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Easy Muzzleloader Cleaning

Updated on February 13, 2010

Gotta get it clean

Let the foam do all the work!
Let the foam do all the work!

Say you've got a filthy muzzleloader? Went out and shot it and now comes the chore of cleaning? Me, I have a 13 year old boy to pawn these things off on, but if you don't, the Thompson's T-17 foam cleaner is for you.

A while back I picked up a used CVA Staghorn rifle for a back-up while the Hawken is in the shop. Well, this thing hadn't been cleaned in awhile.  The barrel was coated in butter, there was a caking of gunk on the breech plug and just overall in need of a good cleaning. It was a little more than I would have The Boy do on his own so I was looking for an easy solution.

In the past, I would have just removed the barrel and soaked it in the bathtub, but I didn't want to pull the scope off. So while in Bass Pro Shops I found Thompson Center's T-17 cleaner and figured I'd give it a try. I'm still swimming in T/C's incredible warranty coverage over a 30 year old rifle, so anything with their name on it automatically has my interest.

So I brought the can home, pulled the barrel and breech plug and sprayed the foam in the barrel and breech. Immediately I learned that it doesn't take as much as I would have thought as foam began running everywhere. What was interesting though is the amount of gunk that was riding on this marvelous crest of foam.

After letting it sit for an hour, I wiped the barrel with a clean rag and the difference was amazing. Where once before was a thick, gooey layer of butter, powder, plastic and who knows what else, now was an almost clean barrel. So I ran a brass brush through a couple of times and filled the barrel with foam again. After another hour or so, and a couple of clean rag wipes, I had a perfectly clean barrel.

I am certain that one application would have been perfectly sufficient for normal cleaning duties and intend to use this as my muzzloader cleaning ritual. I also intend to use it with my blackpowder handguns, which can be a real pain to clean. And, it's so easy, The Boy can do it, relieving me for more "important" activities.

So if you have a dirty blackpowder gun, give the Thompson/Center T-17 a try, I think you'll be very happy with the results.

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