.
    When the entire world is PO'd at you maybe its you, not the whole world that has the problem!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    born & raised in central Kansas, Moved w/ job to West TX in "95"
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Well, yea, that should do it.
    The bucket is really needed, onna counta if ya use the kitchen sink yer wife a lift yer hair.
    I use Kirks coco castile soap, but then again, that decision involves my wife. She bought it and didn't like it so I got it.
    But really, I do prefer the bar soaps to dish soap and other "detergents"
    Like plonker, I seldom use a brush on the cleaning rod.
    The hair dryer will work, but so will compressed air.
    I follow up with a moisture displacement product ( WD-40 or clone)
    I use gun oil and the white lithium grease that comes from Ace Hardware.
    A light coat of oil will protect the gun and not cause any problems.
    JDD

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2,357

    Default

    Sorry I missed a small step that JDD's post reminded me of.

    Right after it cools down wipe off the excess oil.


    I put a lot on by dipping another toothpick in oil & dabbing all pivots, slides & so on. Then I let it sit on the hot metal to penetrate & flow & then use a patch to wipe off the excess & generally schmear a little oil everywhere I can get to.
    Same idea different execution.
    When the entire world is PO'd at you maybe its you, not the whole world that has the problem!

  5. #5

    Default

    I clean with Weasil Piss. Some prefer "Moose Milk", . . others rave about "Mule Snot". But the Weasil Piss works good for me.

    But, . . . them Wheesils is slippery fast little devils and catching one was quite a chore. I thought the worst was over when I had a firm grip on him, . . . . . but, . . holding him down while I pried his mouth open and got the funnel in wasn’t any easier. After the first two bottles of beer inserted into the upper end of his elementary canal he began to produce the desired product. And by the third bottle things got much easier as he’d discovered that he like the stuff I was pouring into his gullet. Now he can’t get enough of it. He turns up his nose at domestic beer and will only drink good imported stuff, . . . British and French are Ok with him but is preference is for German brews. The end product is being pumped out at a great rate.

    If’n ya want to do it “easy way” with the artificial “Wheesil Whiz” ya just mix equal parts Murphy’s Oil soap, Hydrogen Perozide, and rubbing alcohol, . . . works good, . . . just not quite as exotic as using genuine “Wheezil Whiz” . . .

    I have never needed a complete tear down and cleaning of any of my many Remingtons. I clean cylinders with boiling water. Use Weazil Whiz and a bronze brush on the bore. Wipe the outside down a bit with a paper towel and the Wheazil Whiz. The only lube I use is a 50/50 mix of toilet bowl wax and olive oil. If the gun is to sit unused I lube a patch with that lube and run it thru the bore. All simple . . all works good . . . I'm happy with it.

    Good shootin', . . . .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    274

    Default

    Ain't nothin' works as good as the genuine article. Anybody that'll settle fer artificial Weasil Whiz is just a greenhorn.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Springfield OR
    Posts
    212

    Default

    efounder, you have gotten some very good advise. I read it carefully to see if there was anything to add. I must say, I like the hair dryer idea. Have not tired that. I blow dry as best as I can with compressed air and put the gun into a warm oven for 30-45. The hairdryer idea seems quicker. Enjoy your revolver and get a bunch more!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Thanks everyone I am a little nervous 1858s are not the most expensive guns out there but I still don't want to do anything to ruin it. I'll just take my time and give it my best shot. (no pun intended) I wont know until I try

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Midland Michigan
    Posts
    1,332

    Default

    Just my opinion,

    but I think the extensive cleaning procedure is a bit over kill for a black powder revolver.

    I normally remove the cylinder and use my bore brush to remove any deposits, and then use Hopps bore solvent so remove any lead residue or fowling left behind.

    I remove the nipples as well, clean them out really good with a vent pick if needed. I also use bore solvent in the cylinder chambers to remove any fowling.

    After re-assembly I use gun oiled rag to clean the whole revolver before storing away.

    My method might be crude, but it works for me.

    Also keep in mind............that in 1862.......the average foot officer or cavalryman didnt have the luxury of hot water and soap....among other things, to clean his revolver with.

  10. #10

    Default

    Just a little to add . . . . for cleaning cylinders ( I have lots of them and do not reload in the pistol. I reload by swapping in pre loaded cylinders ), . . . I put the cylinder in a little tin can nipple end down, with a wire thru the middle of it to facilitate getting it back out ( it will be HOT ). I pour in boiling water filling the chambers ( and the entire tin can ), . . then pull the cylinder out via the wire, . . . let the water drain out thru the nipples. Swab out the chambers and put a pin thru each of the flash holes. The cylinder is hot enough to dry completely.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Polk County, Florida - out in the boonies
    Posts
    696

    Default

    Wait till wife is out of house. Take off the grips & set them aside, remove cylinder and place in dishwasher. Fill rest of dishwasher with dirty dishes. Run dishwasher. Be sure to let it go through the dry cycle. Remove gun & lube while hot. Put grips back on. Wait for wife to return and faint when she discovers you washed the dishes. When wife comes around, ask her if you can go shooting this weekend.
    American by birth, Southern by the Grace of God!
    http://fantasyofflight.com/
    VENISON - It's whats for Dinner!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Congo, DR
    Posts
    1,136

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    Good old Hoppes No. 9 is all you need to clean it. Apologies to the water dunkers, but Hoppes will clean all the nasty residues of black. It's all I use and have never had a problem. It is great at getting the crud from the corners of the frame where I use old tooth brushes Not a bad idea to remove the nipples. Grease the cylinder pin real good afterwards. Using 777 powder makes things even easier.

  13. #13

    Default

    Warm or hot water are nice but cold water is all you really need. Clean promptly right after shooting. Also, keep in mind that getting any cleaner, water or otherwise, inside the frame is not a good idea in any size, shape or form unless you intend to completely disassemble the revolver. To do average cleaning, dismount the cylinder, remove the nipples, put them in a pan of water (or, in a tight spot run water over them) and use a jag with cotton patches to clean and dry the chambers. Use a cotton rag to completely wipe off and dry the rest of the cylinder, clean the nipple vents and threads and set those parts aside. Run water through the barrel from the breach, keeping water out of the frame and wipe and dry completely. Use a damp rag to wipe the frame and the exterior of the gun, and dry, oil and reassemble. You are done - 15 minutes, maybe 20.

    My advice about the cylinder pin? Use grease if you have it but heavy grease is no better than a good light gun oil. In my experience, the grease may last longer but both will collect fouling and the revolver will eventually jam up - no matter what powder you use. Remember that, in the day, civilian or military, they didn't expect or see the need to fire more than a few rounds during a shooting session.

    I have a Navy Arms M1862 Police that is 35 years old and has not been cleaned any other way for the last 25 years - no rust or dirt build up.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    UK, Ontario & Oregon
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    2,901

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    Last sunday on a guest day we shot 300 rounds of 30gr loads in my Ruger Old Army - without taking it to pieces. Just a wipe-over after each cylinder full was all it got all day.

    Taking it home and cleaning it has never been a chore - it's part of BP shooting. I've been using the same little tub of Shakespeare spinning reel grease on the cylinder pin since the day I bought it back in 1986.

    It's even still on the original nipples, too.

    tac
    Supporter of the Cape Meares Lighthouse Restoration Fund
    I am an international Gunboards patron

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2,357

    Default

    Also, keep in mind that getting any cleaner, water or otherwise, inside the frame is not a good idea in any size, shape or form unless you intend to completely disassemble the revolver.
    I'm going to respectfully disagree there. I'd agree that it's a bad idea to leave any water in there but when cleaning its IMHO a great idea to clean everywhere including in the internal spaces, provided you blow, heat & or both it all away & then oil. I've yet to completely dismantle everything for cleaning, but I did strip down after a long time in the woods where cleaning without the water, water everywhere technique was the order of the day, & found quite a lot of residue that was removed the next time through the bucket.
    When the entire world is PO'd at you maybe its you, not the whole world that has the problem!

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by plonker View Post
    I'm going to respectfully disagree there. I'd agree that it's a bad idea to leave any water in there but when cleaning its IMHO a great idea to clean everywhere including in the internal spaces, provided you blow, heat & or both it all away & then oil. I've yet to completely dismantle everything for cleaning, but I did strip down after a long time in the woods where cleaning without the water, water everywhere technique was the order of the day, & found quite a lot of residue that was removed the next time through the bucket.

    Fair enough, we all have different ways of doing things and that's what makes things interesting, I am certainly not always right nor is my way the only way (even though I like to think it is.... ). Back when I was shooting revolvers more than I even think about it today, I always completely stripped a new one down and cleaned out the preservative grease applied at the factory - I then applied Lubriplate to parts that needed it to protect against wear. After that I have never felt or seen the need unless there is a broken or severely worn part in evidence.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    176

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    I use hot soap and water like has been said by others. I use pipe cleaners on the nipples and don't do anything with toothpicks. I use hot water emersion to clean and to rinse since hot water makes the metal hot and the gun dries quicker in the places a cloth or paper towel dry down is not going to reach. Another thing on the oil is I don't use WD 40, or the like, since it leaves a sticky dried on residue if you store the pistol for a long time. I just take a little hoppe's gun oil in a rag and just give the pistol an overall wipe before storing....not any thick residue of oil at all should be obvious when you are done.
    Last edited by Niner; 01-22-2011 at 09:16 AM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2,357

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    I was actually thinking about the water in the frame thing more than stripping down. On that I agree with you.
    ('course this may be because I use so much oil there's nothing allowing air to contact metal anyway!)
    When the entire world is PO'd at you maybe its you, not the whole world that has the problem!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    2,527

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    I have found that using compressed air, available in cans at Wal Mart, by the video, computer stuff, works real well after using hot water. No need to take the frame parts apart.

    Every now and then it is a good idea to remove the grips also, just to check if water has caused rust under the wood.

    I clean with spray bottle soap and water right after shooting at range then use Balistol all over until I get home. Take cylinder out and clean with hot water and sometimes Hoppes #9 in bore then follow with Balistol.

    Has worked so far and it is simple and fast.

    There are countless methods for cleaning BP, this one has worked well for me.

    Balistol is good for metal and Wood. Used in Europe for over a hundred years they tell me.

    If someone has a magic bullet to keep the cylinder pin from fouling. I would like to hear it.

    I have used everything under the sun and now use only Balistol on the pin.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    2,357

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    If someone has a magic bullet to keep the cylinder pin from fouling. I would like to hear it.
    Thick grease is about the best you can use, I honestly don't think brand or type matters at all as long as its good & thick. Don't be shy with it either, slobber it on thickly.
    I can get 4~5 cylinders full before a quick pull & wipe down & then re-grease.
    When the entire world is PO'd at you maybe its you, not the whole world that has the problem!

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