23 Jul 2005
A frequent complaint I hear is "my inline muzzleloader just will not shoot like it used to." Sometimes the complainer is ready to throw the gun, the scope, or anything else they think might be the culprit away. Before they go to extremes I ask them what they have been cleaning their gun with. Almost always they reply T/C #13, Turkey Track, hot soapy water, are any one of many other traditional cleaners.
While all these cleaners are good at cleaning powder residue from the barrel none of these clean the plastic residue left from sabots or powerbelt bullets, the preferred inline projectiles. This buildup of plastic residue often causes a temporary loss of accuracy until it is removed from the barrel.
Two products I have used successfuly to remove plastic residue are CVA Advanced Sabot Shooters Solvent and Slip 2000 (a product for cleaning wad residue from choke tubes). To use them first clean your barrel with one of the traditional cleaners. At this point your barrel will appear clean and it will be hard to imagine that it is still full of residue. Next saturate the inside of the barrel with either CVA Advanced Sabot Shooters Solvent or Slip 2000. Allow it to soak for 15 minutes or more. Now run a patch through the barrel. You will be amazed at the dirt coming from your previously "clean" barrel! Use a brush, patches, and more solvent until your patches come out clean.
Your barrel does not need cleaned like this every time you shoot your muzzleloader. I would suggest once a year or whenever you suspect your accuracy is suffering. Guns foul at different rates because of different loadings and sabots so more frequent cleanings may help and won’t hurt your guns accuracy.
What kind of results can you expect? Sometimes astounding, I know of at least two guns that went from eight inch groups to under two inches at 100 yards! Many others have went from over four inches to under 2 inches at the same distance. Before you give up on a gun give this a try, you may be very pleased.
You can find more information on these products at www.cva.com and www.slip2000.com