How did Wyatt Earp clean his gun [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Bernie Link
02-20-2012, 08:33
My wife laughs at me. She says “you go shooting for an hour and then spend 2 hours cleaning and oiling your guns.” She asks “did you ever see Wyatt Earp or Doc Holliday clean and oil their guns?” Got me to thinking, how did people in the mid and late 1800s clean their guns?” Does anyone have a history lesson for me? Thanks, Bernie

Three-Five-Seven
02-20-2012, 08:38
Black powder is cleaned with water. Guns usually came with cleaning rods.

The lubricants available to shooters in 1880 were superior to any that we have today. Whale oil, being non-petroleum based, worked extremely well with black powder firearms and kept them running for a long time. Whale oil has lubricating qualities that cannot be duplicated with synthetics or petroleum oils.

In relative terms, guns were as expensive then as they are now. People were just as inclined to take care of them, clean them, oil them, and maintain them back in the day as you are today.

method
02-20-2012, 08:56
Yeah, with blackpowder, you HAVE to clean your guns, there's just not an option. If you don't, you'll have a rusty, stuck, fouled-shut club on your hands in less than a week.

DFin
02-20-2012, 08:57
Urine & cactus oil?

MajorD
02-20-2012, 08:59
most people today are over anal about gun cleaning- if you are talking about a modern handgun with non corrosive modern ammo anything more than ten minutes and you are overdoing it. After shooting my black powder guns (I use a 1885 era colt single action army from time to time) cleaning takes about 20 minutes. never had a rust issue.

debbert
02-20-2012, 09:01
Hoppe's #2

JaPes
02-20-2012, 10:38
Hoppe's #2

Oh man... I couldn't stop laughing. Zing!

Spiffums
02-20-2012, 10:43
So he didn't just spit on it and call it a saloon girl?

D3S3RT_P3NGU1N
02-20-2012, 11:25
I think some folks these days worry a little too much about cleaning their guns. There are so many people who will go out and run 100 rounds through their gun and think it needs to be cleaned as soon as they get home and who would worry about running 500 or 1000 rounds through a gun without cleaning it.

MrMurphy
02-20-2012, 11:55
Rebuttal for your wife.

Wild Bill Hickok test fired his guns and cleaned them EVERY SINGLE DAY.

With BP revolvers, it was his way of making sure the powder hadn't gotten wet somehow, and also practicing.

That said with a modern pistol, cleaning takes about 10 minutes, max. I can't see taking 2 hours cleaning unless I shot about 20 of them, or maybe a M240 after a long range session of 10-20,000 rounds.

bustedknee
02-20-2012, 11:59
I'll bet old Wyatt never cleaned his irons with brake fluid then lubed 'em with Mobil 1. :animlol:

series1811
02-20-2012, 12:00
Rebuttal for your wife.

Wild Bill Hickok test fired his guns and cleaned them EVERY SINGLE DAY.



I had read that in serveral places, too. Black powder, and no backup, makes you diligent. :supergrin:

HKLovingIT
02-20-2012, 12:14
Spit and bacon grease. :dunno: Be cool if someone had an article about the old ways they did things like that back then.

DonD
02-20-2012, 16:02
That said with a modern pistol, cleaning takes about 10 minutes, max.

Perhaps with a Glock or similar polymer but it takes more than 10 min to do a revolver, particularly if you're using lead slugs and there is any leading at all.

I'll agree, 2 hrs is playing with it, not doing cleaning. Don

2-8 Marine
02-20-2012, 16:33
Didn't Jesse James accidentally shoot off one of his fingers cleaning his gun? Just saying . . .

smokin762
02-20-2012, 16:38
This is an interesting Thread. I will admit, I just never thought about this before. It does make you wonder about the past.

I think, they used a baby snake as a bore snake though. :supergrin:

TN.Frank
02-20-2012, 17:02
Hot soapy water to clean, Whale Oil or "Sweet" Oil(aka Olive Oil) to preserve and lube. That's how I use to clean my Cap n' Ball revolvers, hot, soapy water(Murphy's Oil Soap) then lube em' up with olive oil.

beancounter81
02-20-2012, 17:41
Bore snake?

http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4b/Crotalus_cerastes_mesquite_springs_CA.JPG/300px-Crotalus_cerastes_mesquite_springs_CA.JPG&sa=X&ei=1tlCT-L4HcOdgwfvh6Ev&ved=0CAkQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNEwMIoanEV1gIZ1VLtv4WHuMMUOEw

3000fps
02-20-2012, 18:48
http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f12/cleaning-guns-1800s-58322/

NEOH212
02-20-2012, 19:27
So he didn't just spit on it and call it a saloon girl?

What, Did you see me in my cocktail dress again? :whistling:


:tongueout:

NEOH212
02-20-2012, 19:28
Spit and bacon grease. :dunno: Be cool if someone had an article about the old ways they did things like that back then.

Gun cleaner and dinner all in one.

I like that idea. :whistling:

NEOH212
02-20-2012, 19:28
I'll bet old Wyatt never cleaned his irons with brake fluid then lubed 'em with Mobil 1. :animlol:

:rofl:

Bodyarmorguy
02-20-2012, 19:29
Bore snake?

http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4b/Crotalus_cerastes_mesquite_springs_CA.JPG/300px-Crotalus_cerastes_mesquite_springs_CA.JPG&sa=X&ei=1tlCT-L4HcOdgwfvh6Ev&ved=0CAkQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNEwMIoanEV1gIZ1VLtv4WHuMMUOEw
Damn it...you beat me to it.

bustedknee
02-20-2012, 20:21
This is an interesting Thread. I will admit, I just never thought about this before. It does make you wonder about the past.

I think, they used a baby snake as a bore snake though. :supergrin:

I'm so old I remember doing that. :wow:

You have to find a snake that is long enough to hang out both ends of the barrel but he has to be slim enough to fit.

Hold the snake by the tail and dangle him over the bore. Since he detests being held up by the tail he will think the muzzle is a safe hole and crawl in.

Hang on to the tail!

Once his head appears from the other end you flick him in the face with your fingernail until he gets mad and swells up.

Quickly pull him out by the tail. Since he is swollen up to the size of the bore and since you are pulling him backwards, his scales are reversed and will scrape the barrel clean.

It is important to remember, you ticked him off! :sorry:
You may want to discard the snake quickly or tuck him safely back in your cleaning kit. If you can.

Rules:
1. Never use a Rattle Snake no matter how cool it looks to your buddies. :crazy:
2. Never try for a second pass with the same snake. They won't fall for it and they are already pissed.
3. Always remove a too-short snake before loading and firing or the barrel kabooms and there is snake sushi EVERYWHERE!

:crazy:

got2hav1
02-20-2012, 20:25
Damn it...you beat me to it.

Love it. :rofl::rofl:

ccbricker
02-20-2012, 21:06
Dunno, but I bet he walked uphill in the snow to do it.

Ebb27
02-20-2012, 21:19
Black powder is cleaned with water. Guns usually came with cleaning rods.

The lubricants available to shooters in 1880 were superior to any that we have today. Whale oil, being non-petroleum based, worked extremely well with black powder firearms and kept them running for a long time. Whale oil has lubricating qualities that cannot be duplicated with synthetics or petroleum oils.

In relative terms, guns were as expensive then as they are now. People were just as inclined to take care of them, clean them, oil them, and maintain them back in the day as you are today.


Interestingly the original automatic transmissions for automobiles first developed in the '30 and '40s used whale oil.

It wasn't until they developed a petroleum based substitute for the whale oil, that automatic transmission became practical and affordable.


The interesting part is a lot of people still swear by tranny fluid as a cleaner and lubricant for their guns, and it's one of the main ingredients in the famous Ed's Red gun cleaner.

MrMurphy
02-21-2012, 04:13
I used to shoot wheelguns a lot, even with leading, never took more than 20-30 minutes.

phonejack
02-21-2012, 10:20
Many decades ago I bought a side-lock muzzle-loader. I got into the habit of putting the barrell into a bucket of water in the bath tub. One day my wife said to me

"you spend more time in the bath with that rifle than you do me!"
I replied "yeah and it comes out a lot cleaner!"
That's when the fight began.

Brian Lee
02-21-2012, 10:59
I doubt he ever cleaned them. Him and his brothers probably made their prostitute/wives do it for them under the threat of a beating.

What other kind of man gets married to a hooker and then tells her to continue her old career?

USMC03Grunt
02-21-2012, 12:09
Well, since I highly doubt either you or your wife were present in Wyatt Earp or Doc Holiday's time (I know I sure wasn't), I'm going to guess your wife got this nugget of wisdom from watching the movies. So tell me, have you ever seen Wyatt Earp or Doc Holiday crapping out a big old steamer in the outhouse? Wouldn't logic dictate that if you didn't see them clean their gun in the movies so that means they never cleaned them in real life then because you never seen them taking a dump in the outhouse in the movies that they never had to go to the bathroom in real life either, correct?:whistling:

smokin762
02-21-2012, 17:56
I'm so old I remember doing that. :wow:

You have to find a snake that is long enough to hang out both ends of the barrel but he has to be slim enough to fit.

Hold the snake by the tail and dangle him over the bore. Since he detests being held up by the tail he will think the muzzle is a safe hole and crawl in.

Hang on to the tail!

Once his head appears from the other end you flick him in the face with your fingernail until he gets mad and swells up.

Quickly pull him out by the tail. Since he is swollen up to the size of the bore and since you are pulling him backwards, his scales are reversed and will scrape the barrel clean.

It is important to remember, you ticked him off! :sorry:
You may want to discard the snake quickly or tuck him safely back in your cleaning kit. If you can.

Rules:
1. Never use a Rattle Snake no matter how cool it looks to your buddies. :crazy:
2. Never try for a second pass with the same snake. They won't fall for it and they are already pissed.
3. Always remove a too-short snake before loading and firing or the barrel kabooms and there is snake sushi EVERYWHERE!

:crazy:

Good come back. :rofl::rofl:

ca survivor
02-21-2012, 19:15
Bore snake?

http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4b/Crotalus_cerastes_mesquite_springs_CA.JPG/300px-Crotalus_cerastes_mesquite_springs_CA.JPG&sa=X&ei=1tlCT-L4HcOdgwfvh6Ev&ved=0CAkQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNEwMIoanEV1gIZ1VLtv4WHuMMUOEw
NOW, that's funny :rofl: