[an error occurred while processing this directive]

How to clean an Enfield Pattern 1853 Musket-Rifle


Procedure for Dry Cleaning


Attach black bristle to rod, scrape down barrel, pull back up.


Turn musket so mouth is down, shake it so powder or dirt will fall out. Repeat until little or no powder comes out.


Pull hammer to 'safety' and run nipple pick through nipple a few times.


Leave camp and fire musket to make sure it will work properly.




Do outside, preferably near grass or plants. Arrange cleaning items so they are within easy reach. Put wet cleaning swab on rod.


Procedure for Wet Cleaning



Items Needed

Musket, hot water w/soap or black powder solvent, small and large flathead screwdrivers, nipple pick, 2"x2" white patches (from an old undershirt or similar material), gun oil or 3-in-1 oil, thick cleaning cloths or old towels, brush set (bristle, 'brass' bristle, wet cleaning swab), ramrod or 4-piece rod (4-piece recommended), bore scraper, nipple wrench.



Remove ramrod.


Remove rifle bands (unscrew screws on bands, pull bands upward toward mouth). If sling is on rifle, unscrew it from the trigger guard with small screwdriver and then remove.


Remove tang screw. Put in safe place.


Remove barrel by simply lifting it out.


Run hot water (with soap or powder solvent) through barrel. Put fingers over nipple and over mouth, shake water around, pour out. Repeat until water comes out clean.


Fill barrel with water. Take swab (on rod) and push to bottom of barrel. Pull back out. Some water should come out with it. Repeat until water comes out clean from nipple AND mouth.


Using nipple wrench, remove nipple.


Stick nipple pick through nipple, repeat several times until it is possible to look through the larger hole and see the smaller hole at other end. Run pipe cleaner through several times. Put nipple in safe place.


Remove swab from rod. Attach bore scraper. Put into barrel, push to very bottom. Scrape around in circles for a few seconds, remove.


Rinse barrel with water.


Attach 'brass' bristle to rod, wrap patch around bristle, run through to bottom of barrel, pull back out.


Examine color of patch. If covered in brown, black, or gray, repeat steps 5 & 6.


Remove patch, wrap clean one around, run down and back up. Examine color. If dark, repeat steps 5 & 6 again. Continue process until patch comes out with little or no color on it.


Use cloth or towel to dry outside of barrel.


Apply 3-in-1 or gun oil to old towel or cloth. Rub all over barrel to remove or reduce tarnish. Repeat if nicer finish is desired. Also apply to metal on butt.


Take ramrod and, fat end first, lower it down the barrel partway, then drop it the rest of the way. If there is a dull sound or no sound at all, repeat steps 9 & 10. If sound is clear (it should sound like a bell) or fairly clear, leave barrel (horizontally or with mouth down) and nipple out to air dry for several hours. Or, if steps 9 & 10 were necessary, repeat step 11 to dry barrel more, then air-dry it.


After drying, replace nipple, put barrel back in place, replace bands (and sling if applicable) and ramrod and put away brushes and cleaning gear (rinse swab a few times to clean it).


Cap off (fire cap) --and cap only--at grass, holding the mouth a couple inches from the grass blades. If the grass recoils for a second when the piece fires, the barrel is clear.



Get Acrobat Reader

Some letters and documents on our site require Adobe Acrobat Reader to open
You can download your free copy directly from Adobe.com by clicking on the icon at left.

Contact Rob Kassab with questions about Winchesters, or specific guns on this site
Contact Michael Hager with questions specific to the function and content of the site

© 2014 RareWinchesters.com All Rights Reserved