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Musket Maintenance Tips
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Gruff
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Joined: 18 Sep 2007
Posts: 418
Location: Plymouth

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject: Musket Maintenance Tips Reply with quote

As most of you will be aware, Devon and Cornwall firearms licensing have hit an all-time low and granted me permission to own and keep a bang stick.

I've now acquired a musket (which I'm tempted to nick-name "Behemoth" on account of its weight!)

I've been lovingly taking it apart, cleaning it, oiling it and putting it back together again. I've also sanded the more jagged dents in the stock and filed/emery clothed the dents on the fittings.

Anyhow, I'd appreciate any tips/advice people have got on how to keep it in prime condition.

My first couple of questions are:

1. What do people treat the stock with? Beeswax polish? Linseed oil?

2. I've cleaned the lock with an old toothbrush and a rag and put fresh oil on all the moving parts - is it worth cleaning the outside metal parts until they are shiny (with silvo, for example?). I don't want it to be a mess but neither do I want it to look like a museum piece.

Any top tips will be greatly appreciated!


Last edited by Gruff on Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rachel the Spy



Joined: 10 Nov 2007
Posts: 92
Location: The North

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Pete is probably the best person to ask but we think

1. Linseed oil- you can warm it up slightly to get it to go in better.

2. If you want it to be shiny use oil and scotchbrite and don't let people touch the barrel. If you want to be a proper Wardlaw occassionally pour some boiling water down it!

3. Do give it a name, then I won't be the only one.
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Rob Jones



Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Posts: 327
Location: Somerset

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rachel the Spy wrote:


2. If you want it to be shiny use oil and scotchbrite and don't let people touch the barrel. If you want to be a proper Wardlaw occassionally pour some boiling water down it!

3. Do give it a name, then I won't be the only one.


Agree on the linseed oil, but feel thad the jibe about cleaning was a bit cheap! It's called a patina Wink Bright and shiny is good, but is it authentic?

As to naming your musket - how sweet! (Or frightening in a full metal jacket sort of way!)
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bigmartin



Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 116
Location: Bristol

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My musket barrel was turned down from a piece of (ex Rolls Royce) hydraulic tubing. Due to which it has naturally gone a nice brown colour that no amount of scrubbing will change. On the (now rare) occasions it gets used I just give it a coat of oil after cleaning to keep the brown from turning rusty red.
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Captaingeneral



Joined: 09 Mar 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Burnham on Sea

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:29 pm    Post subject: Muskets Reply with quote

Gruff - If you will allow some advice from an old soldier...

Always treat your musket like you treat your woman....
Give her a name and shout it loudly every time she roars! (Mine is called Betsy!)
Never mollicoddle her with too much pampering she will only take liberties with you when you need her to go bang! Laughing

Your choice about scouring her with scotchbrite, some like that. Twisted Evil

Clean and oil her mechanisms LIGHTLY once only between musters and preferably at least a week before the muster. Store her, barrel pointing downwards to ensure any extra oil/moisture runs out of the barrel. You want the pan and the chamber behind the touchole to be dry, as you know any dampness buggers up your ignition. Rolling Eyes

Before 'banging' on the field, 'flash her pan' (without inserting a charge) to drive out any residual dampness and warm her working parts.

If you are shooting on successive days, don't boil out her barrel after day one. (Watch the number of misfires on a Sunday!)

Just remove any incrustation, give her barrel a dry swabbing (if you must) but definately clean out her pan and touch hole with your pricker.

Boil her out as soon as you get home and then lightly oil her and store her in the aforementioned fashion ready for the next battle.

Now that she has been roughly handled in two days of battling, with never a misfire, you may apply some linseed oil to her, remember not to oil your ramrod or it may swell and get stuck in position.

So removing your scouring stick, put her across your knees in front of a warming fire and apply linseed oil with your bare palms. The heat from your skin will be sufficient to warm the oil and make it easier to absorb; see how she gratefully sucks this in until a healthy sheen fully covers her stock.

Follow these tips and you should have a reliable and dutiful musket for years to come. Very Happy
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Rob Jones



Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Posts: 327
Location: Somerset

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Note that the good Captain General's advice is neither condoned nor condemned by the Commanding Officer of the regiment. Laughing

The musketeer's handbook gives all of the official guidelines for cleaning and maintainence.
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Abs



Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 130
Location: Plymouth

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope that he is talking about the musket and not the woman, I don't like that sound of some of that!!
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Rachel the Spy



Joined: 10 Nov 2007
Posts: 92
Location: The North

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheap jibe!!!!!!

Imagine the agony of suffering from OCMCD (Obsessive Compulsive Musket Cleaning Disorder). Not only is the musket never quite clean enough but then the horror as the rain turns the barrel rusty in front of your eyes. Also it seriously cuts back on time available to spend in the beer tent.
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Gruff
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Joined: 18 Sep 2007
Posts: 418
Location: Plymouth

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Muskets Reply with quote

Captaingeneral wrote:
put her across your knees in front of a warming fire and apply linseed oil with your bare palms.


Abbey said she might quite like this!

**Leaves suitable pause for the mental images to really kick in**

Presumably we are all referring to boiled Linseed oil rather than the raw stuff?
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Rob Jones



Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Posts: 327
Location: Somerset

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked
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Captaingeneral



Joined: 09 Mar 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Burnham on Sea

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:30 pm    Post subject: Musket Maintainance Reply with quote

Quote:
Abbey said she might quite like this!


Well Abbey, I'm sure a demonstration won't be necessary Embarassed , and I you don't have your own musket I'm sure Gruff will oblige? All you really need to know that when his dismounted stock is across your lap, you should apply the oil in slow, firm circular motions on the wood and refrain from quick superficial rubbing along the shaft. Twisted Evil

The long Winter evenings will just fly by! Wink

Quote:
Presumably we are all referring to boiled Linseed oil rather than the raw stuff?


I would always recommend the raw stuff, It's "A natural nourishing treatment for wood which leaves no surface coating. Suitable for use on cricket bats bean canes and oak beams etc. For softening putty and as a lubricant for French Polishing."
And there is "nothing like polishing off a few Frenchies Mr. B"
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Gruff
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Joined: 18 Sep 2007
Posts: 418
Location: Plymouth

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raw's the best is it?

B****r, back to Lawsons for me then!
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Rob Jones



Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Posts: 327
Location: Somerset

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:01 am    Post subject: Re: Musket Maintainance Reply with quote

Captaingeneral wrote:
Quote:
Abbey said she might quite like this!


I would always recommend the raw stuff, It's "A natural nourishing treatment for wood which leaves no surface coating. Suitable for use on cricket bats bean canes and oak beams etc. For softening putty and as a lubricant for French Polishing."


Are you quoting from the back of the tin, or have you become a travelling rep for a well-known firm of linseed oil producers?
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The Huntsman of Soest



Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Posts: 68
Location: Somerset

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Captain General, you clearly have too much time on your hands to indulge your fevered fantasies.

Not so exciting, but the best way of keeping your musket in tip top condition is to avoid getting it clobbered on the field ie. get a sword and pass your test as a soon as you can (unless you have done so already). I'm sure Rob will be able to give you a few pointers in The Art of Defence.
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Captaingeneral



Joined: 09 Mar 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Burnham on Sea

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:33 pm    Post subject: Muskets and Swords Reply with quote

Yes, fair comment, altho no fever intended, can't be responsible for others' interpretations! Wink

The Huntsman gives sound advice, particularly as I recall the quality of the average swordsman in the Knot is pretty poor. Dragoons are allowed slings, use them so you can avoid looking silly using your musket as some sort of left hand parrying device!

Keep your backsword short in length and broad in the blade, that way you are always in 'forte' and can easily step inside longer blades and disembowel the "prancing royalist johnnies!"
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