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Hey guys,

I have a question concerning cleaning up a BP cartridge rifle after firing. I've read time and again hot water is the best clean up method... which is what I intend to use. But what about the empty casings?

I don't reload at this time... but I want to save the brass. I've heard about dropping the empties in soapy water at the range. If I do this and then clean out the fouling at home are they good to store? Or do I need to de-cap them right away?


Second, does anybody have a source for a nice brass funnel for pouring hot water down the breech? None of my plastic "oil funnels" really fit all that well...


Thanks
 

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Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
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Dunno where to get a brass funnel, but I have had good service from a transmission funnel in BP cartridge rifles.

As to cases, I'd empty them when I got home, de-cap, slosh them in hot soapy water, rinse in clear water, and let drain and dry. Then good to store in my experience. YMMV
 

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While you are shooting at the range, have one of the plastic milk jugs--not the super-huge gallon kind, just the smaller type--or something similar with soapy water in it. As you shoot, put your empties in the jug.

A delrin-polymer cleaning rod is a mighty-nice thing to have... You'll have been keeping your fouling soft with a periodic spit patch or "blow tube" down the bore, so it should come out fairly reasonably. Water, the universal solvent, works wonders with fouling, tis true... The single best item of cleaning equipment I have for my Remington rolling block and Sharps rifles is a Remington-manufactured .45 caliber bore "squegee." This thing allows me to push remaining moisture out of the bore after having scrubbed with cleaning patches, disposable green scrubbee pads as bore brush supplements, etc. Then the clean patches finish up, and finally a bit of Ballistol on a patch. Much easier than cleaning a muzzleloader...

As for the cases, they'll already be partly clean when you get home. Scrub out the interiors of the cases. I've got a bottle brush like one would use for small bottles dedicated to this drudgery. Some folks advocate leaving the old primer in when you run the brass in an electric centrifugal cleaner with corn husk or nut shell polishing/cleaning media. If nut shell media is used, the little pieces can get stuck in the primer pocket or Boxer primer hole...

I badly discolored some of my brass cases, and folks urged me to just stick 'em in the brass cleaner for longer, something I was hesitant to do.

There's a champeen black powder shooter from Hungary--Bálasz Nemeth--who runs a youtube channel called "capandball.eu." He's got some snazzy Hungarian detergent product that he uses--potassium perborate--or something like that. You can see how he uses it on his cases. I've never managed to find the stuff here in the U.S. of A, but then I've not tried hard enough, I guess. He has a fairly heavy Magyar accent, but it is mostly amusing, at least to me, and doesn't really prevent communication of the essential concepts... You might take a look at some of his recommendations.

Good luck, and have lots of fun with your BPCR!
 

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I use a 50/50 ballistol/water mix (a.k.a Moosemilk) for range bore cleaning. It strips out soft fouling in very few patches. If things get really caked then freshly boiled water is indeed the best!

I dump my cases in hot soapy (dish detergent) water once I get home after decapping, leave them to soak for 10 minutes and then brush them out using laboratory test-tube brushes. The brass gets a bit discoloured but so what, they are then air dried or put in the oven for 10 minutes at 50°C. I don't feel the need to tumble them.
 

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Well, I jump in here also. Nothing wrong with the advice you have gotten just how I do it. Shoot, drop case in jug of soapy water, or water with Windex w/ vinegar (hard to find in some areas) let them soak till home, flush with water and dry. Brass will blacken but tumble if you want shiny. Bore is cleaned as needed with wet patch, again with the windex mix, homemade cleaner, or just water. Dry patch and shoot some more. I have used bore pigs while shooting matches but now shoot for fun.
 

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Agreed with the above. You might consider a bore brush that can be chucked up in a drill and spun inside the cartridge case. But generally speaking, a tumbler will clean these up just fine.
 
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