Im reading different views on this subject.Some say its necessary and some say its complete nonsense.I dont buy the seasoning process but is it just used as a lube for ease of loading?If you use a range rod with a jag and brush when shooting why would you need the butter.i dont like the idea of that crud in the rifling.thoughts or opinions?
Do not use the stuff for loading myself, will send a spit patch thru after a few shots at the range and never have a problem.
Spiker I don't know how to explain this very well but if you're familiar with Iron skillets/frying pans there's a seasoning process to follow before using the pans and then after the pans have been used/washed over time you should repeat the process otherwise they don't work the greatest for cooking...
TC's Bore Butter and Traditions Wonder lube act pretty much in the same way seasoning the barrel for better performance, easier loading and easier cleaning.
Nowadays the newer muzzle loader designs along with production of less corrosive powders are so that Seasoning probably isn't required or necessary at all but I personally believe Seasoning a barrel reduces fouling, saves time loading and cleaning & promotes accuracy and more than likely extends the life of the barrel...
I use Traditions Wonder lube I don't think of it as a seasoning process, I think of it more as a storing lubricant and each time I use the muzzle loader I always run 1 wet patch and 1 dry patch before loading that way any Wonder lube residue that may have been in the rifling is cleared.
I hope this offers some sort of useful explaination for you..
Good Luck !!!
Most of these products were used years back when shooting bullets like TC maxi or Buffalo, Lyman and was needed as a lube and to help seal the propellant gasses in the bullets groves and probably reduce lead fouling. Now with the plastic sabots there's no need for bullet lube. Same as shooting a saboted slug from a shot gun. I still use a .10 TC lubed patch for the flint lock as this keeps from burning through the patch. BB your right about the fry pans, we have iron pans that are just as good as teflon lined ones. These are oiled after every use.
well for starts i only use my muzzle loader only during the muzzle deer season and the few pre season shots to make sure scope and all is good. and with that said mine spends most of its time in the gun cabinet, i always clean with wet patch till black is gone then dry patch till their clean and dry, then as a final i patch the barrel and the outter barrel with bore butter to help protect it. as far as shooting i never us at best a dry patch after two or three shots but. proper cleaning is a must for black powder. iv'e seen nice gun's put up and were junk the next year do to poor cleaning
This is a copy / paste off another forum.
Periodically, some new shooter comes on the forum claiming that he needs to "SEASON" his barrel.
Today's modern barrels are made of STEEL, an alloy of iron and other metals, which produces a much harder metal. Muzzleloading barrels are made either of a soft alloy with lead in it to make it easy on the cutters (12L14), or harder steels, like 440 alloy steel, which withstands high pressures, but is harder on tool bits. They are not made of the iron that was used in the 18th century.
We don't season Steel, because its next to impossible to do (those pores in steel are filled with trace elements, so there is no room to allow oils or other substances to be burned into the pores), and its Not necessary for good accuracy, or to prevent rust. Simply running an oiled, or greased cleaning patch down the barrel AFTER seating a PRB on the powder charge, will protect the front portion of the bore from rusting.
Today, the most common IRON product to be found in a home is the Frying pan, or "Skillet" used to cook. Even those are becoming more rare- often only seen in camping equipment, rather than used in the home kitchen. Skillets are made of CAST IRON, which, unlike Wrought iron, have large PORES in the surface.
We SEASON cast iron skillets (but not steel, aluminum, or Teflon coated skillets) to fill the pores of the steel to prevent rusting (RUST adds a terrible taste to food), and to make a very smooth slick surface to use to cook certain foods, like Eggs.
To Season a Frying pan, or skillet, you first rub the surfaces of the skillet with shortening, or lard, or fat. Coat it liberally, so that you don't miss a spot. The place the greased skillet in an oven heated to 500 degrees!
Leave the skillet in the oven at that high temperature for at least an hour. Then turn off the oven. When the oven and the skillet cool to room temperature, inspect the skillet. If there are spots of plain steel showing, or if the entire surface of the skillet is Not Black and Smooth, and slick to the touch, repeat the process, until it becomes that smooth, black Greasy feeling surface (a dry grease- not gooey). With a properly seasoned frying pan/skillet, you can fry eggs on them, and the eggs won't stick to the pan.
In the 18th century, when barrels were forged from soft iron, the barrels were seasoned, often by the gunmaker. He would coat the rifling with a thick layer of fat, then heat the barrel up in his forge, and burn out the fat. What was left in the open pores of the iron bore was the "Seasoning", that prevented rusting inside the barrel.
I am sure that somewhere, in this country, someone is forging IRON barrels. The Possibility exists then, that a shooter could run into a modern made gun, made with a true Iron barrel. I can't imagine the cost of such a gun, considering the labor involved in making such a barrel using the old forging methods, and I would not fire such a gun, since there are cheaper, safer barreled guns available for shooting and hunting.
With Steel Barrels, any attempt at "seasoning" the barrel will only result in frustration, and in a clogged bore, that eventually looks like a smoothbore. The Grooves of the rifling fill up with charred residue, to the point that there appear to be NO more grooves.
This very thing has been observed these past 30 years, in Thompson/Center rifles, because that company's early loading manual spoke about just adding more "Wonderlube" to the barrel if a ball or bullet began to stick in the barrel because the barrel was not cleaned, or swabbed between shots. A lot of people, including members of this forum have made (and probably will continue to make) a lot of money buying up OLD T/C rifles, with the barrels "Shot out", for bottom prices. (The current T/C manual no longer carries that advice, I am told).
The gun barrels are taken out of the stocks, given a good soak for several days with soap and water, then scrubbed well with a bore brush to remove all the crud accumulated in the grooves of those barrels. It comes out in CHUNKS! Typically, when the barrels are CLEANED, they look as good as new, and shoot PRBs just fine. The guns are then sold for a nice profit.
[Plunge a piece of soft wire coat hanger, heated red hot, into a container of oil - any oil. The wire will come out with a smooth, Shiny Black coat on the surface, that is quite durable. It's the closest you can come with modern metals to see what a seasoned barrel WOULD look like].
Years ago, now, I offered to try to help a small local gunsmith, who had just opened up a New shop, get more business into his store, by getting the members of my local gun club to come out, on an Advertised Saturday, to offer to inspect and CLEAN and oil the guns of hunters intending to hunt in the up-coming seasons, for a nominal charge. He looked at me IN HORROR! He told me that if people actually cleaned, inspected, and oiled their guns, he would be OUT of BUSINESS!
He told me that a substantial part of his pre-hunting season business profit came from customers who brought their guns to him to be cleaned and oiled for the next season, having done nothing to them since the last one!
I was raised by a father who Insisted that our guns be cleaned as soon as we got home, and before we did anything else. He inspected our work, initially, and was as hard as any drill sergeant ever heard in Boot Camp.
I can't even imagine taking a dirty gun to a gunsmith, unless it was jammed, and I could not get the gun apart to clean it first. (That's not going to happen with any MLer I have). I would be embarrassed to take a dirty gun to my gunsmith. I obviously was raised in a different world.
If I had to give a truly SHORT answer to WHY we don't Season MLing barrels, It would be, that "we clean our steel barrels, so seasoning is never necessary (nor possible)". Cleanliness is next to Godliness, so goes the old Proverb. The context was different, but the wisdom is still sound.
Just another TC put down, :ranting: we can take it! Being #1 for sooooo looooong carries a lot of responsibility. :w00t: I've never seen a shot out TC barrel and only owned 6, currently 3, so I can't say if any of the previous statements are true. You have to clean the barrel when the shooting is done! I have been shooting them for over 30 years and take great care of them. A couple buddies still have their 1970's TC Hawkens and will be hunting with them in Jan. I remember when all the rest were selling cheap kits. Don't hesitate to purchase a used TC rifle, most likely it will make you very proud you did. I only hope they continue to produce quality products. Sorry for the rant but.......
Bore Butter Advice
Bore Butter or a like product was never intended to be used to aid loading in modern in-line ML guns. The idea is to coat the bore as the last step in the cleaning process AFTER shooting when the gun will be stored. This coats the barrel to prevent corrosion and rust. Before shooting you must swab with 1 or 2 wet patches and 1 or 2 dry patches to remove the Bore Butter. Then fire a primer to remove any moisture or lube still in the barrel. In the days of patches and round balls it was needed to aid in loading but that was mainly for percussion and flintlock guns.:yes:
FrontierGander I don't know who the original writer was of the post you copied and pasted but it's full of hogwash. :wallbash:
I hope the people who responded to his post gave him an earful...
I contribute a muzzleloaders life-long performing qualities to the use of products like Wonder lube or Bore butter Because, no matter how you look at it, every muzzleloader requires a good detailed maintenance and a good lubricant for storage... :wink:
Bore Butter Baloney
:shocking: FrontierGander, I've never heard a bigger bunch of baloney in a gun discussion. Since when does steel not rust if not lubed or wiped down with an oiled rag outside the barrel? Stainless maybe but normal steel will corrode every time! Before shooting after storing your ML swabbing and firing a primer will remove the Bore Butter from the barrel. Also, it doesn't matter if it's a TC, Traditions, CVA or another brand the cleaning and storing process is the same for all of them.
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